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.

🙂

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 🙂

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!

 

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 🙂

 

 

 

recent realizations

It has been going quite stressful and also kinda smooth with respect to work. It is very hard for me to decide whether this means the long sought-for change in my attitude and evaluations, or a sign of a problem coming.

I sure wish it is the first alternative.

The changes that have happened in me and my attitude when it comes to work are as follows:

  • I compare myself to others now, rather than comparing to the ideal I hold up for myself. This kind of relaxes the stress I impose on myself and increase my confidence (as I do not beat myself up for not reaching to the “ideal” I painted.

 

  • Nobody, even myself, can say that “I do not work, contribute, or produce”. I have proven myself how much I do work in the last two years and I am more than content with this. This brings confidence in my abilities and makes me feel like I am not dispensable. Rather I am a valuable part of my organization.

 

  • I am vocal about the hard-work I do and ask for appreciation or acknowledgement. This may sound like “begging for things”, but it is rather a sign of my confidence and self-esteem; I am content with my performance and I want it to be recognized.

 

  • I take things easier or make an effort to take them easy. This has happened in the last couple of days; I have so many things to figure out and urgently that I do not have the time for any of them. My usual self would go, read, and contemplate about all the details prior to making a decision or moving on, but I do not have this luxury anymore. So, the end result is instead of paralyzing my mental work, I move on with the abstract concepts and general views. Better than nothing. At least I feel better.

 

  • I take mini rests everyday, usually at night, to recuperate. I allow myself to stop thinking about the issues and rather focus on my personal interest and try to enjoy my time. Things can wait till tomorrow, when I will have a crystal clear mind.

 

  • I use my morning hours to my advantage and do the most important things. I need to take the cab to the office at 5-6am, but that is okay. It gives me time and comfort.

 

  • I remove distractions from my life so that I can focus on what is important. The house chore can wait, the emails can be responded later, and work can be delegated to others if not critical. How about that? My.. My.. what a change 🙂

 

  • I keep a well organized and healthy office environment. Clean and free of clutters. And full of plants 🙂 They make everything look and feel much better. I am very excited about them 🙂

 

  • I keep telling myself that this is not the first time that I ended up with under stress. I have survived the past stress and I will survive this one too.

 

  • I will not accept new tasks for a while – this is a relief and makes me determined to say “no”.

 

  • The more issues I deal with, the more I learn about myself and how to best work. I truly believe that no matter how mundane a task is I would make a detailed assessment and work carefully. The more responsibility I do have, the more issues appear. Since my time and energy do not increase linearly with them, I must place them in a “relative” scale. I still care and pay attention to things, but again when I compare myself to others, I feel confidence in the work and assessments I do – if they can not fail, why should I?

 

  • I feel much better if I put the effort and do my “best”. I mostly care about silencing my own critique; as long as I am satisfied with myself, I do not care much about what others think. Lovely 🙂

 

  • I just realized this morning that “good stress” makes me remember things and motivates me to address things. Thus, even though I may end up having anxious thoughts in the morning, I know they are there to remind myself to move. Good job!

 

  • I evaluate things differently now. Previously I used to define the changes in my sleep pattern (sleeping around 6 hours and then waking up quite early) as “sleep disturbance”. Yesterday I realized that the opposite was true. While my sleep pattern has changed, it was for the best; I still get sleepy at around 10 pm, have a deep sleep around 6-7 hours, and wake up early. This gives me much needed rest (deep and sound sleep) and much needed time (by going to office early). It is not disturbance, as I used to label it. It rather is a blessing 🙂

 

  • I also realized that while I have a tendency to go around my comfort zone (by, for example, focusing on the tasks that I am most comfortable to address first than the more important tasks), time to time I also jump into risky projects. They are hard to develop or execute, but once they are taken care of they yield higher value. I do not do these continuously, but the last year has been like this and I keep going. Either I will fail or I will win. Only time will show.

 

It has been good to me that I found myself in such a stressed situation – things have started to clear.

I hope 🙂

 

 

 

 

Sunday morning musings

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

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

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

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

 

little miracles found their way to me

My friends!

Among the hectic work schedule, issues, and struggles, a lot of great things have been happening. I am very grateful, excited, and appreciative of these. I want to believe that miracles can happen!

First; a collaborative project had gone very sour around 4 years ago. One of the ideas I had proposed were dismissed; the other party saying that it was what they wanted to do anyhow. Together with some insulting correspondences, I had limited my interactions with these people, always feeling sorrow over not only the project but the unfair and un-professional (insulting and belittling) behaviour I had to endure along the way. Last week I was contacted by these people asking me to lead that project! Wow!! It looks like they were not able to bring it to completion. I am cautious, knowing that the way they may approach to me can go un-professional again and I may find myself in a hard position, but I think I will say yes to this opportunity. It is a way to do the project that I wanted so much once upon a time, which may also strengthen my organizational position. Miracle #1 🙂

I have been eyeing an outdoor succulent in a yard reaching towards the road on my way to office. Every time I walk along the way, I would look at it and say “hi” to it and hope for a fallen piece that I could pick up and pot. I never found a piece of it on the road, but I kept hoping to find one. This has been going on for the last 2 – 2.5 months. Guess what? This afternoon I was walking and I saw the owner of the house/yard cutting the grass and trimming the succulents! I asked for a piece or two and he gladly allowed me to take as many cuttings as I wished! I am so thankful to that gentleman that with great interest and love gave me the cuttings. I took two pieces in my hand and kept them there till I came home, caressing with love and gratitude. This is a miracle I had asked for!  Miracle #2 🙂

And when I came home, I found an email in my inbox, from a publisher that I do volunteer work as part of my position in my organization. They are asking for an interview to showcase in their website! It is a work that I would like to try one day professionally, and knowing that they are already recognizing the importance of my contributions and would like to tell more about me on their website are just fantastic! I am filled with motivation and confidence. Also excitement!  Can it get any better than this? Miracle #3 🙂

Life, my friends, corrects itself. When the right time comes, things that I worked so hard for and that passed through my heart with desire and interest are revealed to me.

That I would call miraculous! 🙂

 

 

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

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

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

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

How does this sound?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

………..

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

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

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

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

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

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Plan A and B

I came to realize that my emotions are quite strong.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is it?

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

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

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

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

Perhaps this can change.

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struggle or growth?

I am not sure whether I am struggling with my career or just growing.

It is sometimes hard to know, my friends.

I know I am struggling; I work harder than ever and trying to do many new things all at the same time. It is exhausting, stressful, and requires enormous amount of energy and focus. I do these because I am capable of doing, but the real motivation is the increasingly toxic and criticism-filled environment that makes me feel like I am not worthy and dispensable. I guess I am trying to show that I am not; I am a valuable and contributing member of my work-place. Even I say so now, I, the worst critique of myself.

It is strange writing this here – the real motivation after my over-work is being my frustration towards my work-place. Very counter-intuitive, is it not?

I think I must accept the fact that I had lost, and I am still at lost the majority of the time, my self-confidence in this position. The negative attitudes at my work triggered a reaction to turn things around. That is why I am working so hard and taking new roles. With each work and role accomplished, I gain confidence. Or, may be this is just an illusion. Hard to know….. But if it is real, then this hardship has been incredibly useful for me! 🙂

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I am also growing. A lot changed in me since last year.

I am detached to my work-place and with each blow or slab to the face this detachment is growing. This is strange but also liberating indeed. It forces me to re-evaluate my wishes and my wants, and somehow forces me to think outside of my current box. Just yesterday I realized I could move to another country for work. Would it not be terrific? A new country, a new city, a new apartment, new bakery, new neighborhood, lots of plants, tall windows, people and lights in the street day and night. Energy, change, excitement, new experiences. Wow – that is a great picture!

I also became more assertive since last year and I am good at saying no now 🙂 Well, at least better than before. I can also express myself and my frustration better. I can keep my stand better. This is lovely.

I also care much less about things that I would otherwise do; mostly related to work and work-related recognition. Less stress, less anxiety, more room for more important things. I hope.

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There is an apparent duality in my interpretations of these experiences, like in anything else I guess. One can argue that it is a point of view. Maybe one day I am struggling and maybe next day this experience makes me do something, which grows me (like the job application I made in Europe yesterday). Maybe it is all struggle and my mind finds some kind of serenity in finding/believing in positives (in order not to lose it).

I do not know really. Only time will tell. Right now, I know that I both struggle and grow at the same time.

It is a delicate balance; if struggle gets worse, the balance will tip down on this side and I may sink deep. If I grow, the other side of the balance will lift.

My aim is to lift myself up.

The balance is still unstable though. So, my struggle to end this struggle (what an irony – I need a new struggle to end another struggle??) is continuing. 

I am tired. Yes, I am. But I keep going.

I think I am giving a good fight here.

🙂

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life is interesting

I have done something interesting and applied for a job in Europe 🙂

I have not thought about it, I have not overly thought about my cover letter, I just did it.

If I had waited, I would probably not have done this application. I am proud of myself because this excites me in so many ways.

First, it is a completely different but related career path that I have been interested in for many years. I have done some volunteer work in that area and it is one of my favorite  activities.

Second, it is in Europe, which is closer to my family! It was almost impossible for me to move there for a similar career to what I have right now. With this application, I am feeling free! I just saw that I have had other options in life, which I was not aware of just yesterday….

Third, this is a significant step for me. I believe this is the 4th time I made an application for a job in the last 10 years (since I have got my job here). The last two applications happened in the last 11 months…. I am not surprised considering the toxicity around my job and job place. But I am quite excited to see that I am taking steps… This is so interesting… And exciting!

The truth is I do not know if I could leave here so soon and move to another place: I have a house, work-place commitments to my team members, and I love Canada. I feel a part of it, safe, and well cared for here. It would be difficult to leave Canada. Oh, Canada!

Yet, if my life and my mental health will be better, and if it is going to be close to my family, I will take it!

🙂

Hope is a magnificent thing.

Also magnificent is the people and circumstances that piss and under-appreciate me. Thanks to them, I come to realize other opportunities.

Hardships grows and extends us – that is for sure.

 

 

pretty random thoughts

Is change possible?

Improvement is, but change – I am not sure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Future days will tell.

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all the good things – check

  • enjoying the good weather and phasing out may times, looking out of the window and the nature around my building – check

Spring is here, friends. It is here. My daffodils are coming out, sky is blue, and there is no snow on the ground. I feel different. Immensely different. Hopeful. Positive. Changing naturally. Enjoying my connection with nature.

Realizing once again that after any dark season will come the light….

They may tell me this millions of times, but unless I came to this realization myself, I would never buy it.

I like the fact that by observing nature I can in fact make reflections on life.

Priceless.

  • enjoying the plants on window sill in my office – check

I have three new plants there. They are green. Their pots are nice and colourful. Just another sense of Spring and hope.

  • eating apples and being grateful for it, knowing that it is healthy – check
  • attending an award ceremony for a team member of mine and being incredibly proud and happy – check!

these are one of my favorite times 🙂 it is all worth it! What an honour. What an excitement 🙂

  • munching on food served at the ceremony and not feeling like I must cook at home tonite – check

talking about being lazy or disliking to cook 🙂

  • enjoying the warm and smooth breeze in the back yard – check
  • being aware and excited about feeling good and positive – check, check, check! 🙂

 

 

 

random thoughts

Interesting times.

I am working like h..l again, but at least I can get motivated about it. I have two project applications to make in two weeks and it makes me excited only because I am almost done with one of them, and another one is nearly 50% done. I feel that one of them will get acceptance – is this realistic?

No.

But hope is a beautiful thing.

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It is my conclusion that only 10% of my efforts are to move forward…. This is a very conservative estimation, but it does not hurt. As a matter of fact, accepting the fact that many of my efforts will not be fruitful is somehow healthy; it helps me with dealing with the rejection.

There is a strange relationship between anticipation and hope and reality and feeling insensitive.

One or the other; hope versus insensitivity. Anticipation versus reality.

Which one do we want to have?

