Sunday morning musings

Good morning everyone – I hope you are enjoying this day.

We have a bright day outside, which is always a treat for us folks during winter. I plan to walk a little bit and get fresh air. Seeing snow all white and fluffy (sometimes; some other times it is just that dirty snow banks – ugh) gives me some sort of serenity. I love it and cannot wait for my walk.

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I am currently enjoying my coffee. I have already browsed through the news and social media. Feeling connected and informed by what have been going on around the world.

The COVID-19 pandemic is going on (duh!). Many folks are still in lock-down, some have stricter, some have more relax regulations. It is hard to believe that it has been almost 10 months for us…. I remember the initial days – how I sent my team members to home earlier, advised them to take personal items with them, and make sure their personal computers can function to continue work. I have been used to work at home, so it did not affect me too much, but going out and shopping was the one that bothered me most.

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Then came the news of more deaths, more people affected. International borders being closed and travel becoming a hurdle. We all hoped for vaccines to come along, which now are available to lucky countries and bunch.

The moment we thought we had hope with the vaccines came the news of the new variants. At first they said that there was no evidence of the new variant being associated with higher mortality, only higher infection rate. The last few days I have been hearing that now there is some sort of evidence that it may be more deadly.

One wonders how long we will go ahead like this and worry about ourselves, family, friends, neighbours, and global population overall.

I think the answer is as long as we all can.

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The other question everybody has in their minds is how we are going to recover economically, socially, or otherwise. I have no idea… Today may as well be the best day economically. For example, we expect some job cuts soon. Will it affect me personally? I have no idea. But it will affect many people, if it has not already. So, let’s enjoy what we have already, folks. Tomorrow we may not have jobs, or our salaries and benefits may be cut, or we all may feel like doomed. Let’s not let this get into our ways. Not yet.

I had heard once that a library was looking forward to the diaries that pen down the experiences of individuals during the pandemic. What a great idea. I feel like we are in the middle of a historic moment in human history. I expect many novels, collections, and movies describing our experiences in the future.

But more importantly, how we all have adapted to this situation. What worked and what did not. Just like the 1918 flu pandemic, perhaps we will leave important clues for the next generations, for the next pandemics and infectious diseases, or catastrophes.

I am aware that none of these are new to you, so this blog entry is rather meh (at least this is my own assessment). But I felt like writing these down. I am lucky that I have not lost anyone I know to COVID-19 and live in a place with rather low numbers of active cases. I am one of those lucky people, who just happened to be in the right place in the right time. I feel guilty rather than lucky, to tell you the truth….

The other day I was having a conversation with an acquaintance and she reminded me that we are all connected – all life forms. We in fact are.

Stay safe and connected.

There is light at the end of the tunnel.

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Happy New Year!

Folks,

I wish you the greatest year and wonderful experiences ever in 2021!

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I know the situation is far from being normal and positive, but we must keep the faith in wonderful things happening and our hope that it will get better with time.

I feel selfish to note this here, but I think 2020 was one of the best years of my life. I know… I am sorry that I can say this…..But finding good things in our ordinary life, slowing down, daring for things that I wanted but did not (aka fostering a lovely cat), and making good progress in some areas – both personally and professionally – are all what make me feel grateful for the lock-down.

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These being said, I continue to be worried about my own and my family’s health and safety during the pandemic. I also feel the burden of being one of the survivors of this pandemic, while millions have died so far in 2020…..It is a real burden.

  • Those who are affected by this virus or have lost a loved one, I hope you will find peace in being better now and in good memories with loved ones.
  • Those who are affected by the lock-down and lost their jobs/closed their businesses – I hope you will get support during these difficult times and receive opportunities to keep going.
  • Those who has got knowledgeable about the racism, double standards, femicide, domestic violence, homelessness, addiction and mental health sufferers during the pandemic – I hope you will continue to feel these people’s pain and do something, really something, to prevent further injustice.
  • Those who are working from home, while also caring for elderly or kids – I hope the child care will be free for all of you real soon. I know it is hard one to wish for, but I do genuinely wish this for you.
  • Those who got bored during the pandemic/lock-down and started new hobbies and life-styles with positive outcomes – I applaud you and I hope you will show this plasticity in the future and bring the best of creativity to your lives.
  • Those who sacrificed for the rest of us; the essential workers from healthcare providers to grocery clerks – I hope you realize your importance for the globe. Thank you for all you have done for the rest of us.
  • Those who has found something positive out of all of these uncertainty, pain, and worry – I hope you will keep going and share it with everyone around you.
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This last one is particularly important – let’s always remember that labeling 2020 with hardship and pain only, and wishing it be gone will not change anything…. Pandemic is here – people suffer and have suffered. We do not know what the next day will bring.

