Sunday Morning Musings

A beautiful, sunny and warm day!

The day started with thanking all the nice things in my life and enjoying the nature from the back yard. Trees are tall and healthy; bees (or wasps) are around; flowers are dancing with the breeze; sourdough loaf is shaping in the bowl; coffee is brewing in the french press….

Happiness 🙂

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Life-related objectives following a vacation

I just returned back from a family visit – it was great!

I found a chance to see my family and friends, and I have had a great time. Food, conversations, and visited places were all awesome. I am glad I have done this trip!

I also found a chance to stay away from work, especially in the last half of the vacation. I did not access and respond to emails, which was a blessing! I like this improvement in my approach to work.

My work-induced stress levels were down to zero as soon as I stepped on the plane. I still feel positive and relax. I hope to be able to respond to work related feelings and pressures better. I want to convince myself that I can do this.

One of the best things about having a break from the routine and engage in activities and thoughts that are different than what I usually have (mostly work related issues) is that it is a good opportunity to formulate new plans to remove the negativity of the past activities and have a chance to improve things that do not go so well. Today is a good day to do these:

Aims related to personal life:

1. Going back to frugal and abundant life-style.

I have been quite successful with this a couple of years back and then I broke it with junk food and can-fare expenses… I want to go back to that as of today.

My specific aims are:

  • to spend no more than 100 bucks a week on grocery and other needs (cleaning products, personal care products, etc.). This does not include medication and health-care related expenses (e.g. physiotherapy)
  • to utilize what I already have (dried food, frozen food, etc) to reduce my food cost, while not sacrificing from healthy and diverse food
  • to have another shopping freeze for flower pots, shoes/clothes, books (occasional ones are okay) and furniture
  • to keep all other frugal activities I already have (e.g. use of coupons/discounts, points, etc.) to maximize the value of my money
  • not to make any pre-payments unless an unexpected sum of money finds my way. This is to ensure that my chequing account will remain at a healthy level. I feel quite strongly about this because when it dips, first I pay extra money to the bank each month, and second, it makes me feel like I am in a financial crisis – not a great feeling
  • to eat the food that I have in the freezer and pantry (I have a lot of dried legumes/beans/rice that are waiting to be enjoyed)
  • to save around 7K bucks till December
  • to make a prepayment in December with the money I will save till then while also keeping around 5K in my chequeing account. This is an ambitious but doable aim. I feel like this will give me the best motivation to move forward and keep my frugal spending habits.

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2. Having a healthier body and weight

I have gained quite a bit of weight this year and its negative effects on my health were noticeable during my vacation: my feet ached a lot, my back gave me trouble (twice I have had my back pain/sciatica – they were minor compared to last year, but still I did not like having two episodes in a short time…).

I am aware of two reasons as to why I have gained weight this year: I did not walk as much as I did in the past years (I used to walk from office everyday – rain or shine) and I ate quite unhealthy food (pizzas and prepared food…). I still have two boxes of frozen pizza and some frozen, pre-made dinners in my freezer. I will consume them as well but with the understanding that my priority will be not to purchase them anymore so that I can eat better.

Thus, my specific aims are:

  • not to buy any pizzas or other prepared meals
  • to eat at least 6 different food (veggies, fruits, or dried food) every week
  • to cook meals at least 3 nights a week (I often consume them in two-three days)
  • to eat apples everyday at the office and to continue to eat carrots and radishes that I love so much (for some reason, these veggies made me feel much better and help me lose weight at the same time)
  • whenever feasible, to walk in the morning to office and in the afternoon from the office (this will help me feel great, lose weight, and also save from the transportation – win-win situation!)
  • to shop at the farmers’ market to have fresh local and affordable food
  • to keep take my calcium supplements and drink milk to keep my bones healthy
  • to re-start doing my back exercises to help strengthen my abs and my back muscles
  • to do light weight-lifting at home to keep my muscles and my bones healthy and strong

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3. Heaving a healthier mind and higher quality of life

I wish not to have stress and anxiety to my best anymore…. Work-related stress, sleep problems, and problems related to relations with the colleagues have hit the ceiling last couple of years… I am better at managing my anxiety by means of the worry journal exercise. But in terms of stress management I have not been much successful.

Hence, my specific aims are:

  • to walk everyday, to eat a healthier diet, and to exercise whenever I can find a chance to provide myself a healthier, nourishing way of life
  • to rest everyday. This I noticed is quite important for my stress levels. Whenever I am tired, I noticed I feel more pressurized and over-react as a result
  • to not access the emails in the evenings and the weekends, unless I have a good reason to do so
  • to take things a little bit lighter and not to react to problems when I am anxious or panicky
  • to trust the life and people around me a little bit more
  • to stop thinking that I am the only person who can do things well and on time. This is one of the main reasons that I feel resentment towards people I work with. Often times I have a good reason to think that the work is not done well and corrections/my involvement is needed. However, this also makes me over-work and over-stressed… Perhaps it is time to lower my standards without harming the quality of the work. I can also take it easy with relations. I can be more tolerant and less assuming… (wish me luck with this one. It is hard…. but I must do this)
  • to make it priority to feel calm at the office
  • to feel confident that I have solved many issues in the past and I can do so now and in the future as well. I must remind myself this everyday, especially when I face of an issue
  • to integrate a new walking route or an activity in my life over time – whether this would be going to theaters/shows, visiting a cafe on a Saturday morning, or reading about an entirely new topic does not matter. Something useful and enjoyable!
  • to continue to read my daily affirmations first thing in the morning to set my intentions for the day for the better

For example:

I am calm and can take care of any of the work-related issues easily

I am confident and successful

I have great work-relationships with everyone I see today

I am known by my high quality and meticulous work and I am respected for these

I am kind to everyone I meet today, especially, myself

I have time to do my work

Today has all the opportunities and beauties I may need

I welcome and appreciate the opportunities life can offer me

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Have a great Sunday everyone!

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freedom

Great things are happening in my inner sphere tonite.

Being aware of the self-imposed restrictions and stress, I have been feeling less and less attached to the life conditions and future plans I have created, and more and more free as a result.

I believe I deserve much better than my current life conditions

I believe very strongly I can do 100x better in another job with another role

I believe I can be happy

I can earn more money

I believe I can do well no matter what

I believe there are thousands of opportunities, great people, and great experiences out there that I can accept, meet, and have now that the self-built wall around my life has been shattered

I believe a great opportunity, a miracle if you will, will happen pretty soon and I have the perfect receptive attitude right now to embrace it

I believe that my future is bright and I believe I am walking around the sunny side of the road now

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When over 2 years ago when the work place toxicity hit the roof and I started to feel dispensable and insecure, I used to walk around a small forest close to my office place. One day it occurred to me that “future was bright”. I printed these words in big fonts and pasted the paper on a place that I can see every work day. That feeling had come from nowhere but I felt it very deeply. It was not a wish, it was not a fantasy. It was belief, a sincere, heart-felt, solid belief.

Since then, the toxicity increased in dose, I worked much harder than any other time (even though I am usually very hard-working), failed many times in my plans and initiatives, experienced low self-esteem and loss of hope frequently, but I kept going despite everything. The last 6 months things have been turning around, one step at a time. I am getting projects, creating new project ideas, forming teams, taking new roles, and dumping with ease the old cranky roles that do not serve me anymore.

I may have hurt myself with stress, but one thing I proved myself. That I can be better, I have perseverance, I can pull things around, I am better than I think, and I have the energy and skills to do much more.

Much more.

I can do much more.

if there was a good time to quit this job, it would be now. Why now you may ask?

Because if I had quit before I came to this point, I would always feel unsuccessful and like a failure. Now, however, I demonstrated that I survived yet another hard time with success.  This is confidence.

Feeling that great things are coming and I am welcoming them to my life. This is believing and having faith.

Loving and appreciating myself for what I have become. Well, this is as they say priceless.

Great things will happen. I will be happier. I will have a great life. I will make bigger impact with my work. I no longer be chained to whatever ideals that I once thought were good for me, but not enough any more.

I believe in all of these.

 

 

 

tackling perspectives and opinions

I have been thinking for many years what a small-scale/restricted life I have had; how my perspectives on experiences and opportunities were focused but small; and how expanding or changing my perceptions/the way I evaluate things would be useful to see the beyond and brighter (especially lately). The events in the last weekend motivate me to seriously think about this now.

I think I have a small-scale/restricted life because I live in a small city with small number of activities that interest me and I work the majority of the time, or occupy myself with it, which leaves little room to reflect on or experience anything else. I have known this for a very long time. After years of struggle, I came to accept the beauty of the simple and safe life this city provides me with and all the financial awards and mental satisfaction (despite its stress) this job gives to me. It also gives me the opportunity to not face what I must face in life most – my fears; by working and trying to control my work, I get a sense of safety away from my own thoughts (it is not new news to you that I have anxiety).

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My perspectives on experiences and opportunities are focused but small-scale as well; in the last few years, I focused on saving money/frugality, simple and leaner life, with little outside activity. I do not even read books as much as I used to. My plans or priorities concentrated around money and appreciating the beauty of simple and frugal life. There is nothing wrong with these, but it naturally restricts the options one may provide themselves; no vacation somewhere; no movies or other cultural activities; no new furniture I may need; no spontaneity; no sense of adventure. As one of my family members rightfully told me this weekend, money is not everything, however.

The main reason I wanted to save money was to cope with the daily expenses after especially buying my home and investing for my future. This is the right decision and I benefited from it. I would love to be comfortable in my future and have the freedom to pursue interests, take care of myself and my family’s needs better. I am almost half a century old and I do not have enough accumulations for my retirement. But I wonder whether I over-did and strained myself to a point that I have lost my jest for life or spontaneity. Where is the energy and excitement coming from unique and exciting experiences?

There must be a difference between being grateful for everything I have (or not) and be happy with status quo, and aiming better by looking for additional things/way/experiences to better my life, my experiences, and nourish my mind and soul with even at the expense of money.

Being grateful is amazing, but forgetting to aim for better if that is going to enrich my life and remove this being “restricted/small life” feeling may not be. This is what I am trying to say here. That is what my family member was trying to say. Life is short. Our plans and predictions may not happen, good or bad.

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Just last week, I was thinking about letting my mind expanding or changing my perceptions/the way I evaluate things, which would give me a different view, different opportunities, and better outlook about life. Take work-related stress for example; I am stressed but I also progress and succeed. Why can I not be happy for these?

Challenging my beliefs/opinion on my approach to work and people was one thing that came to my mind. Rather than evaluating my hard-work as stress, I could approach it as something that gives me an opportunity to reach my goals. Rather than evaluating people as annoying, I could see them as souls that needed attention or love. Rather than being feared about being un-appreciated, un-credited, under-respected/recognized, or threatened, I could talk or ask whether these were correct or how to fix. I have not done any of these. But I can. Maybe the situation I evaluated can be evaluated in a different way. If so, would the restrictions I put on myself and the stress and negative feelings I experience be relevant anymore? No.

What keeps me away from this?

I know my anxiety problem is contributing to these. I want to control my life/experiences or be prepared as much as possible to protect myself and my future. I know some of the risks are real so I still need to be vigilant.

But can we really protect our future by sacrificing today?

 

holidays diary – Day 3

The day was kind of wasted, or this is how I feel about it.

I meant to finish cleaning home (which I have, YAY!), get the cable technician fix my cable issues (got the appointment a few weeks back), and the go for a little shopping.

So, I waited, waited, and waited, and called the company twice, only to be told that he would show up. Well, he is 6.5 hours over due, so I do not think he is showing up. This also means that sadly I missed my opportunity to get out of home and do some shopping for my own enjoyment…. I am not only frustrated, but also fed up with that company. In a year that I want to take things easy, that may mean I am looking for a new company soon, for which I am not sorry.

The same for my VISA card – I want to change it. The hefty annual fee is not making me happy. The points I get in turn are not worth it. This bank is the only one I work with and I have been paying all the interest and shoot (intentionally changed the word here – I am a kind person and for a bank, I will not change this quality in me). Plus, this year the bank rep refused to waive my annual fee twice. Twice! He offered me another credit card from their bank, which I will gladly refuse. I will be shopping for a credit card soon and I deserve this. Thank you very much both of you the companies – you clearly sock (again, intentionally changing the word here).

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Since this is the 3rd day of the holidays already and I have not done much for myself, like reflecting or reading, my feelings are exaggerated towards emptiness. I have the entire night in front of me, which I can use to my advantage. The truth is reflecting the year without reflecting about the work is not possible, and I do not wish to think about work just yet. So, for tonite, I am putting this aside as well.

I can watch a movie, I can browse the internet, I can read about plants. The usual stuff that I always do anyhow. What however interest me is to find a new topic to explore an learn. Something I have not tried before; not sewing (I shave sewn some place mats and washing clothes today, by the way – YAY again!); not plants; not books or poetry; not jamming, pickling, or baking.

Something new!

What is gonna be?

I have the entire night to figure out.

Let’s remember that the new year is the year of Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation.

Happy nights everyone 🙂

 

 

 

Sunday morning musings

It is quite early and enjoying coffee with a nice piece of music at the background is priceless. I hope you all are having a great Sunday and my fellow Canadians, I hope you are having a great Thanksgiving weekend!

I am going for a social/dinner tonite by good friends – I cannot wait. Until then, my aim is to move the work at hand. It has been another busy time period and I am possibly looking for extension of it to the next year. I am ready, though. Even though it is stressful and i need to figure out and work out a lot of things, this is not the first time I have had such a time. I can do this!

As a matter of fact, the first thing I have done this morning was finishing some lagging work instead of trying to fall back to sleep. I feel quite content right now that one thing is crossed off my to-do-list. I plan to continue like this the whole day and bake a wonderful sourdough loaf in the afternoon.

Have a great Sunday everyone and may you always be happy, healthy, and content with yourself, your work, and your life as a whole 🙂

 

Yes to life: my life – the life as I interpret it

It had never really occurred to me why I have chosen such a name for my blog. I could use my name, something that was important or fun for me, or something related to then-focus of my writing, which was poetry.

Just yesterday night it came to me that the life I define as “my life” was a part of life, and more importantly, it was a part of life I keep define based on my “interpretations of what was going on in it”.

