holidays diary – Day 12 (and the end of it :) )

Boy, we are done – back to work! 🙂

I am ready.

I have had not the usual relaxing and joyful kind of holidays break this year, but some things got done and better; I cleaned my home, decluttered and donated, shopped a few days and purchased lovely things, cut out the junk food significantly, saved quite a bit of money by not eating junk food and not taking the cab everyday to work, did light work and almost completed two important documents, socialized with friends, gifted and got gifted (all great things that I am looking forward to using), slept longer than usual, and experienced much less stress and frustration created by work and work environment. I also let go of self-imposed “must do” kind of attitude and took some house chores and personal care (like, hair cut visit) easy. This last one is quite a change in my attitude, which I surprisingly found health. Well done 🙂

I could not read a novel that I so much wanted to, but hey I can always read a novel in any of the days. So, that is cool.

I have reflected on my life in 2018, but did not plan anything new or extraordinary for 2019. I am not against resolutions. On the contrary, I like and believe in the positivity and hope they give to us, even for a short term. I can always make resolutions, so this is cool, too.

Overall; not bad, eh?

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Today I meant to shop at thrift stores. We had bad weather in the morning with lots of snow, but when the bus started to work, I decided it was okay to go have a good time. I was the only one in the store and I could not find anything for my liking. So, when I saw outside, I understood why there was no one around. A new storm had just started and it was quite miserable outside. I do not know how I could make it to the cab station. Luckily it was a cabbie that I knew and the ride back to home was quite pleasant.

At the beginning it felt silly to have left the home at all, but sometimes we must try and take the chances. This is exactly what I have done. The outcome was something I did not wish for, but I have no control over the storms and I was able to make it home safely. Hence, I take it easy as well 🙂

I am relaxing this evening as well and have my itemized plans for tomorrow. I am ready to work like a golden horse again, until I become tired again. Knowing that all my efforts will be to reach my own goals, I am finding this easier to think about. Deep down, I feel that great things will happen to me this year; lots of awesome opportunities will find my way; success, health, money, respect, awards, and recognition will come to me easily; and I will continue to grow and develop personally and professionally.

I am looking forward to these.

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Hope 2019 is treating you all with Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation 🙂

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. 

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

 

 

 

holidays diary – Day 10

I slept in a fragmented manner but it was okay – at least I did not have urgent matters to handle today. So, taking it easy was the way to go.

Nevertheless, I am not in a good mood….

I tried to do some work before noon. I stopped and then tried again a couple of times. It is hard to do something when you are tired and then not being satisfied with it.

Anyways.

I went to grocery store to pick some swiss chard – they were wilted so I opted out for a pack of hot-dogs instead. One of my new year tradition (only as a means to treat myself) is to bake some pastry with minced beef or potato/swiss chard. I went for both this time; I cooked the beef with onion for one. I replaced the chard with hot dogs for the other, cooked with onion, boiled potato, and tomato paste, and added some cumin, black pepper, and chili flakes. Yummy, right?

No.

Mistake one was they turned out to be too salty. Mistake two was that both were too spicy. The third was that I do not know why, but rather than buying pastry sheet I decided to prepare my own, which turned out to be too thick and too dense. They did not turn out to be great, even for someone like me who would savour any food regardless of how they look or taste.

Oh, well.

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You know I love my family, but I also have a rocky relationship with them, especially since my dad passed away almost 3 years ago. This is the first year that I did not call and wished them a happy new year. My sister and I have been having another boot of not-so-nice verbal exchanges lately. My heart is broken and I decided not to communicate with my family for some time. I am sure they are surprised or worried about me not showing up today, but they will get used to it.

Also, if they had wanted to reach me, they could call me.

Did they?

No.

So my consciousness is clear.

I do not wish to go visit them this year. I rather could use the time (my entire annual vacation time) and the money (required for flight) for myself…. I do not know. Maybe I could finally buy a dresser for my bedroom (I do not have any furniture in my bedroom except the bed and a small closet). Or, go visit somewhere sunny and interesting for a week or so. Or, stop worrying about not having money and rather use this money to feel a little bit secure.

When the heart is broken, nothing else matters. I want my family to care about me, respect me, and miss me. If they want it, they can find me.

This is a bitter end to this year, but maybe it is for the better. I always cared about my family as much as my conditions permitted, but I guess it is time that I rather care about myself.

The new year is the year of Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation.

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Have a great 2019 everyone – may you be filled with joy, happiness, opportunities, and love and may you be always appreciated, at ease, and comfortable with your life, yourself, your family, and your work.

 

holidays diary – Day 9

It has been going well so far – another relaxing day 🙂

I cleaned my home today and baked two sourdough loafs. I gave one big loaf to one of my friends, who had invited me over this noon. It smelled and looked great, so my friend was excited and I was happy 🙂 I got to see some of my friends, some after a couple of years, at this social. It felt absolutely great to be catching up. One of them gave me a ride back home, for which I am grateful as well.

There is a lot of snow outside, but the temperature is mild. I nevertheless spread some salt to my entrance. Looks like the night will get chilly. I plan to get out only for a short grocery store visit tomorrow, and the rest, I plan to spend at home with baking some pastries and wishing everyone good year wishes. One person I particularly email every year is one of my boss from 20 years ago. She was the most fantastic boss one can ever asked for and each year I email her (except one year when I had forgotten – she had emailed me at that time 🙂 ).

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

Happy Sunday everyone!

holidays diary – Day 8

Today I allowed myself to fully focus on my own enjoyment and it has been great 🙂

First of all, I slept till 9 am – wow! Insomniacs like myself would know that this is huge – I am grateful.

I decided that I would spend the day at thrift stores and left home before noon. While saturdays are my weekly house chores day, you can predict that I let go of it today. Today I only focused on my enjoyment. What a change? I believe I am getting really relax and free of self-imposed necessities – how lovely 🙂

Before thrift stores, I visited a store and bought two gifts while they were on sale. I am pleased with them. I think one of them will go to a friend of mine who has been very generous with me. I hope she will like it. The other one will be a gift for the next year – I am usually not into gifts, but at work we do have one or two socials with gift exchange each year, so buying one right now feels great and will save me time and money later. So, I was very excited about this as well.

Then I visited the first thrift store. I bought a great set of mugs still in their boxes and apparently never been used. I cannot wait to use them. I also purchased a pitcher that I have been meaning to get for some time – it will be great in the office. What else did I buy? A small pot (of course) for hanging plants – it is cute and I plan to have it in my office, if not in my bathroom. A little spider plant would fit in it just well. It is very cute.

Then, I walked to the second one (I am so lucky that both of these stores are at walking distance to each other). There I spent more time (it is bigger than the first one) and it was delightful 🙂 I bought an oven tray in excellent condition for only 2.99 bucks (what a steal – it is hard to find that type of trays here). I will bake many sourdough loafs in it 🙂 I also bought a wooden tray to put my spice jars in on my counter. It fit like a charm and no more bits of spice on my counter that prompts me to wipe it regularly 🙂 Of course, I also found a very unusual type of pot with pink/lavender colour, which will be an excellent company for my coleus. I also bought two books, which I am enjoying reading.

My good luck continued on the way back and after waiting for only a minute my bus arrived! Today was kind of wet with snow and rain, so I could not appreciate it more. I then went to another small shop around my home and finally got a fresh batch of cumin and black pepper – I have been meaning to get them for a long time and I am glad that I have done this today.

I continued to care about only myself today and cooked myself yet another healthy meal 🙂 One of the greatest part of the holidays was that I cooked 3-4 meals and they were all healthy and nutritious. I feel like I am taking care of myself and this makes me feel extra excited.