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all the good things – check

  • feeling really positive and excited about life -check 🙂
  • taking time to rest in the morning and getting up kind of late – check
  • catching the bus – check
  • enjoying my coffee – check
  • not being stressful at all and looking for something to do at the office – check!

this was very important. I have had time! I took this opportunity to discuss the work of a team member, who seemed to have done really well. I understand his work, which is in fact very complicated. And this gives me extra confidence in his work. Priceless 🙂

  • finding 30 bucks in a pocket of my purse and getting excited about this – check

This is wonderful! it is a lot of money. I have been meaning to buy jars, the little wide mouth ones, for some time. I think I can now get it with a peace of mind 🙂

  • getting a tax return more than I thought I would – check, check, check 🙂

Is that not wonderful? It is 🙂 I plan to make it a pre-payment and further reduce my mortgage. Very exciting! I feel like money comes to me from many different resources. Timing is great as this week I have been really frugal and did not spend more money while also keep living comfortably. I had missed this feeling and I am very excited about it.

  • eating yogurt – check
  • relaxing whole night and not working at all – check
  • buying long, green, and hot peppers at a nearby store – check

this kind is hard to find around here and this is the second time that I found it. My mom would love these peppers, especially if fried. i am not that into hot peppers, but with the seeds removed, the taste and the look of these peppers are just amazing. I feel lucky 🙂

  • having no meeting tomorrow – check
  • planning to visit a thrift store tomorrow afternoon – check

this is very exciting for me 🙂 I have not been to one for a long time. Browsing through all bunch of interesting stuff is a great relaxing exercise for my mind. While I am excited about this plan, I am also conscious about the bad weather outside – it is raining and we expect some storm. If the precipitation is not bad, I still can make it tomorrow – we shall see 🙂

  • having a no-spending day – check

that is right – this was the 5th day that I did not spend anything except the bus fare. I am abundant. I am well. I am proud.

 

changing for a better me, for a better time

So this past year has been hard on me – it was highly stressful; I worked long hours; I was skeptical and suspicious of my professional future; I have got my blood pressure peaked a couple of times and almost got panic attacks; I have got my self-confidence shook very very strongly; and I have mostly ignored my daily, personal, simple, and frugal life so that I can channel my energy and time to my work-related efforts and use my money to comfort myself during this hard time.

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The hardship started last summer when I realized that our work-place was getting more and more toxic (mostly because of financial issues) and they were openly making comments about firing people. How demoralizing? Very indeed. I worked so hard and did so much for my work and this organization that after all of these, if we get this kind of treatments instead of appreciation, it was time to think about what to do with my future.

  • This was one of the nicest things I have got out of this experience – that I was better than this and I deserved recognition by my work-place, not depreciation like they tend to favor.
  • I also did not want to spend my time trying to prove myself over and over. All these years and after all I have done, what else do they want?? (they do want lots of thing, by the way. It is never enough for them).
  • Most importantly, I realized that I was better than my current work-environment let me be and I was longing for developing further and reaching my personal and professional potential.
  • I applied for a job, for which I did not receive any response back. But that is okay. The important thing was I had started to react to my work/position here and I was being detached from it. This was wonderful – I never thought that I would leave my current job. Great experience!
  • I worked harder and on different topics, which took time and required a lot of courage. I did these. They have not yielded outputs yet, but I am hopeful and determined that they will.
  • I took new roles. That meant lost of time and reading/discussions/practicing to learn new things and taking new risks. It has been tough, but I am moving on smoothly.
  • I exercise new leadership roles and I am developing and discovering about myself in such roles. While this is emotionally challenging (a lot is expected from leaders and knowledge and experience together are required for effective leadership), there is so much I learn about myself that it is amazing 🙂

I also aimed to change myself.

  • I realized I did not want to do what others were in fact supposed to do (my job requires a lot of this if we want things to move – sad truth is that as a project leader you shoulder a lot of the burden others should) and starting to say no. I first said no to reviewing a report, then another, and then another. I try to save my time for the things I want to deal with now.
  • I raised concerns and demanded better working conditions when my work place came to me with a silly tasks to be done (which can be done by someone else pretty easily).
  • I started to distance myself from the colleagues who ate up not only my time, but also my nerves with their negative, demanding, and belittling attitudes. This is one of my most significant victories….
  • I started raising my voice when my friends or colleagues unfairly criticized me – they think twice now I guess. I found that generalization is very easy and people tend to do this pretty frequently. However, seeing the view from the other side is necessary to understand things better. Many people miss that. I am vocal about this now when it comes to me or my work. I won’t take unnecessary and unfounded criticism that easily.
  • I say no to socials with people whom I do not wish to spend yet another minute. 
  • I started to value my time, energy, well-being, professional efforts, skills, and performance more than ever (talking about confidence that my work-place was trying to diminish with the talks of firing us.. What a nice turn of self-opinion? 🙂 )
  • I started to be a little bit more smart and took steps to strengthen my position in my work-place while also developing myself further. I have two positions at my union’s committees and I am not only learning about our rights as workers, but also how to support myself and other workers against any organizational or professional issues. I feel safer and well supported. And in many ways, also protected. I will continue to work in one of these committees in the coming years, which I know is very beneficial for me. It is like a shield that can defer many silly attempts on me and other vulnerable colleagues. I am loving this.
  • I recently realized that I was very content and pleased with my efforts, hard-work, development, and changes. With this comes confidence and shutting down any effort to belittle me or my work. This is, my friends, priceless.

After all, this hard time is turning into a better and more pleasing experience. Like winter ending and Spring flourishing.

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one of these awesome days

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are the important things in life?

Certainly my family is important.

I am important.

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

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

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

 

remembering dad and a few good things

Today is the 2nd anniversary of my dad’s passing.

I remember him with his smile, sky blue eyes, nice skin, strong chin, beautiful voice, and presence. I wish things were different and we could go back and fix everything between us. I wish I could be there for him and kiss his cheeks once more. I wish I could say daddy again.

I cannot.

But I also know that he and I loved each other and we would not wish for another dad, another daughter. He showed his fatherhood and introduced us to not only life but also death, and walked through his lonely journey all by himself. Like his dad, like his mom, like his brothers. At least he was not alone.

Rest in peace dad. One day I will find you again. I promise.

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In the last few days I have been getting really tired of being annoyed by some people and my work being the most important thing in my life.

I had to have dinner with two colleagues I really dislike (!) and a third one I somehow like. I hated the idea of spending my time with the people I disliked but the night went okay, thanks to my third colleague. The two continued to annoy me during the dinner and it has come to a point that I do not want them to affect me this way anymore. I do not know why I cannot let go off their ridiculous ways, but this is what it is.  I will find additional ways to further distance myself from them. At least the benefit of this highly annoying dinner was that finally I have had it enough. It came to a point that cannot be ignored. And this is a good thing. A large part of our relationship is over.

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And I have been thinking for sometime that life has been going, I was getting older and closer to death each day, and all I was thinking about lately was how miserable, stressed, unappreciated, and financially insecure I was at work. 

One of the changes that has happened this past summer was that I did not want to dwell on small issues and rather use my time, effort, and skills for bigger issues, bigger fights, bigger good. The fact is this: I happen to find issues in anything in life (a professional curse) and dwell on them full force. The question I asked myself was whether I wanted to have a bigger professional life and deal with bigger issues taking similar time and energy, and having similar levels of irritation/stress. The answer is an easy yes. That is why I undertake a lot more this year in terms of leadership and committee work.

I have started to extend this to my personal life. This morning I was talking to my sister and I said since my social life is small, even the little social interactions, if a little annoying, annoys me big time. I said that I have decided to have a bigger life and then get annoyed if I must. Maybe I will learn one or more things. Maybe I will meet great people. Maybe I will find ways to enrich my own inner life. I know it will be better, no matter what.

As part of this, I am excited to say that I re-started my stretching/meditation classes tonite. Just like that I showed up there, purchased my plan, sat on the floor in a quiet, warm, and cozy room with others, breathed in and out, calming my mind and soothing my body. And I just felt that calming my mind was one of the most fantastic things I have ever done for myself lately.

🙂

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what matters in life most

I will be attending a funeral tomorrow for someone I knew. 

Like many of us, I have many minor things in my life and thoughts that actually do not matter most in life; work-related issues and people’s behaviors would be the top two. I stress and hurt myself over these.

What is the purpose of all these fuss that clogs our vision and prevents us from seeing what really matters in life? I do not know. Maybe we are taking it too serious. Maybe we need to secure our physical, mental, and financial well-being before we can let go or enjoy life. Maybe we are conditioned too much or scared unnecessarily? I do not know really.

Will it matter eventually? 

Soon it is gonna be two years that I have lost my dad – may he rest in peace. I had realized only after his death that in reality, one day we are alive and the next day it is done.

Thus, the question: What really matters?

  • My family matters
  • I matter
  • Making a positive contribution to society or others matters
  • Feeling good matters
  • Feeling free matters
  • Being hopeful matters
  • Being treated with respect and fairness matters
  • Feeling optimistic or in control about my future and retirement matters
  • Seeing things a little bit more clearly matters
  • Developing skills to know what is important and what is not, and to act or change accordingly, matters; if you have any suggestions on how to do this, please drop a line or two in the comments section

it can only get better from here

Life is interesting.

I was talking to a cab driver this morning who told me for an unrelated (economy-related) issue that “it cannot go worse than this; I think we hit the bottom of the rock, it can only get better from here – up“.

I believe in this and had said a similar thing to a friend about my own recent stress and struggles. Together with my experience with my friends yesterday (which helped me to actually demonstrate myself that I have had the confidence to stand up for myself), hearing this from a stranger today has helped my mind to materialize this hopeful attitude.

With these positive experiences, as another step towards making myself less stressful, I decided on an important report that it did not have to be perfect. It was already in a good shape and as such, I submitted it today. Additionally, I finished another one tonite, which will be submitted tomorrow 🙂

Two big jobs that have been on my list for weeks are now done.

Wow.

I did it.

These are the second and third imperfect (but perfectly in good condition) work that I have submitted in the last two weeks or so. What a beautiful change in how I approach my work and personal wellness. I feel relieved and happier.

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I have been hard on myself for taking the cab (rather than the bus), but I guess life has had its own way of telling me that sometime what we think as bad can actually be pretty good for us.

 

 

Sunday morning musings

Yet another beautiful and quiet Sunday morning cherished with coffee and a lovely music at the background.

What is it about Sundays that makes us so hopeful and positive? Absence of work? Family/me time? Or just the feeling that like the rest of the (most of the world), we are too entitled to chill, wind down, rest, and do nothing on this day? Freedom to do anything we want or do nothing if that is what we want is a great feeling. Let’s immerse ourselves in this freedom today.

Being free of obligations and things that stress/strain us important. I increasingly have realized the importance of this lately. I like being free and not rushing from one job to other at work/home; I like being free from the stress and the need to think and find solutions. I like being free from the requirement of being at one place rather than the other; I like being free from negative thoughts and stress.

Is it easy to attain?

“ell no.

I was reading somewhere else that at this age, we are required to be competitive and put more strains on us than before to produce. Produce services, products, or ideas. I have such a job, which under different conditions (without the pressure) is highly satisfactory, valuable, and lets me get the best out of my skills and knowledge Yet, the pressure hurts my creativity, happiness and maybe health, and reduces my personal space and priorities to a minimum. Is this right?

I do not think so.

Without the personal wellness and satisfaction, how do we expect ourselves to function well in a competitive job/work environment?

It would be awesome if the organizations had flexibility in the expectations from their employees; some are hard-workers, some are creative, some are meticulous, some are visionary, and some are good managers. It is important to find such organizations and positions I guess. 

This being said, I kind of understand the pressure my organization is under. It is supposed to deliver what it promises, is supposed to do these with the right budget, set of employees, and expected outcomes. When I think from this point of view, my heart aches for my organization. This is economically difficult times and everything suffers as a result (well, maybe not too wealthy).

So, what shall we do?

I would love my organization and others to create a supportive environment and work through carrots, not the sticks. If we are together, we may function better and in unity. And in unity is the strength, understanding, and solutions. Working towards a common goal is a beautiful feeling.

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I was joking the other day to a colleague of mine that my last report before retirement would be about this kind of things; experience and understanding gained as a result of the work experiences and how it shapes our lives, profession, and future ideas. There is a growth alright – however difficult it could be – that makes my understanding better. I am hopeful that in the future I will come up with my best ideas, experiences, projects, and reports.