This was quite strange, because it told me pretty much what every wise person/book was saying – I make what my life is and I am responsible for it. It also said that I was in control of it, I could change and make it better with an intention and a switch in my perspective.

How does this sound?

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Having control over my life is very liberating and empowering. It means I am not the victim, but rather the boss and mastermind of my life. I may not change what I do not like, but I sure can change how I interpret or care for them.

Having control also means that I may have so far limited my opportunities unknowingly because I draw the line for what I accept in my life, what I care for, and what I do not have.

What if I choose to have more positive light in my life?

What if I want to take steps to get out of my comfort zone and move up and farther?

What if I want to take more risks and dramatically change things like the work I have, the city I live in, or the way I spend my days?

What if I explore and find out what is more important to me – my current life and the current/future financial stability or moving back to where my family and spending time with them?

What if I leave my fears out of the door and open space for more love, hope, opportunity, and joy?

What is I accept the miracles, self-love, kindness, and being in the moment?

………..

Earth would not shatter, but my life could certainly expand.

I could both change the way I interpret things already in my life and reach out to opportunities, miracles, money, success, recognition, wellness, and happiness available out there further away from the circle I have drawn for my life.

I can be courageous enough to re-evaluate my perspective and expand the circle of life around me with a clear intention, a child’s amusing and hopeful attitude, and a little bit effort.

I do not know what these mean for me or whether or when I would start taking the steps. But I am glad that at this middle age of my life, I finally understand myself, my life, and life as a whole better.

It is mine and I draw the lines. I can change these starting now.

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totally random thoughts

I do not even know what I am going to write, but, hey – I have a need to write 🙂

It has been a day full of ups and kind of downs at work, but we pulled it out. The end result is okay and another work-related crisis is over. We all grew out of this experience and next time we can do better. No hurt feelings and we will continue stronger than before. This story has ended well and I am pleased with this.

I used to be a perfectionist, and I still am time to time, but nowadays I realize that I am taking it just a little bit easier. Doing the best that can be done under the circumstances is what I focus on, rather than feeling the fear or anxiety of the consequences or the self-blame ignited by the thoughts of why I failed to prevent the issues at the first place. I am just a human and as long as no harm is done, I choose to feel calm. I wish to continue to have this positive attitude in my future. All the time.

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I rather have had a short walk in the nearby hiking area this morning, but it was more than what I needed at that time. Seeing the nature around me makes me feel calmer. I have a tendency to particularly admire trees. They never fail me and always give me a sense of peace and deep, nourishing love that is oddly joyful. I have touched to the barks of a couple of young trees and I could almost sense their magnificent being. I really believe touching them is felt by them. Do they ever get bored of humans like me? 🙂 I wonder now.

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Since trees are immobilized and live so long, I am curious how they spend their days. They must be feeling the soil through their roots. There may be bugs and microorganisms that munch on their roots. Maybe they form symbiotic lives together 🙂 How do a tree next to another one behave? Do they cross their paths ever? The wind, rain, and snow should all be constant in their lives. The frequent change in these could be keeping the trees engaged and entertained. Sun possibly has a huge role in their lives, warming them. Birds would be resting on their branches and eating their fruits. Do they talk to each other? How does the song of a bird and noise of a critter, bee, mosquito, or a nearby animal make the trees feel, I wonder. Were the trees that I touched today and in the past ever wondered why I was fascinated by them so much and was drawn to them?

I may be silly in thinking and blogging these, but this writing experience tells me that there are limitless number of new experiences I may have in this life.

This is incredibly exciting!

Go claim yours now 🙂

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have not written for a while….

I have not written much lately – what have been going on in my life?

Well. It was mostly quite positive experiences 🙂 🙂

Affirmations and mental health/outlook: I have had quite reduced stress levels since I came back from home-visit. I was into affirmations, which miraculously made my mental state and thoughts positive, and me happier and healthier. They do work, my friends 🙂 I think we all need to “hear from ourselves” that things are exactly as they are supposed to be, there are many beautiful things and people happening in life, there are many opportunities out there (most may be shaded by the daily clutter, but if we stop and think about them, they do appear), and love, peace, health, success, recognition, and money all comes if we think like this. Happiness is a possibility and is available. We just need to open up to it. And maybe spend some time everyday reflecting on them 🙂

Succulents and new friendships: I have come across another plant enthusiast and we hit it off right away. We have similar interests and are at similar stages of life. Exchanging succulent cuttings was a blessing that I cannot cherish enough. Certainly a great experience, not only for getting new succulents, but also getting to know a person like myself in many ways and developing a kind of friendship at the same time.

Budget and frugality: My budget has been going well, with a frugal life style re-implemented. I spend more than I project, but I continue to save every week consistently. I found that health related expenses (vision care, medications, physiotherapy etc.) take up a good chunk time to time, but other times it is fine. I find ways to save, however small they may be. Of course the exceptions would be new succulents acquired every once a while, pots and soils purchased for these beauties, and occasional social activities. I made it regular to go to thrift stores for pots and I also purchased a number of nice blouses at such reasonable prices that make my life abundant and easy. I am grateful.

Changing how I work: In terms of work, I continue to change how I approach it and how I let it to shape my personal life, mental health, and life priorities. I have got new responsibilities, an additional role that I was interested in and for which I am really excited about, and am dropping yet another role that does not serve me anymore (and was getting on my nerves. They may want me back, and in such a case, I may re-consider it, but until then). And, I realize once more that a lot of people that work with me get dependent on me to conduct, move and complete the work, which is so much more load for me than I should shoulder. I distanced myself from a couple of colleagues that saved me some time. But I must also do this with my trainees, which is a challenge. I will continue to work on finding a solution to this.

Changing myself: And just this weekend, I realized that my next personal challenge will be to “express things positively” rather than negatively. This weekend I met with a friend of mine and I at one point was hard on myself and was criticizing myself (I was criticizing myself for not rescuing more plants from a certain death; they were being discarded and I took 4-5 of them to care for and the rest I did not pay attention because I already had these types of plants). She said “I cannot believe you have turned such a positive experience to such a negative one“. She was right.

I decide right now not to use “I should” “no/not” as much as I normally do.

We will see how this goes 🙂

Have a wonderful night everyone!

I wanna believe..

I wanna believe that I am capable of feeling happy all the time.

The moment I need to criticize someone’s performance (at work we need to do that as managers) I start to feel stressed and negative. It is as if the thoughts about the negative performance of the other person is the thoughts about myself. “You will have to work a little bit harder, and complete this task on time – it is critical” “This is not going well – how do you plan to overcome this problem? “If it continues like this we will have to bring in someone else to finish this project” “I do not think this is how it is supposed to be done“. As such, I feel bad because of all the criticism that go thru my mind.

I had read here on someone’s blog yesterday that you must surround yourself with the people you like. So true!!!! If you surround yourself with the people you like and admire, I am sure you are filled with the feelings of love and admiration. If you surround yourself with the people you do not like or have to criticize, then you will feel down.

I believe, really believe, that your circumstances, your line of work, and your daily practices are all shaping your emotional state.

I believe I can change, though. I want to be happy and feel good. I know I am capable of doing it. I have done it and I can do it again.

I wanna believe.

It has been a fine day. Again.. :)

🙂

I love the serenity and joy that having some “me time” and reading positive news/affirmations and thinking that there is truth to these, bring.

Reading and thinking about positive things and possibilities, indeed are healing and making me feel more in the life and enjoying it.

I came to realize that not everything was a hurdle or difficulty I had to go thru, but rather there were many beautiful things that were happening and awaiting me to recognize them.

Today the most sweet of all was to recognize that there were many opportunities out there (whether work or personal opportunities is irrelevant) and if I had wanted, I could reach them. I in fact have been reaching to some of them lately. Like the additional position I have got lately. I wanted it, genuinely, and it just fell on my lap after a year or so. I feel lucky!

And today, I was just walking to help warm my muscles and found out a yard sale in my neighbourhood. I managed to find a great book on self-development that I read with great interest and a pot that I have loved dearly 🙂 All for a couple of bucks. I was one happy and lucky person again, all by chance again! Should I not have wanted to walk at that random time, I would have missed this beautiful opportunity.

Sometimes my friends, we just need to show up and life will deliver to us. This is a fact.

If we look, we can see.

I am looking at life now and am excited about all the great things it can bring to me. I am ready to reach, savor, and be grateful for them!

I am lucky.

I choose to have thoughts that empower me.

I choose to have “me time” and read and contemplate on positive thoughts.

I choose to believe that I am capable of reaching out and succeeding in life and at work.

I, my friends, am choosing to bless these thoughts and the mental state “me time” can bring.

*me time: not working or using computer. Rather just sitting and making it a priority to go through my thoughts and make conscious choices to switch to joyful ones – try it 🙂

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crushing desktops and all

here I am again!! 🙂

I have been away for some time – almost two months.

I first went to a family visit, which was amazing. I did not use internet much at that time, which was amazing by the way (no more work-related stress while being with family and de-stressing).

Then my desktop died on me. Argh. The poor thing was only 3 years old, but just like that the entire thing just shut down. I went to a tech service. There was nothing to be done….. Okay. I said, I will order a new one. And I have and it is just installed and ready to use 🙂

I have missed blogging and being connected to all of you! I cannot wait to scroll down and read the posts. I must say the last few months have been interesting and having no computer at home was more interesting than ever, but I also need to say that I enjoyed it very much. I was able to watch TV and read books, and contemplate. It was peaceful and I think that is because I was forced to not work at home. I want to limit my computer use at home. We will see how that goes 🙂

Happy summer and August everyone! Hope everything is going well with you!

joy journal – June 1, 2018

It turns out that I have lots of things to be grateful for – so here is the list 🙂

  1. I am grateful for waking up early and hitting the road when it is quiet
  2. I am grateful for working really efficient and taking care of a couple of important things – this feels highly satisfactory and also increase my self-confidence
  3. I am grateful for my money making my life easier and comfortable
  4. I am grateful for the new cactus seedling appearing today, even though I am losing two others to mold (I have lost 3 so far – life)
  5. I am grateful for keeping calm today – how lovely! 🙂
  6. I am grateful for mowing the most of my yard this evening. Through the end, my mower got broken. At first I was kind of like sigh…., but then I realized this was an opportunity to buy a new and better one that can make this chore much easier for me. It can be more expensive but it will hopefully make my life easier as well
  7. I am grateful for all the food I have at home
  8. I am grateful for the opportunity to shop tomorrow – what is it about shopping and feeling good? 🙂
  9. I am grateful for keep working, although I have been working very intensely in the last one year and I am stressed. I am amazed by my boundaries and the way I function 🙂
  10. I am grateful for laughing a couple of minutes ago while watching a TV series 🙂
  11. I am grateful for staying away from a colleague/friend who makes me nervous
  12. I am grateful for the weekend, which will let me do some work and also give me time to recuperate
  13. I am grateful for my plants. I do not know how many I have right now; At the office I have the cacti seedlings and 4 pots of plants. I also have 2 plants rooting in water – I will plant them next week. At home is much more: I have 5 cacti; 4 succulents; a gollum jade, 4 haworthia, 4 jades, some leaves rooting including christmas cactus, a snake plant, a spider plant, a hoya; two palm-like plants, bambu, an earth star, lots of succulent props… Where am I going with all of these plants? 🙂 Sharing will feel awesome 🙂

 

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What do I appreciate about myself today?

  • I appreciate myself for trying to do right all the time
  • I appreciate myself for keep working
  • I appreciate myself for realizing that I can use my money to make my life comfortable, even though it may be expensive for now
  • I appreciate myself for keeping positive today
  • I appreciate myself for allowing myself to relax and enjoy tonite
  • I appreciate myself for having plans for the weekend
  • I appreciate myself for not thinking too much 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

change of plans and it was all for the happier :)

Just yesterday I had canceled a celebration event for a team member of mine. By giving me the extra time I needed during this stressful time, this cancellation was logically the right decision to help lower my stress.

Yet, it occurred to me later at night that my team member was quite saddened by this. So, I went to the event this morning and I am glad I did!

It did cost me around 3 hours away from office and work, yet the pride and excitement I felt was immerse. My team member was also extremely happy and I am glad I made this decision to attend the event.

I compensated for the lost time by getting up early with excitement and working for a full two hours without any distraction, and later in the evening continuing to work with a sense of happiness and positivity. Eventually, I did my work, and made myself happy and honoured my team member on this very important day.

It is a day turned wonderful.

Sometimes we may not remember that happy occasions are the true healers.

 

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. 

  • 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 🙂

  • 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 🙂

  • 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 🙂

  • 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 🙂

  • 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 🙂 Gray hair is a sensitive matter!! 🙂

  • 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 🙂

  • 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.

 

 

What a day….

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

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

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

What a dream.

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

The whole day, I felt remarkably calm.

I knew that I must have changed things.

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

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

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

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

This is a relief.

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

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

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

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

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

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

positive vibes

The thought crosses the mind and the heart feels.

That is what they say. I kind of believe in this.

Today, I am turning my regular thought pattern of working of problems, and rather, note the random beauty and safety around me.

Like the light coming into my bedroom window right now – what a majestic thing! It is free, available to everyone, and has found my way. I am lucky :). Ligth finds me.

The song I am listening to right now is peaceful, melodic, and intense at the same time. The guitar is both speaking and dancing. All the peaceful and lively melodies find me feed my soul, get my attention and lift my mood up.

I created two lovely sourdough loaves today and shared one with my good neighbours. To be able to share without feeling the need or enforcement is such a bliss. I like this about myself – I like to share the things I cherish. I am kind to my neighbours and I treat them time to time with nice food, little gifts. I am abundant and kind.

IMG_4064

I find things to do when I need to. Like today I painted a number of small terra cota pots for my yet-to-come succulents and cacti (planted seeds last week – wish me luck). I have hobbies that let me create and get excited about what I can do.

IMG_4070

I feel less anxious than Friday and this is wonderful. Once again, my fears triggered by external resources/people and made me remember what I should be careful about in my future steps (about work). I welcome this fear to make my future less problematic and I let it go now – it served its purpose.

I planted a number of seeds in a windy day. Some may have gone around to my neighbours’ yards. May they find their niche, germinate, and make someone happy and joyful. Nature and I have so much to share.

Rain and wind knocked some of my daffodils and tulips. One tulip is standing tall and is about to bloom. Like this tulip, I too stand up no matter what.