Tomorrow I am baking two sourdough loafs – one for myself and one for a good friend of mine. She invited me over and I will be happy to see her tomorrow. I had also bought gifts for her in early December – I cannot wait to bring them to her. So, tomorrow will be a great day, too 🙂

Lets’ remember that the new year will be the year of Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation.

Happy Saturday everyone!

 

 

holidays diary – day 7

Today it felt more like a break and better – I am grateful! 🙂

I am going to bed late and I am getting up after 7 am – this has been one of the blessing of this break – thank you!

I am cooking and eating relatively healthy – this feels very energizing and I am kind of proud of myself 🙂

I worked nice and easy at the office (the last two days), which is amazing. It is quiet and beautiful. Not getting 50 emails a day, not having anyone calling or waltzing in my office regularly, and not rushing from one meeting to other have been feeling amazing. On top of that, the clean and organized office has been a blessing – it feels energetic, spacious, and just lovely. I am in love with my office nowadays 🙂

My home is clean, decluttered, and well organized as well. Little re-arrangements here and there have made a positive impact. It feels really lovely  🙂

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Today was very cold, with possibly -10/15 C. Waiting for the bus was not fun, but it was well worth it. I have not taken the cab in the last while and my purse feels quite rich. On top of this, I limited, significantly limited, my junk food consumption, which makes me save lots of money 🙂 I feel very abundant, now that I have tons of extra money (well, not tons of it, but you know what I mean). Shopping hence does not feel like a way to further spend money, but to treat (with healthy food) and nourish myself. Overall, these two (taking the bus and limiting the junk food) always make the most impact on my financial well-being. I hope to be able to keep going.

This being said, I always have a great frugal life in the first 6 months of the year, and then with summer I seem to open the purse. Can I make it an exception this year? We shall see 🙂 Honestly I do not have much of an alternative; my chequing account is very low and my mortgage is due renewal this year, which means I am looking at a mortgage with a higher interest. I must be keeping my money as much as I can in order to keep up with these…. This is my plan. Wish me luck!

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This year I have not posted an yearly financial well-being/net-worth post. The main reason is that I have accidentally deleted around 6 months of my recordings. Oh, well. That is alright. My net-worth has increased around 25K, mostly thanks to home equity, but my investments (RRSP and TFSA) have lost around 10-15K…… Go figure…. I am taking it easy, however. Now I may have lost money, but I have faith that over time it will increase again. I have time.

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Tomorrow, I plan to visit the thrift stores again. A pot that I bought yesterday find its plant, a beautiful prayer plant I have at the office 🙂 Together, they are the most elegant  and elite decoration I have ever had in my possession. I feel so lucky and happy about them. Long live the thrift stores and all the people who donate there 🙂

I will visit 2 stores tomorrow. I shop at both of them; one being more affordable than the other, but the other one is bigger. I have no ambitions whatsoever and will just take my time to explore every inch of both of them. Who knows, maybe I will find some unexpectedly interesting stuff. Tomorrow will be my first “for my enjoyment only” day of the holidays.

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

 

 

 

holidays diary – Day 6

My goodness – almost a week of the holidays vacation is over.

At least today was a little bit better. I went to office today and worked like 5-6 hours. It felt good. I love how my office looks now, clean, well organized, and full of beautiful plants. Honestly after 5 days at home, seeing the sky from my office window was also priceless. I felt “hopeful” :).

Then I took the donation items with me and went to a charity/thrift store. I am grateful that I was able to share my now-unneeded items with others – what a blessing. I also shopped there – I bought two blouses and two planters 🙂 One of the pots took my breath away when I saw it – again, I feel quite lucky. My new blouses are great-looking and, hey they were 50% off today 🙂 How lucky one can get sometime 🙂

I was also fortunate enough to purchase notebooks that I use so frequently. They were on sale as well. I had imagined them to be on sale and purchased during the holidays. My imagination turned to be reality today. I feel fortunate and very excited about all these positive experiences today.

On the way back home, I was thinking on the bus that I actually like my office, my work place, thrift stores, and the bus. Feeling joyful 🙂

I do not know whether it was getting out of home after 5 days, shopping and finding items that I loved, or some other mysterious thoughts that went through my mind on the way back home, but today I have felt grateful and excited about my life again. I am blessed.

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

 

holidays diary – Day 5

Hard to believe it has been 5 days already and I have not left the home other than for one or two convenience store visits.

Tsk…

Argh…

I fell like this holidays time-off is wasted. By myself of course.

I must work the next two days.

Can I at least visit the mall or something?

This is one of my weirdest holidays vacation ever…

It is not too late, however! I can turn it around.

Let’s remember – the new year is the year or Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation.

 

 

 

holidays diary – Day 4

Cannot believe it has been 4 days already – where does the time go?

Yesterday night I let myself to enjoy the quite and peaceful night, went to bed around 11pm, and got up at around 8 am this morning. Yuppie! It was not 5 or 6 am. It was 8 am. It felt good 🙂

Since I finished my house cleaning chore, and everywhere is closed, I decided to do some work today. It went well in the morning, kind of slow and reluctant at around noon, and then quite productive in the afternoon. This latter part was exciting -when I explore new things that increase my professional skills, I love it 🙂

I must say that today was a day of healthy diet. My breakfast/lunch consisted of sourdough, tomatoes, and coffee, and my dinner consisted of a cauliflower dish I love so much. I even drank two cups of green tea this afternoon. Healthy day indeed 🙂

I have work to do tomorrow, and then I must be at work Thursday and Friday. After that though, for 5 days I want to take a break and see some of my friends. I really would like this. I found that a way to ensure timely progress of work is giving short deadlines for myself; short deadlines, like 15 min, work wonders if I am stuck at something. So, let’s hope they will help me out this week.

With this good wished, I end today’s account.

Let’s remember that the new year is the year or Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation!

 

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 🙂

 

 

 

holidays diary – day 2

It has been another mind-relaxing but body-wise exhausting cleaning day! Yay!

I am almost done; I think in a half day or so, I may entirely finish the cleaning, laundering, decluttering, and minor re-arrangements here and there. Then, off to thrift stores tomorrow to even more relax my mind. Boy, do I need this 🙂

Every year the one people that I willingly gift for the holidays is my neighbours. They are great people, kind and helpful. I presented their gift today, with a nice loaf of oven-fresh sourdough. I really hope they liked it. They did gift me as well, for which I am grateful. All the little but heart-felt things in life. Good people, good feelings, not even for the holidays but for the rest of the year. This is what great neighbours mean. Hope you all have great neighbours in your life.

I was planning to go get some junk food (I know, I know – I had told I had given up, but…), yet I was so tired that I rather stayed at home, prepared some potato-based deep fried yummy stuff, and savored them with hibiscus tea. It felt incredibly good – tea I mean 🙂

I have done little re-arrangements around the house. Mostly plants finding new place to stay and flourish. I am not decluttering as much as I wished I had, and I was thinking about this. I think it is because I had already given away the shoes and jackets I was not wearing anymore. The rest is pretty much what I would like to use. So, even though I am bewildered a little bit, I will take whatever it is. All is well.

I could not get to reading a novel part yet, but tomorrow I may as well get a book or two from the thrift stores. Exciting 🙂

Let’s remember; the new year is the year or Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation 🙂

 

a little bit of self-tolerance is awesome

I was not feeling great the whole day as I am, as usual, behind some of the tasks that I have assigned to myself at the first place. All work related of course. The main idea was that I would do these so that I could feel completely free to take a rest during the holidays. I have 3 more days but I am assuming some will lag and I will take care of them during the holidays. Felt exhausted the whole day as a result….