 

I hope I will continue to be that hopeful and positive.

joy journal – Jan 14, 2018

After an anxiety-filled and psychologically turbulent week, I am feeling a lot better now (and for now). This is a blessing and contributing factors are the followings:

1. I am grateful for my past experiences that helps me with understanding the causes of the anxiety and tackling it. 

2. I am grateful for my family and the blogging friends being supportive during this difficult time.

3. I am grateful for the warm weather that makes my life a little bit easier.

4. I am grateful for seeing some plants and flowers still being alive in the yard. It is amazing how resilient they are during winter. It gives me hope that despite the estimations that they would be dead now because of the snow and freezing conditions, some of them still survive. I shall too survive this time and the future ones to come.

5. I am grateful for eating better lately, which makes me feel like at least I am good at taking care of myself.

6. I am grateful for donating a number of items to a charity. I had had collected them from home in the last one year and now almost all of them are gone to be enjoyed by other less fortunate individuals. What a blessing.

7. I am grateful for buying drawer organizers yesterday and seeing that they do their job very well. Now my measuring cups and utensils are in different containers and my drawers are well organized. What a difference they make in how I feel about myself and my life!

8. I am grateful for treating myself with little indulgences; a small bar of chocolate yesterday and another two today. Knowing that I care about myself, try to release some of the pressure off my chest, and support myself is great. 

9. I am grateful for shopping yesterday and today. It gave me a much needed mental break from the issues. I also purchased lovely items that I would need, coffee being one of them 🙂

10. I am grateful for having the day to myself and so far having a more or less pleasant day and feelings.

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate myself for caring myself.
  2. I appreciate myself seeing the positives after negative experiences.
  3. I appreciate myself for being open about my current anxiety and stress.
  4. I appreciate myself for constantly trying to do good and feel good.
  5. I appreciate myself for functioning well despite the mental clutter, stress, and feeling anxious.
  6. I appreciate myself for cooking and baking healthy food.
  7. I appreciate myself for surrounding myself items/furniture etc. that are all either useful and needed, or loved and appreciated.
  8. I appreciate the fact that I donate to charity whatever I am done with and in usable condition.
  9. I appreciate myself for not further pressurizing myself with my own expectations.
  10. I appreciate myself for keeping a clean and well organized home that gives me a sense of peace and accomplishment.
  11. I appreciate myself for taking time to reflect upon, identify, and write all of these great things here.

choices, children, and the desire for a time-travel machine

I worked a lot this evening and as a result I am feeling hyper now 🙂 Does that happen to you, too?

I am used to work till late, especially lately. It makes me tired and less thinking the itsy bitsy stuff, so actually I love sleeping well and not over-thinking during these intense work periods. Nevertheless, I am kind of annoyed tonite and am looking forward to winding down and relaxing.

While I sleep longer and deeper lately, interestingly I also dream more. Last night I have had two dreams, one about a little child that I met last weekend. He was one of these really kind and lovely kids. I felt quite an affection and protective feelings toward him.

Meeting with him made me think – should I have had kids?

Having a child has never been a real wish for me; it was partly because i was not married and was very busy with my work/career/life struggles. When I met this child, I kind of felt like I should have had kids. The love and affection I felt was awesome really. 

Then I remembered what an anxious type of a person I was and what a control freak of a mom I would turn into should I have a child. I know from a friend of mine that when you become a parent, anxiety related to the kids’ welfare, wellness, and happiness become the most important thing for you. It would not be something I could easily master or move on. That is a sad truth.

Or maybe I could. There are millions of parents on earth and some of them must have  personality like me. So, if others can manage it, so can I. why not? Right?

Adoption is always a choice. In the past, once or twice I have had considered it and eventually ruled out. Not that I would not like it. But because as a single person I did see it as a difficult task to take. I know from years back a single woman who adopted a lovely girl. She had a busy career as well, but did excellent with motherhood. I wish I had kept contact with her so that I could get an insider’s opinion/experience on adoption and child care.

Sometimes life is brutal I guess. I know what I have become has been shaped by my past choices. if only I was 20 years younger, perhaps I could make different choices.

That reminded me a new year eve 7-8 years back. I had that very strong wish to actually go back in time and re-start my life 10 years earlier. I had a lot of regrets and naiveness around me then. What if stories were true and one could move back in time?

I have a similar, albeit not as strong, wish today to go back and re-start my adult life. I wish we had not lost certain things in life, like our youth. I wish we could have better choices. I wish we lived our lives differently…

Logically I know whatever life I have right now is the best. There is no going back to certain things, abilities, experiences. I am old enough to know that whatever happens, it must be better than a less desirable outcome.

Today, I want to believe in this more than most other times.

Saturday morning musings

Another Saturday morning filled with fresh coffee, music, and “me” time 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

What are my choices?

For today? 

For tomorrow?

For the next few years and beyond? 

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

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

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

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trusting life during hardship

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

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

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

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

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

Why not?

Yes, I have a kind of optimism that I hope will last 🙂

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

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

I think I just trust life now.

🙂

sometimes trying something hopeless pays off

Yesterday I have prepared two sourdough; one can be found here; it was prepared by a starter that was rigorous and with a long rise (around 16 hours at room temp) with 4 hours of proving, following my regular recipe. It turned out to be a lovely loaf with a great oven spring.

That loaf will be given to my friends that I have seen yesterday night. So upon returning home at around 11 pm, I decided I needed a loaf for myself so I prepared a small dough using the left overs from my starter that I resurrected this past week. These left overs are those that needed to be removed and replaced with fresh flour and water while feeding the starter. I did not want to put it in garbage, so I thought I could find a use for them (like tortilla), so had kept around 3/4 cups of them in my fridge. They were not necessarily the best starter, but I took my chances with my second loaf.

The second loaf had 9 hours of first rise with limited stretch and fold (1 only) at room temperature and 5 hours of proofing. Honestly it did not look good when I put it on parchment paper (it did not keep its shape). Anyways, in the oven there was some kind of spring. So I was still not very hopeful. But when I cut it, I was very surprised; it has the largest air pockets I have seen in my sourdough! It is soft and the sesame seeds give it an incredibly nutty flavor 🙂 Although its rise was short, I think dough being slightly sticky helped it to turn into this beautiful loaf.

I think sometimes keeping the faith and trying something that does not look much hopeful pays off 🙂

 

 

Four seasons

Fall is upon us. It is my favorite season.

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The season of energy and renewal (summer) has come to an end, leaving its place to this gorgeous season.

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Fall always remind me of “closure”; evaluating and finishing things, even they are only thoughts, and move on with a period of quietness and break, and then bury or leave those that do not serve you anymore during the hibernation season of winter.

Winter is a season of survival, though. It is often harsh where I am and our daily lives are somehow dictated by the weather; will there be snow today? Will I shovel? Will there be a snow day? Can I really go to that store to pick up something? Will my power be restored, if it is cut due to some reason? What if I want to walk but cannot make it because the sidewalks are full of snow banks, or even worse, ice? Am I warm enough?Winter thus makes me feel like I must rather focus on the physical world than my inner world. 

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Spring, on the other hand, is a kind of time of re-birth; the time of new ideas, new adventures, new plans, new hope…. There is something awesome about the awakening of the nature that inevitably makes me feel like now I can do what I have not done or could not do before.

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The cycling nature of “nature”, whether that is snow, plants, trees, or flowers that flourish, animals populating, or simply changing temperature and daylight, is thus a reflection of our lives.

Maybe our lives is a reflection of nature?

I do not know really.

But we all are connected.

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reflections

Today I have not worked like crazy as I have done in the past 3 months. I rather took my time to reflect and I needed it. This was mostly motivated by the fact that yesterday I almost collapsed emotionally. My nerves are fried and I needed a break to go back to a healthy level of exhaustion (if there is anything like this ever) and feel good (because I deserve it, like anyone else).

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Life is bigger than what we experience and in order to expand our experiences, we must stop this wheel of routine and un-focus for a while, and look beyond where we are. It is exciting and refreshing. I am glad I have found a chance to do so today.

One thing I keep notice in such times is that I actually do better than I think. For instance, in the last 3 months I have re-arranged the furniture in my living room and kitchen, and they both look lovely and more functional. It was hard to move everything by myself, but I made it and the end results are excellent 🙂

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I also made quite a progress in my yard. I digged the high part of the yard and placed the digged soil on the lower parts. I have four stalks of mint that are flourishing in the yard. I have planted seeds and grew beautiful flowers. New flowers and plants appeared in my yard this year, which are a delight to look at. I filled the sides of my yard with soil in the last two days (commercial soil) and now I have a wider-looking yard and the side sections are ready to be planted next year. It was tiring and challenging to carry those soil bags (30 liters each) from store to home, but I made it. I planted potato, garlic, and onion and all flourished and yielded (I have collected around 1 kg of potato; can you imagine my joy?)? I planted 35 cloves of garlic last week for harvesting next year and mulched over with dried leaves to protect them from frost during the winter. My neighbours renewed their part of the fence with fence similar to mine, and as such the yard looks really good now. Also the next door neighbours painted the exterior of their house and it looks beautiful. I have been lucky to have had all of these improvements this year 🙂

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As per work, I have done really good, even though it was stressful. At least my efforts produced results, which is extremely satisfying.

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I have points to improve still, but I am not worried about them. Only because I know I am capable of doing them, too. One recurring issue is eating better and a variety of food. I am making an effort again nowadays. we will see how this will work out. I must reduce or eliminate my extra expenses that are made only to feel good in such a stressful time of my life, but I am slowly getting there. I must also regularly do my lower back exercises to keep it healthy. A manageable list of aims that I am sure I can do. It is just a matter of time.

Today I have taken steps to improve in these areas. I ate veggies and fruits at the office; I took the bus rather than cab; I made an appointment with my physiotherapist to help me get on track with my lower back. I ate junk food in the evening, but I am assuming this too will be gone sometime. I accepted the fact that sometimes change occurs over time, rather than when I want it. Acceptance brings serenity. Nevertheless, I must keep trying and making these changes occur.

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transitioning to gray – 6.5th week after first treatment

Here is my hair after 6.5 weeks of first highlights and dyeing my hair close to its natural colour.

Highlights finally show up, which is a blessing (I am still fuming about the invisible highlights right after the hair salon visit).

My hair grew like an inch.

Between grays and highlights, there is a dark stripe (the dye applied last time, which gives an additional oddity to this hair…).

Honestly this hair does not look good at all (why did I not at least comb it before taking the pic?)….

The roots are annoying but not as much as before – I think the hair dresser was right – after a while highlights help soothe the gray roots. Only problem is that now I have my natural colour (dark brown), latest dye (lighter brown), grays, and yellowish highlights in addition to previous hair colour of red!

More is better!!

Argh.

I have an appointment in two weeks to get it dyed again and hopefully with better highlights this time. I would love to have wider streaks of platinum highlights to help with the gray hair coming off the roots. I hope this dresser will be able to give me what I want. Honestly, I am not very hopeful, but I will try as much as possible to demonstrate (with pics from internet) what I really want and expect.

I must say despite everything, this is a much better feeling than previous.

I previously very much disliked seeing the gray roots after 2-3 weeks of dyeing. Now it is 6.5 weeks and I am feeling okay with the roots. This is I believe because I have much bigger problems in that hair than only the gray roots…

I know this is a long journey to take up to a year, but I already have had the first 6.5 weeks, so I want to just keep going and get this transition done.

Wish me patience please. Because I may as well chop the entire thing and start from fresh!

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slowly slowing down

I have been slowing down the work, and stress as a result, in the last two days. I am feeling good and ready to come back to my regular self. Not yet, but soon.

I developed this fear that the moment I will relax, something else will happen. So I am keeping my guard up for any new events to show up. A tiring feeling.