IMG_4055

 

Everything is available in life and I claim my part of life right here, right now.

How about this as a turn of the way I often think?

🙂

 

 

 

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 🙂

  • 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 🙂

  • 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 🙂

  • 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 🙂

  • 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 🙂 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 🙂 I will try 3-4 bags of them and see how this goes 🙂

  • 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!

 

 

 

 

Plan A and B

I came to realize that my emotions are quite strong.

Sometimes even stronger than my thoughts. They say our emotions are created by our thoughts. These thoughts must be quite silent or subtle for me – maybe my inner voice? – which make it quite difficult to identify them. In the absence of knowledge of my thoughts I am bound to feel the emotions as they come and go. The only ways I found that work are a) to force myself to remember for the good things that happened, and b) no resisting the emotions and rather let them be. They leave after a while.

Many years ago when I feel this way I wold read books. Reading and writing, as I do right now, seem to alleviate a significant part of these emotional burden. I must confess it has been quite some time that I read a book. Maybe tonite is the night.

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I have been to a meeting today. I have been serving in it for a year. Today after 2 hours (it usually lasts 3-4 hours), I could not take it anymore and left. I usually would stick to my commitments but I did not feel like it was going interesting. And by the look of how it moved, it possibly would take longer than 4 hours today. I threw myself out and bought myself a chocolate bar or two and arrived home.

I like this – I cared about myself and prioritized my own well-being and comfort over my commitments, this time an unfruitful one. It does not happen frequently and I have just realized what a great change it is!! One of the positive outcomes of this otherwise highly stressful and hard work year.

I could be getting ready to prioritize myself over the work issues or tasks. I know this would take quite a long time – I am not naive enough to think that just like that in an hour I completely dropped the long habit of living for work and started to live my life out of work… But this is a start and I appreciate the opportunity to experience and realize it.

I could be ready. For a better personal life and self-care.

During these times I appreciate the comfort my money provides me with. I am not sorry that I spent money on cab or chocolate or some extra food to enjoy today. While I recognize the need to use my money better and save for my future, I also recognize the fact that treating myself sometimes is necessary and even better.

We all have some coping skills at the face of stress or adversity. No sure what mine are; food, cardio exercise, books, writing, or plain going through it. I miss my stretching classes but cannot attend them now because of my lower back issue I experienced few weeks before. These classes give me some kind of peace, some kind of joy. It is hard to beat, but when I start them, after a few weeks I pull a muscle and end up popping muscle relaxants and pain killers for a few days. It is strange – but there is a 100% connection between the two. Is it something I do at these classes that triggers it? I am not a superstitious person, but it crossed my mind a couple of times that maybe I am not supposed to have this relaxation and joy I experienced at these classes. This should not be interpreted as I feel like I do not deserve to feel joyful or relaxed. Rather I think whatever makes me tense serves for a purpose.

What is it?

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One of my bosses described me as “intense” may years ago. I remember it very well. I know that I can be quite reactive and say whatever comes to my mind, without being political, and can fiercely object if it is not fair, clear, or right. To me, this is a good characteristics – do you want what I really think, or do you want me to say what you want to hear? I have never been good at being political. Always objective, just, and authentic.

In many ways, I can see why people would have a problem with this. Diversity of opinions and democracy and free speech has little place in teams that are focused on certain tasks, want to get things done, or find strength in their togetherness. The committee I served today is a good example of it. Listening to diverse points of view and having discussions around topics require time. When you have around 50 discussion points on the table, naturally nobody wants to hear different opinions or discussions lasting longer than a minute or two. People want to move on and finish on time.

Maybe if I stay in this committee long enough, I would also assume a similar priority and practice – just vote what the majority votes for, keep silent, and move on. Maybe everybody else thinks that this is not the best we can do, but the best we can have. Like Churchill said about democracy. Maybe all hard-working committees are operating under a similar modus operandi – executing a plan B successfully is better than struggling for a hard-to-get plan A.

I just realized that so far in my own personal life, I settled with plan B. I did not have time or energy left, after spending most of them on work and career most of my adult life.

Perhaps this can change.

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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. 🙂

  • 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 🙂 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 🙂

  • 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 🙂 ), 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! 🙂

  • 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 🙂

  • 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 🙂 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 🙂

  • 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! 🙂

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one of these awesome days

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are the important things in life?

Certainly my family is important.

I am important.

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

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

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

 

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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joy journal – Feb 4, 2018

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and peacefully. I had no dreams and my morning was easy and without negative thoughts crossing my mind. 

2. I am grateful for working till noon and learning some important and complex information that will be very useful tomorrow in a meeting and three other meetings the next week.

3. I am grateful for baking my sourdough and eating it warm with butter 🙂

4. I am grateful for eating fruits today.

5. I am grateful for chatting with one of my neighbours.

6. I am grateful for not working a lot in the afternoon and enjoying this freedom

7. I am grateful for listing the work I must do for each of the day of the week. I have important deadlines this week and I cannot miss any of them. This kind of lists help me a lot keeping track of things.

8. I am grateful for speaking with my family today; it was a nice and lovely talk that brought laughter to my life 🙂

9. I am grateful for getting interested in affirmations. I know that my mind listens to itself a lot and my mind usually focus on negative issues or problems. Why not the opposite? I am making an effort to read some lovely affirmations and reflect on them.

10. I am grateful for one of my colleagues not sending me their comments this morning. I feel free to move on without the need to integrate their comments in my report and the need to deal with the frustration and negative feelings their words would bring. I really dislike this person. I must exercise forgiveness to remove these feelings from my life. Or, remove this person from my life. Which one is easier?

11. I am grateful for having a safe and sound home; power to heat my home; clothes, furniture, and all other things that make my life safe ad comfortable. I surrounded myself with great items that I like or use. All is welcome in my life.

12. I am grateful for listening to the fearful voice in me during my anxious moments. Although it is hard to listen to it, it helps with extracting information that will be useful for me to prevent future events. That can be the main benefit of anxious thoughts…. So be it.

13. I am grateful for feeling free and knowing that I can do whatever I want to do!

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate myself for easily having a mixture of both positive and down moments during the day. I survive it and I do not resist it
  2. I appreciate myself for eating better today
  3. I appreciate myself for being kind to myself
  4. I appreciate myself for changing and implementing new ways to enhance my life. For example; I decided social media and news was giving me depressive thoughts – so I will limit my exposure. I will continue to say “no” to unnecessary tasks; I will continue to turn my email off at the office while working; and I will continue to let my perfectionist habit to ease while doing un-critical work. I will handle my interactions with my colleagues better too; I will keep it to professional topics while interacting with them; I will not help or listen to those negative people that drain my time and energy. I will keep thinking about how to do this better. Things will get better. This new chapter of my life, leaving things behind, and being excited about a new life experience is exciting!

 

three days till Friday and holidays

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

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

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

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

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

dreaded chores

I have taken it quite easy today and mostly engaged in activities that I must have done at home; these included painting the wood trims outside the house. Each year I replace them as they usually peel off. Our harsh climate with generous amount of rain and snow necessitate this maintenance. It took me around 3 hours to do all, but I am very pleased with myself. It is one of these things that I must do and it has been on my list since June. I am glad it is done! I still need to stain the deck, but this will have to wait till next week when I hope we will have good weather, like today 🙂

I also opened the windows and have had the house filled with fresh air. I used to do that more frequently in the past, but I think I have got quite lazy lately. I would like to do a couple of more of this activity in September. I truly believe that a house needs good aeration. I also cleaned the window sills and painted two of them. Also the doors from outside are cleaned – I do this twice a year; one in summer and one in December. Done till December 🙂  I feel good about all of these!

There is an incredible amount of relief and happiness coming out of doing the chores that I dread. I do not know why I waited till the last minute (ahem.. did I mention I disliked them?), but these were on my to-do-list for so long that they dragged me down.

Now, I am free.

leaving everything behind soon

They say anticipation is more exciting than attaining something.

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

I will be free.

Something marvelous at last 🙂

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Sunday morning musings

It is another Sunday, another beautiful morning, and another opportunity to get excited and joyful about life.

Somethings can help:

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and

 

 

Go lose yourself 🙂

 

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life is unexpectedly good sometimes

While dealing with work stress and feeling a disastrous low self-esteem, life has reminded me once again that it is full of surprises and can be indeed a delightful experience.

Today I have given my old (but still quite good looking and functional) recliner to someone I do not know free of charge. She just loved it and the joy was very visible from her own eyes. She thanked me more than once, was very excited to have it, and her joy filled my eyes with tears. This experience literally made my day and gave me an unexpected dose of happiness. Even now I can feel her joy.

I am so grateful that such a wonderful match could happen and I was a part of it.

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joy journal – June 14, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. I m grateful for eating relatively healthy today. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great night everyone 🙂 

 

joy journal – June 12, 2017

It has been a while that I wrote down my gratitude for many things, people, and experiences in my daily life that makes me feel lucky, happy, optimistic, or better about myself and my life. 

Here is today’s list:

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and dreaming. My recent dreams are not violent but somehow leave me feel heavy-minded, confused, and annoyed. I know I dream to work on some issues. I just wished I did not remember them – at least for some time 🙂

2. I am grateful for the cab ride and then resenting it the whole day. I took the cab because I wanted to feel good about myself (after the annoying dream in the morning). But by taking the cab, I not only lose 10-11 bucks but also all the benefits of walking, the most important of which is the “feel good” feeling that lasts the whole day. I need that free and ultra-positive feeling more than many things in life – so let’s get back to walking starting tomorrow morning. please 🙂

3. I am grateful for having a stress-free day at the office and doing some work. I was not as efficient as I wished but it went well.

4. I am grateful for walking at noon in the nearby forest. How lucky I am to have a work-place close to a large forest with little rivers and ponds…. what a blessing it was to just sit next to a pond and listen to the voice of the waves and looking at the blue sky.. it was there where I realized that my life was working out just fine for me; I have had a house, a job, a daily routine, a budget, and everything else I may need. I was healthy and still considered young. I did not have a huge problem that had no solution. I was mentally clearer and my psychology was stronger than before. My life was working just fine – it was the job situation that was kind of problematic. But, is it not great that at least an important part of my life was simple, easy, and comfortable? I realized that at least for that moment I was actually “happy with my life” – what a HUGE blessing!

5. I am grateful for being excited about my yard. Yesterday and today I was just thinking what a progress I have had and how beautiful my yard would be looking in two years. I have plans and I hope that I can do these slowly and one by one. It already looks a lot better than last year 🙂

6. I am grateful for my kefir 🙂 I ferment it for two days now, which makes it thick. But I miss the slightly carbonated and sour taste of it that I have had at the beginning (24 hours ferment). I really would like to see the grains get bigger so that they can start fermenting faster. This would help me get a large volume (around 3-4 cups) of kefir daily. Oh, well… Those days will come!

7. I am grateful for the food I have had today at the office and then at home. I have eaten some cheese, which I think makes me gain weight, but I had that huge appetite this evening and I felt compelled to eat it…. Luckily I have a couple of hundred grams of it left. I promise to myself not to but another one for some time.

8. I am grateful for having the evening and night to myself and enjoying it by watching movies, writing, reading, and contemplating.

9. I am grateful for changing my purses and now using a lovely one that I had bought from Rome a few years back 🙂 It is a beauty!

10. I am grateful for improving the cover letter I am preparing for the job opportunity I am interested in. I am taking my time with that application. The deadline is in 2-3 weeks and I honestly think about making the application the last day or something. I do not know why, but those applications that are submitted to me later (but not right away) are usually the better than the first applications. I think maybe it gives the impression of rushing by the applicant, which may mean either desperation or carelessness while preparing the application. So, I am taking my time. While I am interested in this job, I am not 100% sure of me being able to take it. Unless it offers me an excellent package of course and unless my trainees are okay with me leaving. This makes me feel conflicted about it. But, I must remind myself that I am appliying to this job to understand my needs and wishes better and to gain some kind of confidence. So, for now everything is going well and I have no reason to feel confusion or conflict.

11. I am grateful for having walking shoes that make walking/hiking a comfortable and enjoyable activity.

12. I am grateful for all the food I have in my fridge, freezer, and pantry 🙂

13. I am grateful for my hand and face moisturizers 🙂

14. I am grateful for my computer and internet connection that make blogging experience possible.

15. I am grateful for being grateful and taking my time to note these down.

Sunday morning musings

It is a great day with the freedom to do nothing and everything 🙂

I used this sentence first yesterday and I kinda liked it – so please ignore it if it bothers you. It just reminds me my own freedom. For a control freak and someone like myself who has a lot of things on her to-do-list, that is a great feeling:)

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I am drinking the first cups of my morning coffee and looking ahead the day:  I have a bean meal to cook (started already); a sourdough loaf to bake (proving right now); a yard to dig and fix somehow; loved ones to speak to; and mentally work on the problem of “what is best for my future self“:

 

1) is it staying at my current job and job environment, and aiming to change my mind set so that I can feel good about myself no matter how negative or problematic the work is?

Can I really relax, lower my expectations from myself, adapt a new attitude, care less, and become more self-confident and just make things happen – if they can happen? 

Not sure, but I sure can try….I am quite aware that my self-confidence is quite low. This is mostly because of myself and the expectations I have from myself. Certainly, it does not help when you self-critique yourself all the time…. Please do not do that, friends; it is good to be aware of yourself, but please be not rigid in your thinking about yourself and others. You change; people change. I too can change. I just do not know how to handle that…

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2) is it taking the risk or opportunity (depends on where you are looking from), and looking for jobs aggressively?

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Assuming that I find a new job that I am content with; 

Am I ready to make this change mentally and physically? Yes, I am. I have done this before – I can do it gain.

Can I move to another city? Yes I can – I have done this many times in the past. packing and getting rid of stuff is a head ache, but it happens eventually. The worst thing would be to ask a couple of friends or contract persons to rent a truck and deliver the stuff to a donation centre.

Can I sell my house? hey, yes I guess so. Also, keeping it and renting is another option, is it not?

Can I leave my team at work? That is gonna be tough….. They trust me that I look after them and advance their work and careers. They trusted me and relocated here….. So it is really tough. I am kind of thinking that we can find better jobs for them; at least we can try. And if not, look for alternative ways. I am sure it is gonna be just fine….