So what?

Not the first time that I had a hard day or not the first time that I will work during the holidays.

So with this, just an hour ago or so, I am relaxed a little bit and feeling better.

I like the fact that I really want to take a break during the holidays. I know that it will energize me and I will once again feel ready for the next 6 months. So, I will take this  and let it sink.

I will rest and I will take a break during the holidays. Period.

One thing I really would like to do during the holidays is doing something for my own enjoyment only. Not a chore (like cleaning or decluttering), but for my own enjoyment.

I decided that reading a novel or two would just fit this well. I am excited!

Another thing I would love to do is buying some aromatic stuff. I have had an essential oil that has been lightening my senses for some time. I think it is time that I get a couple of more, and enjoy.

Third would be getting rid of some of the things that have been bothering me. So, 20 min ago I decided to give up junk food, which has been not only sinking my purse but also elevating my internal criticism. I am not sure how well I will keep this plan, but feeling in control is great and uplifting. I want to hang onto this feeling.

Fourth thing would be paying more attention to my body’s needs and eating much better, for goodness’ sake. My diet has been very “junky” for some time. This week my grocery shopping will be focused on treating my body well. I am thinking different fruits (e.g. anything other than citrus and apple that I regularly consume) and drinking more tea. The good thing is that since last week I have been drinking tea at the office, for which I must congratulate myself.

Fifth – gifting myself. Thinking about all the money I will save by not eating junky stuff, it is time to make plans to get new stuff. Today I bought myself two fluffy socks, which I have been meaning to get for a year or so. That is great 🙂 I know one of my friends is getting me a plant as a gift, for which I cannot even wait 🙂 A new excitement 🙂 Together with the aroma therapy items, these three are the minimum gifts I will give to myself.

How will you gift yourself in these last days of the year?

Sunday evening musings

It has been a fine day.

We have a crispy and windy day today. The ice on the side walk is concerning, but still a short walk to the convenience store was refreshing and enjoyable.

I love snow. I think it lightens up my usually gray city and give a sense of “hibernation” time. Having a mug of hot tea at my hands and watching the outside from the windows are my favorite “me times” in winter. And if I have a plant on the window sill, then it is even more enjoyable (you know my love for plants).

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I would love to just chill during the 10 days following this Friday. I have been thinking just yesterday how my 2018 has developed, and it is amazing to be able to see the progress in some areas, changes occurred, and things to be highly grateful for. I am looking forward to a detailed reflection to remember and enjoy each significant experience, close the unnecessary issues or memories, and open space for new hopes, plans, and opportunities. It is an amazing feeling 🙂

I am unenthusiastic towards cleaning and decluttering I must do at home and the office (my traditional holidays activities), yet I know that once I start, they will go on, and once they are finished, I will feel a lot better. I may also do some small furniture re-arrangement here and there, and certainly shop and take advantage of the sales. I may as well buy one or two more plants, even though I promised myself not to purchase anymore. I may gift myself, right?

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When comes to holiday gifting, I am not very good at it. I lovingly gift my next door neighbours, who have been nothing but lovely and helpful people – I could not ask for more. I bought them a nice set of table clothes, which I hope will be enjoyed very much. While they were the only people I was planning to gift, I was given two nice gifts lately, which excited me. The positive feeling of this joy has prompted me to pay back and buy gifts for a couple of friends and colleagues. I lovingly chose them and will lovingly give them away. What a great feeling….

One of these gifts is to our administrative director. She always is considerate and help get gifts and cards to us when need/occasion arises. Just last week she organized a gift card for a member of our floor, who does an amazing job cleaning and ordering our work-place. I could not help but think that we have never returned her favor and gifted or recognized her specifically. I picked something for her, which I am sure she will enjoy. I will know tomorrow from her face 🙂

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So, my friends, this is a great day and a great time of the year. For many the holidays means a lot. Although I do not celebrate Christmas, it is still a very enjoyable time of the year; I will take a break, rest and reflect, and clean and declutter the house/office.

Honestly, I cannot wait 🙂

 

 

 

holiday plans

I may keep writing with the same topic for weeks! 🙂

I am excited, my friends. A 10 days of off work. Time to chill out. Reflect. Recuperate. Be cozy and be happy. And shut that work emails for a few days. Yes… Wonderful.

Like many of us, I am tired and in need of getting out of my stressful work. I want to see life and see beyond what I can see in front of me – work. Life is bigger than this. It certainly is. 

 

holidays plans

It is mid December already 🙂

I must be excited about the holiday time-off, but I am not there yet. I have some work to complete before the holidays so that I can take a rest and then start the new year with a fresh feeling. I have 9 more days before the holidays, so I feel like I must speed up. Yet, Murphy’s law – while some stuff are doing well, others are not. So here is to a roller-coaster type of day 🙂

But, I take it easy. This is my new approach to life’s hurdles. There is a lesson to be learnt from everything. Perhaps this year’s lesson to me is to accept the hurdles and delays, and try anyhow. Ok.


These being said, I am looking forward to having some “me time” during the holidays. I just declined a social and I am likely gonna decline some others too. I remember last years that when I attended the socials, I had hardly any time left for myself. This year more than ever, I want to slow down and I want to reflect and decide on new aims.

Some of my plans are the usual:

I will clean the house really well and declutter! It is gonna be awesome.

I may shop, trousers particularly, by taking advantage of the sales.

I may finally finish the place mat I started to sew 3 months ago.

I may reflect on life, my wishes, and needs, and the future.

Most importantly, I want to evaluate the past year (this blog is a good resource to see what I have experienced or thought). I always liked this exercise! How did I develop, personally and professionally? What did I accomplish and what did I fail? What did I learn? What can I do differently? How did I take the change (e.g. changes in my sleep pattern) and how did this change me?

All very exciting questions! 🙂

 

 

 

decluttering home and emotional health

I have been cleaning and decluttering my home in the last 3 days.

I am not done yet, but I am finally becoming very pleased with the progress.

I knew that decluttering would help me release pressure and old scars; this has been exactly what has been happening.

I have been angry the last three days; I fought with people in my mind; remembered bitter encounters; and became angry and tearful. All while cleaning and decluttering. There is a direct correlation between dumping the physical clutter and dumping the emotional garbage. 

The other day I decluttered my wardrobe. I have a nice collection of donations and some hefty cleaning cloths made up of my old clothes 🙂 My wardrobe looks slim now and contains only those that I like or am interested in 🙂 Feeling fresh and joyful looking at it 🙂 There  is so much space. It is not crowded and over-whelming anymore. What a beautiful feeling….

Today, I have decluttered my storage area, which is a scary place. Last year I had refrained from getting in there. This year I have done it – I removed all the empty boxes, wrapping supplies, extra and useless paperwork (lost of it) and a couple of useful items that I had forgotten I have had. It looks clean, empty, safe, and fresh. Nothing to be scared of. Just the way I needed to feel. 

This is the 4th day of my paid holidays, and finally I feel like I am dealing with my bottled emotions, head butting with them and experiencing them, and then letting them move on.

And just like I remove the old, battered, and un-useful items from my home and my life, I become ready to welcome new and exciting items and experiences right into my life.

1st day of the holidays

It turns out today was a paid holiday for me 🙂 Can I be more uninterested in my employee rights? 🙂

Anyways; I went to office and worked with a team member of mine till noon. I then cleaned the office and looked out of the window to register the fact that I was now starting an off time without much of an obligation….. What a great opportunity to feel free… I just cannot feel it yet, though…. I hope it will occur soon.

