we are not alone in our struggles

An interesting thing happened today – one of my colleagues burst out her frustration in a meeting we have had. The frustration she had was unrelated to the meeting and the meeting attendees. But we all understood her and supported her. It was heart-breaking to see this otherwise highly cheerful and positive colleague displaying her frustration so rawly. The hurdles she mentioned were highly similar to what I have been experiencing. I felt an instant compassion and fully supported my colleague.

What has been happening to this work place?

Through my interactions with others, this week I heard about experiences of other colleagues as well. They all have the same base problem of being under too much pressure, expectations from them increasing day by day, and the increased workload mandating that we sacrifice from our personal time and mental health. While I do not enjoy finding many of us in this situation, I find it interesting that we hear more objections and voice related to the work environment compared to before. I think together we can form a stronger voice and hopefully get our voice and concerns heard by others, especially by the management. It is a hot pot now – not isolated cases. The future of such a toxic and unsupportive environment is not bright. They better fix it prior to a mass exodus of highly dedicated personnel. This is not the survival of the fittest kind of situation – if you cannot protect the mental health and intellectual capabilities of your people, you cannot really expect extraordinary work that they do, can you?

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This being said, I also mentioned my team members how tired and frustrated I was with some of the things not done or taken care of on time just a few days before. I feel like my endless support to my team has come to an end and is retracting now. I am surprised by this but it is what it is. I keep remembering what someone commented in one of my recent posts – if you are not full, you cannot pour. How true. I wonder about the demoralizing consequences of my frustration on my team members; did they feel the same way that I feel towards my managers? Did they think that I was not supportive enough towards them, or created a toxic environment with unrealistic expectations? I really do not know. But I am empathetic.

This change in my attitude towards my own team is concerning me. I feel like I am really on a dangerous line, which I hope not to cross and go all the way down from there. I want to take a rest, like I have done last weekend with less work and more self-care, but I have so much to do that I would rather work this week…

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The good thing is that I have progressed in making decisions quicker and not spending too much time on trivial points. I also let go of whatever task that does not serve me well. I do not aim for perfection anymore – just today I submitted a report to my colleagues asking them to chip in. Most importantly, the feeling I have got last week, that I was successful and better than what this environment offered to me has been permanent since then. This is amazing. I believe that this is because it is the truth, otherwise my usual skepticism would trash it the next day. I feel empowered by this. Very much indeed.

Nevertheless, I am still tired, stressed, and anxiety is growing in me. I feel like I need additional changes in my attitude towards the work. I will know it when its time comes.

Good night everyone.

 

 

all the good things – check

It has been a fine day, my friends πŸ™‚

  • sleeping in till past 7 am this morning – check

this gave me much needed rest and a sense of un-urgency that I was missing lately

  • deciding to work and take care of a critical work first before anything else – check

this is a nice change in my attitude. I had planned to clean the home, but I let the idea wait. I rather focused on addressing this task while I had the time and an un-distracted mind. I am glad I have decided to do so, because I was able to get a sense of the problems associated with the task and identify solutions before noon. What a blessing πŸ™‚

  • speaking with my family – check
  • baking two beautiful loafs of sourdough – check

always a pleasure πŸ™‚ It has been almost 2.5 years that I have been baking bread and not have bought even a single loaf from the stores since then. I was also able to share my starter and loafs with my neighbours and friends. I love this πŸ™‚

  • watering my plants – check
  • eating healthy with a large green/lentil salad – check
  • deciding to finish work before 4 pm and take a mini-rest this evening – check

this is again a deviation from my usual self. I would not feel good about myself unless I finish the things or work till midnight to finish things. I have been getting mini rests this past week where a mini rest would be allowing myself to get away from the stressful work or thoughts and rather dedicate my time to wind down. I think it is healthier, allowing me having a better mood and mental state. I know that my energy and time is limited. Instead of interpreting this as a stress trigger, I rather see the mini-rest as an opportunity to elevate my energy at the expense of time. The next day can evolve better and more productive this way. I hope I am not wrong πŸ™‚

  • understanding the stress and how I manage to deal it better lately – check

I came to realize that there are good stress and negative stress. Good stress is when I feel extra motivated to address work-related issues, find solutions, and work under a time-crunch. While it does not feel great at that time and I sure would love to do other things with my time (shopping is one πŸ™‚ ), it also helps me to move forward and faster. It also helps me to realize and tackle issues before they get bigger and more serious. Who wins at the end?? Me πŸ™‚

Negative stress is when I feel rush, rush, rush, and panicked. It almost always create some physiological disturbance (increased heart beat being one) and overall make me feel “stressed”. It has been going on like this for the last few years; I have had many anxiety episodes, depressive mood, and lack of self-confidence and hope. It sure is toxic. While I could easily fall into such a negative stress period nowadays, I am trying new ways to handle it better and make it a “good stress”.