Next week will be busy with drafting and finalizing a project that I have been working on for some time. Including many people in it is an opportunity for a better project, but managing conflicts and everybody’s interest is not something I am looking forward to. I try to convince myself that this is neither the first nor the last time that I will have to handle such a complex team dynamic, so eventually things will be better. Eventually I will forget or move on with a valuable experience. This is good 🙂

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While I am officially off today, I went to office and had two meetings with my team  members. Since these meetings move our own work, I am happy to show up at the office. However, I realized once more how much I resent doing little work that others can do. What a waste of time for me while more important issues wait my attention/time and my team members can take care of the little points themselves with a little bit effort. That is a dilemma… I guess if I was not such a control freak and aim to do high quality work, I would eagerly let my team members to take care of the fine points. Yet the past experience says that they are still young and not highly experienced, so to ensure that we will have a good product, I feel like there is no other option, but me being directly doing the work… Tiring… But the reward is well worth it… Still resenting it, though…

I finished working at home in the afternoon and was ready to do something different. Honest to goodness, nothing came to my mind.. Shopping? Walking? Seeing a movie? Watching TV? None…. I could not even think about reading a book. I understood that my transition from fast and high-volume work to my regular work load (and mental relaxation) has not finalized yet. Give me a couple of more days…

Yesterday I made a list of things that I have done in the last 5 weeks (the start of my work staycation period). I liked what I have seen :)))) There are so much done in that period of time. Yes, it was hard on me, very stressful and threw me off my routine, but eventually I have done what I meant to do. New issues are emerging and some of my tasks are not done yet, but I keep this list somewhere close to me so that I can look at it and find motivation and satisfaction. That was one great idea that I am glad I have come up with 🙂

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I remember seeing a profile of a surgeon somewhere in Canada. He was just appointed as a director of a large unit. In that news, he mentioned something like “I am looking forward to challenges this position may/will bring and resolving them“. I always thought that this was odd, as I take challenges quite serious and it takes extraordinary mental energy to resolve some of the issues. So, I do not know whether he just said that, as it was expected from a director/leader, or has indeed a personality that can look at challenges without getting emotionally and energy-wise drained. I know some people are better in handling challenges and I want to believe that that person in fact stated the truth. This would mean that there is still room for me to develop and achieve that mental attitude.

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Tomorrow is another day. I will see what the day will bring. Until then, I am off to preparing a nice dinner and watching the X-Files 🙂

 

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Life has shown goodness to me nowadays

You know that I am going through and stressful patch in relation to my work in the last one month. There is too much to be done and too much emotions and exhaustion to deal with. But there has been great things as well, which I should acknowledge.

One of the things about my profession is to be recognized by others in my field as an expert. I have had three invitations in the last one month as an expert. One of them from a national organization that I have not worked with in the past. Another one is an international organization that I had interacted with last year. And the third one I have just got an invitation from is the biggest organization of its kind in Canada. All of these organizations coming up with my name and their trust in my professional abilities made me feel really good about myself; I have national and international recognition after all 🙂

These invitations not only strengthen my own confidence and self-appreciation, but also help me show my own organization that I am a recognized expert. This increase my chances of being respected here.

It is funny that I have had many such recognition in the past and my organization never made a good remark about these. This is strange, but as day goes on, my list is increasing and so does my case to present myself to my own organization. Lovely 🙂

These invitations require me to set up time and evaluate important reports. I am usually good about this and am looking forward to doing good job and writing great evaluation reports. At a time that I have been looking for ways to expand my credentials and move into the directions that will be good to me and where I would perform my best, these additional work only makes me happy and trusting the magical way of life in helping me move forward.

As a high level administrator told me a couple of days ago “when there is a challenge, there is the opportunity“.

I know that well now.

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Saturday morning musings

It is a beautiful morning 🙂 Birds are flying, trees are washing with the breeze, sun is warming and inviting, and coffee is just great 🙂

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When we grow up we listen to a lot of fairy tales. After a period of hardship, difficulty, and loss of hope, lost of great things, opportunities, and beautiful things happen in those tales. I once or twice reacted to this in my adult life, saying that the reality is in fact not like this and they fooled us by believing in that everything will be beautiful at the end. I felt like these tales were not representative of real life.

Today I think a little bit differently. I think we needed these tales to realize that things can turn to better way. That we should have hope and faith that things can and will be better in the future. It is not realistic to assume this is always to case, but the truth is that there is a chance that it will turn better and we must believe in this and find some kind of relief, hope, and optimism, rather than dwelling into negative chaos. 

So I repeat this sentence since yesterday:

“Everything will be great”

To recognize this chance and shift the focus of my mind from negativity to positivity. It worked this morning and may work at other times. I will use my chances. After all life is all about learning, experiences, growing, shifting, and most importantly about noticing and enjoying everything it can offer to us. 

And today I enjoy not only my coffee, but being alive, safe, healthy, and the well being of my loved ones.

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is there something called being desensitized to adversity?

So much is going on, and a lot of these are going in a direction that I wish they did not. Under different conditions, even upon one such event, I would be pulling my hair and stomping my feet. But not anymore.

I think I passed the initial aggravation with the first adversity and now am going through the continuous agitation and issues with a calmer head. How is that even possible?

One thought that keeps popping on my mind is that “eventually something better will come up“.  Yes, the things are not moving well, and I have issue over issue to think, plan, and resolve, and yes some of these issues will not be resolved and I will not be able to make things that I wanted to happen. These are all related to work, by the way, which is very important for me but not as important as the well being of myself and the loved ones. This gives me serenity.

There is a saying that one door may be closed but the other may open after that. I love this phrase and keep believing in it. This requires a little bit more care, careful look and research of additional opportunities, but time after time I find myself ripping the opportunities after such hard times. The wisdom of age is priceless. I just wished I knew what to expect from the future. 

I am saddened, however, by all the efforts, emotions, and hardship endured during all of these hurdles. Darn transition from one failure to next opportunities is long, too. So my pain has not suffocated yet and brought me to the next level. But I am curious about what will come next and how these and I will shape my future work and possibly life conditions.

Learning about life, myself, my reactions, and my emotions is a continuous process, I see. 

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my new hair

Farewell red hair – I will miss you so much….

I have got my hair fixed today. I had prepared myself for quite a light-colored hair, with lots of highlight. I had two options: I would either have it dyed to platinum colour and have dark brown low lights all over. Or, have it dyed to close to its original dark brown, and have lots of highlight. The colorist gave me two options: one: colour correction, which would take multiple visits (and a longer time frame to get a decent hair in the short term), or second: dyeing it to brown and have highlights. I chose the second option.

I was not ready to leave the current shade. I kept looking at the red colour and got very saddened….

It was a meticulous process that took around 5 hours; highlights in foils first. Root treatment second. Dyeing the rest of the hair next. And finally a toner application.

I was suspicious that the hair colour would turn too dark and as a result when the roots start showing up, the contrast would be weird. This is mostly because while washing out the toner, the colorist said that the highlights were somehow dark…. Argh…..

The moment I looked at my new hair was disappointment. All I could see was dark brown and no highlights…. Poor colorist needed to talk to me defensively 15 minutes or so, and try to convince me that the highlights would get lighter in two weeks. I was not convinced. Until she moved me over to the window where there was a lot of light. There I saw what she meant. Yes there were highlights, and yes there were not very strong, but I have had some lightness to hair colour that gave me hope and realize that we were on the right track! I apologized sincerely. 

Of course transitioning to my gray hair is a process that will take around a year. There will be times that I will lose my cool again and attempt to change it to platinum or something. But, today I feel like at least I have started the process and so far it is okay.  

Tomorrow is another day. Let’s think about it then.

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My hair after today’s treatment:

IMG_1645

And this was a day agoIMG_1600 

 

 

The first day of the “work” staycation

I am hesitant to call this a “staycation” because I am doing anything but relaxing.

I got up before 8 am and started working right away. I realized one of the works I have been working on the last 1 month or so had a significant flaw. Naturally, I fumed and my agitation that started yesterday heightened again.

I was so pissed and lost my hope in doing a good job that I contemplated about quitting this line of work and leave here for good. Oh, how lovely my life would have been then? (ah, no really… it would come with its own problems that is for sure, but at that time the idea of leaving these behind looked so appealing, so lovely…anyways).

I talked to my family and it was great to know that they were well and sound. Yet I think with my toxic mindset, I negatively affected their morale. Boy.. At least I felt a little bit better. But, at what cost, I should ask. I will apologize tomorrow…

After that fiasco, I realized that I may not be able to solve that flaw just yet, so I moved on with other tasks that I must be taking care of. Two of them have moved quite nice and easy. I must say sometimes being pissed off or feeling inadequate makes me quite productive. After all, if there is one feeling that makes me feel better is to be able to move/progress something.. Anything! 

I want to remind myself that all hurdles are an opportunity to grow and do better….

I want to think that realizing that work of mine was bad earlier than later was actually a great thing for me overall…..

I want to believe that whatever I am going through right now will pass and I will feel good again…..

As my sister said today, there are so many insoluble and serious problems in life that these kind of things do not make sense after all.

I want to feel these.

I want to.

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job situation assessment

I do not know whether what I am doing is right or plain stupid, but I am looking for jobs. I think I have found one ad that may be a good fit for me.

But I am hesitant to apply – is it too much of a work to make this application/interview? Do I really want this change in my life? What if it is not a unionized position and they can kick me out anytime they want?

What are my choices really?

Right now I have a respected position. I have a nice-figure salary. I have benefits. I am capable of doing many different things and getting involved in a variety of activities that are related to my profession. I have a simple life in a small city. I am capable of saving money. I have a routine. Life is easy and abundant. I am bored sometime, but life works well. Work, however, is stressful and full of problems and problematic people. One problem of mine is to be involved in too many stuff and getting fragmented. We also have the demoralizing financial issues, for now and for the future, and the constant nagging feelings of “we should be doing more” and “I am not good enough“.

While the idea of resigning and leaving things behind sounds awesome to me, I think I should be careful about the risks of potentially incorrect decisions. I realize today, for example, that being unionized is very important to me. I also realized that my salary is in fact a great one that many people would love to have. So would it not be possible for me to look into the positives of this job and identify more as to what is important for me?

Analysis

What I appreciate about this job and my life in this city?

  • Great salary/respected job position
  • Some level of safety/being unionized
  • Freedom on projects and activities undertaken
  • Ability to save and invest for my future
  • Simple and easy life

 

What I do not like/appreciate about my job and my life in this city?

  • The stress of undertaking too much work/not being able to say no to requests for help (This can be fixed)
  • The delays in organizational support systems; lack of efficient systems to keep things moving (I cannot do much about this, other than accepting the situation as it is)
  • Feeling inadequate. The constant struggle to “achieve” things. (This feeling is constant and life is too short – so what do I do? How do I handle this feeling? Work better? More? Smarter? Luckier? Among everything else, this is the one that is hard to digest. I really dislike this feeling)
  • The unhopeful future financial forecast and pension plan changes; the possibility of deeper provincial financial issues that can erase what has accumulated in terms of pension contributions and the house equity (This is very scary)
  • The possibility of more pressure on us because of the fiscal problems; the talks and acts of firing; the demoralized and agitated environment

 

I can still apply for jobs and who knows, maybe I will come across a great one. I do not have to seriously consider a new job unless I have got a great offer. Those that did not yield an offer, or with unsatisfactory offers are not the problem – I can turn them down. So.. With this in mind, I think I will just relax now. I gotta relax and handle the future uncertainty as well as the feeling of being inadequate… That is the best remedy for now. Let’s hope I can do that.

you know it when it is over

We have had a day of strategic planning for our organization yesterday and today.

The theme has been “how do we strive in this challenging financial situation” considering also the fact that our institution is firing people and this will likely increase over time.

While I was happy to contribute and produce ideas for a better organizational future, I also felt that it was just too surrealistic… Like an ideal world that actually does not exist… I know that it is not gonna happen even with our best efforts, so why do we pretend like things can really get better?

I also heard one or two people who came here with big ideals, plans, and names, and now were leaving for smaller jobs somewhere else. I did feel some kind of inspiration from this – not the smaller job part but leaving here for a new job part –  and I am feeling like I will be leaving myself in a year.

Right now, I do not know where I would go or which kind of a job I would get (ideally I would leave my current life and work only after finding a new job), but I would love one that gives me joy and excitement. My current job is too stressful, too demanding. Like many of my colleagues in my position, I am feeling inadequate and inferior. I do not feel good about myself or my work performance. I do not work my best.  I do not contribute my best. I do not feel good or excited anymore. My entire life is negatively affected, not only my professional life…..

So what is the point in keep going?

I am making a mental note that if I can find a good and exciting job, I would like to leave my work and life here behind me and start a new chapter in my life. Who knows; maybe this is exactly what I need to feel good again about myself and about my life.

on thrift stores, spring, and gardening

I continue to be excited after the thrift store treasure I hunted yesterday 🙂

I keep thinking; is it becoming more of a normal for me to shop at thrift stores? 

There are two thrift/donation stores at walking distance that I seem to visit frequently only lately. I am not comfortable with the idea of buying shoes, undies, trousers/shorts, sleep wear, or any other personal items (like towels or bed linens),  but shirts, blouses, jackets, sewing notions/fabrics, and books are okay.