But, maybe it will bring A GOOD thing.

Let’s remember to remember the wonderful things happening in our lives and in others’ lives. We owe it to our collective well-being.

Have a great 2021 and stay safe.

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A different kind of hope

For decades, I have lived with anxiety and depression. I have done or tried everything I can; from exercise to supplements to psychotherapy (which was very useful, but is also very expensive) to reading many, many books about the topic and trying different approaches to feel good.

I thought if I there was a solution, I would have already found it.

My great doctor did not hesitate to prescribe me anti-depressant after I told him that I was not feeling well for a very long time, I was struggling to keep up with the demands of life and work, I could not feel joy, and I could not afford psychotherapy.

I am highly functional, but sometimes I force myself to do even a simple thing. The pressure I put on myself to do many things eventually becomes unbearable.

It is also unnecessary, my doctor said.

I resisted the idea of medication for a very long time. Now I think that was silly. As my doctor said this may be a simple chemical imbalance. If the body cannot produce it, there is nothing wrong with supplementing it with medication.

My doctor’s positive attitude and support made my day.

Medication gives me hope. We do not know whether this particular drug or dose will be useful or not. But at least there are other dose and medication options. I have hope now.

Leaving resistance to use antidepressants behind and being open to support are additional incredible developments on my side. I feel like I can apply these to other parts of my life and at work.

I have hope.

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Feeling down, but looking up!

I am feeling down today, a little bit more than usual, but I keep my chin up and look up as well.

I think I am just tired and vulnerable to feel nervous, shaky, and to have low self-esteem, or my nerves are fried to a point that I cannot even see what the reality in the issues I deal with is.

The first one can be remedied by a break, self-pampering, and so on,

The second one can be fixed by therapy.

Or, by quitting all the struggles, all the issues, and this effing job environment.

I admire those who quit everything and followed their dreams by making drastic changes.

I did follow my dreams but ended up with this job. It was the dream job once, but not anymore.

It is time to find another dream.

I actually have it – retirement. Early retirement that I am eligible to take with a little bit of pension is 5 years away.

I cannot survive comfortably with early retirement, but I can stop at least for sometime without thinking income. I can move to a cheaper country as well. I can. I can get out of this environment.

5 years is a long time.

This is not the first time that I thought about resigning my job. I think it was always there, the most serious ones being in the last 3 years.

3 years passed since then – can 5 more years pass?

It sure can, especially if I can survive this time. Pandemic – duh…

But imagine staying in this toxic unhappy environment and missing life somewhere else?

Take a leap of faith, be brave, and conquer the dreams and life?

or,

Take a huge risk, create and go through more anxiety & hurt, and be even fail ?

The problem is we do not know which one is actually better – here or the future place – what if it is bad as well?

What is it that I must choose?

…………………………

I know that eventually this too will pass.

I know that the real issue is why do I care so much about the toxic work environment and relations?

As soon as I think I let go and uncare things & people, I can have less emotions nagging me and I can be happy where I am and in my life.

Why can I not do this?????

COVID-19, March 30

Monday.

Really?

It feels like Tuesday already. Have you also lost track of days?

It was a productive work from home day. I also managed to have two remote/online meetings.

I continue to get up early. Today it was 7 am. Have I mentioned that I wear my work clothes? Yup ๐Ÿ™‚ I comb my hair as well. I don’t put make up, however. That is a nice break from the routine.

I want to go to office, but the weather is not permissive.ย  I hope that before the end of the week I can make it there. There are a number of things I must do to help my work. Like printing some documents; getting some files; and so on. I also want to have a kind of break to my isolation. A change in scenery. A change in activities.

Anyways; I continue to cook and eat at home. Today realizing the extra weight already put on, I decided to do some light exercise at home. Nothing major but I believe it helped at least stretch my muscles. It was also relaxing. I want to keep doing it.

But really, the weight gain is real. OMG – why is it so easy?

The COVID-19 situation continues to escalate. Some of the stories are very horrific. The rapid deterioration that some of the hospitalized patients showed is what makes me scared most. They say around 30% of the hospitalized patients have now passed away. Is that correct? My goodness – please help us. What are we up to really??