One trick I found is to limit the time I focus on a problem. One of my team members have a timer that we started to use (15 min episodes) while discussing and resolving the issues related to their projects. It works! It helps me to focus and take things easy and effective. I love it πŸ™‚

  • understanding the importance of self-care, better diet, and better exercise once again – check

anything I can do to improve my well-being is good, however small they may be. Like flossing I have done or the healthy lunch I have had. I have seen my dentist and paid a visit to physiotherapy this past week, which feels like I am doing fine in taking care of my medical needs. Good job!

  • having hope and an optimistic outlook for tomorrow and the rest of the week – check

having a “to-do” list the night before helps me a lot. I am determined to use the early morning hours to address the most important things. These are the best time, free of destruction, that helps me keep moving. One caveat is that I need to pay taxi to drive me to office, as bus does not start at 5 am!! But right now, I am okay with this.

  • loving my plants and enjoying every minutes I keep seeing, caring, and thinking about them – check

plants are truly therapeutic. I have so many plants that I watch to make sure they are doing well. The succulent props and new cuttings I have acquired from someone two weeks ago are good examples. I also have plans to re-pot some of the plants so that I can save space and make use of what I have. Win-win πŸ™‚

 

 

 

all the good things – check

  • getting my thooth filling fixed – check
  • walking during the day for 20 min – check
  • deciding to work tomorrow to clear some outstanding work – check

I am not very enthusiastic about this, but then it is good for me as I am behind many things nowadays. I can always take a rest later, especially on Sunday. Looking forward to it

  • sharing some plants with my colleagues – check

this always feels good πŸ™‚ Some of my friends with whom I had shared plants expressed how positively the plants changed the feeling of their offices/home, and I believe in them. What a fantastic feeling to be able to help spread the power of plants to others. Today I was also given a couple of baby plants that I cherish πŸ™‚ This also feels great πŸ™‚

  • learning the importance of context dependency better with the help of a plate – check

a couple of weeks back I had purchased some second hand plates from thrift stores to be used to collect the water underneath the pots/planters I have. One of them, even though has this wonderful green colour, had not fit well any of my pots so I had decided to give it away. Today I tried it with the new pot I was gifted with a plant and to my cheerful surprise, it just fit so wonderfully – both in size and in colour. I almost got tearful with joy! I was about to get rid of it just because I did not have a use for it and I was feeling quite bad about purchasing/owning it πŸ™‚ It is all fixed nice and easy now πŸ™‚

  • having a strong and pain-free lower back and no physical problems at the time being – check

very grateful!

  • being gifted with some pastries by a friend this morning – check

this was a wonderful gesture on my friend’s side. They were delicious and I ate all of them in the morning. They absolutely lifted my energy levels up and made me feel good. I think this example showed me once again the importance of breakfast and the need to start having regular breakfast. It sure will help me go through the stress and heavy work much easier. I am of course highly appreciative of my friend for thinking about me and helping my body and mind nourish with her kind gesture

  • starting a new task that I have been delaying lately – check

I am behind many things, but once I start I often follow. So I was happy to start this work this evening – it is going to be finished πŸ™‚ Yay!

  • not having any shopping plans this weekend – check

I am too busy to shop… I love shopping but it is not good for my purse. Plus, I appreciate it more when I have a break from it for a while. All is good πŸ™‚

  • seeing my succulents props doing well – check

these plants are a bundle of joy πŸ™‚ seeing that they grow roots and little plants out of mere leaves is a miraculous feeling. I may have killed a couple a long the way but generally speaking my succulents are doing well πŸ™‚

  • getting good opinions on my quest to find out what is the best thing to do when you have two options both of which are the correct (or incorrect) roads to choose – check

thanking the blogger friend for her valuable comment. I sure am thinking like her and this gives me a sound base to work on.

