looking forward to the long weekend

It is Canada day tomorrow and we have the long weekend with Monday off.

I may be working on Monday but I am so excited for this long weekend! I just feel tired and too strained lately, and I am looking forward to winding down a little bit. This weekend will give me this opportunity 🙂

What are my plans?

Other than the regular stuff (i.e. cleaning the house, doing the laundry, cutting the grass – which I have done this afternoon), I plan to bake an unconventional type of sourdough this week. What could that be? Something that has not been done before…. I do not know really – I will have to really get creative here, or bake a regular sourdough – in any way it will be awesome 🙂

I would like to visit the thrift stores tomorrow and see whether i can find something interesting. I may buy some sewing material.

Sewing… Yes… Why do I not try sewing a blouse again? I have tons of fabric that I hauled last year from thrift stores 🙂 What a great idea – I hope I will not chicken again and do it!

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I may also visit a nearby international food store and get some dry beans and bulghur – these could be excellent choices to prepare office lunch for me. Good idea! 🙂

I also would like to start drying some lilacs from my yard.  I have incredible lilacs that I have been thinking about drying up for some time. I think it is the time…. Once they dry up, I want to hang them on my wall in a frame. The beauty of the flowers and plants in my yard…. How nice is the nature? I have daisies blooming up. They are all so exciting 🙂

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And other than this, I will look ahead my life, and plan and hope for the best. It is time that things change for the better. Now that I appreciate my life, how simple and easy going it is, and how well it works for me, including my budget, increased savings, and investments. There is a lot to be grateful for in my life. This weekend will give me an opportunity to re-think about them and re-feel my appreciation.

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The delicious part of my life

Yesterday, I wrote about an advice my dad had given me a couple of years ago, about “enjoying the delicious part of life”. I have also mentioned about my intention to read books to help myself see/develop a better route for my future life and self.

Well, I have one book like that, which kind of captured me at its first chapter. It says “we can choose to choose”. We can decide to make choices so that we can look for new ways or alternatives to enrich our life experience and, hopefully, progress into a life we want.

I have a couple of wishes and changes to have, but I would like to come up with more. In order to realize what more I could have, I decided to first note those that I have made my life better than before. I noted them below.

This has been a truly therapeutic exercise for me…. I was not aware until now that I have had actually taken steps to improve my life and my experience, and the way I work or relax, especially in the last few years….. I am happy to see that I actually make changes and improve… And the way I see, my dad would be proud of me for doing all of these and he would see that I actually have a good life. Yes, I am alone and away from family and that I miss mostly, yet almost all other aspects of my life are going well..

Daddy; know that your daughter is doing really well.

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A. Job: I have the best and the most suitable for my self. It is meaningful and usually enjoyable. It is also challenging and sometimes quite stressful because of the pressure (who does not?) we have in terms of constantly having success indicators, deadlines, and output. Yes, I have spent many years at school and got trained in many different places. But I am one of the few lucky or good enough to have a position like mine. So, I must cherish my success. I know I can do better and I will do better, too, as my abilities are increasing each year.

would I change it?: No, not right now. I may develop other interest later in my life, but this is the job I was born for.

things to improve: Better time management and sharper focus to take care of things hopefully on time. I seriously need that to improve my success rate and to reduce my stress levels. I also decided that I do not need to undertake more than I comfortably can.

B. City I live in: A small and safe city where things are simple and easy. In terms of cultural activities, it is a limited place, but at least it is very easy to live here.

would I change it?: If I must change it, I would rather go back home. So, unless something drastic happens (like losing my job), I am not planning to look for jobs somewhere else. If I like, I can visit other cities time to time. I am staying for now and that is good to know.

C. My home: I bought my home 2.5 years ago. A 90 years old town house that was newly renovated, yet 1 week after I moved in, the roof started to leak from two different places. Talking about remorse…It was a cold slap on my face that created anxiety and depression. After a long search for a repair company, I got it fixed after 10 months. So far, no problem with the roof, which is awesome. yet, I have a crack on one of my inner walls, which I was told was a foundation problem. We are waiting for a drastic opening of the crack to start repairing it. It still gives me the depressive moods. Other than these, I am very happy with my home and the way it feels.

would I change it?: Not planning for now.

unexpected benefits of the house problems: Since the house repairs have created anxiety, I last year realized that unless I have changed by current financial situation, I could end up having a huge problem in the future. This was an additional anxiety. This is why I started to have a budget and I am saving way better and more than I ever thought about. My savings are around $10k/year. When I think about this, I kind of feeling like my house actually helps me to save money to take care of it, without sacrificing my quality of life or the life style I have. Hence it is weird but also very satisfying to say that I am very grateful for the initial house troubles that now have made me more abundant and financially sound.

D. My neighborhood: I am happy with it as it is close to everywhere I need to go. I can walk to my office, there are two grocery stores within 10 min of walk, there are 3 convenience stores and many restaurants, it is close to downtown. There are also two bus stops that enable me to go to the shopping centres and the workplace. So convenient in so many different ways.

would I change it?: No

E. My finances: I am doing good and I am grateful, thanks to my job, my budget, and my un-interest for material possession. It is true and hurts time to time that I do not have enough accumulation for my retirement. But I am doing my best to do so; my RRSP contributions are maximized, I have a steady contribution plan for my TFSA account, I have another personal retirement plan with annual contributions, I am planning to increase my retirement contributions a little bit next month. And the only debt I have is my mortgage, which to me is huge. But I will make sure that I pay it off as soon as I can. My TFSA serves as my emergency fund and in case I need funds for house repairs/renovations, I will use these funds. Overall, I am doing my best and it is not too bad.

What would I change: In the new year, as soon as I get a nice amount of emergency and house maintenance funds (that is, my TFSA), I will fully focus on paying off my Home Buyers Plan (HBP) (the funds that I have taken off my RRSP to pay the down payment of my house). RRSP is my long term investment plan and I believe beefing it up is important. Even more important than paying off my mortgage early.

I believe next year I will have a more solid financial health; this year I am still working on saving and making my chequeing account healthy (e.g. not below $0). I spent almost the entire last year with a chequeing account like that, which made me really stressed and kind of feeling hopeless, too. I hope every year will be better than the last year in future…

F. Health and life-style: I am a middle-aged individual and luckily I do not have a chronic disease, maybe except my recent back problem. Bu I still am over-weight and this will be one area that I will focus on, or more like I should focus on….

Plan: I gotta come up with a better plan to help me lose weight. My last two attempts were not successful… let me reflect more on this. I can also walk more, now that weather is better.

For my back health, I will keep the physiotherapy and the daily exercises I was given to. I do not want to have an issue again. i do not want to damage my body again.

G. Social interactions: I am not a social person and I am very happy with it. I only spend time and communicate with a few number of solid and trustworthy people. I will keep this as it is.

H. Taking time off from work to relax and enjoy my time/my life: I have been doing this in the last one year or so! I now do not spend 16 hour a days working or thinking/planning about work! I can usually relax at home, though time to time I still work at home in the evenings or weekends. And that is okay.

Since I started my blog 1.5 years ago, I take my time everyday to express myself and to read other blogs, which has been very informative learning experience. I also watch TV shows and continue to read books. I usually go to bed with a clear (of work troubles) and relax mind.

This is, to me, so priceless.

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