Can I leave my position, salary, benefits, office? Yes, if I can get a comparable one somewhere else.

Will I change? the way I look at my work, performance, and my expectations from myself; will I find myself in a similar situation in the new job too?  This is even a tougher situation for me…… I am not confident that I can be fully happy with my new job, either. I feel like I may end up feeling a similar way; lack of self-esteem may take over again. what will I do then? Start looking for another job? How will it affect me now that I am middle aged?

How will it feel to start a new chapter in my life? Energizing and exciting! It will be great to get rid of the garbage off my shoulders and put my chin up with positivity, fresh air, and hope!

But, if I do not make this change, do I have a chance to change? Do I have to get a new job for these:

  • to have a better look at life 
  • to have better interests and better value to my work?
  • to make positive changes for myself and others
  • to feel good about myself

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And, most importantly; what is it that I really want? To change myself or to change my work?

Is it about changing what I see or how I see what I see?

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what a beautiful day

The day was dull before afternoon. I was down actually. But after that it just became awesome!!

How?

One of my ex-team members came to visit me, bringing along also her 1 year old son 🙂 What a beautiful boy he is and how happy it did make me to see them again.

I am lucky that my team members come by to visit me time to time. I often get emotional seeing them, but I must say it is because it is such a proud and joyful occasion. 

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I always have time and support for my team members. When they worked with me, they were young and shaky. I see them get confident and exceptional over time. May they always be happy , healthy, and have a beautiful life that they love.

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Sunshine Blogger award: nominated and nominating :)

sunshine-blogger

Thank you Corrine at Sew and Sew for nominating me for this blog award!

Corrine and I recently got connected here and we have common understanding about certain aspects of life and importance of support and empathy. Plus, have you seen her projects – she sews! I sure am inspired by many of her sewing adventures and by her warm personality. Have a look at her blog if these features of her interest you.

I am usually skeptical about this kind of blog awards, primarily because I do not know who is benefiting by the circulation of these awards. But I am happy with recognizing and saying nice things about other fellow bloggers, and telling a little bit about myself along the process. So I will go for this one, too.

As usual there are some rules, which I directly copy and paste from Corinne’s nomination post:

  • Thank the person(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award (making sure each one knows they are nominated) and write them 11 new questions to answer.

Here are Corrine’s questions and my answers to them:

  1. Did you have any other names in mind for your blog (if so, what were they)? I cannot remember right now; but I remember initially this was a professional blog where I was planning to write about our job/career. That means it was probably a very boring name!  Boy, am I glad that I switched to a personal blog after realizing that a professional blog was not gonna work 🙂 
  2. If you could choose a language to be fluent in, which would it be? Italian! i always wanted to learn it, especially after I spent a couple of months in Italy when I was young. What a great, magical language. Allora! 
  3. What is the best joke that you know? Hmmm… You have got me there. I am such a serious person that can I say that I cannot come up with a joke right now? How disastrous! Give me a joke book right away!!! 🙂 
  4. When it comes to food, do you prefer sweet or savoury? Savoury. I have no sweet tooth and I would love any salty/spicy food over a sweet one, except the peanut butter which I love and can eat anytime 🙂
  5. Which blog post are you most excited to upload? I like pretty much all of my posts as they come quite spontaneously and are not planned at all (well, maybe with the exception of weekly budget checks, which are quite structured). if I must choose, though, I would say my “joy journal” posts are the most joyful ones 🙂
  6. What is your favourite project that you have completed so far? I believe in the recent years this would be my bread baking adventure 🙂 it has been almost a year and I am progressing quite a bit and it has been literally very electrifying and satisfying experience 🙂 In terms of my sewing projects, I have no excellent product yet but I love the placemats I did for the kitchen 🙂
  7. What was your last search on Google? That was probably the weather forecasts! we are still having quite a chilly weather (today was – 10 C ….You are welcome – I hope now you appreciate the Spring and warm weather more  🙂 )
  8. What song can you not get out of your head at the moment? “I dreamed a dream” from Les Miserables has been in my mind the entire day. Sad, but beautiful and powerful…..  
  9. What is the best gift that you have received? My mom gave me a gold necklace for my 18th birthday with my initial on the pendant. My mom was working very hard to provide for us at that time. It must have been so hard for her to come up with the money but she had…. I value that necklace more than anything else.
  10. If you were a superhero, what would be your superpower? Heal. I would heal sickness.
  11. What is your favourite day of the week? Friday has always had a special place in my heart! 🙂

And, here are my nominees!

The nominees have a choice of accepting or rejecting the nominations – totally up to them. Of course this list is incomplete as I can only nominate 11 today, but I am hoping there will be other occasions where I will be able to acknowledge and nominate more fellow bloggers 🙂

  1. Deb from https://onceuponahotflash.com/. Her daily grateful posts are a must see! She is really nice and I know that she always has some positive and wise things to say – thanks Deb!
  2. https://quercuscommunity.com/2017/04/18/random-reflections/ here is a nice gentleman with an interest in photography and community work. He is quite fun and wise too – always a delight to follow such bloggers. No nonsense and all beautiful/meaningful posts.
  3. Jessica from https://betweenthreewaters.com/. Jessica always has something funny to say about her motherhood experience and her daughters are two very delightful young kids! I also learn quite a bit about farming and farm life by following her. Take a look at her blog 🙂
  4. https://apparentlyimbipolar.wordpress.com/2017/04/17/normal-is-it-scary/ I recently started following this young lady who is writing about her mental health issues and progress. I applaud her for increasing awareness about mental health/bipolar disease – so well done.
  5. NinaSusan at https://ninasusan.com/. Ninasusan and I have a common pursuit in life – happiness! One of my best friends here at blogger space – always understanding, wise, and supportive. Thanks Ninasusan – one day, we will shine thru that happiness!!
  6. Jennie at https://jenniefitzkee.com/. She is a teacher and always have something wonderful to say about children and teaching/learning. I wish she was my teacher when I was at school. 
  7. https://mookielovesbread.wordpress.com/2017/04/15/maple-yogurt-multi-grain-rolls/. One of the blogs that I follow which is dedicated to baking bread! So many yummy recipes – check it out 🙂
  8. Cheryl and Becky at https://beckyandchaos.wordpress.com/2017/04/15/spicy-lentil-soup/. These ladies have awesome travel adventures and always great recipes. They  lately started a challenge to try a new recipe every week, which I find very inspiring. Enjoy!
  9. Anne from https://snowbirdofparadise.com/. Anne is one of those bloggers whom I respect quite a lot. She has always been wise in her speech and her comments, and is not afraid to write excellent pieces on social issues and events. 
  10. https://luxuriouslythrifty.wordpress.com/ One of the recent follows of mine; a great and sincere blogger writing about frugal plans/journey, and other stuff. Quite a warm person with honest posts – hard to not like what she needs to say 🙂
  11. Mo from http://devisecreateconcoct.com/. Another great site about frugal life and all bunch of other stuff such as DIY projects. Check it out.

And, here are my questions for my nominees:

  1. What do you think is the most beautiful thing about your life?
  2. Do you prefer warm or cool climate? 
  3. If you were to protest, what would it be about?
  4. Are you an introvert or extrovert?
  5. What flower do you like most? Please tell us about it.
  6. What do you think about cats?
  7. We all have dreams – have yours materialize in your life? What was your biggest dream ever?
  8. Would you see yourself living in a homestead sometime soon?
  9. Tell us about your favorite dish/food.
  10. Which one is less intimidating – singing or acting in front of 1,000 people?
  11. What would be your advise about being happy?

joy journal – April 17, 2017

I am not writing to feel joyful today.

I am writing today because the best way to heal or to keep the hope is to be grateful.

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1. I am grateful for waking up early. At around 7 am to be exact. My friends – it is such an unusual thing for me to get up so early. It was a grayish and kinda chilly morning. but nevertheless i got up and prepared myself for the day.

2. I am grateful for catching up the bus. I thought I could walk but as soon as I stepped out I realized how cold it was so i changed into my winter coat and then walked to the stop. It arrived in a minute so I did not even have to wait. What a nice and easy encounter with the bus 🙂

3. I am grateful for changing the fruits this week and eating banana and oranges at the office, rather than the usual choice of apples. I love all fruits particularly apple, but I appreciate giving apple a rest for a while….

4. I am grateful for working really nice and easy. Things are moving well as I have solved some road blocks last week. It is very satisfying to be working like this.

5. I am grateful for taking time to look out of the window several times today; I have looked at the sky, the tall trees, and 4-5 birds across from my building that were either eating something on the ground or were fighting. I thought for a second or two that their lives were harder than mine. What a self-centered life we usually have. I thought that there was a big life and then within it was our live; something that we draw the boundaries around and live intentionally and intimately in. It is our portion of life that we design or protect as much as we can. It can be expanded if external forces/other people allow us to or it can be smaller if we are restricted. But no one or nothing can take our lives away from us, except death. Until then however little or big it can be, we must realize our ownership of life and hopefully make the best out of it. We can do this. Right?

6. I am grateful for having an ex-trainee of mine visiting me! This is always exciting and this is the second time a trainee of mine has visited me this month. This is so nice of them to spare their time and pay a visit. I was very happy and speechless for a minute or two and then we had a little chat and it was great to learn that he was happy and doing really well where he is now (he lives in Norway now, so far away!). May they all be happy and healthy.

7. I am grateful for being kind to myself today. I am taking it easy with myself and I hope that I will keep doing this in the future. I will not let anyone to restrict my opportunity of happiness. I will not let anyone to dictate me how to feel. Whatever the conditions are, I will find a spot or two in my life that will give me a sense of control, serenity, peace, and hope. I will not give up. Neither for myself nor for my family.

8. I am grateful for walking back home from office in the evening. It was a refreshing walk and walking up hill is always challenging and thus quite satisfying once done. I will focus on walking a little bit faster just to challenge myself a little bit further. I think my cardiovascular system would appreciate this 🙂

9. I am grateful for not bothering to cook and eating simple stuff; basically yogurt and my beautiful sourdough loaf that I baked yesterday. what a chewy and tasty bread it is – I am lucky 🙂

10. I am grateful for having the evening to myself. The nights, their quietness, and darkness pacify me….

11. I am grateful for my home, furniture, clothes, shoes, and everything else I have in my house that make my life safe, sounds, warm, and convenient. 

12. I am grateful for my computer and internet connection that allow me to express myself through my blog, read and learn others’ experiences, and interact with others:)

13. I am grateful for taking my time to remember, cherish, and note the things, people, and experiences that made a positive difference in my life today.

joy journal, April 16, 2017

It is a sad day because of something I cared most about crumbled for good today. 

In any ways, a living organism finds a way to entertain its survival instinct. In anyways, it finds ways to survive.

So here is my way for today.

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1. I am grateful for getting up early and having a long day in front of me. It is a challenge to fill a long day with activities. But it is also an opportunity to do things without rushing.

2. I am grateful for the coffee I have brewed at home. It is such an affordable and enjoyable activity.

3. I am grateful for enjoying my morning walk. It was chilly but a bright day and the walk was quiet and lovely. Looking at the houses on the street and assessing their characters is always an interesting activity. A good scenery makes a good difference.

4. I am grateful for not buying peanut butter today! Boy, I love this butter! The trouble is when I buy it, the entire 1 kg bottle is finished in 2-3 days. It is insane! So many calories.. It is not good when I am trying to lose weight. It has been a struggle to not buy it today, but I know that it was the right decision. I congratulate myself 🙂

5. I am grateful for drinking two tall glasses of milk. I have no warm relation with milk really.. Other than the fact that I am making an effort to drink it so that I can get some calcium and vitamin D. That is all. So when I drink not one but two glasses, naturally I feel great about it 🙂

6. I am grateful for the bean dish I cooked today. Friends, I learnt how to best cook beans easily (thanks mom). I am excited about the fact that I am consuming much less of canned bean. Feels awesome.

7. I am grateful for the two sourdough loaves I have baked today. I have had a great dough in the morning. Shaping and baking them was fun – the oven spring was nice and easy and the crumbs are much better than I had expected. what a great sourdough starter I do have! Come to think about it, in two weeks it will be a year that I started baking bread… what an exciting, satisfying, and healthy adventure it has been 🙂

8. I am grateful for speaking with my family and their well being. May they always be happy and healthy.

9. I am grateful for drinking water. I enjoy drinking water especially if it is kind of cool. what a refreshing drink.

10. I am grateful for eating tomato and cheese for breakfast. I am eating tomato quite frequently lately. I have never been a fan of this fruit (I think it is considered a fruit), but it makes a good breakfast material with a dash of olive oil. very tasty indeed 🙂

11. I am grateful for having the evening to myself. It is quiet and I can do whatever I want to do.

12. I am grateful for the movies I am watching and the songs I had listened to earlier. what would I do without the background noise at home? I am lucky to have my TV.

13. I am grateful for shopping my night cream today. It is kind of pricey and i am about to run out of my last bottle. So finding it on sale was an unexpected excitement for today.  

14. I am grateful for thinking and reading about how to be happy. How do we get happy? What is happiness? How do we make ourselves happy? One person was saying on a website that she was happy when she spends time with her husband, son, friends, and while driving. My goodness – I have none of these (no hubby, kids, or car – friends are on the other side of the world so I cannot spend time with them). Joke aside; what is happiness really? How do I make myself happy? How do I become happy with my life? With life? there are so many issues at life and I am so “incomplete” in some ways (being away from my family is the most important reason for that). They say we are responsible for our own happiness. Boy, is it really? Happiness, to me, is not a choice but may be a consequence of choices. Why do we need to choose? because we believe that one option is better than the rest and we take that option. It solves a problem maybe, maybe not, and then time passes and now we are somewhere in our lives where that choice does not matter anymore, yet the conditions are such that we are not, we cannot be happy.  Or may be we can be happy, but we think it is dependent on something that we do not have at that time. I do not know what happiness is but I know what makes me feel good. Perhaps that is what I should be focusing on – to feel good.

15. I am grateful that walking and doing weight exercises make me feel good about myself. 

16. I am grateful for writing these here.

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What am I appreciative of myself today?

I thank myself for being a resilient person – I may be sick, I may be down, I may fail, but I will always rise back on my feet.