 

 

 

 

all the good things – check

  • sleeping well and getting up early – check

a good quality of sleep is something awesome, friends. It makes you refreshed, rested, and positive. Have I mentioned my doctor recommended using melatonin to help sleep? I took it only once; it upset my stomach and it felt strange. I am considering taking half of the supplements, but I will see how this will go first – maybe the better weather and sunny days will help.Β 

  • working at home on a report review and almost finishing it – check

this feels good. I have been working on it for the last three days. A kind of complicated file and reviewing it was hard, but I am almost there. I do this review for an external organization of which I am a member. There are a number of points that I do not have the expertise to evaluate. I note them clearly and make them know. I have come up with this idea a while ago while reviewing another file. I do not want to be responsible for shortsightedness if the file turns out to be problematic in the future. Feeling good to protect myself πŸ™‚

  • deciding to go to office even though it is a public holiday today (Victoria day) – check

I thought it was the best opportunity to do some work at the office while there were not many people around. I am glad I have! There were a few people like me who worked today but it was such a quiet and peaceful environment that I felt like I have done 3 days worth of work in a couple of hours. I am pleased πŸ™‚

  • walking to and from the office today – check!

this is the first time in a while that I have walked to office! I not only saved money (total around 20 bucks today), but also found a chance to exercise my body and calm my mind πŸ™‚

  • eating better with lots of fruits and healthy food – check
  • feeling calmer and hopeful – check

this is very important for me. I have been having down moments and anxiety lately – today has been really good in this regard πŸ™‚

  • realizing that my health-related expenses are increasing and I must make efforts to minimize my unnecessary expenses – check

This is not particularly a good news, but I would like to see it as such. It reminded me a few years back when I did not have much money left from my pay cheque (immediately after buying my house). It was a very hard feeling but I had decided to cut significant expenses to turn things around. I have not been fugal in the last 11 months, which shows in my chequing account. I have continuous physiotherapy (for my lower back) and now counseling sessions to start.. These are expensive services.

While I recognize their importance and benefits to me, I also recognize the fact that I may not be able to finance all of them while also taking the cab twice a day, eating junk food every day, and shopping without thinking much… It is time that I bone cut my all unnecessary expenses, friends. Every penny counts – I know this. I may not be able to get back all the money I wasted, but I may as well stop wasting more.

Good thing is that one of my recurring expense, my hair treatments as part of my saga to transition to gray hair is about to come to an end. I have one appointment next week and maybe yet another one in summer left to complete the transition (I hope). My hair looks a lot better than what I thought it would be, but it is time that I take a break from expensive toner treatments and see whether I can keep my hair myself. We will see how this will go ahead πŸ™‚ Gray hair is a sensitive matter!! πŸ™‚

  • removing a social from my calendar – check

under different conditions I would be happy to attend, but I am so booked that I do not wish to spend time on other peoples’ functions anymore. This was a surprising turn for me. Am I getting selfish? No. Am I prioritizing myself? Yes. I needed this.

I also did not want to spend money on this function. I thought I would rather spend this money on myself and this felt good. I am taking care of myself πŸ™‚

  • deciding that I did not have to attend all work-related functions or meetings – check

there are at least 4 functions I was invited to in a couple of weeks. These are functions that will acknowledge my team members’ success and achievements. While they are incredibly honoring moments, I will be wasting around 10 hours collectively. I can rather use this time for myself. I can go to physiotherapy, for example. Since each session costs me around 2.5 hours, I was only able to have sessions every other week. can you imagine? i cannot even make it to my physiotherapy because I am so crunched of time…

I kind of found that sad.

It is the right decision. I can use my time to care for myself. I am sure my team members will understand.

  • thinking that whatever has been happening in my professional life, they are not more important than my personal well-being – check!!!

Priceless.