I then went to visit two thrift stores. If I remember correctly this is what I had done last year as well – start the holidays with something exciting like thrifting! I found two shirts, a lovely long and soft cardigan, and a new backpack. Altogether they costed me around 28 bucks. One of my most expensive thrift store haul, but then the items are in great condition and the backpack is so cool that I cannot believe how lucky I have been to find it 🙂 

Excellent start for holidays 🙂

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.

9 days to holidays and reflections on finances

Counting down the days till holidays 🙂

I started cleaning my office yesterday, my traditional activity before the holidays. I am 1/3 done and would love to complete it sometime soon. Maybe tomorrow, maybe Friday, but maybe next week. But I will be doing it 🙂

I also started thinking about my budget and life-style for the next year. I can see that unless I become more careful I may not be able to save what I want to save. Last year has been a great teacher for me in terms of finances and my own attitude. 

I learnt that:

1. if I do extreme budgeting I get unhappy and all I think about is spending money. I know that because I tried a pantry challenge or something early in 2017 and restricting my shopping experience was unpleasant and expensive :)))) So I should not restrict my already tight budget

2. Work stress makes me feel like I am entitled to make unnecessary expenses, such as on junk food. This is very silly and I need to work on this

3. I need both short-term and long-term financial goals. My overall calculations are for the entire year, but I would feel much better if I can have a soon-to-be-completed goal so that I can keep my eye on it, strive for it, and eventually feel the satisfaction of completing it. I think I will have to work on this idea to keep me motivated. After all, we can aim all we want but unless it is realistic or reachable, we will lose our hope first and then the intention to reach the goal.

4. While I can spend on junk food and rationalize it, I also continue not to over-spend on grocery or other things, which is strange… This must tell me something. Why do I turn blind to unnecessary expenses, which are often much more than my grocery bill? if I can figure this out, I can figure out many other things…

5. I continue to be not cheap when it comes to socials. I notice that many people do not get that generous with me when I host them, so I want to opt for a smaller thing to take with me to socials; a loaf of bread, a jar of pickle, a baked goods are good options.

6. I stopped picking my colleagues’ bills when we go out together, which is awesome.

7. I still treat my team members with lunches or so time to time; this was 2-4 times a year so far. I think I will make it once year now. I will have to really work on this because I really like celebrating their accomplishments. 

8. It is great to be taking advantage of the sales for items, such as clothes, required each year. This occurs often during October-December. I think one thing I should aim for is to save this money way advance; whether it is thru my fun funds or savings from the expenses that I could easily make but do not (like picking up others’ bills). 

9. Talking about the fun funds, I have never been clear about how to use them last year (fun funds are the money left out of my weekly allowance). I think it is time that I handle this better. I think this year I will replace the term “fun funds” with “weekly savings” and I will use these savings as mortgage pre-payments.

10. I will be on shopping freeze for trousers and jackets this year; the only place to shop for blouses/shirts will be thrift stores. I will continue to buy items that are supposed to be personal, like socks, from regular stores.

– to be continued –

 

random thoughts

I woke up tired and with a puffy face, but the rest of the day moved on without much of a trouble between four meetings. I am done 4 out of 15 meetings scheduled this week and this feels good 🙂

Meetings are supposed to be beneficial. I always try to get at least one thing that will benefit the rest of the meeting attendees or myself. I have had it today as well. Hence, my consciousness is clear; I have done my best and exercised the regular practice of gaining something out of the meetings. But goodness knows, it would be much better if we did not have meetings for everything. Honestly this year meetings (on the average 13 hours a week and lately even 25 hours a week) got the best of me; I need time to do my work out of meetings as well. I know I am not the only one who thinks this way.

Two things that soothe my nerves are;

1) I decided to not focus on relaxing when I am stressed, and rather decided to focus on being smart. I know I have a hard time relaxing so imposing on myself to relax did not serve me well till now. I am shifting my perception and rather would like to try being smart; behave in a way that will work for everyone and keep the emotions out of things (so that I will not have my occasional bursts during the meetings if I am pressurized – it does not benefit anyone). The plus side is that I do not argue with myself whether I am smart or not. I am smart. So right away I feel like I have the necessary foundation to handle things well. This is quite a progress on my account. Hope I will be able to walk this talk.

2) We are getting close to the off time. From next Friday on, we will have a 10 days off with two days in between being a non-paid vacation time. I plan to work at that time and this is not a issue for me. I often benefit these quiet times at the office. For me, the most important thing is to be away from the pressing issues and my regular work routine. I will be happy to work during these two days. Other than this, you know I am looking forward to the last week of December; I will be shopping, cleaning my home, decluttering massively, and attending socials if the opportunity arises. Add on top of these being away from the work routine and you know that I will have a great time!

Looking forward to sharing my happy and excited experiences during the holidays. 

#5 topic for reflection during holidays

I have been thinking; without taking new challenges, growth is stalled. Why do I not look at the problems as challenges and see how I learn and grow?

Taking issues as challenges will be my #5 topic to reflect during the reflection season (aka holiday season).

I have been dealing with a lot of issues all my life, both at work and at my social life. I  yesterday mentioned about “liking my comfort zone” in the last few years. It is somehow related to this.

I have many work-place issues that I constantly try to solve. Little, big does not matter. They are constantly occurring. There are times that I am free of them, which are blessing. Naturally when one appears after such a period of comfortable time period, I react negatively.

I will try to take it easy next time. Next week I have an important meeting that can change things for me. I trust life. As long as I keep my cool, it is gonna be fine. I suspect that I will have to make a hard choice after this meeting, but it is possible that this choice is the better one. I must trust life. I must trust the unknown.

I will then decide with a soother and more rational mind.

three weeks to holidays

Three weeks to holidays when we have 10 days off.

Every year I would be very excited about this. Except this year I have not come to that point yet.

See, I have been working non-stop since July and it kind of became a daily habit. Today I have submitted an important report, a third one in the last 6 months (which is very productive). I must be excited and relieved, but not yet, I see. I think it is because I have a short trip to make this week for business and I have some more deadlines/tasks to complete in the next few weeks. I should not be complaining that I am still on the “work” gear – it is very useful for me and my work. I just wished my mind was rather focused on the 10 days of off time, start making plans, and get excited about them 🙂

I kind of think that two weeks later I will start slowing down. This would mean wrapping the little works, making and documenting projects for the new year ahead, and finally cleaning the office for once and best. this would mean dusting it, putting aside all the paperwork, or better yet dumping all in the garbage. It is my favorite thing to do at the office! What a great closure to a year of hard-work 🙂

And as per the off time, my plans are more or less the usual; clean the every bit of the house, especially the floors; declutter nice and easy; donate the unwanted/unneeded items; shop and get stuff that I need, socialize with friends; read a book or two (have not done this for some time – it is the time that I get the pleasure of reading again); thrift; sew a piece or two; and reflect.

I have lots to reflect this year. As per work many things happened, first demoralizing/toxic organizational things and then the hard-work I have been doing since July. I have had three trips this fall (including the short trip I will make this week) and the one in Athens was particularly memorable. Also, I am getting used to my gray hair and do not even care about it anymore (what a strange thing that is….).

After celebrating and noting cherishable memories and experiences, it will come to this : “What do I want to change or improve then?”

We shall see 🙂

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December is coming!