I thank myself for making an effort to eat healthy and have a healthy life-style

I thank myself for making an effort to continuously save and for having a frugal life

I thank myself for loving my family

I thank my body for being healthy

I thank myself for being resourceful

I thank myself for not giving up on hope

I thank myself for still keeping going….

random thoughts

The entire week was warm and with blue skies. I think the spring is coming. I think the winter has left us. I think things will be only better after this 🙂

I was at a boring social yesterday with a colleague of mine and I went to office and had a very productive day today. So, if you had asked me which one made me happy, you know it is the day at the office. Honestly, the lack of distraction is the best thing I can have in my office. I left the office feeling quite happy about myself and the work I have done. I think I have resolved a couple of road blocks in this project so far and from now on I can only move faster and better. This feels amazing 🙂  

I am really happy about this.

 

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.

————————————

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?

————————–

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.

joy journal – March 31, 2017

I am not good at writing my joy journal this year…… I believe this is my only the second post in 2017.

I am the best person to know that writing this journal is one thing that always made me feel better, more hopeful, and joyful.

So, why is this neglect lately? Was I too joyful so that I did not need to write it, or was I not joyful at all so I did not even bother writing?

The answer is neither.

I was slightly down; that is for sure. Work has had some stressful & pissing moments in February and March. But other than that many great things happened, almost on a daily basis.

I was just lazy, I would say.

Now is a good time to break this pattern and start being and benefiting from being grateful.

——————–

1. I am grateful for being safe and sound in this stormy day. I was not hurt, fell, or got washed out by the rain or pushed around by the wind. 

2. I am grateful for my home standing tall, strong, and safe in this weather. This year we have had quite a bit of winter with lots of wind and snow. And now we are having rain. But the house has been great with no problem at sight. I am very thankful for this.

3. I am grateful for deciding to remove from my work list those that drag me down emotionally. Whether they are the unnecessary tasks or people, I say “no” more often now and it feels good. I will keep doing this as long as it serves me best.

4. I am grateful for all the food I have in my house. 

5. I am grateful for having the night to myself. It is quite peaceful to have no one around. 

6. I am grateful for having the energy and feeling good about myself. 

7. I am grateful for eating fruits today and enjoying them.

8. I am grateful for feeding my sourdough starter this evening. I hope to make a dough tomorrow and bake a loaf on Sunday, as usual. This weekend, I will also have a loaf or two with commercial yeast to give to my colleague who gave me a ride this evening. I do not necessarily like getting favors without giving something back, especially from those people who I have no close friendship. For some reason, when someone who is not a close friend of mine offers me this kind of help/kindness, I have a hard time accepting it gracefully. Old habit… And bread sounds great – I am sure they will enjoy. And I will feel even.

9. I am grateful for the movie I am watching; my internet connection; my computer; my power and heating; my phone line; my furniture; shoes/boots and clothes and everything else I have at home. All is necessary or useful, and well liked. 

10. I am grateful for reading and enjoying reading; whether it is books or browsing on the internet. But learning is the best thing a mind can relax and grow into. I have so many opportunities to do so that I am loving my life very much right now 🙂

11. I am grateful for re-starting my joy journal and being grateful 🙂

———————————————

Added after the post:

I forgot – as of Jan 2017, I also would like to note at least 3 things that I appreciate about myself. Here is today’s list:

  1. I appreciate the fact that I am not a cheap person
  2. I appreciate the fact that I can say “no” now
  3. I appreciate the fact that I make an effort to keep a simple, peaceful, healthy, and meaningful life
  4. I appreciate the fact that I am more focused on my own well being at the office
  5. I appreciate the fact that I have simple but effective/meaningful hobbies, like reading, writing, listening to music, or watching movies
  6. I appreciate the fact that I have a character and its genuine – what you see is what you get
  7. I appreciate the fact that I make a good effort to eat at least one type of raw veggie per day – it is essential for losing weight (for some reason, it does work for me..)
  8. I appreciate the fact that I am resourceful
  9. I appreciate today especially the fact that I am writing on my joy journal and also making this “self-appreciation corner” an integral part of it 🙂

Yay!! 🙂

impulses, mistakes, choices, and life as it is

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

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

And I had 🙂

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

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

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

Do I feel accomplished?

————–

How do I feel really?

————–

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

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

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

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

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

Not yet.

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

I will know……

I gotta trust that.

Freedom at last.

One day.

I will be waiting.

One day.

 

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new year resolutions

I have been thinking, and I have been thinking really hard, and I came to the conclusion that I have no particular resolution for 2017.

The past year I have made some significant changes in my life; such as an effective budget; doing light stretches and weight training to strengthen my lower back, arms, shoulders, and abs; walking whenever I can;  losing weight slowly without a hard diet or heavy exercise regimen; feeling generally better, more energetic, and sometimes even happy; having a low waste life-style and decluttering my home regularly (though it was one thing in my list that I could not find time to do this holiday season yet), etc.

Overall, I seem to be doing what matters to me as a person. I think the majority of these have mattered to me for a very long time, so I am happy with 2016 🙂

But, I have feelings… I miss my family. Just this afternoon it hit me hard once again that I am not sure whether being away from them, being here where I am, and doing the work I do are all worth it.

Honestly I do not think it does. But I am also hesitant to return back – I feel okay where I am. Not overly happy or content, but okay. I have a life here.

Yet, I keep missing them.. This is a wonderful thing actually – it does hurt, but I am happy I have these feelings toward my family.

Just yesterday I was thinking maybe this year too I will not try to structure my life by resolutions, but rather take the new year as it develops. Maybe I should even let it surprise me (and, hopefully in a positive way).

Maybe not looking for only a pre-determined wish is a good thing. Maybe this way I can see the opportunities as they arise, rather than seeing what I make my mind to focus and see (a.k.a. resolutions).

I will let 2017 be a spontaneous year full of unexpected opportunities, love, peace, success, happiness, family time, and health.

May your new year too be filled with beauty and with people and experiences that will give a meaning to your life and tremendous joy to you 🙂

Happy new year everyone! 🙂

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? 🙂

random thoughts

Three more days till my two weeks holidays time off 🙂 I cannot wait!

Honestly, I am done with work. I have things to do but enough is enough. I have been working very hard and made a good attempt to finish ongoing work. I will make one last push tomorrow and Wednesday, and then I will take Thursday off (even though it is not  apart of our holidays). I deserve this extra day 🙂

I have done the majority of my shopping by taking advantage of the sales, though I still would love to check trousers and get one or two if they are on sale. Other than that, I have no need for shopping and I feel good about this. Of course I have many socials to attend, especially this week, which kind of makes me bored already, but I will go through it. The exciting things will be to declutter my home, clean it up, and get some time for myself.

I have quite a reflection to do and the holidays have always been the best time for me to do so… This year has been full of ups and downs…. While on the average it was one year that I have had felt happy, it was also the one that brought me the most profound sadness; my dad has passed away this year.. May he rest in peace…. I did not know what sadness was prior to this and I had never appreciated life as much I have since my dad’s death…My dad has given me life and also taught me the best lesson ever by his death; that I must appreciate life while I have it…. How could I not feel this before, when he was alive? He has seen me mostly depressed and fed up with life; that feels so unfair to him… But I am sure he would love to see me now with this new zest towards life.

I am also older now and getting close to 50 🙂 hah haaa. I have never thought I would but here I am! With age comes change in the body as well as in the attitude towards anything really. I appreciate my family and I still care about my work, but I want to have a better and healthier life-style overall. I am losing weight slowly but steadily, which is good. My mood is overall better, which is awesome. I must continue to care for my back and keep doing my stretches and light weight training, which have been really good for me. I want to get better at sewing and start doing some serious projects, which I hope the holidays will be a good opportunity to do so. I am still keen about saving and paying down my mortgage, but I am not going to get too enthusiastic about it and would like to make it a priority to enjoy my life and care for people I love…

It looks like I have little new projects for the new year. This somehow bothers me (i.e. does not excite me that much) but I would like to think positive. Perhaps this is an opportunity to go with the flow. Who knows, maybe I will develop new interests and projects without thinking about them? After all my two current interest, blogging and sewing, were never planned and were just spontaneously born 🙂

my sewing machine arrived! :)

Well, rather I picked it up from the courier’s office, but that is not the point!

The point is I have got my sewing machine, the first one ever, the one that I bought by catching a good deal, and the one that I am in love with 🙂

I cannot wait to learn how to use it, care for it, and make wonderful stuff with it 🙂

happiness is knowing that someone you care about is well and sound

I called the animal shelter today to ask about how to donate them the money that I was rising by selling extra items in my home that I identified during my latest decluttering activity.

I could not help but asked about Jamie the cat that I had adopted a few weeks ago, which I unfortunately had to return back.

They told me that he was now adopted and was doing really well in his new home!

I could not be happier!!!

 

Jamie – may your new home bring you joy, safety, love, and all the toys and food you may love:)

I hope all animals will find their best homes sooner than later.

I hope we all will do, however small it can be, our parts to care for the animals; whether it is fostering, donating food or other items or funds, or just helping an animal in need.

Thank you my friends for being here to support me while I went thru this emotional turbulence. Now I am at peace….

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

feeling lucky again

I lost my reading glasses while returning back from an appointment. The moment I realized this, i first check everywhere at home and then decided to walk back to the appointment place. I was worried because while I have another pair, the lost was the one that I like and am comfortable with.

So, I left home and walked only 20 meters and there they were! Right in the middle of the road! I affectionately picked my glasses up, cleaned and put them where they belong to 🙂

I am grateful for finding it so easily and undamaged. It could have been somewhere I could never find; it could have been picked up by someone else; or it could have been run over by a car and broken. Yet, it was not.

Perhaps it is true that sometimes happiness occurs when we get something back, which we have not appreciated while in our possession/life, even though it deserved it well.

 

joy journal – August 28, 2016

joy 🙂

happiness 🙂

peace 🙂

I am feeling very good today and one of the things that can increase that feeling is to be able to remember and contemplate on things/people/experiences that have been giving me joy, comfort, happiness, and peace. So, here they are:

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and waking up feeling peaceful

2. I am grateful for buying myself a cup of nice coffee and not eating muffin or bagels (I wanted to, though… 🙂 )

3. I am grateful for finding the receipts for the items that I had bought a while ago, which were not  needed anymore (and were not used, either). I have done this a couple of times lately; not that I like the extra effort to return stuff, but it is just awesome to be able to get rid of extra stuff from home and also get the money paid back. Win-win!

4. I am grateful for taking the bus to the stores and back. I am glad that I did not need to wait long for the bus today – I feel lucky 🙂

5. I am grateful for speaking with my family 🙂

6. I am grateful for putting some items for sale online. I am not asking for a lot of money and I hope that the items will be gone soon. Guess what I am planning to do with the money? Donate it to the animal shelter! 🙂 What a great cause, what a great happiness!!

7. I am grateful for eating well today

8. I am grateful for baking yet another steel-like sourdough loaf 🙂 I must pay more attention to the critical points of baking, rather than improvising I guess. I sure will try to eat it, and if not, turn it into croutons 🙂

9. I am grateful for preparing another batch of frozen green beans with tomato. Green beans and tomato were incredibly cheap this week and I could not help but think about freezing them. I feel very content and excited about this food freezing practice (which I started only lately). In my freezer in addition to the green beans, I have blanched carrots, zucchini, bone broth,and bread all prepared by myself. I am loving this no food waste and preserve food adventure of mine 🙂 I feel so able and so abundant!

10. I am grateful for stretching my body and getting some relief from it

11. I am grateful for getting a second hand pantry today! Boy, I have been meaning to get one for sometime and this one looks like a good fit. It is a little bit taller than what I ideally would like to have (to fit a corner in my laundry room), but I decided I could make some arrangements and still make use of it. I needed storage space to store some items here and there (like the laundry detergents that lie on the floor) and this pantry looks just fine to me. The couple brought it right to my home and I guess it was a great deal. Exciting! 🙂

12. I am grateful for relaxing whole day without stressing about anything. I realized, thanks to a couple of weeks lately that were stressful and emotional, that I usually feel quite good…. What a blessing

13. I am grateful for all the food I have in my fridge, pantry, and freezer. I am abundant:)

14. I am grateful for having the night to myself and enjoying it so far

15. I am grateful for my family, friends, job, salary, benefits, insurance, bank, house, all the furniture and services (cable, phone, internet etc.), bus service, neighbours, colleagues, food, clothes, and many others in my life that make my life fun, safe, healthy, and lovable.

16. I am grateful for being grateful!

🙂

 

 

daydreaming another life full of love, only love

Being true to myself, I find, is difficult.

Why?

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

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

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

And all my interactions in that world was love.

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

I loved that life.

brought Jamie the cat back to the shelter :(

I put Jamie in his carrier using his favorite toy as a bait (after 30 min of trial and error), called a cab, and brought him back to the shelter. The person at the shelter was not happy when she learnt that I was returning a newly adopted animal.. I kind of deserved the somehow unhappy and disapproving face….

I know that if he is not adopted in a certain period of time, he can be euthanized…. This is breaking my heart big time, in addition to all bunch of other things. He was happy here, he wanted to be with me, he was smart, very well mannered (except occasional aggression/frustration that scared me). This last part of course is my own deficiency; I was not ready fully to understand the nature of cats and then handling them better. I did try my best, though.

There were a couple of people at the shelter looking for cats to adopt, or came to take their newly adopted cats home. I really hope, I really want to believe, that he can be adopted and be happy. So, please, if you are reading this, please join me in sending the best wishes for Jamie; let’s all hope that he will find a suitable home right away…. Thank you a bunch… 

——————————————

The whole morning, I cried at the office…..

I cried when I returned back from the shelter and started cleaning his room……

I cried when I picked up his scratch post (which I forgot to bring with me to the shelter to donate) and when I heard the bell on it chiming…..

——————————————

That cat changed my life in 5 days.

Just 5 days….

I remember many things about him and I: The moment I opened his cage and  the way he looked vulnerable and innocent, sniffed around, and approached me while I was pretending to not show interest in him; the way he accepted my hand and let me scratch his head; the way he ate his first wet food, which he loved; the way we connected and did head-butts; the way I missed him in the mornings; the way he scared me with his runs at nights; the way I lied on the couch with him in the afternoons to let him have a nap next to me; the way he got frustrated when I took him off the keyboard; the way he started to bite whatever I was showing interest on (like my computer or notepads) rather than him; the way he meowed when I came back home from outside; the way he loved to play with his favorite toy and jumped high to get it; the way he looked scary the majority of time except those times  when he was curious about the water dripping from the faucet. This last one I will always remember and cherish – he was so innocent….