 

 

all the good things – check

  • finally making it a part of my reality and consulting my doctor about my stress levels, anxiety, depressive mood, and sleep problems – check

it has been an interesting experience. I am not new to having stress, anxiety bouts here and then, depressive thoughts, and lately sleeping much less than usual. While I was feeling perfectly fine during the day, I thought I would consult my doctor. She suggested nicely to exercise 6 times a week; try melatonin for some time for my sleep – if it does not work out, I can get a pill later; and see a counselor to get a better idea about other ways to manage my stress and occasional anxiety I get. Perfect. I always thought that it would feel weird for me, but it did not. I said to my doctor and I believed in it completely when I said – that I want to feel good. well done, I would say πŸ™‚

  • taking the bus this afternoon, rather than the cab – check
  • painting one of my old-looking pots with the new paints I have bought yesterday – check
  • eating a large bean salad with joy and appetite – check
  • working nice and easy – check
  • deciding not to work this evening – check
  • watering the radish and flower seeds in the yard – check

my radish seeds have done amazing! They appeared around a week after the sowing and I could not be more excited πŸ™‚ There is something incredible about growing something from seeds πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  • using my new watering can to water the yard – check

why did I not think about buying one before??? It is such a useful thing and only costed me 6 bucks this weekend! It takes a couple of times to fill and then water the seeds/seedlings, but without it I would not be able to do this, either, so I am so grateful that I have purchased it – there will be many flowers and seeds coming out in my yard this year and many years to come πŸ™‚

  • growing cacti seeds – check, check, check!

I planted them 10 days ago and yesterday I have seen my first baby cactus, and then yet another one a few hours after that. This morning, an additional one appeared and this afternoon I noticed yet another one, too! What a joy, friends! I never thought that I could germinate them, but I did it!! Checking every morning and every once a while during the day and seeing new green tops showing up is an amazing feeling – I am so excited!

 

 

all the good things – check

  • feeling better overall – check

yesterday I was feeling uneasy again, but today has been a relatively better day – I will appreciate this!

  • eating a home made dish with lots of healthy veggies, yogurt, and garlic – check
  • meeting with an ex-team member of mine and having a great chat and doing some work together – check!

this gave me extra boost! She is a very intelligent and genuine person and talking to her again and learning about her wellness and successful endeavors were a bliss! It made me literally happy πŸ™‚

  • taking the bus on the way back from the office – check

I was lucky – the bus was waiting right in front of the building and I catched it – that saved me around 8 bucks from cab fare today πŸ™‚

  • feeling bored and then doing some work after 5pm – check

I have a busy next week and I just got an additional tasks right this evening. I decided to start it so that I can make my weekend and next week a little bit easier. I am glad I have. I feel good and less stressed and time-crunched now πŸ™‚

  • eating two juicy clementines that were delicious – check
  • drinking fresh kefir – check

I feel so much better when I drink kefir. I feel lucky to have these grains. They work so consistently!

  • seeing two seeds germinating in the yard – check

I planted them last weekend. It was a slightly rainy week, which I guess helped. I am looking forward to seeing more coming up.

Plants are my new hobby! I shared three succulents with my friends and everyday coming home and checking how they are doing is an incredibly exciting experience. The cacti seeds I planted last weekend do not have much of an activity. sadly sun is low this week, which may be affecting their germination. I will see how this saga will go on – let’s cross the finger πŸ™‚

  • having plans for the weekend – check

I need to work, but this is okay. I also would like to go for shopping and get new pots for succulents. I also would like to get additional pots for my yard to plant seeds. I have herb as well as flower seeds to grow and I am very excited about these πŸ™‚ I bought two big bags of soil a few days back, which was easy to do with the help of my shopping cart. I can go get two more this weekend. I want to plant potato in totes!! I have seen it in the internet and I am curious πŸ™‚ I will try 3-4 bags of them and see how this goes πŸ™‚

  • walking in the morning for 10-15 minutes – check

I am not walking lately. knowing what a healthy activity it is, I welcome this opportunity

  • enjoying the show I am watching – check
  • doing my back exercises – check
  • realizing that I have around 300 bucks accumulated for my next mortgage pre-payment – multi check!

I may not be able to save my money as much as I wish, but I keep saving from here and there a little sum that will help improve reducing my mortgage on the long run. I am excited about these and now I am motivated again to stop taking the cab and use that money to increase my pre-payment. I hope to catch the bus tomorrow morning – wish me luck!

 

 

 

 

all the good things – check

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

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

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

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

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

You tell me.