I still seem to be reluctant “to be seen shopping at these stores” (talking about social pressure that I need to deal with in my own mind…) and to buy things that will give me an urge of “cleaning intensely’ before use. No offense meant to anyone with the latter point – I know it is just a personal thing; realistically any of the items at this stores can be cleaned and used, and I have not heard of a case that a serious harm occurred because of an item purchased from a thrift store. In contrast, in terms of limiting waste, recycling, reusing, and protecting not only the natural resources but also the unfortunate and poor, I am clear that it is the most responsible thing to do. Also, the variety is much better than any store we have around here and prices are very, very reasonable. I have not passed that “cleaning” stuff just yet. Anyways.

I was thinking; then why did I not do that before and shop at thrift stores?  

I have no answer to that, other than the fact that I think it just fits my current budget and life-style much better than before and I do see an additional personal benefit in terms of the excitement of browsing the stores (there is always something new), finding something that I can really like (and I mean that – the three blouses I purchased lately are incredibly exciting for me to have and wear), and the ability to purchase them without breaking my current lean spending plans (three blouses cost me 13 bucks so far….).

When was the last time I was so excited about something that cost me so little?

You got it.

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It is a kind of gray and rainy day. Nevertheless, I enjoyed a short walk in the morning. The winter has been hard on us but nature is awakening with trees getting greener and the air feeling a little bit more fresh, more Springy… I am really excited about walking becoming so easy and second nature to me. 

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I want to do better with my yard this Spring. I would love to have a herb garden and some nice flowers. We will see how it goes, but today I am proud to say that I planted 6 potato which had sprouted in my kitchen. My mom advised me to cut them in 2 or 4 and plant in the yard 5-10 cm below the surface. I have done this and i hope that I will see them grow into more potatoes 🙂 I have also planted the roots of fresh mint that I had purchased this week. I really would love them to survive and thrive – so far I was only able to grow mint and peas in the last 3 years…..

Let’s cross the fingers my friends 🙂

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joy journal – April 17, 2017

I am not writing to feel joyful today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have forgotten

poem

—————

I may have forgetten

got busy with work

but pain remains

for not being who I could be

if I were with you

I may have forgetten

got hopeful with future

but my dream remains

hinting how it could be

if I were your girl

I may have forgotten

got down with misery

but my grief has remained

for not being what I could be

if I could be

I would be happy with you

eventually I have forgotten

my heart mended

and mind refreshed

but tears remained

I got cold and void

for not forgivin’

random thoughts

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

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

But what can I do?

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

—————————————————–

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

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

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

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

I want to continue to like life.

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I wonder whether the end of humanity is near….

There is so many violence, armed attacks, conflicst, wars, and problems in the world that I cannot help but think maybe we are getting close to a significant conflict that will involve too many people, too many countries, and to many blood….

I honestly hope that I am wrong, but, come on!; a day does not pass without bad news here and there that clips the hope I have for the future of the entire human population and all countries.

A classic example of “social depression”?

What is the cause of heightened level of this social depression? Are these events more frequent now? Occur in unusual ways? Are we hearing more of these events now? Are we more empathetic? Are the casualities closer to home?

Based on my limited knowledge on history, mostly based on some novels I have read and some movies I have watched, I thought overall in the past we have had more violence. I thought now overall we were more tolerant and reasonable in our actions and social structures. I think we are better overall and our lives are also better (on the average of course): we have more resources as food and shelter. It does not apply to everyone, every country – I am very aware of this. But I thought overall the humanity has been improving. Except that we also have many organized or sporadic violence and hurt induced by who knows what. Except that through internet and social media, it becomes almost impossible not to hear them.

I know I will go back to my hope in a couple of days should there be no other bad news. But the increasing frequency of these events are very alarming. I fear that it will become our normal and we will watch passively a shift in our overall lives, or we will react and get polarized deeper and deeper. Just when we need unity most.

I hope I am wrong that there is a widespread social depression. I hope that things will be straightened out without further conflicts, pain, loss, and injustice in a very short time.

joy journal – December 13, 2016

In an attempt to feel better, this is my conscious attempt to remember the beautiful things, people, and experiences that enrich my life and my well being.

1. I am grateful for the soup I have prepared and drunk this evening. The nice thing about cold weather and winter is to be able to pamper myself with a hot drink or soup. I hope to remember to purchase hot chocolate packages this week; they are my favorites.

2. I am grateful for venting out via my blog this evening and getting rid of some of the negative energy.

3. I am grateful for the TV series I am watching (Rush, which is an Australian TV series) that makes my evening interesting and okay to go by.

4. I am grateful for my family; no matter what happens, loving them is a blessing. We may argue, we may mis-understand each other, we have have heart-breaks. but we love each other. Solid.

5. I am grateful for accepting my feelings as they are; they may be negative, I may be feeling down, but eventually I believe I will be okay. I may not be able to have a great relaxing holiday staycation this year, but whatever it is gonna be, I will be fine. I can always take some time off from work and try again..

6. I am grateful for thinking once again to have my will and estate planning done. I have been meaning to do this for so many years.. The problem is I feel like when it is done, I will die… This is a ridiculous feeling but this is how I feel… I must do this for my family. I must do this to have my stuff done while I am alive so that after my death I will not be a nausea for anyone. I am scared, but I will start it. I will check online and see what my options are. Then I will make appointments to talk to people/lawyers. I may be scared but this is the right thing to do. I hope to be able to accomplish it this time.. the truth is we never think we or anyone else we love will die. But we do…. Often times suddenly…. While I would love to live a long, happy, and healthy life, what is my guarantee that I will? That is a sad question that depresses me, but it is great to know that I want to live.

7. I am grateful for not having chocolate right now 🙂 I would eat the entire box! And then would feel resentful about it 🙂

sad decisions….

Sometimes there is no ideal choice and you just need to pick one that will better fit your current needs or wishes.

That is what I have done yesterday night.

Tomorrow, I am giving Jamie (the cat I adopted last Friday) back to the shelter.

It breaks my heart….

Jamie is a lovely cat. Just maybe too friendly, which I cannot accommodate in my life; like not being able to pet him very, very frequently as he constantly asks for it; not being able to allow him to lie on my keyboard, which otherwise limits my work and personal time; and not being able to let him sleep on my bed at night.

Rejecting him at these occasions feels very bad and he also shows the signs of frustrations, by biting or chewing….. Yesterday night after a number of biting and chewing attempts I thought: I knew I was not completely ready to have a cat (lots to learn to take excellent care of him), but I had never thought before that I would be scared of a cat….Sure somebody else would have handled these better, but I just feel helpless as to how to figure these out now.

This afternoon, I called the shelter and they expect him back tomorrow. My friend will come to help me to get him in the carrier. People at the shelter were sad…. I was sad. Very sorry…..

I feel like sh.t…..

I am sending a lovely creature out of my life to a shelter that he was not happy with at the first place (he does not like other cats while he is extremely good with people). I am denying him the happiness he has had here with me. I will miss his voice, his warmth, and trust on me. I will miss cleaning his litter box (for some reason, I never negatively reacted to that), picking up food and toys for him. I will miss the good memories we have had in the last four days, the way he made me feel unconditionally loved and trusted.

These are the emotional parts of the entire ordeal. I broke tears many times since yesterday….Emotions, after all, are quite powerful.

There is, of course, a logical part of the entire ordeal as well. I am not only denying him happiness but also frustration coming from not being pet/scratched every 10 minutes. This is actually good for him. I imagine him being quite happy in a new home with multiple people. I imagine him being happy with someone who is just happy with the way Jamie is, or knows how to train him (if there is anything like this)  to not do certain things or show certain behaviors. He is a great cat, young, beautiful, and healthy and I am sure that he can find a new home soon (I do not want to think otherwise….).

As per me; I will continue to feel like a failure, guilty, and heartless for some time. But when I think, I know it is the best decision not only for him, but also for me. I will be back to my regular life and life-style, and reflect on myself, my life, and my relationships with people or animals I love. I just hope that I will not dwell too much on this and over-generalize my failure with Jamie to my entire life and to my other relationships.

Love, my friends, can bring one to her knees, or make one to fly up high. The clash with emotions and logical thinking, on the other hand, can be detrimental; my self-induced self-hate right now, after all, is mostly due to this clash.

I am almost sure in a couple of weeks, I will be fine. Just like how I have overcome the emotions I have had for the first cat I had loved but did not adopt because he had extensive dental problems in the past…. I have hated myself for quite a long time after that, too.

It is strange that all of these and my interest to adopt a cat happened in the last two weeks.

What a strange, emotionally dense, and wonderful time of my life at the same time..

 

list of items I want

I am in the mood of buying stuff..

Whether this is good or bad, I have no idea.

Sure, if I buy things I want (i.e. not necessarily need), I would spend money and save less.

That is a loss. Kind of.

If I buy, then I can enrich my life, my activities.

Dilemma.

What do I want, by the way, that creates this dilemma?

 

baking-related items:

You know I am highly excited about baking bread – it is a great adventure 🙂

I want to have a dutch oven, a bench cutter, and a sifter, in addition to semolina drum flour, rye flour, and buckwheat flour. These are all can be purchased with around $100 – 150.

I certainly do not need this, but would love to have them. After all, rather than buying these I may continue with my current abilities: I can bake the loafs in my oven-safe dishes/cookie sheet; I have a small dough cutter, which is not fully functional but nevertheless works;  I have all purpose, whole wheat, bread, and corn flour at home, which I can use to make breads.

Yet, there is some kind of excitement in wishing to have the other items; to make my bread adventure almost full 🙂

 

furniture:

I would love to have one or two nice carpets. Not the synthetic ones, real, hand-made ones. They are rightfully very expensive, but it does not defer me from wanting them.

I would love to have an additional pantry cabinet; it would have it in the laundry room and place in all the cleaning products, like laundry detergents, dryer sheets, etc.

I also would love some more artwork/decorative pictures around the house; in the living room, bed room, and the bathrooms…

well, all of these would possibly cost me thousands 🙂

eeerk! No way I am paying that much money now 🙂

….

I guess I will have to opt to buy the baking-related items for now. It is possible that I can save some more money by being careful about my weekly spending, which can be then leveraged to purchase them. I may be able to use my fun funds perhaps…

Hope is a good thing 🙂

the years come and life goes (on)

Today I got a response to an email that I had sent 4 years ago.

4 years ago…..

Did I know that I would live 4 years to get a response back to it then?

The email was nice and laughter-full. I was young and cheerful. I liked myself in that email. Yet, I cannot stop thinking that it has been a whole 4 years since I typed those words and clicked on “send”.

Four whole years….

I have lived 4 years since then…..Four years of my life have passed, which brought me 4 years closer to the end of my life.

How were those years? Was I good? Was my life better? Exciting? Hopeful?

I can remember a couple of important things that have happened since then. I bought a house, I lost my dad, and I lost an exciting personal opportunity. I started a budget and got better in controlling my finances.  Work continued as usual. I visited my family every year. I got older. Everyone I know got older. Life continued.

The question is; will I be able to come back and read this post 4, 10, 20, 30 years later?

I hope so.

here I am working and thinking, and probably missing life…

I have just taken care of an urgent matter related to work and risked along the way to clash with a colleague of mine (since I am correcting their stuff…). I am interested in preventing this kind of personal or professional conflicts but sometime it just cannot be possible. I am more of a conservative person who would not confidently conclude about something without solid evidence, yet this does not look like applicable to everyone I work with. So, what do we do when find ourselves in that intersection with a colleague? Do the right thing but risk sore feelings by the colleague, or comply, be in good relationships with the colleague, but risk self-respect and reliability?

I do the right thing. Over the years, after many conflicts and clashes and negative consequences, I just am more careful and more constructive in doing so. That seems to be working well. Have I matured? 🙂 Boy, it looks so 🙂 Or get mellow, I do not know. Less ego and more wisdom would still be desired on my side, though (I have an ego, too) :).

Because of the critical consequences of clashes on collaborations (that also were supposed to benefit me or solve my own work-related questions), while I get furious sometime, I can calmly decide to be political, too. Once the storm has passed and once I am done, I can quietly move away. Until my work is done, too; that is my motto now.

Why do I tell all of these to you?