I am still surprised that I could take him to the shelter myself. My friend was supposed to help me do this, yet she could not make it today. I sat down and thought again – do I really want to do this?

Emotionally, no. But logically the answer was yes; because it was the best solution not only for me but also for him.

I thought about how he would not get the love/attention he wanted; the way he would get frustrated when I do not let him sleep on my bed; the annoyance and stress he would get when I would leave him behind at a boarding facility for my long trips, at least twice a year and sometimes for 4-5 weeks…. Could he really be happy? Was what I was offering good for him?

No.

So, this was not a solely selfish decision after all.

I was selfish, though. I adopted him when I was very well aware that I would be away from his life for extended periods of time and that would make him unhappy and stressed. Where was my mind then????? If I was not selfish then, I would have not adopted Jamie at the first place.

That is a hard-learnt lesson – never make decisions mostly under the influence of emotions. Assess thoroughly first.

——————————–

Jamie in some ways made me learn about myself, too.

What were my borders?  What were my limits? Wishes for myself and others? Unconditional love? Thinking about myself and at the same time for others that I love? How to make difficult decisions? How to cry like a baby for something that entered my life only recently…..

———————————-

I am grateful for Jamie the cat for many things, but one particular thing stands out. He was the only living being I said “good morning” in my house that I live now. What an honour, what a beautiful experience to have had him in my house and in my life.

———————————-

Before I finish this ordeal, please join me again to wish the best family to adopt him and be happy with him.

Thank you so much.

 

 

decision day, re: adopting a cat

You know I wanted to adopt a cat and liked two of them last week.

I was ready to adopt the same day the cat I first saw, yet it turned out to have extensive dental problems, which I did not see myself dealing well with. My circumstances are a little bit limiting; I live alone and I make trips for extensive period of time (like 5 weeks family visit I make every year). I could not possibly provide the best (medical) care to this cat, especially while I was away.  It broke my heart very much not to have that cat….

Then I liked another cat and even had one of my friends check him. My friends said that he was a lovely cat with lots of character and that fit my opinion, too. At the weekend though I started to have strong hesitations. Again, what to do with the cat while I am away? How to provide for him?

Also I got somehow confused about the financial aspect of having a cat, understanding their medical needs and sicknesses, and all the diseases I may contract from him.

I worked on these issues quite a bit.

I made calculations (and fellow bloggers helped me to see the expenses more clearly) and I saw that it did not cost too much  to care for a cat.

Also, the diseases could been largely prevented by vaccination and good hygiene at home. After all I was not the first or the only person who would have cats. I am sure whatever the health risks they were, they were manageable.

As per medical needs and sicknesses; I have read many websites and watched many videos. It was tough to learn everything (which I have not, but could over time) but I was feeling like I could learn all of these. The worst thing I could do was to bring the cat to vet every time I was suspicious of something.

So I worked on many of the serious issues I may have with a cat. One thing I could not solve was how to care for the cat while I am away. Long story short, I called two cat boarding facility here this morning. Yes, the both board cats for extensive periods of time. It is kind of pricey, but then it is well worth it.

So…..

Looks like my all problems were solved.

Or, were they?

I have such a cold feet right now and experiencing the biggest hesitation about owning a cat so far; you would not believe. 5 weeks in a boarding facility for a cat is too much. Especially considering the fact that this repeats every single year. I even considered going away for only 3 weeks per year, but then come on; it is my family who I visit and they deserve all the time we can spend together. I do not want to choose between my family and anything else. Even, when it means I will miss a lovely cat in my life.

Taking the cat with me to my family is not a solution either, as the trip is too long, my mom has pet birds at home, I travel to other cities to visit my other family members (which would mean the cat having extra changes and anxieties), and I was not planning to keep the cat in a cage or on leash, either, meaning during the entire time I face a risk of losing the cat.

I really wanted to have one of these cats. I thought they would be excellent companion for me and give me joy, and the love I felt for them was more than anything I can imagine, except the love I feel for my family.

Some choices are hard and this one was too. Overall I am not happy with this decision, but I guess it is the right decision for me.

I hope I will not change my mind again. I kind of got tired of thinking and trying to find solutions to my issues…

things that make me happy

After occasional yet permanent rants of mine about the negativity and tiredness around the issues, work, and other stuff in my life, I have prepared “a list of things that make me happy“.

It is good to remember these as I have a tendency to dwell into negativity. Once I started writing this list, it grew pretty fast. I am very pleased with this activity and reminding myself about all the things I have and I do not have (such as sickness or unsafe conditions).

I must acknowledge the support and motivation by NinaSusan about this activity; her question in a comment to one of my posts drove me to post the list – so appreciated 🙂

 

THINGS AND PEOPLE THAT MAKE ME HAPPY

Work:

working nice and easy and taking care of stuff make me happy

coming up with new ideas makes me happy

recognition of my efforts and projects makes me happy

having a great office with windows, great view, and functional furniture makes me happy

being able to brew my coffee in my office makes me happy

flexibility around my schedule makes me happy

being professional makes me happy

being usually tough when faced with adversary or bad attitude makes me happy

having a great salary and benefits makes me happy

having a small salary increase every year makes me happy

having a relatively stable and respected job makes me happy

training and teaching young professionals makes me happy

being creative and resourceful makes me happy

working with great people makes me happy

being highly productive makes me happy

insisting on good quality work makes me happy

 

Family:

having an awesome, supportive, thoughtful, and loving family makes me happy

these people being safe and sound makes me extra happy

 

Home:

having a yard makes me happy

having a large house with functional rooms and kitchen/bathrooms makes me happy

having minimal and functional furniture makes me happy

having a computer, TV, cable, and internet makes me happy

having many books to enjoy makes me happy

my spices make me happy

having a house with large windows and sunlight exposure makes me happy

being safe makes me happy

living close to downtown makes me happy

being close to my work place makes me happy

being close to bus stops makes me happy

being close to restaurants, second hand bookstore, and grocery shops makes me happy

having an old house, which forced me to save more aggressively, makes me happy

 

Finances:

having a  good salary makes me happy

having insurances makes me happy

having a healthy chequeing account (i.e. not negative) makes me happy

having an RRSP account and maximizing it in the last 10 years makes me happy

having a TFSA account as an emergency fund makes me happy

having a retirement plan and investing every year makes me happy

spending much less than before makes me happy

removing two significant costs from my life makes me happy

being abundant makes me happy

having future plans for investment and mortgage payment makes me happy

having cash in my pocket makes me happy

being generous with my friends and people I work with when needed makes me happy

stocking up durable items when they are on sale makes me happy

seeing the positive difference that my budget makes in my finances makes me happy

 

hobbies, life-style, and others:

coffee makes me happy

baking bread and experimenting with yeast and dough makes me happy

reading and buying books make me happy

peanut butter makes me happy

no food waste policy of mine makes me happy

decluttering makes me happy

shopping makes me happy

spending time with good people makes me happy

watching TV shows or movies makes me happy

listening to music makes me happy

writing makes me happy

reading blogs on interesting topics makes me happy

supportive people/friends/co-workers/bloggers make me happy

walking and sweating makes me happy

eating healthy makes me happy

eating oranges, avocado, water melon, and berries makes me happy

eating carbs makes me happy

having great memories makes me happy

national or international trips makes me happy

being at the airport and leaving everything behind makes me happy

having useful stuff at home and using them till they are worn and thorn makes me happy

using cleaning clothes rather than paper towels makes me happy

nice scents makes me happy

my perfume and hand-soap makes me happy

the scent of my shampoo and conditioner makes me happy

my floss makes me happy

having an adequate amount of clothes makes me happy

my sun-glasses makes me happy

not eating too much and losing, however slowly, and looking better make me happy

my annual vacation with my family makes me happy

resolving issues makes me happy

my pens, notebooks, and scrap papers make me happy

my slippers make me happy

my fluffy socks make me happy

my office snacks make me happy

gifts I receive makes me happy

doing light weight training and seeing my muscles developing makes me happy

having an almost minimalist life-style and furniture makes me happy

sunlight makes me happy

anticipation of the seeds I planted in the yard blooming makes me happy

having a good sleep makes me happy

taking the bus makes me happy

having a nice hair cut makes me happy

my functional purses makes me happy

my loyalty cards and the points I use for useful items make me happy

being kind and helpful makes me happy

my new water jar I use at the office makes me happy

frozen food in my freezer makes me happy

weekends and taking time away from work makes me happy

having no critical disease or condition makes me happy

my nice dentist/doctor makes me happy

my imagination and determination make me happy

my resilience makes me happy

………..

 

The list is really long 🙂

 

random thoughts

It is a warm and humid day – it started raining in the evening and that feels just like the springs I know. One moment warm and the next moment it slightly cools down with the rain. All is welcome 🙂

I am happy with the work I have done today. I came home in the afternoon to work without distraction and it proved to be a good decision.

I have a new flower bloomed in my yard 🙂 it is hidden in between the leaves of a kind of large green plant. I did not plant it there, so I am assuming it somehow got in there. I also see many small plants here and there. As soon as I understand what they are i will either plug them out or let them grow. They are kind of under a tree from next door and I am assuming that they are the seeds from that tree that germinated. But I cannot be sure yet – I am wishfully waiting.

It is official that I have a pest problem…. Disgusting….. I found new poops in my kitchen counter that make me want to puke… I am calling the pest control company tomorrow – hopefully they will be able to give me some baits and this problem will be resolved soon. I am pretty much annoyed but then I know that I am doing okay in terms of taking steps: I have sticky bands everywhere, poison in two places, electronic repellents (which I think are not working as I found the poops close to them….), i placed all food in cabinets into glass jars or in the fridge, and I try to show up in the kitchen time to time to make sure that they know they are not the only thing there and behave maybe. … Maybe… I can only hope 🙂 I know this is not a pleasant topic to write about – bear with me. I just feel better facing the issue, that is all.

In contrast to almost all of the mornings in my life, this morning I have got up feeling good…. You know what I think is the reason? I filled my mind with positive thoughts right before I went to bed by writing my joy journal. I am curious to see whether I can replicate this feeling tomorrow and the days after that. If I can see that is the reason, then, my friends, I may have just found the key to happiness and less crankiness 🙂

That would be just awesome 🙂

 

my baking adventures and excitement in life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do I have to say more?

🙂

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

the quest for happiness

The more I write about happiness, the better I understand about it.

Yesterday I wrote about it here; comments and interactions by other bloggers were great, too. I understood somethings; about myself, about happiness, and about how other individuals see it.  Thank you everyone who commented.

I understood that the definition of happiness may be not one, but many.

I understood that if the power of being happy is in ourselves, then that means we are responsible for our own unhappiness. Boy… Does that mean I am silly, incapacitated, or weak (otherwise I would be happy?). Does that mean my “happiness genes” are mutated? I strongly react against this statement; I believe things out of our control can greatly influence our chances of happiness and how we feel. I would have never chosen to be unhappy. Why would anyone choose to be unhappy? Unhappiness is not a choice. Not mine. Not many people I know who were unhappy. You cannot stand tall, laugh, and glow when you have lost or never have had things, people, opportunities, loves, and all bunch of other things that affect you today. You can choose to move on with your life maybe. You can choose to forget maybe. You can pretend to be happy maybe. But sometimes our circumstances lack the conditions to be happy. No matter how some of us try hard to be happy. Can we really blame this person for not being happy?

I understood that I could be clinically depressed nowadays as I have everything I need; I have a great family, a great and meaningful job, finances and anything else I can need in the material world. I lack no material. But I lack happiness, the zest and excitement of life.

I understood that I find in me the right to be happy. I demand happiness. I demand my right to be happy. I am rebelling against the status quo re; unhappy state.

I understood that if that turns out to be because of a chemical imbalance in my brain, I will regret not going to a doctor before. Nobody deserves to be unhappy and miss their life because of a chemical imbalance.

I understood that I am not the only one with a quest and thirst for happiness.

I understood that my happiness and unhappiness might be different than others’ experiences. As I wrote as a response to a comment; “sometimes we must accept that we do not have all the answers and we cannot get everyone’s circumstances. In those cases, empathy has the softest voice and silence has the sweetest tune“. I may not understand your unhappiness and you may not get mine. Assuming that we understand and have all the answers you or I need is not right. Discussions are helpful, but sometimes empathy and silence are the best ways to respond to someone unhappy.

I may be depressed but not even once I thought about leaving life. That makes me excited 🙂 I hope I have a long and well life in front of me, in which I will keep exploring myself, life as a whole, and become happy.

non passe absolution

poem

————————–

I will forgive you for all

except for giving me that clove

a decade and a half ago

and for pushing me away

many years later

by your thorns wrapped around

your tongue that dared to insult us

by separating our worlds

I really hate you for my pain

for many moments of false happiness

but most of all for making me

not being able to forgive you

until one of us dies

————————–


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

happiness

Since I do not know how to make myself happy, I turned into the internet for information about happiness.

There are a number of sites; some of them makes sense, some of them absolutely nonsense (those that put the entire responsibility of your unhappiness on your own shoulder. As if nothing else can influence, diminish, or generate it).

Anyways, following happiness tips are the ones that I remember now:

  • Live a simple life
  • Help others
  • Aim for less
  • Be kind to yourself
  • Forgive more
  • Be positive
  • Control your mental chatter
  • Exercise
  • Socialize
  • Meditate
  • Find meaning in what you do
  • Breathe
  • Eat well

bla bla bla bla…

So boring.

I can tell from my own experience some of these do not make people happy unless they really need it (e.g. eating well).

Exercise is great, can make one feel better, but does that mean we need to exercise all the time?

Meditation is not for everyone.

We all have some meaning in whatever we do; whether it is our job, cooking for others, or caring and helping others.

Socializing is great but only with the right people.

Forgiving is great but it does not help if your unhappiness is not caused by old issues and scars.

I live a simple life and I breathe and I am trying to be kind to myself and help others. And yet, I am not happy.

Three of these may help me relax more, though; being positive, aiming for less, and controlling my mental chatter. As a perfectionist and realist, these can really help subsidize my mental anguish.