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

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

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

Change the way I think and work

or

Change the direction of my work

We will see how this story ends.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I had completely forgotten! How great is technology? πŸ™‚

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

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

Garden Plants GIF by Sharpie - Find & Share on GIPHY

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

Not everything in life is unpleasant. Finding those that give us joy is priceless πŸ™‚

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

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gifs by:https://giphy.com/gifs/sharpie-garden-plants-CopnJzvz3G9tm;https://giphy.com/gifs/3NtY188QaxDdC

 

all the good things – check

  • deciding to feel good as nothing much in our daily/work life matters that much – check

I have had a kind of relaxing but also somehow nerve-pitching week. All work related issues of course. On the other hand, weather has been incredibly nice and Spring is really here. I have been feeling awesome about this – there is a real feeling of “hope” and “new beginnings” induced by the arrival of Spring. Should I be wasting these great feelings with focusing on shitty things and behaviors?

No.

Right. πŸ™‚

  • walking to the office in the morning – check

I have been walking in the last few days from home to office in the mornings. This feels great really πŸ™‚ Last year was the first time I had made it a routine activity to walk in the mornings (weather permitting). It makes me feel calmer, energetic, happier, and healthier πŸ™‚

  • working without much of stress and taking care of a tricky document – check

I knew that it was gonna be tough but I also told myself repeatedly that I would do overcome this too. The last year has been particularly very challenging in terms of work, stress, agitation, changing myself and my work attitude, growing my gray hair (I did not update you on this, did I? Man, I have gray hair alright – looks better somedays than the others, but I am still resisting the idea of dyeing it πŸ™‚ ), and undertaking new professional roles. One of the benefits of it has been to go through really tough time and tough decisions, so no new challenge is a big deal (at least so far) – great! πŸ™‚

  • taking my time to enjoy the plants on my floor – check

it has been a pleasure really, looking at all the beautiful plants and flowers that have been around me for so long but have never been cherished or recognized by myself. I feel awesome now that I know each one of them. Plants are amazing, friends. There are so many different types of them, they do survive with little help, and they make one feel great emotions and joy…. Go hug a plant πŸ™‚

  • walking to a nearby store and buying groceries – check

there have been many food that I needed and were on sale this week – I feel lucky πŸ™‚ I want to get some succulents nowadays. There were some aleo vera that were on sale in this store, but I did not want to buy them this time. There is a store 30 min away on foot that I can go check sometime to see whether they carry succulents. Even reading about the succulent made me feel excited and happy yesterday πŸ™‚

  • drinking fresh kefir – check
  • eating good home-made food – check
  • making a conscious effort to not dwell on negativity – check
  • enjoying a comedy show – check
  • having a simple life with minimal expenses today – check, check, check! πŸ™‚

Daisy GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/flowers-TFA5yuQIIoVUc

all the good things – check

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

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

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

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

  • getting a tax return more than I thought I would – check, check, check πŸ™‚

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

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

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

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

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

  • having a no-spending day – check

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

 

all the good things – check

  • sleeping well and dreaming…. a lot – check πŸ™‚

Only sometimes I remember my dreams and remembering three dreams in the morning was absolutely interesting!

  • waiting at home for the bus so that I could continue my frugal, simple, and responsible life style I missed so much – check
  • feeling happy when the bus comes – check!

Our buses runs every 30 min – give me some credit for taking them, please :)))

  • working nice and easy during the day without much of a stress – check
  • giving a small loaf of sourdough to one of my friends and seeing her joy and excitement – check, check, check πŸ™‚

I am grateful for this feeling of happiness coming from sharing my bread, marmalade, or pickles – looks like my friends really like and appreciate them, and this just makes me hugely grateful! How did I come up with the idea of baking bread? making marmalade or pickle? Boredom, which motivated me to try these endeavors, has been good to me indeed πŸ™‚

  • coming home early and taking a new yoga/stretching class – check

I dedicated this session to appreciating myself more (wow – I am really getting healed here πŸ™‚ ) and I spent the entire one hour by focusing on all the good things and appreciating my ability to do so. One of the best 12 bucks spent ever πŸ™‚

  • eating home-made food and a large salad – check
  • having a no-spending day – check!

I am excited about this. I think I am slowly coming back to my frugal self. Today is the second day of being frugal in a very long time and it feels fantastic. If only they did not expect a snow storm soon – that may mean that I may need to take a cab to or from work. We will see how weather will develop.