We are about to welcome December soon 🙂

December is always a good month; it signifies the end of our annual work/tasks, there are lots of deals and sales, and the last week of the month is usually off so that we can take a break from work, and focus on closing the year and welcoming a new one 🙂

As usual, I cannot wait till the last week of December – this is a time that I can focus on mostly myself. Not work, not family, but myself. I usually spend it at home, too. 

My usual plans are to socialize a little bit (but not too much so that I can still find time for myself), shop at thrift stores and take advantage of other sales/deals, clean and declutter the house (cannot wait for his – always a delight), and stay away from work (if I can).

I also want to reflect on life, my life, the past year. Lots happened since last new year. There are lessons learnt, decisions made, and memories gained. I want to remember and realize these.

And make plans for future! I want to do this too! It is the most exciting part of it actually; there are things that I must change or appreciate by making new plans. Like my budget, my life-style, or work-related plans!

December is the perfect time to re-start.

Hope we all will have a great time in 2018 🙂

 

Sunday morning musings

It has been a while that I poured my heart out here; am I busy? Tired? Temporarily not interested in?

I do not know the answer to this, but I know blogging always made me feel good. 

I will start with “fuming”; I am still upset about the corruption and hatred I observed in Greece towards some other nations. Shame. If that was yet another developing country people would be more than ready to shame such behavior. We have double standards and we better recognize this and start treating the same behavior with same reaction. Hatred, a wide-spread hatred, towards nationalities of a person is not right. Whether this is done by a so-called developed country or developing country does not matter. Wrong is wrong.

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As per my schedule; this week is quite important. I have been working very hard since July but after this week, it will only get better. Goodness knows that I am just hanging in there, slowly working out tasks that would normally take 1/5th of the time… I feel like I am just crawling and keeping going. This one I should give myself a huge credit for: no matter what I have not quit. Until the last minute of my deadline, I will work to get it done. Well done.

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This year has passed quite fast, I would say. I cannot believe it is October already and we have only 2 more months till the holidays. I am so looking forward to this time. I will have around 11 days off and I want to use this time to take a rest and contemplate. I want to know what I want from life and how to get it.

When we are busy or when our minds are busy with things, it is so easy to forget the time and reflecting…. I am a true believer of reflections making a positive change and improvement in one’s life. I just need to sit, relax, remember and synthesize what happened and how I reacted, and think about what I would like to change or get in the future and how to do this… I have two more months to do this and it is exciting 🙂

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My final thought for this morning would be about October. We are having a great October/Fall with trees turning colours. It is a magical scenery…. I always found fall consistently good for me and for my psyche. It is the perfect time to slow down, enjoy the time being, and getting ready to shed the outer layers during the great hibernation season of winter. I cannot wait 🙂

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Have a great Sunday everyone!

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feeling more optimistic today

After feeling quite overwhelmed yesterday, I am feeling much better now.

I worked intensely today with two of my colleagues. I was drained but we have done a good job. I decided tomorrow was the day of cleaning the office (dusting and decluttering) as well as cleaning the work email box. After that i plan to leave my office for the holidays and start my break with visiting the fabric stores 🙂 And upon returning back to home, I hope to work on the blouse I have started today and maybe do some laundry to jump start the holiday plans! 🙂

Thursday morning I have an appointment with my bank. I will not make a lump sum contribution to my mortgage that I had planned earlier, but I decided i could increase my payment a little bit and still feel like doing a good job with it (without feeling deprived of money). I think I must give myself more credit; this year I have done really well in terms of my budget, savings, and increasing my mortgage and RRSP contributions even though some of our taxes increased. i will calculate my finances (savings and spendings in each expense category) for the year 2016 soon; I am excited about it 🙂 2017 will be somehow tough because our pension contributions will be increasing too, but I want to go through it. I can always reduce my TFSA contribution should I need cash. I must remember this.

Back to sewing; I started a new blouse project today. I must admit I am intimidated by sewing – there is so much to figure out and to try. It is good that I bought the fabrics at my hand at good price (from the thrift stores); even though they are now mostly wasted by my trials and errors (!), it is a necessary part of the process. Tonite I watched a couple of youtube videos and they were helpful in learning how to best sew a neck… Sewing a good looking neck and fitting the arms may be the hardest part of the sewing for me right now. I will develop over time I hope.

Have a great night everyone 🙂

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 🙂

feeling what I feel

It has been a snow day, meaning I stayed in the whole day and worked through my computer. It also means that I shoveled 🙂

I think the winter is gonna be harsh this year; it is one of these rare occasions that we have had a snow day before January…

I felt bored at home but kept working anyhow. It is one of days that I would rather be at the office, but there is nothing I can do about this right now.

The holidays season is upon us and I have too many social events to attend. I have 3 to attend this week and at least 2 other the next week. Every once a while it is great but I question myself – do i really want to do this? Possibly not, but I gave my word so I am going. I am prepared to gracefully accept the fact that if there is nothing I can change, then I must make an effort to at least enjoy…

I am feeling down.. I have been feeling down for some time and I want to feel good again. I know life is a cycle and we are entitled to both good and bad times, but it does not defer me from wanting to feel good.

There are a number of thoughts and things that bother me. I do not think I can solve them. Yet, I am still bothered by them. it is one of these times that forgetting would be a good and useful option. I try to change my perspective and try to approach from another angle. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it does not.

In the middle of everything, I just want to feel good again.

Sometimes I know what can make me excited and sometimes I have no idea. Food is good, so is exercise. Being grateful is probably a powerful healer – should be writing my joy journal today….

I am worried that I will have a shitty holiday vacation this year. Time to time I have had it. A time that I have just for myself without the requirements of work does not always mean that I will have a great time. As a matter of fact, if I do not lift my spirit up till then, I am sure it will tire me.

Oh well….

Maybe all I have to do is to grab a box of chocolate:)

the plans for the holidays

I have 11 days till a two-weeks break during the holidays 🙂

I sure have a lot of things to do. One thing I do not want to is to work 🙂 I will have to do light work for a couple of days, but I am okay with this. I will mainly stay away from the office and this change will feel good 🙂

As per my other plans, here is a short snap-shot:

1. Cleaning the house: Yes, yes… The dreaded house cleaning will have to happen this year too 🙂 I plan to dust and wipe very corner at home; wash the shag rugs, pillows, and everything else; wipe the rugs; wipe the stairs’ carpet; and wipe the floors.

The last one will take some time; my floors are mostly laminate, which is hard to wipe. It needs to be wiped with a damp but not wet cloth and immediately dried by another cloth… I can do this the majority of the time without much of a trouble, but the attention it requires is boring… Nevertheless, i will do this and then forget for some time 🙂

I do not enjoy wiping the rugs either; my rugs are lovely but one of them is quite thin, making the wiping a little bit difficult. I must be careful about not applying too much water – that is all. It is gonna happen 🙂

2. Decluttering and re-organizing the house: I have been excited about this! 🙂 Yes, I love to declutter. I am amazed how much I have dumped, gave away, or donated; but there is still a lot to sort out and get rid of.

I am particularly aware of the shoes and the paperwork in my storage. Honestly I dread the idea of getting into my storage area but I must do this…. There are a bunch of stuff from the past that I kept, which I am determined to get rid of this time for sure. I must leave only those that are absolutely necessary and the rest should be dumped. A couple of months ago I had one attempt and thinned things out, including 8-9 containers of half-used paint (which I air-dried prior to dumping them in the garbage). So I have had quite a progress but it was not 100%. This time I should be done with it. When I am done with it, I would like to be not scared of thinking or going through it… Wish me luck 🙂

And the shoes: I do not know what I will do with them. Among everything else I have gotten rid off, shoes were an exception. I have some quite battered shoes that should be dumped and some lovely ones that I should be using… The fact that I have not opened those boxes in many years tells all… They should be donated so that somebody else can enjoy them…. This mentality helps but I still resist the idea of departing with them. Help!!