Yet, I have been aware of these quite some time and so far I was not able to make myself happy. So maybe it is the time that I ask my doctor to prescribe me an anti-depressant. Perhaps I too have a chemical imbalance, which unless restored by medication will continue to make me unhappy.

Every one deserves to be happy. So do I.

on death and life

Prince has died a couple of days ago. May he rest in peace.

I have been thinking about death and life again since then. I was not a remarkable fan of Prince, not because I did not think he was an influential or great musician, but because I was more interested in other genres. Yet, his sudden death as someone I knew hurt.

Death is a reality. And it is scary. And only at my middle age, I am getting to realize this.

I too can die and will die. We just do not know when. Because I am a middle aged person and because I faced death in reality when my dad died, almost everyday I think that I am getting close to my own death every passing day. I feel a rush, almost an anxiety about this.

Because of this (or, maybe I should say “thanks to this”) I do not want to miss life. I do not want to die just yet. I do not want my mom and my siblings to feel the pain of my death. I do not want to die before I understand what it is the life that I was supposed to have but missed so far, and before I realize what is important in life. Before I relax, enjoy, and get happy with my life.

I am dealing with many little issues, mostly related to work. I am not happy with this. Why would anyone have a life mostly oriented around, shaped by, and focused on work? Where are the life  experiences other than work?  Why do I care about my work that much? Why can I not re-focus my mind?

I do not want to live and die like this.

I must either quit my job and face financial hardship, or change my mind, remain in my position, but reduce my expectations from myself.

There are books to be read, people to be met, places to be visited, words to be said, happiness to be generated, and peace to be made.

I should deal with my insecurities. So what, if people would not think that I was not overly successful? So what, if others would do better than me? So what, if my performance was less bright than others?

None should matter when it is a matter of life and death.

I should matter. Not others.

 

hope and dreams

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

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

So, what happened?

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

How does that feel?

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

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

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

Do I deserve to be unhappy? Nope.

Do I deserve to be limited this way? Nope.

How many chances do I have in life? One

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

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

Am I in rush to find them? No.

So, what should I do?

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

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

I hope I will not lose these, too.

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

on happy, unhappy, and neutral mood

Today I have decided to check time to time how I was feeling during the day. In a few cases I did that I found that I was feeling okay (i.e. neutral); neither unhappy or happy; neither stressful nor un-stressful. Neither joyful nor un-joyful.

At first I thought this was not good as I am determined to make myself happy from yesterday on.  Only later I realized that that was actually not bad; I could as well be unhappy, stressful, and miserable. But I was not. That should be something to be grateful for 🙂

I remember 2 different times in my life when I had felt happy for extended periods of time for no apparent reasons:

First, many years ago when I had first moved here. I had got the greatest job I had dreamed for many decades (literally); my finances were better, and I had the job security for the first time in my long career. I could not help but feel genuinely happy 🙂 This feeling of happiness lasted around 6 months until a person I dearly loved got seriously sick.

The second one was in January this year, when I had started the yoga/stretching classes. They have had highly positive influence on my mood; I was relaxing and feeling connected to my body and myself during the sessions. It lasted until I have had back problems first and then the death of my dad at the end of February.

For a middle aged person, these two occasions of happiness may sound pathetic. Maybe it is.

But, perhaps I must explain what I mean by happiness first: when I say “happy” I mean seriously happy, elated, hopeful and joyful about everything in life and having no problem whatsoever. It is kind of different than what I have felt today, where I am neither feeling elated nor down (i.e. depressed). As a person who suffered from depression in the past, let me tell you being in a neutral state of mood is not bad, either. As a matter of fact, it is quite a progress for me.

Yet, knowing how sweet is the happy state feels, I naturally long for it.

am I the only one?

I cannot be the only one who is feeling a void part in their life; feeling the regrets for the choices made in the past that have shaped the life and life conditions for today; facing this steady and deep feeling of “I am missing something/a lot in my life“.

I cannot be.

I try to remember everybody I know in my life and the way they see their lives. Some have familial/marital problems, many have lost important people in their lives, some are dealing with or surviving critical illnesses and health problems, and so many have financial worries or hardship. I know no one who is fully content with their lives.

So after all, I must be okay, as I am not the only one.  In contrast, I seem to lack what others are wishing to have. I do not have a chronic health problem (very grateful); I am doing okay financially though I have worries for my retirement because of the future forecast of the global economy and limited savings/investments I have had so far (very grateful); I am safe and sound (very grateful); there is nothing much I can do to prevent the death of my loved ones (so acceptance…). I have every reasons to be happy!!!! So what am I bragging about?

My only problem is the lack of joy in my life.

Why is that?

Why do I not feel happy and joyful, unless I put an effort to remember things that make me happy, excited, and grateful (my joy journal page is a good example).

I do not know why I cannot be different. Smiling for no reason. Being excited by just the experience of life. Taking things a little bit easier. Realizing how lucky I am in so many different ways.

I know a couple of reasons:

  1. Taking everything, including myself, too serious: Partly because of the work I have. Everything needs to be free of error and the highest quality possible. When my work is dependent on others, certainly unless I trust them 100%, gaining confidence in the work produced is hard. I have suffered a lot from this and constant checking and correcting things. I gotta relax. I gotta relax into the process and hire people who are good. Really good. This gotta change. How?
  2. Not having interests and hobbies out of work/house life: My primary interest out of work is to read books, to read other resources, and to write. None of these requires to be away from home. Ok. What else? I am not interested in book or cooking clubs or others; I am not interested in vacationing in interesting places; I am not particularly interested in socializing; I am not interested in spending time out of my office or home, other than for cafe. So? what are my alternatives?
  3. Living alone for a long time: Since my teenage years, I have been away from my family first for education and then for my work and career. I have taken care of everything myself, as there has been no one around to help or support. I got cranky tired, and burnt out many times. I am over-protective of myself. I lack human compassion and support in near vicinity. For some reason, I have not formed my own family, with a spouse and kids. This has not been a conscious choice; it just has been what it has been. These meant that I had to not only support, protect, and take care of myself, but also cheer up and make happy.

So my final diagnosis is that I am not capable of being happy because I take everything serious, as a serious problem to solve right away, and I am not capable of finding things, activities, or people that will cheer me up, excite me, and make me happy.

So, the problem is me.

OK. They say finding the cause of the problem is finding the half of the solution.

I would like to get the strength to follow up on this 50% of the solution and take steps for the rest of the 50%.

I want to be happy and I want to make myself happy.

I guess from now on, I will have one great promise and duty for myself; to make myself happy.

I hope I will be granted the wisdom, opportunity, and clarity of mind that will help with me finding these ways to happiness….

random thoughts

The work has stolen some of my sleep last night… I woke up at around 5 am and the thoughts about the work that waits for me to take care and all the work-related issues that I have experienced lately have jumped on me. I could sleep after a while but it was not nice.

There was a period of my life right after the new year when I had started the yoga classes; this period of time was when I had felt genuinely happy…. This lasted around 5 weeks until I got my back problem exaggerated. It was a great feeling, it easily came to me, and it was beautiful. I woke up happy and excited in the mornings.  Not like before when work related thoughts would just fill my mind as soon as I woke up; this almost always made me cranky and stressed. Not the best way to start a new day…

I feel like I am returning to this depressive mornings and I do not like the idea. As a matter of fact, I feel like I may be slipping in to a little depression.

Work related stress is something real. I know I can deal better if I stop undertaking too much or by having a less perfectionist but more relax mind. So far I was not able to do either of these. But tomorrow is another day… Hating my job or having a depression are not somethings that I am looking forward to.

“Enjoy the delicious part of life as well”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

immersing in positive feelings

You know what? I think we should immerse ourselves in positive feelings as much as we do the negative ones..

So, go ahead think about the nice things that happened today; the nice behavior you have witnessed; kindness you have experienced; arrival of a message long waited for; a note from the loved one that arrived right on time; the memory of someone making you smile, better yet, laugh; the food you have enjoyed; the money you saved; the cloth you bought lovingly; the book that opened your imagination; the tears that gave you emotions and strength; the excitement you have felt; the smile of a child; the success you have achieved in one of your aims; the positive feelings that have arisen just because.

🙂

Empty your thoughts and choose to be happy right at this moment! 🙂

The life in the diary – XVII

Fiction

———————————————————————–

May 11, 2013

It is one of those days that I feel cheerful for no reason.

I grabbed my jacket and left the house for a nice walk. The fresh air is so lovely; feeling it on my cheeks, on my skin. Time to time there is a little breeze that caresses me. The sky is open and blue and it is around 25 C. It is a perfect spring day 🙂

As usual, I walk with my hands in my pockets – for some reason, that makes me feel good. Very good. It automatically puts a smile on my face and lift my upper back up. No more sluggish walking. Confidently and cheerfully I start to walk.

The street is wide and long; I can see the road ahead crossing it and the shops at the far end. They have bright colors, these shops do. I know they are doing this on purpose to appeal clients. Well, they are doing a good job by getting my attention as well as by making me feel grateful for what I see. Not surprisingly, I am a good customer of one of these stores.

I enter the store. I love this store as there are so many items that I regularly love to check. I for sure forget everything by just focusing on their items. And their prices and variety options. I have got my most cherished CD in this store years ago. I loved it so much that I had also bought a copy for a cousin of mine. The personal grooming and cleaning products are my favorites; I love the lip-stick that I keep buying from this store, for example. It is a glossy cherry-brown; neither too red nor too brown. It lifts my spirit up while also preventing them from drying. I love my lip-stick…

I do not buy anything this time, knowing that I am rather on my way to a long and relaxing walk. I leave the store, turn right, and start to walk down the street towards downtown. My home is located right at the perimeter of downtown, so it is 10 minutes walk to it. I feel excited about this. I always loved being around people, around movement. There is some kind of energy that transfers right into me. Maybe I am an energy-Dracula (this idea makes me chuckle 🙂 )

I do not have a definite plan as to where to go. I am free to go wherever my feet carry me, free to stop wherever I wish. The freedom, the feeling of having no rush, is giving me serenity, a mental chill. Not the bad type. Like water distinguishing a fire. It cools down my nerves and makes me breathe just fine. Slowly. Steadily. Peacefully.

I see a little store and get in. This is the store whose coffee I like. The hazelnut coffee!… Smell is mesmerizing me…. I buy a large cup, pay the clerk, and get out to continue my walk. I am in love with the smell and the taste of my coffee. I smile for no reason and shrug my shoulders as if to say “I do not care about anything, anyone, or any memory right now; this moment is mine and mine only. And I am enjoying it“.

I look at another cafe on the right side. I come here time to time, not for the coffee but for the fresh pastry. During spring and summer months, it is a great pleasure to sit at a table outside while eating fluffy pastry. Watching people walking up and down the street and feeling the sun on my skin…

Come to think about it, I have so many things that I like about this city and about my life. Who is happier than me right now? Who can possibly be? I have a lovely drink at my hand, walking in a fine spring day. I feel happy. For no reason or little reasons. I am lucky to have all of these.

I stop at the lights to wait for our turn. I remember how I had once skid and fell in the middle of the road in a winter day. It was my first experience with the black ice; never saw the darn thing. People had offered to help me get on my feet. For such a big city, people are great; they have not forgotten to be considerate and helpful. I love these people. I love this city.

Finally it is green light and I walk in between 30-40 people towards the center of downtown. There is the organic store on my left I check time to time. Teas and spices are my interest. Especially one of the herbal teas; I cannot remember its name. It is odd but I affirm that I will remember it later. Better yet, I can go to store anytime and recognize it by its look. I have a good memory still yet.

I contemplate about visiting the book stores a couple of streets ahead. I have spent so much time in them, often to distract my paining mind that I do not want to get in there today. I shake my head and continue. I love books but I need not to remember my pain. Not today. Not now. Not for some time.

I glance at the tall building on the right side. I used to live in that building once. Whenever I am around, I look up to see my ex-flat on the 30th floor. The glass window in the living room was awesome, as it would show the downtown with no reservation whatsoever. I could see not only the buildings around, but the hot dog stands, the bus terminal, and a little bit of the harbor at a distance…. People were everywhere… The nights had the best view; the lights scattered around the dark blue sky and the brown sidewalks. Even in the middle of the night, this city was alive. Energetic. Awake. Listening. And with it, I would lie awake on my couch, listening, but mostly lethargic. Sometimes crying, sometimes thinking. But mostly peaceful and serene.

I loved that flat and my life in it. Come to think about it, I had hard times there too, but it is the best things, best and happiest memories I tend to remember. Making peace with my past seems to come to me naturally. Only after years of remembering all of course….

to be continued

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The life in the diary – XVII

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happiness

I have many objectives in my live that I believe will make it better, make me healthier and wealthier (at least debt free). These are more or less attainable.

My life-long objective was to be happy. I have had happy periods in my life, which I cherish. These memories also make me believe that I can be happy.

Do not get me wrong, I am not unhappy. I just would not define myself as a happy person.

I just have had a conversation with a friend of mine. She is a single mom and having financial problems. On top of that, she feels stuck and hopeless. Obviously a down time for her. I could do nothing but listen to her. I understand that she is deeply unhappy.

It is selfish, but after hearing her hurdles, I felt blessed. So what if I do not feel happy? I at least did not have the challenges my friend have: I was in a safer environment, largely abundant, with a stable and awesome job that stresses me but also excites me. I never needed to think about finding the food for the next meal in my life. Maybe I am spoiled in fact.

I always believed that happiness is not a neutral state (as the state I am in where I am neither happy nor unhappy). It is rather a positive state where I smiled for no reason, looked at life and observed it rather than reacting to it, and hummed songs along the way. Life was very enjoyable then.

I also know what unhappiness is; it is agonizing, painful, and depressing. Very negative state.

I have had long, unhappy periods of life in the past. I wish not to feel that way again. So what if I do not feel happy? At least I do not feel unhappy right now.

But, as soon as I read the above sentence, something inside me started to rebel; I want to be happy!

So how do we get happy?

I have analyzed the times I was happy. I have no particular reason that I can put my finger on. It is so fuzzy that seriously if you asked me what would make me happy for a prolonged time, I am sure I could not tell you what that was.