I plan to do some sort of pantry challenge next week so that I can consume what I already have. This will help me with saving some money and also enable myself to consume what I already have and replace them with fresh ones. I really need this so that I can get my chequing account back to a healthy level, which always feels good. Time to do this!! πŸ™‚

  • Being calm and relaxing this evening – check

I am not working tonite and it feels good to me. I know time to time it gets really heavy but nowadays I feel like I deserve a break and I aim to cherish it while it lasts

  • interacting with only lovely friends and colleagues today – check
  • eating yogurt – check
  • being excited about all the good things and people in my life -multi-check!

πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

all the good things – check

 

1. sleeping well and calm – check

2. getting up at a time good enough to catch the bus on time – check

3. working well in the morning, getting stressed at noon, but keeping the work till evening – check

4. almost being finished with some work that has been on my list for so long that its heaviness has been extreme – I want it to be done. Hopefully soon πŸ™‚ – check

5. enjoying the warm and bright day and getting a feeling of Spring – check

6. walking back to home in the afternoon – check

7. saving around 20 bucks from cab fare by taking the bus or walking today – check

8. doing grocery shopping and appreciating everything I purchased – check.

I have got a big bag of potatoes and lemons. I consume lemon quite a bit, potato – not so much. But it is more or less durable and potato meals, soup, and salad are all very enjoyable food. I am feeling good about having food the next few weeks and I feel quite abundant πŸ™‚

9. eating fish and a big healthy saladΒ  – check.

Lately I have been trying to award myself by eating fish or any other fried food (before someone starts about the unhealthy habit of fried food; for some reason they make me feel good the next day. once a week should be okay, right?)

10. Keeping calm – check.

It is strange to remember that in January I have had almost panic attacks. A very stressful time it was. I have come so far, slowly but steadily. I am very gratefulΒ  – check!

11. Finishing the lose ends of many small tasks and reports, and feeling energized about thisΒ  – check.

I have a number of small things to finish this weekend. Once they are done, I hope I will start bigger and newer projects. It is so exciting!Β  – check

12. Did I mention that I said “no” again yesterday? Face-to-face this time.

A colleague of mine thinks that she can interrupt me anytime while working alone orΒ  with others to ask or talk about what she needs or wants. How is this acceptable? yesterday I was working in my office with a team member of mine and that person just stepped in my office and start talking and asking me things, with no acknowledgment of my team member or us being working on something. Very rude, self-centered, and selfish. I decided it was the time that I take control and indicate need to respect my team member, and I asked the person to talk later. Can you imagine? I did it! And I did not even feel bad after that!! I am on the right track, my friends πŸ™‚ -check, check, check!

all the good things – check

  • sleeping well till 9 am – check
  • having my favorite breakfast with tomato and sourdough bread – check
  • opening a new canister of coffee and loving the taste and the smell of fresh coffee- check
  • deciding to keep the coffee relatively fresh by taking a part of it in a jar to use and keeping the canister secure/unopened – check
  • enjoying the snow outside – check
  • speaking with my family and loving it – check
  • getting gifted by sister and buying my wide-mouth jars – check, check, check! I have been meaning to get them for months now. I had a set purchased before the holidays and I have only 2-3 left, as I had gifted my friends with pickles but hardly any of them were returned. Now I have a new set only for my own use and I will never run out of them again (will not give them to anyone – sorry not sorry)! – check
  • cooking myself a nice meal – check
  • making clementine preserves (recipe here) πŸ™‚ I have been wanting to do these for some time and today was the day! I will gift a small jar to my next door neighbors tomorrow and another small jar to a friend of mine. I will enjoy the rest (which are in my precious wide-mouth jars) – check
  • working, stressful first and then turning things around and being pleased with my performance – check
  • saying no to a social that involves a couple of individuals who get on my nerves frequently – check, check, check
  • being proud of myself for saying “I do not want to attend this event” to another friend of mine, who though I should be attending the social. She is a wonderful person and a great friend. She was surprised to hear this from me, but she understood how busy and tired I was. It felt great to be direct and understood. I know that I will continue to preserve my time, energy, and nerves to myself by limiting my interactions with undelightful people and by not undertaking other people’s work or responsibilities- check
  • enjoying the quiet night and feeling good – multi-check