Because swallowing the screams of my own ego, finding courage to take responsibility and mellow things that I did not even create at the first place, and making the moves to do so takes energy, character, and determination. Additionally, during the constructive “handling and mending stage” knowing how critical every step I take and every word I say will be, I am naturally stressed. Those times can be quite dark sometimes…. Lately I have had such occurrences, and felt bad.

But must I?

I should not be losing the big picture along the way. There is life out of work. There are other ways to do things at work. Yes, there can be challenges, there can be significant drawbacks, new ideas and relationships to develop, and there may be delays along the way, but eventually nothing is that important.

I lost my dad and my world crashed. I have other people whom I love more than anything else and I can lose them, too. As a matter of fact, I may die anytime myself. So what is all these fuss about work?

What is it that makes work so important for us? I know many people who can make the decision to leave a career that does not serve them well. I have not done that yet. Honestly, I do not know what else to do and I need the income. It is the greatest job in the world (for me), yet my life is almost entirely filled with stress and issues related to my work. That is not good, not fair, not healthy. I take responsibility for this, of course. While I am aware of this, will I take steps to change the things as well?

I do not know, but I do sure wish so.

I have not lost my hope yet. I know, based on my past experience, that when it is over, I will know, and it will be over. Whether it is professional collaborations, job, or living conditions itself. I trust that and that is why I am okay to go, till the end of these fuss. Then, there will be a new start.

This always feels good, does it not?

hope and dreams

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

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

So, what happened?

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

How does that feel?

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

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

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

Do I deserve to be unhappy? Nope.

Do I deserve to be limited this way? Nope.

How many chances do I have in life? One

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

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

Am I in rush to find them? No.

So, what should I do?

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

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

I hope I will not lose these, too.

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

death and forgiveness

Death does interesting stuff to your thinking.

At least, that is what the death of my dad did to me.

I am open about my pain more than I have ever imagined. I am human and I am okay to show it. I do not feel vulnerable or exploited or something like that. No. I feel completely human by talking and showing my grief and as a result, I get completely human responses; nicer, more positive, more emphatic…. I think I am lucky that I have good people around me – not one person said “stop this; you get to get over the death of your dad” or anything else that only an insensitive assh.le could say.

I am also forgiving. After all, what is not to forgive? No one in my life has hurt me physically or psychologically. Yes, there has been people influential on me and I cried, complained, got angry or heart-broken over people or their actions. Yes, I thought there was injustice or unfairness. Yes, I thought that I could do a lot better if I was given equity/equal opportunity. But no matter what, no one has ever hurt me in a way that I could not forgive. I have since then forgiven all and I am feeling good. Like an internal iceberg has melted and I am filled with warmth instead….

Death is a lonely journey. Thinking about someone going thru it is terrifying. It terrified my right before my dad passed away; I was worried about my dad going thru this unknown all alone. Was he scared? I kind of think he might have… I was not there to hold his hand, look at his eyes, and say “it is okay, dad”… It still breaks my heart. Nobody should face death alone. It would be better if our minds and hearts are filled with love and gratitude, rather than fear and loneliness, while approaching our last moments in life.

So when I think about the fact that we all will go thru death, no matter how much we would like to ignore it, I feel the same compassion and affection for all. I do not think anybody in my life really meant to hurt me. And I would not like any one to suffer or be scared during their transition to death. These make forgiveness so easy, so natural.

I cannot believe death can have such a healing effect, but that is what I have experienced.

Hope you can forgive and it has been easier for you than it was for me.

Hope you can forgive someone today.

 

a beautiful day

What a beautiful, quiet, peaceful, and lovely day that I am passing with doing nothing in particular. Just watching a movie, browsing the net and the news, and drinking tea..

I hope you all are feeling refreshed and hopeful on this first day of the year 2016.

I hope you are surrounded by lovely people or their memories right now. Have a laugh, make a joke, relax those shoulders, relax that jaw. I hope today you will plan to do nothing particular but just be.

I hope today you have found in yourself the energy and encouragement to try that new dish, that new dress/tie, that new activity/hobby.

I hope you feel adventurous and free; free of fears and unnecessary negative feelings, and free to let go or accept whatever that is taking too much of your time and energy to fix or eliminate from your life.

I hope you too are feeling that there is something awesome about just sitting and sipping a nice cup of tea/coffee, without lurking into the troubles or things ahead, but enjoying this one minute as it is. At this moment, there is no past or future troubles for me. At this moment, we all are safe. This moment is pure, peaceful, and lovely. This, and the next, and then the one after that..

I know from my own experience that letting ourselves to just tune in with the moment, just listening to the moment does and and cannot happen all the time; after all, we all have daily life activities and work to do.

But today I will take this opportunity to enjoy it. While I am at it.

🙂

 

 

 

darkness

poem

——————————————–

I feel fearful nowadays darling
lots happened; I am weakened
one by one I am hit
repeatedly I got up
scrapped by each trouble
slower over time
despite my best wishes
I am feeling vulnerable now
I fear I will give up
not because I think I cannot get up
but because I may not want to
you sure would say
when the next one comes
“resist darling, resist
get up, just show up”
I got so tired darling
remind me one last hope
I am fearful nowadays
I may give up

——————————————–

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hope

Considering all the negative things happen in our lives and the people, ideas, and concepts we care about, it is normal to feel depressed and down time to time.

Things and conditions change all the time; some changes are irreversible, such as loss of a loved one.. But others can. The bad circumstances can change, the bad people/politicians/bosses/work place/relationships/financial hardship are all subject to change, however little or profound their effect is, however prolonged they are, they will change.

It may be hard to see this at the onset of hardship, at the onset of down time.

But days change so do the circumstances.

An hour is followed by another hour.

A season is followed by the other.

A year passes and a new one comes.

Have hope that this will happen. Have hope that things may turn around. Have hope that you will see it.

It is easy to accept things as they are when we think they cannot change. Have hope that even though we cannot directly do the change, other people, other circumstances can. A boss may be relocated, retire, or fired, for example. New lives emerge and enrich our lives. The influence and power of someone or some entity can be replaced by another, hopefully better one.

At the dawn of the hardship, try to remember that hope for change and improvement is the biggest asset. When we have hope, we have a wider vision. When we have hope, we can gather forces together. When we have hope, we can breathe together. When we hope, we can have further hope.

Life is interesting and change is constant. I know it sounds like a cliche but I see reality in it. Have hope that these days will pass. Have hope that the circumstances will change. Have hope that something, either in our power or not, may happen and improve it.

regrets

Like anyone else, I have regrets in life.

I regret eating unhealthy food today. I regret buying a useless book at the airport yesterday. I regret not losing any weight since the beginning of fall despite making huge changes and effort. I regret living in a city with limited energy. I regret loving my job so much that I keep present wherever it is present. I regret not have spent a long time with my family. I regret not saving money while I have had it. I regret not being happy. And I regret many other things in life.

I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine and the more we talked, the more clear it became that regrets were inevitable. Especially when we needed to choose between different alternatives or take different routes.

But whether or not some regrets were inevitable because we had no control over them was debatable. Regrets were certainly context-dependent and some regrets were unnecessary. Realizing this was uplifting and frankly made my day; I do not need to beat myself over some regrets – I can rather accept there was no better alternative, I tried my best, it did not work out, and I can move on. Priceless 🙂

For example, I can regret buying that book and spending $25 on it now. But if I had not bought it, I could regret it, too, because I would probably be bored at the airport by doing nothing much. I chose between the two alternatives; buying and not buying. I resent my choice right now, but I could as well resent not having this choice. So feeling the regret does not serve me well; I tried to prevent boredom and did not become lucky with the book. That is all. There is no room for regret here. Let’s move on.

I regret eating unhealthy today. I do not know why I have not eaten better. Maybe I needed to shop. Maybe I did not want to cook and prepare food. Maybe I just said “okay, I will start it again tomorrow“. I made a choice and now I regret it. This regret is different than what I experienced with the book (above), though; I do not think I would regret eating healthy, for example… In other words, the other alternative, eating healthy, was an a lot better and perhaps the best alternative. This regret is well deserved, as I simply did not make a good decision. I hope that regret now can serve as a valuable teacher for me to make better choices next time…

I regret not being happy (I am not unhappy, either – I am in a neutral state between being happy and unhappy), as I know what happiness means and how great it feels. I did not make the choice of being unhappy or being not happy. In contrast, I always wanted to be happy. “Maybe you just do not know how to be happy“, one may say… (I hope noone will say this; happiness sometimes is not attainable by the way it works for others). Anyways, I regret not being happy, but I did not choose it. So why do I have regret?

I guess the answer lies in the fact that I still believe that I can be happy and I can work towards it. So far in 40 something years, I have not figure out what it is that can give me lasting happiness (except falling in love with someone great… then happiness was the natural state; I just remembered….). But there is hope. One day.

I also regret spending my time and years in a city that does not excite me. My alternative is to move somewhere else, but I did not make this decision yet. I regret living here, but cannot take the steps to change it.

Why is that?

Because I can understand that the alternative may not be so good either and I may regret it big time, too. For one, finding such a job that I have here is almost impossible. Even though I am not making a lot of money, my salary and job are stable. If I leave this job, I may never have such financial and job stability in my life, even though I get everything else that I long for for an exciting life… That is the scariest part of it.

The moment I wrote the above sentence, however, something blinked inside my mind. I remembered that using the word “never” was a way of generalizing things without much evidence. So, who knows? Maybe there are other jobs that can provide me with these stability somewhere else. Maybe I should go check for them, yes? 🙂

Writing is awesome; it helps clear things for me. But more than that I am grateful for having hope 🙂

joy journal – Oct 29, 2015

joy 🙂

happiness 🙂

joy 🙂

peace 🙂

Alright, alright… Not everything in life is great, positive, joyful, or useful. I have been struggling with some negative feelings caused by an ugly behavior of a colleague of mine during one of my trips lately. I was ridiculed for no reason directly related to me and I felt quite down. There are a number of blogs I wrote about it and then erased. I am making an effort to put these behind (after developing strategies that I can use next time if a similar situation arises) and choosing to focus on positivity, goodness, kindness, and joy in life!!!

1. I am grateful for coming home after 8 days of two trips done to separate cities with long flights and tiring business meetings. Boy.. 🙂

2. I am grateful for sleeping till late to give my body to take a rest today.

3. I am grateful for seeing a friend of mine today and chatting with her all nice and easy at the cafe. Always great to have understanding and lovely people in my life.

4. I am grateful for the apple I have had this afternoon. I have not particularly eaten well in the last week during my trips. The only things I have done good were to a) eat an apple a day, b) drink milk to get calcium and vitamin D, c) take my iron supplement regularly, d) eat a variety of things, however fatty or carby they may be.

5. I am grateful for the airline that put me in a business class seat yesterday (for no reason) and provided me with hot towels and complementary food. I was hungry and planning to buy something. The food they have given was great and satisfied my hunger. On a separate note, I wished there was no economical class separation on planes. I wished we were all equal. I understand business is business, but…

5. I am grateful for meeting with a long time friend of mine during one of my trips. We had not seen each other for over a decade, yet our sincere and trustworthy friendship continues as if there has been no time gap in our friendship. What a great experience 🙂

6. I am grateful for taking today off and not going to work. I was supposed to be at my office as I have many things to do, but my body appreciated the relaxing and laid back day after the trips.

7. I am grateful for talking to my family on the phone today. I am glad that they are well and sound.

8. I am grateful for all the nice, kind, fair, lovely, and good-hearted people in the world. They do make a huge and positive difference in our lives. They make me hopeful and optimistic about life. They are my role models and I wish to spread their goodness with my behavior.

9. I am grateful for the lovely and smart colleague of mine I met at one of the trips lately. She and I met many times over the years while attending the same annual business meeting. This lovely European lady is certainly one of the kind and nice people I mentioned above and wishing her the best in life and continuation of her good heart and manners.

10. I am grateful for my internet connection and computer that makes the blogging possible for me. Reading all the genuine and authentic posts is a great pleasure. I learn a lot and I get to know really great people. Many of you guys have life experiences different than mine; I would not get to know life and develop a deeper empathy if it was not because of you. Thank you all.

11. I am grateful for keeping up with my conscious spending plan during my trips. I cannot wait till the mid December when I will wrap up this year’s budget and see how much I have spent, and  how much I have saved. I am also excited about designing a new budget for the new year, 2016 at the same time. Hope is a great feeling; thanks to my budget and motivation, I have done well in the last 4-5 months and I am excited that it is very likely to keep going in the future.