To declutter, I will star with the easiest part, which is the bathrooms. Then I will move on the bedroom closet; I am pretty sure I will retire some of the socks, pajamas, and shirts this time too… Apart from this, I have no other decluttering planned for the upstairs ( I had decluttered the rest of the rooms/closets a few months back).

On the first floor, I will have some time spent… The study/living room has some declutering needed – it is not too much (sort of mostly paper), so I am sure it will be okay in a few hours. I will sort out the bills for this year and put them in the storage area… This always feels good, opening space for new bills :)))

The kitchen on the other hand will take some time. I bought a new set of dining plates so what will I do with the previous ones? I am planning to donate a portion of the previous set but not everything.. This means I gotta pack or find a place to put them. I will also get rid of chipped plates and some plates that I bought with joy but hardly used.. There are a number of coffee mugs that have the same fate. But more than that I want to have a good look at my kitchen cabinets and re-organize the shelves. I hope to achieve a more lean and efficient system. I have a couple of stuff, like a juicer that I use once a year or two – I must decide what to do with it. The same thing with the waffle – maker; I have not used in 3 years and I just saw it last week while looking for something. I think nobody would miss it if it was gone, right?

3. Going through the pantry and freezer: I will do that not only to declutter but also to identify what I have (and hopefully to consume them without more delay) and to sock up new stuff 🙂 I believe I have frozen veggies I had blanched last year – man, these gotta be eaten..

4. Video-typing of the house and its contents: I have a habit of video-typing the outside and inside of my house for insurance purposes. I do that twice a year to document is condition and to update the record on my stuff. Nothing major, just needs to be done.

5. Shopping!!! 🙂 Yay!! well, I kind of shopped and bought the majority of the stuff I needed, but I still need a couple of things. First pants – I cannot miss the sales and I often catch good deals during the holidays. I cannot wait. I also need socks but nothing that cannot wait – only if I can find really good deals. I will visit the thrift stores a couple of times. After last Friday’s fabric haul, I cannot wait to excitement of checking them again 🙂

6. Sewing adventures. Ahem.. i still do not have a particular project at my hand and am still trying to figure out the tips and tricks of using a sewing machine, cutting fabric, using notions, and coming up with a piece that does not fall off places :))

I do not want to just do something that will not be useful…. Do you know this feeling? I just do not want to sew to sew.. That is strange because without practice how am I supposed to get better at it anyhow?

I think what I am feeling is like I just do not want to stitch the edges of a large piece of fabric and brag that now I have sewn a table cloth… I think what I want to try is fancier, more creative stuff.. Like, I have this wonderful fabric that can be a table cloth but I want to have something sewn around the edges so that it can look more than just a plain cloth. But then I am thinking maybe I can do something at the centre to give it a more character. But what will it be? Also I have like 6 table cloths – what is the point of making another one?

I am, however, for sure sewing a dish cloth for my kitchen. I have been playing with some fabric this afternoon, but decided that I needed more vibrant colours to give it a cheerful air. I also would like to sew a lady with a hat and nice clothes on it, but I have no idea how I will be able to turn it around. This will require some research on the net and figuring out a pattern that I can work on.

I also would like to re-try the blouse I sewed yesterday. It is gonna be so nice – I am excited 🙂

I have another nice fabric that would make an excellent and cozy blouse, yet I have no idea how to design it. I am not that good at modeling or taking measures. I am only at the stage where I can try basic and un-detailed work…

And then?

I do not know… Maybe it is time that I try a quilt?

random thoughts

It has been a fine Fall day; a little bit cool but otherwise nice and shinny 🙂 I love this year’s Fall – from the scenery to nice weather, it has given its full potential to our enjoyment.

I have not worked too intense today; I rather left the office at noon and walked to a nearby shopping centre 🙂 It is very rare for me to go shop on a work day, so I loved the fact that I permitted myself a bout of spontaneity – talking about breaking the routine 🙂

My first stop was at a thrifty store, where I found a fine piece of art work for my office 🙂 It is a canvas painting with lots of natural colours, trees, and plants in front of a lovely house with great wooden doors and windows. Just looking at it makes me feel in the nature – loved it 🙂 Money well spent.

I then proceeded to check another store and was able to find two gifts for my neighbours and one of my good friends. I could not believe how affordable they were, which was quite a relief. One of the gifts I purchased was a product of my home country, which made me extra excited 🙂 I thought at first the gifts per se would not be enough but then I decided to supplement them with a freshly baked loaf of bread. The fact that there has been budgetary issues where I am and, lately, my organization increased our pension plan contributions, made me very aware of the limited purchasing power. I believe the gifts are just appropriate and the bread will just make them even better 🙂 So my consciousness is clear.

I also visited my favorite dollar store. Well, the majority of the items are not $1 anymore, but still things are quite affordable when compared to other stores. I am excited about the new oven mints (they are bright red and look so lovely 🙂 ) and the pens (they have been my favorite in the last one year or so) I purchased 🙂 I did not buy everything I wanted to, leaving the joy and excitement of shopping to some other time.

Tomorrow a friend of mine and I are going to a shopping centre again. We would like to put our hands and minds on some craft, so let’s hope we will be able to find those fabrics. I also have been meaning to get some left-over pieces of fabric, which I plan to use during baking/dough preparation. We will see how it goes 🙂

This weekend seems like a triple dose of shopping as I am also planning to go to another shopping centre on Sunday! I know, I know… You are thinking; what is she doing – talking about frugality and saving and then shopping three days in a row? See, sometimes you need to do what excites you. Shopping always does excite me…. I do not buy things that I do not need, so no worries about over-spending. I want to buy a couple of items which are on sale this week, like olive oil, as well as hair dye for which I have a coupon. I also need to buy another set of gifts for my friend, which I am happy to check for sales now rather than later.

So my friends, the holiday season is coming, the sales are on, and gifting is somehow both required and exciting. My past experience is that I spend more than average during the holiday season, but this is mostly to take advantage of the sales. I have a list of things that I hope to catch good sales for and this certainly excites me. I would like to buy new pairs of socks and pants, for example. In the past I was able to get really good deals during the holidays. Then I can forget about looking for them during the rest of the year. So that is what exactly I am planning to do this year too 🙂

Hope everyone will be able to get the exceptional deals and enjoy their purchases 🙂

holiday plans :)

I have posted a similar post earlier, but hey, it is always exciting to think and plan for things to do during a 12 day holidays. So bear with me 🙂

1. I am excited that two days later I do not need to think about getting up early. That means I can stay up late at nights, my favorite time of the day – yay! 🙂

2. I can stay away from the office and the workplace for 12 days; while I like my office and work, this change is so welcomed 🙂

3. I will be able to work at my own pace without anyone interrupting me. I hope I will not get emails that will require me to work at the office. Murphy’s law though – there is always something that comes up during the holidays…

4. I will have breakfast every single morning 🙂 usually during the work days I do not have breakfast (not feeling hungry). I sure will try to visit different cafes, weather permitting.

5. I will find a chance to contemplate about my life, my needs, and priorities. The problem with being a work-oriented person is that I am so focused on work that I often times forget my out-of-work life. This holidays time is great for me to listen to myself and see which kind of life I would like for myself.