 

all the good things – check

  • eating carrots and an apple at the office – check
  • not being stressed much – check
  • working nice and easy – check
  • advising three of my team members about their performances – check
  • having the energy to work and keep going – check
  • prioritizing comfort – check
  • saying no to an extra responsibility – check
  • deciding not to attend to a social I am insisted to attend – check
  • finishing up some great projects and opening time for new projects – check
  • aiming to re-prioritize my well being and simple/frugal life – check
  • planning to visit some thrift stores tomorrow – check
  • flossing my teeth – check
  • feeling good about a new team member’s performance – check
  • being vocal about an extra work we are imposed to by the administration – check
  • drinking kefir – check
  • getting a large piece of home-made cake by a colleague and enjoying it with coffee in the morning – check

 

remembering dad and a few good things

Today is the 2nd anniversary of my dad’s passing.

I remember him with his smile, sky blue eyes, nice skin, strong chin, beautiful voice, and presence. I wish things were different and we could go back and fix everything between us. I wish I could be there for him and kiss his cheeks once more. I wish I could say daddy again.

I cannot.

But I also know that he and I loved each other and we would not wish for another dad, another daughter. He showed his fatherhood and introduced us to not only life but also death, and walked through his lonely journey all by himself. Like his dad, like his mom, like his brothers. At least he was not alone.

Rest in peace dad. One day I will find you again. I promise.

Flowers GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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In the last few days I have been getting really tired of being annoyed by some people and my work being the most important thing in my life.

I had to have dinner with two colleagues I really dislike (!) and a third one I somehow like. I hated the idea of spending my time with the people I disliked but the night went okay, thanks to my third colleague. The two continued to annoy me during the dinner and it has come to a point that I do not want them to affect me this way anymore. I do not know why I cannot let go off their ridiculous ways, but this is what it is.Β  I will find additional ways to further distance myself from them. At least the benefit of this highly annoying dinner was that finally I have had it enough. It came to a point that cannot be ignored. And this is a good thing. A large part of our relationship is over.

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And I have been thinking for sometime that life has been going, I was getting older and closer to death each day, and all I was thinking about lately was how miserable, stressed, unappreciated, and financially insecure I was at work.Β 

One of the changes that has happened this past summer was that I did not want to dwell on small issues and rather use my time, effort, and skills for bigger issues, bigger fights, bigger good. The fact is this: I happen to find issues in anything in life (a professional curse) and dwell on them full force. The question I asked myself was whether I wanted to have a bigger professional life and deal with bigger issues taking similar time and energy, and having similar levels of irritation/stress. The answer is an easy yes. That is why I undertake a lot more this year in terms of leadership and committee work.

I have started to extend this to my personal life. This morning I was talking to my sister and I said since my social life is small, even the little social interactions, if a little annoying, annoys me big time. I said that I have decided to have a bigger life and then get annoyed if I must. Maybe I will learn one or more things. Maybe I will meet great people. Maybe I will find ways to enrich my own inner life. I know it will be better, no matter what.

As part of this, I am excited to say that I re-started my stretching/meditation classes tonite. Just like that I showed up there, purchased my plan, sat on the floor in a quiet, warm, and cozy room with others, breathed in and out, calming my mind and soothing my body. And I just felt that calming my mind was one of the most fantastic things I have ever done for myself lately.

πŸ™‚

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gifs by:https://giphy.com/gifs/giosolarte-spirituality-animation-illustration-art-xT9DPyTQF3Acztr69y;https://giphy.com/gifs/flowers-qfU7P6rsJFCM0;https://giphy.com/gifs/bye-frozen-indonesia-xUNd9Y4kpe3afj9UNW

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

all the good things – check

  • not spending on anything, other than the bus token – check
  • eating home-made meal from freezer (thawed overnight) – check
  • walking in the afternoon from office to home – check
  • working till late and taking care of some minor work – check
  • taking “me” time and watching a favorite show – check
  • eating apples at the office and yogurt at home – check
  • being happy for someone dear to my heart, who is having a happy day – check
  • being proud and excited of these – check

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gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/dance-dancing-flower-l1J9xjttRT0SmU3HG

 

 

what the days bring, you take it

While I have had a relaxing weekend, the stress of work has already caught up with me. Since yesterday I have been running, running, running again. I can feel all the stress hormones rushing in my veins and my emotions fluctuating. I feel like emotionally unstable, and sometimes, just sometimes, I realize that I must do things differently.

