The 4th day of the 4-day long weekend

I took Friday off and together with today – Remembrance Day in Canada – that means I was off for 4 days.

Yes, I have not worked much and did not go to office. I mostly spent my time at home, with the exceptions of a thrifting adventure on Friday and a short visit to Shoppers on Saturday to grab a couple of things.

I often plan for how I am going to dedicate my time during such breaks. I had not planned anything this time, and till this morning this had annoyed me – I had felt like wasting this wonderful opportunity of 4-days.

Well, it turns out it was okay. This morning I understood it finally. I was supposed to stop (duh) and just notice. Well, I noticed a couple of things, some through analyzing my dreams.

I have been in a transitional period of my life where I am moving towards great personal and professional experiences.

I dare more. I focus on great causes and roles. I slowly but steadily change and prioritize myself at work. I gain confidence. I achieve. And, I get satisfied and excited by myself and my work. Again – like in my youth. Amazing.

A new chapter is opening.

This give some peace and also makes me quite excited and hopeful about myself.

I believe my personal life will also be positively affected by these thoughts. My weight saga, for example. All my life my weight – or what it means for the society – controlled me, and made me self-conscious and lose self-esteem. I noticed that as long as I keep my own eating/diet, I slowly lose weight. I gain weight, however, when I eat outside of home or with others. For example, when I have lunch or dinners with others. When somebody treats me with a chocolate/cracker or anything else at the office. When I attend a committee meeting, which offers pizza. When I go visit my family – goodness – I eat so much there. And when I travel to other places.

As long as I keep my own eating/diet habits, I may be just fine. This is something to try!

I also believe that there is someone out there for me. Yes. It is interesting that I am opening to the idea of a relationship, at this age, at this time. But, that is what it is and I think I am completely over my heart-breaks & and those men whom I once loved. Hmmm.

šŸ™‚

I leave you with a wonderful album by Emma Shapplin. When I was a young student, this album was quite popular. I love it to date and am happy to share with you.

Maybe some of you remember it as well šŸ™‚

Sunday musings

Happy Sunday everyone!

With the sourdough loaf being in the oven and giving all the beautiful scents and feelings, I am ready to enjoy my day.

Today, I am not working. The weird thing about this is that I am bored. I have alternatives, of course – such as, visiting a cafe and enjoying a nice cup of tea and a pastry, or visiting a bookstore and browsing the shelves. Yet, these are not appealing to me right now. So, I stay in.

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My TV is on. There is a movie with Meghan Markle in one of the leading roles. It feels weird and somehow exciting as well that her life is completely changed lately. The love she has found, the changes in her social status and obligations, and motherhood. She is a good example of how our lives can change from one moment to other. I wonder when the last time my life has had such an interesting twist…..

There is something boring about doing the same thing over and over – working hard and long, taking the same bus everyday, dealing with varying but constant issues and stress at work, shopping from the same grocery store week after week, and eating the same food. It is equally boring to find no new activity or experience to enrich my life experiences.

I have no solution to this. Simple and smoothly running life at one hand, and lack of stimulus and excitement at the other hand. We all have similar choices in life I guess.

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The little things in life that gives me joy are there. I still enjoy my plants, the awakening in nature with the arrival of Spring, and having a safe and comfortable life. Asking for more may sound like being ignorant to the realities of life and being ungrateful. Where do we draw this line and when do we need to jump over the line to the other side? Million dollar question.

I have read many times in the past about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Simply put, it says that in order to move up our activities and priorities, we must first satisfy the basic needs (such as shelter, food, etc.). I think this applies to my life and I am intrigued to see what my next level of needs will be. But first I must stabilize my mental health.

I am happy to say that my anxiety levels are very manageable and even sometimes non-existent. Yet time to time I experience it nevertheless, which makes me feel like my efforts in this area should continue. With this in my mind, I am cautious to move up along my priorities, but I am also continuing to develop into new areas at work. I just wished that I had showed the same interest in my daily personal life and make it a priority to develop my inner world and experiences. Once I have started this, I know that I will have a much satisfying and exciting life, yet its time has not arrived yet. I dislike the fact that my work takes up the majority of my efforts and thoughts. I wonder why I care about it that much?

Mostly because of the stress it gives me and the feeling I have that I can do much better, bigger impacts should I have had a different work environment or position, I long for my retirement. The earliest I can get entitled to retirement is 6 years later. It will not be a great income at that time and later, but at least I will have the freedom to leave this position and explore other things in life. I also will have to keep working to get income. But I do not really worry about it. I hope that life will be on my side and give me a peaceful and comfortable retirement, where I will also have a chance to reach the highest level in Maslow’s hierarchy – Self-actualization.

 

 

 

just another rant about the economy

My province’s finances are not great and this is well reflected on the annual provincial budget.

The end results? People are furious, scared, and reacting.

Even I found myself perplexed by some of the new impositions on our lives and finances. Did I create this mess? Why should I be taxed and forced to pay more on many stuff and services? What will happen in future – will this turn around or will it continue like this, or even get worse?

I have no answers to these questions. I just feel the hardship coming and hope is lost. I wonder sometime whether we will ever be able to retire in such an economic climate? Even today there are many people who cannot afford to retire, as their retirement income would be much less than what they are getting today through their salaries. Ironically, the longer these individuals stay at work, the lesser the chances for the young people to have jobs.

With increased jobless rate and decreased financial ability comes, inevitably, less spending and more public discontent & stalled economy. I think economist call it something like Ā “consumer confidence”; when the economy is not good, people spend less. So how is this new budget, new fees and taxes, and weakened ability to consume helping anyone?

I hope the government has some great economists who can understand, designed, and approved of their plan. Maybe there is a benefit in this budget folks like myself cannot see.

I sure will be spending less, now that I have extra fees and costs associated with being a resident of my province. Do not get me wrong; I am a collective person, I would beĀ happy to help out the less fortunate. But IĀ am not happy with a depressive future outlook. If I knew that this was only temporary and things would be eventually better, then I would have a better feeling about these. But IĀ do not.

I do not think that things will get better after a few years. There are many talks about extensive lay offs. There are many people who are talking about leaving this province for another one, or worse yet, sending their kids away for better opportunities. I think everyone is entitled to their own decisions and by all means I respect their wishes, but again my problem is the loss of hope for the future. It looks dark. It looks not healthy. It looks uncertain (well… future is always uncertain, but when you face a financial situation like this and realize how serious the situation is, it just becomes more palpable than I would like).

So I must spend muchĀ less to pay off the extra taxes and fees imposed by the provincial budget while I also wantĀ to keep going with my financial plans (e.g. maximizing my RRSP and TFSA contributions each year; contributing to my retirement plan; keeping an emergency fund to help especially home repairs; keeping my chequing account at the positive side;Ā and increasing my mortgage payments in September).

OK…. How the hey am I supposed to do this???

I already have a minimum spending plan that also buffers the costs associated with limited social activities and having a comfortable life.

I have not shopped for clothes for some time.

I cannot cut my cable because I have a cable-internet-phone package and if I delete the cable, then the remaining two cost essentially the same amount.

I am not into extreme couponing (though I love reading about it).

I cannot possibly drop anything related my health and well being, likeĀ medications, fresh produce, or hygiene.

So what am I supposed to do?

I do not know. But something will give up I guess.

This being said, IĀ am nevertheless grateful that I am one of those fortunate ones who can still keep a home above their heads and food on their tables. If things get worse, IĀ can further reduce my spending (I hope this will not happen, though), but for families and single people out there who are making much less than me, this would mean a disaster.

Hoping the economy will get better. If not, then at least, not get worse.

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