I have been checking online grocery shopping services, and it seems there is one at around my neighbourhood. This is very pleasing. If I must, I can survive at home.

How is our mental health in the midst of this pandemic, isolation, and fatality news?

I am grateful that I continue to work, otherwise I think the situation is not fun…. How long will we able to go on like this, before we develop serious or permanent mental health issues, I wonder. There is peace coming from knowing that we are all in this together. At least there is healthcare. At least we are not out there but inside (some countries did not lock down yet). At least we have connections – online and remotely. The community seems to care about each other and compassion is palpable. And so on. In the midst of this pandemic, it is worth remembering these.

Eventually we will survive it. I suspect, however, we will also be changed deeply. Somehow, I feel like it is going to be something better. I just wished we did not need to have people die for it.

Let’s flatten this curve, friends.

Let’s stay inside.

Wash those hands.

Be kind to yourself and others.

Call a friend.

Connect with family.

Take good care of yourself.

And have hope.

holidays diary – Day 11

New Year is here – welcome 2019.

I am very indifferent, as you can see. I slept around 10pm last night and woke up not so enthusiastic about the day or the year, or anything else for that matter. My moody mood continues.

Anyways; I worked today as well. I did not have anything better to do – everywhere is closed. In the afternoon, I called my family for a quick chat and then focused on finding a good book to read. I reviewed maybe 10 books before I finally found one that clicked. It is by an author who has a highly demanding job and she says all the things I want to hear or see; she says what seems unbalanced for many maybe your balance (true – I prioritize work to reach my goals, so I work hard and long. Even I got in to thinking “I should have a balance” trap, but why should I? Nothing I do is something that will keep me from my goals (except those that are somebody else’s responsibility, which I need to shoulder to keep work going). Rather, I work hard to reach my own goals the majority of the time.

Why should I complain about this? Why should I feel tired about this? Why should I feel frustrated about this? Why on earth should i feel negative about this????

My attitude is not right. Hmmm. Will seriously consider to change this around.

Never fall into the trap of believing in somebody else’s truth – find and own your own truth. That is the lesson I have learnt by reading this book today.

Funny thing is that I had this book for many years. I am glad I did not give it away. Today was its time to mean something for me. Well done.

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I must work and finish things, but I think tomorrow I will rather enjoy my life. I am thinking about going to thrift stores tomorrow. I will look for books and extra-ordinary/unusual pots. It is always fun to be able to look for these items and exciting to bring one home. I do not need to spend a lot of time. I certainly do not need any of these, but I would love to enjoy my life for another day, without thinking about the 5-10 bucks I work so hard to earn. Considering that I spend around 5K each year to visit my family (yes, I am still angry with them), I think this amount of money I spend on myself is very minimal. And, I deserve what my money can buy for me.

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I am in a frugal and minimalistic budget again, which is great. My plan, my very ambitious plan, is to be able to save 500 bucks from my every pay cheque – this is after RRSP and TFSA contributions. I know it is not realistic; last year I tried the same, but I was not able to save more than 400 bucks at a time, and often times I was able to save around 200-300 bucks. Nevertheless, it is okay to ask for and it is okay to hope.ย 

I hope 2019 is treating you with Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation.

 

 

 

pretty random thoughts

Is change possible?

Improvement is, but change – I am not sure.

Technically an improvement would also mean a change in something. But changing directions into an entirely different area requires more courage or some enforcement, do you not think?

After the nerve-frying episode yesterday, I am looking for job opportunities. Not that I am very interested in leaving my post right now (I have commitments for another 2 years), but I like having the option and seeing what is available out there. It gives me some kind of hope, some kind of fresh look at my life. Most importantly, it tells me that I am free.

Freedom and freedom of choice are so important. After all, if we cannot have some freedom or control over the manageable/changeable aspects of our lives, what is it about? Tell me.

Some may argue that we have limitless capacity and opportunities. I would like to think so too, but it is hard to make it an objective reality for me.

Middle age crisis may be a real thing. I have always loved what I have done until I the last few years when it started to become more toxic – obligations, responsibility, and demoralization are all too much, too burdening. I am capable of doing a lot of things, but the constant criticism and disapproval of our work or ideas make it hard to keep going. Appreciation is a great motivator and a great keeper of self-confidence. I like it here. I try to perk myself up by looking at the work I have done – it is a beautiful experience and I can objectively see that I have done a lot. This gives me at least a momentarily satisfaction and joy. But the weight of the negativity is always heavier than the positive sides.