When you work with others and dependent on their commitment, time, and efforts, you know that this kind of work takes more time and there are times that you need to “trust” that the other party will do their absolute best to finish the work with a level of quality required from you. You also know that this is not an optimistic expectation, because in reality a lot of things can go wrong. So, how do we get the best of the other parties? How do we involve them more, and make them do the things on time? Especially if they are your colleagues, or even worse, your superiors?Β 

I do not have the answer to this. If you have any opinions, please leave me a comment. I will seriously consider it.

Yevbel GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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I continue to work mostly at home this week, even though I am back to work (i.e. not vacation time). I do not know whether this is good or bad, but it seems to be working for me. I just wished I could do better. But then, who would not?

One of my colleagues could not believe today that I took vacation time to actually work. Is that so weird? I concur that it is weird, but at least please respect my wishes – I too know to just do things out of work and enjoy my life. But with the work-related congestion I have at my hand, finishing the work is going to give me peace of mind. I am so looking forward to the mornings when I wake up feeling good about life, not stressed by the work I must do. My quality of life is important.

Carbs too.

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Among all of these chaotic circumstances, there has been good things as well. First of, I managed to revive my sourdough from its dried flakes. Objectively though it is questionable that whatever is growing in the starter has come from my original starter (I have been feeding it the last four days); it is quite possible that this is in fact a new culture that I captured from flour, water, or air. It is so hard to know. I want to believe, though it is the original one so that I can brag about my sourdough starter lasting for years and years…What a childish but important wish for me. Unfortunately none of us will know the truth. I wish I could do DNA test or something to figure out :)))

Another good news is that with each wash, my highlights are getting more lighter and I am capable of seeing some light patches in my hair here and there. I am still pissed about the highlights not being strong enough, but considering it has been only 5 days since I have got my hair done, I am hopeful that in two weeks or so, I may get better-looking and stronger highlights. I want to believe…..

I Want To Believe GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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Also, I finally chopped down the little trees shooting out of the trim of my house. Somebody told me that they can grow and start damaging the house/foundation. What!! I do not need that. I feel weird cutting little trees, one because they are little, and second, they are trees. Trees are magical and absolutely wonderful. Why do they show up where they do not belong? I made a mental note to plant one to my yard to ask forgiveness from nature.

Last, since I am not eating well during this stressful time, I seem to be losing weight. I am okay with that as long as I eat at least a vegetable and fruit at least once during the day. Β However, it is strange that even planning for one of my weekly pleasures, grocery shopping, is not making me excited.

The situation, my friends, is that dire.

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I just feel lucky

It is one of those days that I feel really lucky – how great is this? πŸ™‚

First; work went well and two presentations I was stressed about turned out to be just ready. What a relief! I now have time for other stuff that requires my attention and my stress levels have just went down. I sure will enjoy my labour day long weekend without working πŸ™‚

Second: IΒ continue to walk in the mornings to the office. Weather is awesome, and more than that, I have the energy to wish to do so! I am lucky that my doctor did blood work and supplemented me with iron and Vitamin D. I truly believe that they have made a difference in my life and the way I feel.

Third: I bought Β second hand pantry yesterday. The previous owners delivered it to me πŸ™‚ It is almost new, has a nice dark colour, and its shelves are really tall. It provides me with extra storage now; I will keep all the cleaning products and other home-snuff (like nails, glues, etc) that are currently placed in my first pantry or kitchen cabinets. I will transfer all the non-food items from the first pantry to open space for my flours and other dry food. I feel ecstatic about this πŸ™‚

Fourth: considering the pest problem in the recent past, I had bought plastic containers to keep my dry food and flours in. Guess what? They just fit in to the pantry #1! So I will be able to secure my food in them and store everything in the pantry. No more mid-size plastic containers around πŸ™‚

Fifth; my two new second hand rugs just changed the face of my living room. Yes, they needed some cleaning, but I love both of them and they make me feel at home. Plus, they were too delivered to my home with no extra charge. Together with the new pantry, these rugs improved the homey feeling of my house and made my life better with little effort.

I feel very good about all of these; certainly very, very lucky πŸ™‚

It feel awesome to feel this way.

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