6. I will be able to shop! As a matter of fact, I have been on shopping freeze for many items/purchases in the last few months. The sales will be an awesome opportunity to buy stuff that I need (not necessarily the stuff that I want – I am still keen on being frugal, though I must confess I am less frugal this month. Not that I spend too much money on gifts, dinners, or travel; I just feel relaxed and opened the purse a little bit..)

7. I will be able to make plans for the new year – 2016. I always liked this; the planning part of it. Let’s see what has worked this past year (my budget certainly did work) and what did not (my healthy eating and weight loss attempts failed). Time to come up with better plans and new aims.

8. I have started compiling my financial situation in 2015; Thursday I will be able to calculate my net worth, how much I have spent, and how much I have saved. I am excited about this 🙂 I know that I have saved quite a bit, thanks to the budget I have implemented in June. I will be excited to know how well I have done. It is a great, motivating exercise. I also will categorize the expenses in 2016 in more categories. For example, purchases related to cleaning and personal products will be noted under a new category. This will help me to keep up with my weekly allowance, which I usually over-spend and which makes me feel not so good about myself (I used to count such expenses under the weekly allowance..).

9. Socialize! Yep, I will socialize with good friends of mine 🙂 looking forward to this.

10. Cook for myself. Yep, I will. I have a couple of dishes that I love but take time to prepare. Holidays have always been the time for me to cook them for myself. Good food = happiness 🙂

11. I will make myself some pasta. Yep. I will prepare the dough and cut it out in long and thin strips, and let them dry. It makes a great dish, especially with cheese. I plan to make around 2 pounds of this. I am assuming it will be enough for a couple of months.

 

random thoughts

It is a chilly day today; I had to increase the temperature at home. Quite a difference from yesterday when it was warmer. Well, the old man winter wants us to remember him I guess. So be it.

I have cleaned by email account completely yesterday, which felt amazing! I deleted all the unnecessary files from my desktop as well – that also feels awesome 🙂 I have not deleted or cleaned any work related folders; they better remain as they are. They are all very well organized anyhow; each distinct topic/work is under separate and clearly labeled folder. I am not worried about these.

Work is continuing and I am happy with my progress. I am just a little bit jumpy nowadays; in other words I am quick to react… I do not like this, as often times the reactions are either automatic or without thinking. This tells me that it is time for me to vent the pressure out a little bit; I do not want to negatively affect anyone around me.

On the positive side, I replaced my mouse and everything is fine right now! My mouse connection has not been working in the last few days and I was miserable trying to work with the touch pad – if you are not familiar with the touch pad, it is kind of difficult and less practical than the mouse. So, I could not be happier that now with the new mouse, everything is well and I can work as efficiently as before 🙂

We have two more days to go to work and after that 12 days off. I am kind of looking forward to this. Two more days, my friends 🙂

Have a great night everyone.

 

joy journal, Dec 20, 2015

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and taking a good rest.

2. I am grateful for the breakfast I have had at my favorite cafe; I hope to explore other cafes during the holidays to get a change of place and perspective. No matter how convenient or pleasant the usual places are (cafe, restaurant etc.), after a while, all gets too familiar. I will take the holidays as a great opportunity to go other, far away cafes.

3. I am grateful for the salad I have had; healthy and delicious.

4. I am grateful for working nice and easy today and taking care of a number of stuff. the more I complete my tasks, the better I feel. If I can handle the rest of the tasks prior to the holidays, that means I will have many days, hopefully a week, without thinking or doing work. That feels great 🙂

5. I am grateful for cleaning my email account; there is still more cleaning to be done, but hey, even progressing thus far has been feeling good 🙂

6. I am grateful for the blueberries, yogurt, and honey I have mixed together a few minutes ago. They form together a very tasty and healthy snack.

7. I am grateful for the grocery shopping yesterday; I bought a number of great veggies and other food. Some of the stuff was on sale, which made my day even better 🙂

8. I am grateful for talking to my family members today; knowing that they are all well is a blessing.

9. I am grateful for all the pens and papers/notebooks I have that makes working a pleasure.

10. I m grateful for the warmth and safety my home provides me with.

11. I am grateful for not watching TV for some time. I do not know why that makes me happy, but it has been a welcome change in my daily routine.

12. I am grateful for my computer and internet connection that makes learning and entertainment easy and fruitful.

13. I am grateful for today being a sunday and having the rest of the night to myself; there is more relaxation and positive thoughts to come 🙂

14. I am grateful for my “A song of ice and fire” series of books by GRRM. I could not read them as fast as I thought I would. And I do not think I will be able to finish all 5 books (more than 5,000 pages) during the holidays, either. But knowing that I have them and I can always read this fantasy story to expand my imagination and have great time with the characters and the fictional events make me feel happy and excited.

15. I am grateful for being grateful! 🙂

random thoughts

I do not know why now, right before the holidays, I feel the thirst for working.

what am I afraid of? Working during the entire holiday season (12 days), feeling awesome about it, only to find out later that I missed my greatest opportunity of the year to rest (these 12 days are all paid holidays by the way).

No friends. While I do want to work, I do not wish to feel silly afterwards. And yes, I will take a rest and do stuff other than work. Better yet, I will work maybe 2-3 days at the beginning fully focusing on work, I do not care whether that means working 16 hours a day, but I will do this and then will rest for the rest of the holidays.

This way I will not feel the stress of work accumulating and I will not feel the silliness coming out of working thru the holidays.

I hope, of course 🙂

So my holidays will start not next wednesday, but next saturday. That still leaves me 9 days to enjoy 🙂

 

countdown to holidays

I have 8 more days till the 12 days off-time between the christmas eve and the new year – exciting!

Each year, I do some stuff out of work during these times, in addition to light work.

Here is my list for this year:

1. Clean the house: This is a deep cleaning where I leave no spot that is not dusted or cleaned. This year I particularly would like to clean the electric heaters; I heard that they can accumulate dust over time, which can reduce their performance. I have no idea what is the right way but I plan to use a hair dryer to use to move the dust piling in them.

2. Hair care: I would like to have a nice hair cut and also get it dyed. I guess that is gonna be just great!

3. Laundering the shag-rugs I have: I have 3 shag rugs that I must certainly wash. Since they are  a little bit large and heavy, I will rather go to a commercial laundromat to clean them. Assuming I will make two visits to the laundromat.

4. Shopping: I will take advantage of the sales to get shirts and jackets – I cannot wait!

5. Assessment of the savings in 2015: I always find a pleasure in knowing how well I have done; even a little bit of saving makes a positive difference. I am assuming this year I have saved more than past 5-6 years, as since June I have had a great budget that works for me. Quiet an adventure it was 🙂

6. Budget for 2016: I must change some categories and allocate different amounts to different categories now. My mortgage increased this year, in addition to insurance premiums. Some expenses are reduced, too, such as my cable fee. I will project my savings for the next year, too which will be a motivation to keep me going.

7. Socializing: I will find one or two occasions to meet with my friends; I cannot wait 🙂

8. Change in daily activities: I will be free to sleep in, sleep late, and go to different places to have my breakfast. It is a nice change considering that I keep going to the same cafes at the weekends.

9. Reflection: Time to once again reflect on what is important in my life and how I would like to have my life. Sometimes this works, sometimes it does not. But it is always a good idea to stop for a day or two and fully focus on my own wishes for my life (not work).

10. Remembering and recognizing my accomplishments, whether at work or in life, giving credit to myself for them, and celebrating them to reinforce a positive feeling that I may have forgotten or been too busy to have during the year.

I am sure you have great plans for the holidays and the new year – may all good wishes come true 🙂

plans for the holiday time off

Each year, we have around 12 days off between the christmas eve and until after the new year.