At one hand, I fell like a failure, and on the other hand, I know that I am better than this and with the same effort, care, and energy, in a different setting I can do much more. I am thorn between accepting the status quo and changing in a way to find myself again….

Finding myself.. What a beautiful thing.. Also sad – why did I lose myself at the first place? How did I end up in this situation?

Is it a risk or an adventure to change my current work place and career? Will I have similar problems in my next place and position? Is there something wrong with me? If so, I am pretty much guaranteed to have similar experiences in the next phases of my life.

This might be one of the reasons that I still am not writing my resignation letter. I am in the process of understanding myself and figuring out whether I can do better in another place? Sometimes, some cuts are deep and the callus is hard to remove. I am looking at my inner callus and seeing what it is like. I may not like, but every experience, good or bad, help me figure it out. This is one of the silent inner wisdom I know is there. It helps me keep going.

I also know rationally that the future is brighter than this. I know everything, whatever is happening at my work place, is making me one step closer to my future self. I am very hopeful about my future and my future self. Maybe all of these are the signs that tells me this status quo is not the best for me and there is a much better future for me. However burdening these days may be, maybe these burdens are actually telling me that it is time to leave this and open a new route in my life. A new route which will be brighter, healthier, and full of opportunities and joy that I have forgotten I am entitled too.

It is strange that I am actually hopeful about the future….. But I am. I am not happy here but I fully trust the future. I may not know what to do so and how, but I know I will figure out.

Future days will tell.

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an appreciation of the last 4 months

I made the final deadline of an important task yesterday and as of yesterday I am thinking “what a fantastic 4 months I have had” ๐Ÿ™‚

It was hard, stressful, and full of personal and professional struggle, but I made it! Now, all I can reflect on it how beneficial and useful all these were.

let’s start with the beginning; we have had a fantastic summer and I walked during the day in the nature. It was very enjoyable and relaxing. I kept thinking how bright the future would be.

I made a job application out of frustration re; my work place; even though I have not heard from them, it was nice to see what I was up to. A personal and professional development opportunity indeed.

Then I took my vacation time (4 weeks ) to work at home and to get away from the meetings. I have done an enormous number of things during this summer and fall, which is such a great thing. I am very satisfied with my performance, even though I have no idea how the outcome will be. I trust life.

I made two over-seas trips (business trips) and have had interesting experiences. I was so focused on working that I missed many opportunities to enjoy my life, but now I just laugh at my naive-ness ๐Ÿ™‚

I have dealt with serious and difficult tasks, one particularly very challenging. It dragged me down, made me suspect my abilities and made me lose precious time. But I made it, however imperfect it was. And I learnt about myself a long the way; I learnt that I do not quit when it is important for me. Something that I respect myself for. This experience also made me realize that I pull through difficult times, no matter what, and I can do this again!

In between all of these, I also decided to transition to gray hair, and boy, have I got the most challenging time! I hated my hair, felt old and lost, but kept going anyways. I am more brave than I think I was. What better feeling than this?

I have learnt that I can take risks and not be scared of them or failing. I learnt that I am stronger than I think I was and this feels great.

I have had a wonderful 4 months and now that it passed, I can reflect and realize.

I love this opportunity to learn about myself, changing as a person and as a professional, and undertaking more serious tasks and experiences.

Life is good my friends ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

Saturday morning musings

Another Saturday morning filled with fresh coffee, music, and “me” time ๐Ÿ™‚

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It is a kind of chilly day that deserves staying at home and finding ways to enjoy the day. I have no plans to shop or go out for other reasons, so this suits me well today.

I must, however, do house chores, my necessary yet un-joyful weekly activity, which continues to break into my day time plans. It is a great reminder of what needs to be done in order to have a comfortable house life. And, I will do the chores, knowing that after them I will feel great about myself, my home, and my life overall. So give me justย  another hour to reach this level of serenity.

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The optimism I have had last night continues. I keep repeating in my mind the past experiences that always lifted my life after a period of hardship. I will be fine. I do not know when and how, but life will be good to me again. There are times that we must change things or ourselves, but resist or cannot do. Eventually life takes it at its own hand and puts you in a period that is challenging, anxiety-creating, and uncomfortable. We must go through this time, which maybe we were supposed to be with our own efforts, but did not. Life corrects us.ย 

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They say wisdom comes with age and I kind of believe in this now. Our past experiences not only develop us, but also help us understand how life works and have hope for the future.