12. I am grateful for not cooking today.

13. I am grateful for my new streaming service; I love finding all the movies from the past that I like watching… I am dreaming about sparing one or two days in the future, long after I work very hard and take care of my work, when I will get my hot chocolate and just binge-watch some of these movies for a full day 🙂

14. I am grateful for the pants and the t-shirt I needed to buy last week when one airline lost my luggage and I had to purchase clothes. I liked both of them; I guess they are nice additions to my wardrobe and I certainly am enjoying using them 🙂

15. I am grateful for remembering to smile time to time today 🙂

16. I am grateful for the food I have had today, the coffee I have drunk in the morning, and the clothes I wear and keep me warm.

17. I am grateful for my books. I bought two books at the airports during my trips. I regret buying both of them, though they have let me pass time at the airport. Making a mental note to not to buy books at the airports anymore.

18. I am grateful for my regrets that constantly teach me something.

19. I am grateful for hope. Having hope… Being hope… Giving hope….

20. I am grateful for being grateful! 🙂

cancer, piss-race, awareness, and hope

Never under-estimate the power of hope.

Especially in the face of unknown, such as a cancer diagnosis.

If a charity run/walk,  a card, an email, a gift basket, a comment, a hug is giving hope to a patient, a sense of being cared/supported, I will do it.

Even though it is not going to be useful for many others, often less unfortunate ones that I cannot reach, I am not going to think about not doing it.

Well, of course I wish what I can do would be helpful for everyone.

But, if what I can do cannot be helpful for everyone, it should not mean that I should not do it or I should not support a small number of, even one, patient.

In cancer there is such a hierarchy, if you will. Those who are diagnosed with cancers that have generally good survival probabilities (such as thyroid cancer) are overlooked by many (not only physicians but also patients afflicted by other cancers). The same with the early stage patients who have better survival probabilities than the advanced and metastatic cancer patients. The use of terms “cancer” and “luck” in the same sentence is weird.

It is great that some types of cancers and early stages of cancer have good survival probabilities. I am so happy for this and I so hope the same progress for the others, especially the deadly cancers such as pancreatic cancer, early stage cancers with high-recurrence risk, and the advanced stages (stage III and IV) of any cancers. We need to have hope that one day we will see this, too. Hopefully soon.

Science and medicine is progressing in an exponential way; I think, overall, we are much luckier than the previous generations. I am sure decades ago, patients diagnosed with so called “good” cancers had grim prognosis as the treatments for them were not developed  yet. But it is possible today for a substantial portion of the patients.

If we are going to solve this problem called cancer, reduce the pain (both physical and emotional) caused by it, and find better prevention, screening, treatment, and cure strategies to reduce its impact on us, we gotta do it all together.

Not by fractioning.

Not by overlooking, ignoring, or selectively focusing on, or advocating for early stage, late stage, so called “good” or “bad” cancers. Or whatever.

Not by undermining efforts that aim to tackle cancer, whether it is raising awareness, advocating for more research, or health-care services, or development of better treatment and cure options (I understand though, sometime due to limited resources, we may need to prioritize the select efforts).

Cancer is not a piss-race: I wrote about this earlier and there are many others out there who presented their opinion. Of course I do respect others’ opinions and I expect the same in turn.

I understand that we all advocate for things we care for.

I care for all cancer patients.

If I can make one person aware of cancer…

If I can make one person learn about symptoms or screening tests for cancer…

If I can make one person understand their risk factors to develop cancers…

The truth is; there are so many people out there who are not aware of these.

And if they were, maybe they would help reduce their own cancer risks, seek medical care as soon as they experience the symptoms (not much later), and thus get an early diagnosis (early diagnosis can hugely help with better survival rates).

So, I think increasing awareness about cancer is important. So are advocating for better prevention and screening strategies, more research and research funding, and development of better treatment options for all patients.

This post is a little bit out of focus and probably not conveying what I exactly want to say; you will have to excuse me as today I am somehow pissed off about cancer, by cancer, the cancer piss-race and the hierarchy within it.

random thoughts

A rainy and misty day 🙂 It is good that I have an umbrella that did not break with the wind and made me safely (and without getting wet) took the bus this morning 🙂

This is a very busy week for me, but it is going well so far. Sometimes I am in “the phase” when I can function well and take care of many stuff. After a while it becomes too much and i need time to recuperate, but I am guessing I have a couple of weeks to go before that happens. That is cool 🙂

A couple of positive developments occurred today, which pleased me. With one of our important collaborators I have had some sour conversations in the past few months. Now it looks like we are mending this – they invited me to have a meeting in October. Cannot wait to talk face-to-face; it is always  a lot better than written correspondence. Plus, I gotta travel for a day or two to the US – trips and taking time away from the office is always a delightful break for me.

I also have a new team member, which arrived from another city last week. he seems to be doing well, settling in and getting adapted to our environment and the system. It is amazing how well young people can take the initiative and take care of stuff related to their living conditions without needing our help (I always appreciated and admired this). I have high hopes for this new team member; based on my initial impression, he looks like a mature and smart person. I think we will do great work together.

Having hope and positive developments always feels good; I hope you also had such experiences nowadays.

until next time

random thoughts

For a book-lover like myself, it is weird that I happen to put notes on their pages. Such an habit certainly makes the books unsuitable for others to read. Plus, it actually a little bit disrespecting to these wonderful, and information and imagination full things that we call books…

Anyways, just yesterday I notice a benefit of this practice. I was re-reading a personal finance book that I am fond of and I came across my notes from years ago; I wrote two major and extra expenses that I was utterly unhappy of. As a matter of fact, whichever personal finance book of mine I look at, I find this recurring expenses and my wish to eliminate them…One of them is taking the cab rather than the bus or walking (to and from the office).

I have a very good estimate of this extra expense; I save $90/week by taking the bus in the morning and by walking in the afternoon, rather than taking the cab in the morning and the afternoon. This corresponds to around $4,500 savings per year. Considering I took the cab for many years (only because it was convenient and I thought I deserved this convenience), the total amount I paid for my transportation unnecessarily adds up to quite a large amount of money….

I knew it then and I know it now. But what I have experienced yesterday is the relief of knowing that this years-long struggle is now ended (as part of my “conscious spending” project I have been working on the last 3-4 months) . While I am still not happy about writing on the books, I am glad I put these notes there to remind me how long I have been occupied with eliminating this unnecessary expense.

An additional, and perhaps more cheerful thing is that I have been working on the second expense that I would like to get rid of. It too has been in my list for many years and I am making attempts to erase it. After yesterday’s experience, I am more confident that when the right time comes, that expense category will go, too. Then I will be able to cross them as issues from my life.

Priceless.

The life in the diary – VI

Fiction

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February 8, 2013

It is beautiful outside – the snow slowly painting the streets, top of the cars, the roofs. The red coloured brick house across from the window looks like a famous painting; the mesh of all these colours captivated me. The sight is certainly a must see. The residents on the 7th floor casually walking in the living room, preparing the table for dinner. A nice family of four. I have not noticed anything unpeaceful in their behaviour. Parents are loving and lovely; kids are cheerful and excited. Normal pace of life – nothing rushful. Wishing these family the best; watching them gave me peace. And hope. For some reason.

I feel safe here; away from the life I have had outside. The work, the house chores, people, whatever stressed me out are non-existing here. More importantly none of these itsy-bitsy worries are here with me.

I feel peaceful.

Despite my pain, despite my health condition. I have had the break of my life. Thanks to this surgery.  Irony at maximus 🙂 Alas. I should be worried about the situation but for some reason I am not. I do not know, maybe it is “normal”; maybe this is how “normal” people feel and carry on their lives like. Maybe this is how it is supposed to be. Maybe not. Maybe my mind did just shut down; does not want to feel that existential worry. Or those other possibilities. Maybe, just maybe I am not supposed to cry. Maybe more than anything else, I just need to gather myself; tap into that strength I know I have, but is just battered too badly. Maybe it is what I am feeling right now? Can’t believe in this though…. I wish I did.

Life. What have you done to me?

Or was it me? I was brave once. Young and fearless. I was on top of the world, ready to conquer the life, for once and then all. I had the focus of a hunting lioness, the sharpness of an eagle, and the unprecedented power of the grizzly bear. I could handle anything in life; there was no unpassable hurdle for me.

Then I fell down. I just did. Do not ask why. Or how. It just happened and shattered all I had; the confidence, the focus, the strength. On top of that, I blamed myself for the fall. None went up again.

How could they? By constantly blaming and beating up myself, I mentally paralyzed myself. The child in me. The one who had the zest for life. I do not know whether I became an enemy of the life or myself.

If I am the enemy of myself, then I know how furious I can be and in turn how much I have endured from my own enmity.

Should I be proud of myself?

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The life in the diary – VI

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conscious spending update

For a while now I have been trying to save money so that I can continue to invest for my retirement and also save funds for my house repairs.

A couple of weeks ago I became serious about it. I have a large payment (an annual contribution for a retirement account) coming up at the end of next month and my chequing account has been on the border of being empty since last December. This week I started to see some improvement. I will not have enough funds in my chequing account to pay for the payment next month (use of line of credit is inevitable), but the situation looks a lot better now. I have hope that in two months I will have my chequing account back to positive. That gives me not only hope but also a great motivation to keep going 🙂

No large-scale shopping, no books, no gifts, no eating out, no cab (bus is my new hero nowadays :), and continuing the usual frugality for another two months. Two more months and I can do this.

great news! 🙂

joy journal – April 14, 2015

Here are the things I am excited, happy, or content about today 🙂

1. I am grateful for walking back from office to home – 30 min of walk. It is relaxing and good for my body. Well done 🙂

2. I am grateful for working with little or no stress today. Things are moving smoothly, though I will start working heavily again sometime soon.

3. I am grateful for eating some fruits at noon when I attended a presentation.

4. I am grateful for having a warm and bright day.

5. I am grateful about breaking my routine and working at my favourite cafe this afternoon. The waitress is a nice young lady; we chat each time (usually at the weekends). I was happy to chat with her (talking about coffee and weather, what else? 🙂 ). She asked me how long I have been here and whether I got used to the weather. yes, I have gotten used to the weather, but it took me a couple of years…. 🙂

6. I am grateful that there was still bagels at the cafe so I could get them this afternoon as well. Sometimes they run out of them, as these bagels are really nice and many people consume them.

7. I am grateful for taking the evening and the night easy, browsing the net and reading. Life is good when the mind is occupied by lovely things.

8. I am grateful for my food. I have not necessarily eaten ultra healthy today, but every once a while should be okay.

9. I am grateful for switching to walking shoes. I do not think I need to wear my winter boots again. I have lovely shoes, comfortable, too, which will be awesome to walk in.

10. I am grateful for being healthy, safe, and sound.

11. I am grateful for feeling better today, compared to yesterday.

12. I am grateful for combing my hair in the morning. How come I get so lazy I have no idea. My hair is long now and I can have a nice hair cut sometime to refresh my look.

13. I am grateful for the nice and chatty cab driver in the morning. He is not one of the regular drivers that give me ride in the morning. he was nice and excited about the beautiful day. Happy people’s attitude is infectious. What other way to start a day than such positive experiences?

14. I am grateful for sitting at my couch, rather than my recliner. There is something cozy and healing about this couch… It makes me feel pampered and relaxing. That is very interesting considering that it is just a couch…. Whatever that is, I will take it. feeling good is priceless.

15. I am grateful for continuing to clean my office and boxing some stuff. I cannot wait till next wednesday to finally say goodbye to my current office and move into my new office. Bright, clean, new office with a window. New furniture and environment. feeling good :0

16. I am grateful for meeting with a nice colleague of mine today. Having a chat felt good and his work is really interesting. We hope to recruit him to our department.

17. I am grateful for not getting a negative news today.

18. I am grateful for being hopeful about the spring and the summer. I am grateful for the hope that finally I will be able to feel the breeze on my skin. I am grateful that I will be able to go to the parks and listen to the trees as the wind goes through their leaves, making that beautiful and relaxing wooosh sound. I sometimes would like to think that trees can actually know a lot… strange but that is what it is 🙂

19. I am grateful for easily feeling grateful today 🙂

I am excited for ending the season of hibernation soon

The idea of spring excites me.

No doubt.