This does not mean that I do not get momentarily happy; I do. when I see my family and friends, when I travel, when I realize something, when I have good luck in something… But momentarily being happy and being happy for extended periods of time are different; it is the latter that I am curious about.

Is it possible that we get happier as we age? i am not sure. I for sure deal with things and emotions a little bit better now that I have experience. But as I age, the probability of serious issues and experiences (such as sickness, losing someone loved, grieving etc.) also increase. I do not know, but I have been feeling like I am at the best period of my life. And I should be very grateful for it. Perhaps I should forget about happiness and accept what I have as the best.

Still though something inside me rebels…

joy journal – Oct 13, 2015

joy 🙂 happiness 🙂 joy 🙂

there is so much to be grateful of; so little time to express all. Nevertheless, here is today’s joys:

1. I am grateful for having a good sleep and getting up refreshed and ready to take the day.

2. I am grateful for walking in the morning. It was a little bit chilly but walking warmed my body and it was a pleasant walk 🙂

3. I am grateful for my coffee; since I started my job here I brew my own coffee at the office. I love the morning routine of brewing the first thing in the morning, and later in the afternoon as I wish to have it. I believe I am saving a lot of money by doing that and I am very pleased with this 🙂

4. I am grateful for meeting with my team members; they have done well while I was away last week. My new team member seems to be doing good and another team member is supporting him at his work activities. I like the collegiality that my team members shows to each other.

5. I am grateful for the seminar we attended at noon. The topic is closely related to what I would like to develop. Seeing the cons and pros of other teams’ works is certainly beneficial for the design of my own project. I will see how mine will be finalized. I really hope it will be funded 🙂

6. I am grateful for the snacks at my office. When I do not have time to grab something to eat, they are the ones that i munched on.

7. I am grateful for having nice chats with two other employees at my department. It is good that we can be cozy and friendly with each other so that next time we need each other’s help, it will be easier to communicate.

8. I am grateful for the late-evening meeting we have had today. I am usually drained in the afternoons, but this one was interesting and charging.

9. I am grateful for walking in the evening back to home. When I reached home, it was past 6.30 pm. It was kind of late and I did not feel like cooking for dinner. It was good that I have had food prepared at the weekend; they helped me to have my dinner without too much of a hassle.

10. I am grateful for working on a presentation scheduled for next week. This was only requested last week. So time-wise I am constrained, as I have another presentation to prepare for a meeting two weeks from today. I was stressed this afternoon, but now I have half of the presentation ready, which is a relief.

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

12. I am grateful for the food I have in my fridge and freezer – they make me feel abundant.

13. I am grateful for yesterday being an off day; although today felt like a Monday, there is only three more days till the weekend. I plan to work during the weekend to catch up with tasks at work, but at least this is going to happen within the comfort of my house.

14. I am grateful for the milk I am drinking; it is a new addition to my diet after my doctor recommended vitamin D and calcium supplementation. I am happy to get these nutrients through food rather than supplement pills (though I need to take one pill a day, by drinking milk, I free myself from the second pill).

15. I am grateful for the pain medication I have had at home; I pulled a muscle at my back. these medications help control the pain and increase my mobility.

16. I am grateful for not taking the cab today and for not spending on anything (yay!). Come to think about it, since I started to walk in the mornings too (the last few weeks), I have had many “no expense” days (including no bus fare); how great is that? 🙂

17. I am grateful for being warm, safe, and sound in this chilly autumn day.

18. I am grateful for being grateful 🙂

what is it about money and happiness?

I keep hearing/reading “money does not make one happy”.

I am not sure whether we can generalize the relationship between the happiness and money in such an abstract way.

When I was young, my mom and I had to pay a visit to another city. Long story short, we visited a young couple with a young child and became their guest for a night. They did not know us, we did not know them, but they opened their house to us (we knew someone who knew this family; that is how we could pay this visit, which was essential for us at that time).

It was a very poor house, very poor people. I do not think I have seen such a poverty somewhere else. These people not only hosted us and presented their best meals and best living conditions to us, but they also showed us how happy they were. All with large smiles on their faces.

I time to time remember this family and I hope they have had a great life. I wish we had kept contact so far; I could certainly help them or their kid(s) now. Return the amazing favor and the incredible lessons they have taught me with their generosity and happiness. They have my deepest and best wishes.

I have also seen people with huge amount of money but being unhappy, being sick, or being hit by other issues of life (death of a loved one, etc.). I cannot know everybody’s problems. Nor I am interested in judging them. Obviously money did not make them a happy person, or maybe money just could not resolve their issues on the path to happiness, safety, or health. Money cannot resolve all issues. Okay.

I have also seen many other regular families/people who had financial hardship, and as a result, having a hard time in their lives. I experienced financial hardship myself. I certainly was not happy; others certainly did not look happy. There were things I needed, others needed. And these needs were not about having a bigger house, newer car, or better attire. They were about real issues, such as providing better medical care to someone dear to our hearts, or paying down huge amount of debts (not necessarily incurred by having a generous life), or putting a meal on the table for the family next day.

I think we tend to forget that there are basic needs and, sometime, more serious needs that money can actually resolve.

It may be true that having money may not provide happiness all the time, but not having money can also restrict our abilities, our essential wishes (such as food, shelter), ours or others’ health, safety, and well-being. In the latter case, I would say; yes, money can mean happiness.

Let’s not forget about such needs that can be resolved by money.

Hey, maybe we will learn something, become more appreciative of our own situation, or have the ability to help someone seriously in need.

joy journal – Sept 20, 2015

joy…happiness… peace… joy…

I have no entry in this journal in the last few weeks – time to spill all the joy 🙂

1. I am grateful for getting up on time this morning – I was tired from yesterday but I did not sleep late. Good job 🙂

2. I am grateful for walking at the Terry Fox Run with my colleagues; we not only raised funds to help cancer research but also socialized and burned energy :).

3. I am grateful that I found a chance to extra walk today; the Terry Fox Run venue was 25 min away from my home, which I walked to and from. I am glad the weather was permissive (e.g. not raining) and I was not lazy or tired; so I could do all the walking 🙂

4. I am grateful that I saw myself walking at a pace that I used to 5-10 years ago; would that mean I am not that old after all! 🙂 I loved that feeling; walking, sweating, but not panting or running out of breath. Just like the old times! My body does an amazing job 🙂

5. I am grateful for checking a grocery store on the way back. It is one of the big stores. I used to shop there and then winter hit and I forgot to visit it. I made a mental note that it is a great store that I should check time to time. Walking to and from will be extra exercise, too 🙂

6. I am grateful for finding red cabbage in the store. Yuppi!!!… I have been craving for it for weeks now. I love red cabbage as a salad material! I bought 2 small ones (I must go back to that store time to time!)

7. I am grateful for talking to my family today – what would I do without them?

8. I am grateful for working on my computer and moving up with an important document. I still need to work on it, but tomorrow before noon I will have time to do so. Then I can submit it for review.

9. I am grateful that instead of working whole afternoon and night, I decided to take a break. the last few days I just has been running from one task to other. Stress is negatively affecting me. It is better that I take time for myself to recharge.

10. I am grateful for liking my work I did yesterday with the deck. Yep, the new stain is much lighter in color and the entire deck looks patchy; but hey I hopefully will finish it next week (right before the rain/winter) 🙂

11. I am grateful for, on the average, eating better. I think it has been 2-3 weeks now I did not eat bagels at my regular weekend breakfasts… what a change… I never thought I could do this, but looks like when the right time comes, it does happen.. Wishing this will extend to my other not-so-good habits soon 🙂

12. I am grateful for my home, power, TV, cable connection, computer, phone, and all the furniture, food, and items in it that make my life safe, comfortable, and delightful.

13. I am grateful for the soup I made this afternoon – warm and nourishing.

14. I am grateful for my plans for the next weekend! Yep; the week will be too rush-rush (too many stuff to take care), but the weekend I sure will take time to relax. I first will go get some more stain to finish the deck, will do shopping at a nearby more affordable store, visit two thrifty stores for anything interesting (not that I am planning to buy stuff unless they are great; but I so enjoy going thru stuff at those stores. Not sure why I do not have the same pleasure from going around other, regular stores. Could it be because I know that I can afford many of the nice stuff at the thrifty stores? Or is it because these stores have many interesting items from many different trends/seasons, but not necessarily only from the latest trends like other stores?)

15. I am grateful for being grateful 🙂

gratefulness

I have been pretty occupied with my budget and weight-loss journeys lately. They both aim to benefit me and require daily effort and recording/assessing of progress.

Along the way, I forgot to be grateful for life, to notice little thing that make me happy, to note the people, things, and events that gave me joy.. It does feel superficial and empty without being grateful, joyful, and happy; there are so many things out there more important and more valuable than these two plans…. I am happy to note this today.

Do not get me wrong; I am also grateful for coming up with these plans – I needed both. My finances would be much worse, very constraining, and depressing in future (now that I own an old house); and my weight is only going up and this is scaring me.

Those who are familiar with my posts will know what a struggle it is to implement and make these plans more or less established changes in my daily life. I rant, I get excited, I complain…I get excited again 🙂

It is draining sometimes – going through this phase. Especially at the beginning. Later things become alright one way or the other (either done, replaced, or modified to suit the reality).

Today I am not going to rant; I will rather give my thanks for the reasons that made me need these changes; the budgeting plan particularly.

I am grateful for the house I own; it is old, but newly renovated. I love being in this house and in the little yard it has – with all the trees and flowers that bloom in the spring. It is on a great location, helping me continue with my life and work with no problem (e.g. my work place is in walking distance, the bus stop is close, there are restaurants, a big grocery store, and multiple convenience stores in my neighborhood etc.). Last year I had a major roof problem, which took me 9 months to get someone to fix – it was a nerve-breaking experience. And it was expensive – after paying it my chequing account drop to $0. It has been an ongoing battle to have a positive balance since then.

And since last March, I got crazy over a crack on one of my interior walls, which I was told is possibly a foundation problem. I am still waiting for it to get visibly worse (if it gets…) so that we can start repairing it. The quotes given to me are not for the fainted heart.. And I know that there may be other unexpected repairs or expenses associated with the home-ownership (for one example, my property tax just got increased, argh..). That is why I came up with my budget 3 months ago: All the expenses incurred for my house and those that are possible in the future.. I could not see any other way out of this psychological drama.

Yes, it was a struggle, I was not consistent in the beginning at all, but now I am very much comfortable with my budgeted life. I cannot talk for sure about the future, but I am sincerely hoping I will continue like this.

You may ask “why is she grateful?”.

I am grateful because I do see this budgeted life as a continuous life-style that saves me around $10K/year. That is a huge amount of money that sure will help cover the expenses related to house repairs and maintenance over many years. And more importantly, I started not too late so that I can see the savings (however little they may be) accumulating before I face serious repairs. This way, I bought time and am feeling at more ease (this saved funds may not be enough for the repairs, but still are they not better than not having any savings? I could as well just continue like before and throw them away with my spending ..)

While I cannot say I am totally at ease with the possibly huge expenses associated with home-ownership, I can say that budgeting allows me to take the home ownership a little bit easier.

I just needed to reminded this to myself today.

Thanks for listening.

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

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

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

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

Nevertheless, this idea struck me hard.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

my first day at my new office

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

it is small things that make us happy

When I mentioned a friend of mine my “joy journal entries” yesterday, she said “it is small things that make us happy“.

Ugh.. Yes.

I am not sure whether my friend had realized this and as such would make an attempt to feel good because of small things that happen in our lives, or was actually sarcastic towards me (and she can be time to time), I do not know.

To me, if we wait for happiness due to big events; let’s say graduation, wedding, birth of a our children, I am afraid we have only limited opportunities to get happy (e.g. some of us do not get to have these).

Happiness is our birthright; feeling it even transiently or for short time, yet over and over again is a great feeling.

So, let’s be joyful, let’s be happy, let’s do our best to feel these.

I am very grateful and thankful

Despite my best efforts with books and the rest, I actually had a little bit boring Sunday.

Until I got an email an hour ago notifying me of acceptance of one of our projects! The project was re-submitted after years of hard work and hard-turns. It was also rejected by somewhere else previously. I was really nervous and not hopeful in the re-submission made a couple of weeks ago.

Yet the good person who I had submitted the project to, accepted it.

I do not know that person, but certainly I am so grateful and I thank him here.

I also thank all the people who directly or indirectly contributed to it, its data, and its writing.

I thank myself; I have to. I worked so relentlessly on it, from design to finding people to work on it, to convincing people in my unit that it can in fact be done. Six years of effort.

Now I am happy and hyperactive. It is getting close to my usual “going to bed” hour, but I do not think I am sleepy enough. In contrast, I am full of energy and excitement.

The increase in energy is not the physical energy, but rather the “inner energy”; the feeling that I have accomplished something of this calibre before all other competitors, and that makes me feel “confident”, “accomplished”, and “plain happy”.

I have a great motivation to do better projects.

It is okay if I cannot sleep tonite because of my hyperactive brain; it does not change the fact that I am very grateful and thankful.

I decided today that life was bright and hopeful

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

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

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

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

I decided today that life was bright and hopeful.

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

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

cheers

getting close to accepting the defeat

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I hope, my love, one day you will love someone who loves you at least as much as I do.

I hope you will find the sparks, excitement, happiness, and contentment with that girl who deserves you, your gentle manners, your wonderful character, and your lovely laughter.

I hope she will always cherish, respect, and love you; do the right things for you; make you laugh often; give you a warm hug and keep there when you need it; care for your health and well being; relentlessly support you in all of your endeavours, and admire you like nobody else.

I hope she will love your voice and make you hum happy songs all day long; lift you up when you kneeled down, stand next to you when all is troublesome, and be proud of you when you solve all. I hope one day you will marry her and have the daughters you wish for. I hope my love you will be the one to give me these great news.

Have the determination to open your heart to the beauties around you. Share yourself more so that all can know your greatness and human side. Be happy beyond your imagination. Write those pieces, produce those programs, and take the most spectacular photos. Even if life cuts short and none or only some of them happens, know before we perish, how thoroughly, passionately, and tirelessly you were loved. Despite all. Despite by me.

None has touched both my heart and my life as you have, none has left me with myself so fast, so many different times. I love you. One part of me will always be thinking about you, loving, caring, and admiring you.

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Kate’s short story – XLVII

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