I have had many hard periods of life as well – it was not fun. Once upon a time (a.k.a. when I was younger), I had had a sense of adventure that made me curious about life and future possibilities. The entire world was under my feet, I felt strong, able, and good. Those times have left me a while ago. I think it is my current conditions that I prefer; living in a small city, having a once-permanent and great job which is hard to leave, etc. that made me feel living in a much smaller “world”. Aging and having past medical conditions exaggerate this feeling as well – I find myself asking and wishing for a stable and comfortable life conditions. So my choices are limited.

What are my choices?

For today?ย 

For tomorrow?

For the next few years and beyond?ย 

I want to be responsible for my life and life-style, the way I think and process information, and the way I act.ย 

Considering the difficulties I have experienced currently, making different and better choices is gonna be hard to do, but I know that once I start it, just like my house chores, it will likely move on.

Best to everyone out there who is struggling one way or the other.

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trusting life during hardship

Our work place continues to be toxic and putting lots of pressure on us. One of my colleagues and I were having a conversation today and we both are fed up.

I cling because I have no interest in losing what I have built in the last decade here. I also do not wish to lose my financial stability and benefits. Honestly looking for a job does not sound so exciting, either. While I still think about resignation time to time, I silence myself and keep going.

I know that this is a very challenging time. The last one year has been quite stressful and pressing. The last three months I have been working too hard. I have lost my daily routine, budget, and healthy life-style and scummed into high levels of stress, junk food, and financial waste. I am not pleased with this, but at least a part of the work is going well.

This is not the first challenging time of my life. Before I found this job, for two years I had lived in financial limbo, not knowing what to do. I had jobs but they were just enough to keep going, without making me happy or excited. Then I have got this job, which is decent but comes with lots of hardship. These previous times I was like right now, not knowing what the future would bring and how I could find a solution… It hurt, but eventually these times were followed by my current job, which solved at least the financial part of my problems.

Tonite I am kind of thinking that perhaps the current difficult time is a transition to a much better time…. The future can actually be an adventure….. It can be a much better job, a change of location, and finding what I had longed for but forgotten or failed to attain in life.

Why not?

Yes,ย I have a kind of optimism that I hope will last ๐Ÿ™‚

I believe that these difficult times will lead to a brighter future, and I am being excited about what the future may bring ๐Ÿ™‚

For a usually skeptical and pessimistic person I welcome this change in my perception.

I think I just trust life now.

๐Ÿ™‚

random thoughts

We are waiting for yet another storm in a couple of days and naturally I shopped this evening and stocked up some fruits and veggies.

I am not looking forward to this storm yet; I am not interested in shoveling, not going to office and not taking care of the work, and spending another day inside.ย 

But what can I do?

Nothing much. So, I may as well choose to enjoy it, should we get another snow day or two. As a matter of fact, I think it will be a good opportunity to try sewing a simple blouse again. We shall see how this will go.

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There are talks about “firings” to happen in my organization. The provincial situation is really bad and it shows itself in the lay offs. The morale is low and the future uncertainty and the fear of being without a job or its benefits are giving me a chill. I feel for the people who are laid off so far.ย Sometimes I think if that to happen to me, rather than feeling saddened by it, I should gracefully accept, collect myself and my belongings, sell my house, and go for a trip for a year or so. Just to find myself; just to figure out what I want in life. What I need in life. Without too much of thinking – like I have always done. Freedom should feel good. It always does.

This being said though,ย I would not like to lose my job. I do not wish to lose my job. So, I hope this kind of freedom will have to wait till my retirement.ย 

Since the current provincial government is pretty interested in increasing the taxes, firing people, and reducing the contributions for important services, such as schools or hospitals, our future looks pretty gray, including pension plans.. One wonders how this government could take such extreme measures and created such a depressing outlook for our current life and the future one? This feels so surreal; not having the safety/security and hope for our future while we put 100% of our minds and hearts in to our works and the daily economy. I am very disappointed. Perhaps it is for the best if they let us go and we find jobs and lives somewhere else. That crosses my mind so frequently. But, I should stop giving the wrong messages to my subconsciousness. I like my job and I would like to stay. I do notย wish to lose my job.

Looks like my mental judo about the prospect of bad economy, seemingly impossible retirement, chance of being fried, and a currently secure/safe job, and my need for it and everything else it does bring (salary, benefits, a sense of meaningful life and efforts) will continue some time. I hope the future will bring positivity rather than desperation.

I want to continue to like life.

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