It is a great time to look forward to. I love planning for stuff that I will do during these days. So here are what I am planning to do during these holidays:

clean the house: yep, it is a great opportunity to clean the house deeply now that I will have more time at my hand. I will clean every corner as well as the electric heaters; I am planning to use a hair dryer to remove dust, if ever, from inside the panels. I dust them with vacuum every week but I am sure there are some dust left inside.

wash the shag rugs, mats, blankets, and couch covers: This one will require me to visit a commercial laundry as some of them are quite heavy and I do not wish to harm my own washer while cleaning them.

shopping, shopping, and shopping: well, yes I will shop! 🙂 My current shopping freeze for clothes and books will end at that time. There are great sales during this time and I plan to take advantage of them. I will also visit the thrifty stores for items like jackets. cannot wait! very excited 🙂

additional shopping: I will also shop for cleaning products and bulk items during this time. the joy of shopping 🙂

visiting friends: I plan to visit a number of friends now that we all have no work but time off at our hands. This is a great time to socialize.

contemplating: I love the end of year assessment of the past year, and make plans or adjustments for the new year. I am not a fan of new year resolutions, but rather this contemplation helps me with what I have done (work and life) in the past, realize how well I have done, re-prioritize things in my life, and plan how I can do better. This is a very valuable exercise for me; each year I benefited from it.

relaxing without the stress of work: I will take this time to totally forget about the work I must do (though I aim this each year, this does not usually happen; I happen to work during these days sometime..) and have my days fulled with random activities, lots of reading, watching movies, and anything else that gives me a peace of mind.

I am sure you too have great plans for this time – may all of them happen with ease and happiness 🙂

 

 

work, work, and work – what else after a rejuvenating time-off?

I have not been writing lately. The holiday time-off was a great time to refresh and take a rest. But eventually I missed the work. Since Monday, I have been working focused and efficiently (which is really pleasing 🙂 ) at the office and there is a great contentment coming out of it. I really appreciated the time-off, not only because it allowed me to refresh but also made me miss the work.

Working is good – taking care of stuff and moving on is a great feeling. I have a number of projects that are lagged and now I am eager to give them a push. Certainly I am not sure how long my current energy and focus that drive me current productivity will continue, but as long as it continues I know I will move things ahead.

So this is what I am excited about nowadays 🙂

Thursdays

this is a Thursday afternoon

one of those days that is

not as impactful as Fridays

or Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays

yet it feels good to me today

just because it has been a great day

how many more Thursdays did I miss

that were just fine but not Fridays

or Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays

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holiday plans – the change is here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

joy journal – Dec 11, 2014

I am grateful for a lot of things today;

1. I am grateful for missing writing my joy journal yesterday – yes I did not have time to do so, I wish I had. But I am pleased to see that I miss it – that once again verifies that writing things/people/events that make me grateful/joyful/happy makes me feel better (about my life).

2. I am grateful for recent lessons learnt about home repairs; Never pay someone for a job undone; a part of the repairs left to be done even though I wrote the cheque for all repairs. What I think is best may not be the best (i.e. the job I wanted to be done)- alternative solutions exist, even though the job remains undone (i.e. delay for a better outcome, I hope). Each frustration is a chance to learn more; the more I learn about my house and its needs, the more I can do for it over time.

3. Despite these lessons, there are many positive ones, too, and I am grateful for them; for example, watching the men doing the work is a learning opportunity and also enforces them do better job I guess. Now that I have at least a company who did the major repairs, I can hope to work with them in future should there be a problem again. Trusting the company to do the remaining work is not necessarily bad thing – it is a naive move but also tells me how unworried I become about such things.

4. I am grateful for taking the bus in the morning – yesterday and this morning. As long as it is not late morning and the weather is not pouring or too icy, I can keep doing this. It is easy, fast, and very affordable.

5. I am grateful for the newly appreciated ability to spend time at home in the morning – I thought I could not even spend even 10 minutes waiting to go to work – the last two days proved that to be wrong. That is pretty awesome with really great consequences for me (such as taking the bus even if it is scheduled 20 min. later).

6. I am grateful for walking yesterday and today from office back to home. That is good for my health, seriously 🙂 Today it was raining but I did still walk.

7. I am grateful for eating salad yesterday and today; again this is very good for me.

8. I am grateful for the soups I had yesterday and today; they were warm, nourishing, and tasty. cannot think about a better treat for chilly winter than soups.

9. I am grateful for tomorrow being Friday – this has been a week to be celebrated (a lot of positive things happened that deserve to be recognized); I will spend time with my friends tomorrow evening. That is awesome. It is gonna be fun.

10. Two short-term projects that required my attention half of the week since the start of the fall are completed this week; no more hassle. More time for other, bigger projects.

11. I have got extraordinary evaluations today; it was the highest I have got so far and I am really motivated to do better. It is a game-changer; I guess I am getting more confident now. I had tried new things and really put effort for a 2-hours work, which led me get this evaluations. A job well done and I know next time I will be more confident and do better.

12. I am grateful for listening to others and ask/get their opinions. This is one of the most effective ways to improve a new skill/task I undertake. Keep going.

13. I am grateful for only 12 days remaining till the holidays and my 11 days off. I really want this time to myself. My biggest excitements are the breakfasts I plan to have every morning in my favourite cafe, shopping, and attending socials. Cannot wait.

14. I am grateful for sleeping well yesterday – it really makes a difference.

15. I am grateful for my new jacket – its colour gives me joy, it keeps me warm, and its size is just right. A real delight.

16. I am grateful for not missing anyone desperately nowadays – maybe the work-load, maybe the new interests, I did not hurt much recently.

17. I am grateful for participating in a forum and supporting people who are going through now what I have gone through a while ago. There is a value in showing understanding and supporting, even though none of us know each other. It is a truly valuable experience.

18. I am grateful I am sleepy now – I can guarantee a nice sleep tonite, too.

I am really looking forward to the holidays

I am really looking forward to the holidays so that I can take a break from work and my routine. I have to work three days in between the Christmas and the new year but the rest of the time I will spend to sleep in, get my favourite breakfast in the mornings, shop, and to clean and de-clutter my house.

De-cluttering; my favourite holidays activity! I am joking – it is only a quarter true. I am one of these people who would keep things. Once a year I take my time to go through stuff, dumb those not usable any more, and open space for new stuff. It is quite liberating, but sometime despite my best intentions, I cannot throw away things. Certain things still pile up I am afraid. So be it; I am not going to get crazy about things that can wait.

I am looking forward to moving furniture around and changing the living space, too. I am a creature of habit; usually keep my daily routine, whether it is the sequence of events during the day or the restaurants I dine in. Some degree of routine is good; it makes my life easier. Yet, time to time a fresh look or furniture arrangement can stimulate my mind and make me enjoy my surroundings more. So, let’s do that.

Shopping will be fun, too; hoping to catch sales. I love drinking coffee and going around the stores to shop. It makes me feel free; that is weird I know. But once you realize that I drink coffee only on my desk or at the breakfast place all sitting, you can understand why drinking coffee while walking and shopping make a unique and pleasant activity for me.

And as usual, I will take time to reflect on the passing year and develop great hopes for the coming one.

I am getting old now; each passing year makes me realize my mortality a little bit more. Should I be sorry for the days, weeks, years passed or should I be more sensitive to the coming ones? Commit to make the best of them? Realize that there are more in life than the career? See people I like more often? Forget and forgive more?

See? Holidays are great time to grow and change.

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