I can wear different, lighter coats. I love my winter coat- I bought it 7 years ago and since then it has been the only one I have been wearing. It is not particularly good looking, but it is water-proof, has a hood, inside is covered with feather-like stuff so it keeps warm, and it is long enough to keep my knees protected.

I think the winter is so long here, I kinda get used to wear the same stuff over and over. Then, when the weather warms up a little bit, I realize I have other clothes/coats/shoes that I can wear… Change excites me.

Clothes and shoes are not the only ones that I can change. I am feeing like I can walk for longer hours, maybe even in the morning (from home to the office). I think that is a great idea, considering that it takes around 30 min to do so. The health benefits (for my mind and for my body) are considerable. Plus, I get to save money. Why not to give this a try?

I may as well walk at the weekends. There are really nice neighbourhoods in the close vicinity and shopping centers. It will feel awesome to walk and break some sweat.

I am excited for ending the season of hibernation soon.

Hope, I find, is the best remedy for the long winters.

tomorrow is another day

One of those days that I feel meh.

My hands are cold for some reason and my appetite is not here, either (which is very unusual..).

It was actually another good work-day with many things learnt, discussed, and resolved. Plus, I have the night to myself, where I can relax reading, writing, watching TV, or listening to the music. I am not sick, all is well in my life, yet I just happen to feel this way.

Ok.. at first I screened my mind to find a reason for this feeling and could not find anything particular. So, it is not something that I know or remember that makes my mood a little bit down now. There is no benefit in resisting to this feeling; I just gotta accept and be at peace with the fact that sometime it feels all right, sometimes not.

Tomorrow is another day; it may turn out to feel just fine 🙂

joy journal – March 8, 2015

I cannot think about a better way to continue feeling better than writing the things I have been grateful for lately. I do not know what I will write right now, but I know that once I intend to write them, I will find them, I will remember them. That is in the simplistic term an effective therapy for me. Here I start;

1. I am grateful for my family and friends; for their love and support, their well being and health. I love them dearly.

2. I am grateful for today being a sunday. I have maybe another two hours before I go to bed and I can enjoy every minute. This being said, I can enjoy any minute any time; it is my choice and my right.

3. I am grateful tomorrow is a work day – one more day at home would get boring for me. I have the choice of taking a day off if I feel like I may need time for myself, or do not want to be in the office. That freedom feels good.

4. I am grateful for gathering myself up after the depressive day yesterday. I am not sure what happened or how I managed it. It did not happen because I tried something, some way, some strategy (such as meditation, talking to friends, or so); it just happened. I feel like my mind helped itself. It feels good.

5. Despite all issues, worries, or negative things going on in my life, I am aware that I am not the only one, so I feel some kind of relief. Many people have even more dare issues to deal with; sickness, grief, financial troubles, etc. I know I am not immune to life’s challenges. I know that I will go through them like anyone else.

6. I am grateful that I have food, clothes, furniture and a house to live in.  I am thankful that I can afford all of these.

7. I am grateful that this morning at my favourite cafe, instead of working i read a magazine. What a nice change! And change I like. Routine gets boring after a while; seriously does. I need change; different places to see, different colours to wear, different opinions to hear.

8. I am grateful for my blog, computer, and the internet connection that makes this writing possible.

9. I am grateful that I realized I need a break. yes, I do. how wonderful it would be if I could afford a mini vacation, a week maybe away from this cold winter and every day routine.

10. I am grateful that I support myself fully and I am capable of facing things, however scary or annoying they may be. I am thankful that I appreciate myself and thank myself.

11. I am grateful that there are some nice voices, smiling faces, supportive and compassionate souls here and there. it is nice to hear someone offering that they can listen to me if I want to talk it happened here yesterday; many thanks you 🙂 ). I am grateful that the waitress at my favourite cafe yesterday get my coffee ready before I asked. I learnt her name and I have thanked her. That was a high-energy experience. It re-charged me, gave me hope, and energy. Thank you Jessica. I hope when you need it, you will find many people around you to support you and make you smile, like you have done yesterday for me.

12. I am grateful for not being agitated right now; a little bit maybe but not too much. there is quite a relief in accepting things as they are and letting wishes, plans, and any other thing that do not work and bothers me go. That is a great feeling. Some may say it is a failure, I say I am liberated. Point of view.

13. I am grateful for the daylight saving time being started (or ended; I do not know which one) today. I have not enjoyed losing one hour today, but you know what; this one extra hour-long daylight in the evening gave me hope. this one extra hour of light made me feel like, even though it does not show its face yet, spring is about to come. a couple of more months and then things will be brighter. It feels good.

14. I am grateful that while I was depressed yesterday, I did not whine to anyone and reduce their energy by it. All needs their energy to go through their lives. I am happy that I have not negatively affected any one.

15. I am grateful that I realize I take too much to do and along the way get overwhelmed and inefficient (as I have been lately). It is time for me to say no to certain things. It is time for me to stop during the day and do something different. As a matter of fact, that is a great idea! why do I not have a “Change of the day” section here and write down things that I did differently!! That will be awesome! Great idea! even a small thing can make a difference in my life. I am grateful that I have come up with this idea right now. Another great thing about writing my joy journal! :))))

16. I am excited for the “Change of the day” idea and I am grateful for that. Excitement is a great thing.

17. I am grateful for making a list of things that I have done as a change lately: here is my short list:

a) starting a blog ( a few months ago)

b) writing poems and short stories (I hardly did before I opened this blog)

c) buying less groceries

d) eating more carrots

e) drinking tea at home, even for time to time

f) starting yoga and then taking a break from it before it became a routine activity

g) planning to start yoga again

h) starting to work at my favourite cafe

i) not visiting my favourite book store – now I actually wished I had; it is such an exciting thing to go through the books, buying them and bringing home, and then exploring them. Due to winter I could not walk there, but you know I will start sometime soon. So it is great.

j) changing my tooth paste

k) changing my laundry detergent; it smells so good I am very happy about it.

l) not shopping large – I enjoy shopping, buying things that I will need, especially if they are on sale. On top of the things that I need, I also purchase things that will feel like a present to me; a pack of pens, some other little stationary items, something colourful. I have not done that since the holidays because I have everything now. This probably saves me money, but at the same time I should mention I missed that feeling of shopping!

it is dark here, but I will have perseverance

are the winds gone? why am I breathless?

none seems right; perception perplexed

xerosis of my soul is here… no joy, no avidness

in the lightest hour of the day

envision a sky reflecting greyness

the dreams fighting with hopes

yes – it is dark here, but I will have perseverance

*dedicated to an anxiety patient

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The life in the diary – IV

Fiction

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February 6, 2013

I am in the hospital bed – my surgery was two days ago. I woke up 2 hours after it. The doctor did not visit me yet, but one of the residents did. She said the doctor did a good job and the surgery went well. My vital statistics are good and I am into recovery. I will stay in the hospital a couple of more days just to make sure there is no serious post-surgery concerns before I can be released. The resident says my doctor will tell me the future course of my medical care. I am waiting; it has been two days with no sign. I feel deprived but at the same time, I do not care. If it was a serious issue, I am sure my doctor would just fire the news.

The bed is not bad but the other patient in the room is noisy – I am happy for her that she has visitors; everybody needs that. But I am not happy with the long loud phone conversations. I feel like I know her entire ordeal, which is dare. She has broken her ankle and it got infected. I have seen the foot – it is all brownish, reddish, blackish colour. I felt for her. She hopes to get our of this without losing her foot. I totally understand and wish her good. I seem to be doing better than her.

I feel a lot better now prior to the surgery. I am not shaky or scared anymore. I am sure the surgery removed the bad cells and we will do our best to remove the rest too. It is good that the bulk of them is gone, the task at hand seems easier now. I know deep down that I will handle that well. It will be over sometime.

I have three different nurses come and check me, draw blood to do the tests. They are so nice; nurses should be given a higher level of respect and appreciation. For a patient there is nothing better than a smiling and affectionate look and words. On one occasion each, two of the nurses almost made me cry. The first one was a nurse who was trying to withdraw blood and was not able to find the vein or get the blood in two trials. She had to go thru my hand and she apologized for it. It was thin butterfly syringe that is really kind to my nerves. And when the nurse saw the blood filling the vial, she exclaimed with joy and said “bull’s eye!”. She is a sweetheart and I am wishing the best of everything for her. The second nurse I have seen only once so far and she asked me whether I would like her to help me with my bath and wash my back…. I wanted to cry so hard…. Affection is the kindest act ever. May she find happiness, health, and whatever she is wishing in life.

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The life in the diary – IV

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Let me make it worth living

There is a serenity in starting a new year – facing a new date to write on paper.

Being aware of an upcoming new period has been my favourite in the last few years during holiday season- it does give me a chance to reflect, notice, and note the past events, developments, things to finally change, and to hope and plan for the better days in near future. I also realize how much time has elapsed since last time whatever has happened or has not happened – that is quite powerful;  I kinda understand, crystal clear, that it is time to let go.

So let me let go – worries, loves, interests, and anything else that does not serve me good. Let me create the mind-set to make new habits, new beginnings, new excitements, and new approaches to myself, others, my work, and my life. I have one life half-lived; let me make the rest of it content, happy, healthy, and interesting. Let me make it worth living.

The life in the diary – II

Fiction

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January 26, 2013 – continued

I came home. As I predicted, yes I have cried as soon as I left my doctor’s office. There were people around, I am sure they knew why. I did not care – there is a sweet freedom in not caring what others think.

Yet I was shaky; eyes wet, feet dragging each other. I felt the need to distract, pamper myself. I think I bought a cup of coffee and a muffin from the Second Cup located on the main floor of the hospital. Patients, visitors, staff, and nurses/doctors are all mixed up in the line up. It is interesting how we all wait our turn – no matter what we are, how we are. Just yesterday I was in the same line up, all tensed up and absent minded thinking about the work, the issues, and how to get over them. Yesterday, it turns out, had been a fine day.

My misery today is due the prospect of future desperation. What am I going to do? This question is brutal… Particularly when I do not know the answer. When there is no one around to ask a hand. I will have to figure out a lot of things myself… Maybe it is good. Maybe it will force me to get out of my chain of thoughts. What else can I hope for?

I walked up to home; half crying, half hurrying. Home is as usual welcoming and warm. I just threw myself on the couch, holding my face between my hands, my legs crawled to my belly.

I cried like an unborn child.

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The life in the diary – II

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my love, I can not lose myself in love

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I have not lost myself in love yet

you have not met with my feelings

my feelings; those little birdies

new to life, curious and excited

so innocent, so shortsighted

I am excited mostly; just sometime cautious

what will happen to my feelings

once they meet with yours

they can get crushed

they can get cherished

in cherishment is the hope

and the hope I dream

however excited I may be

and my feelings daring and keen

my love, I can not lose myself in love

unless you walk in

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Kate’s short story – XLI

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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.

Do you know what that makes me?

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You would not imagine the role you have in my inner world M.

Did you know I found strength in you? Knowing that there you are, my heart fills with love, affection, and care? Do you know what that makes me? A happy, excited, and strong person, it does.

Did you know I found a chance to know myself better because of you? Knowing that I can love truly? Do you know what that makes me? A self-appreciating and powerful person, it does.

Did you know I found the courage to dream with you? Knowing that my life can be better, a lot better with love? Do you know what that makes me? A brave person, it does.

Did you know I found a better understanding of how selfish I was, almost as much as you were? Knowing that I had lost our mere chance because of this? Do you know what that makes me? A maturing soul, it does.

Did you know I love you more now because of all these things I have learnt about myself?

Knowing that I have profoundly changed?

Do you know what that makes me?

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Kate’s short story – XXXI

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Sasha – part 5

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The biggest challenge about the anxiety I had was to reverse the beliefs that made me scared.

Once you believe in something, especially if it is something that demands your attention all the time, such as extraordinarily fearful thoughts, then you must get away from it or diminish it. Since it was my mind that made these calculations and found in itself the right to fiercely warn me of the fearful situations, moment after moment, basically  I could not run away from them.  So how do I reverse such strong beliefs?

At first, resisting to the fear acted very strongly against me; the more I resisted to the fears, the stronger they got. That was a horrible experience. That pretty much describes it….

Once you hit the bottom, something moves you up sometime. So, since there was no hope in resistance diminishing my fears, I opted for accepting the consequences of my fears. I assumed in reality I was in that fearful situation. Do you think that feels better? Certainly not – as a matter of fact it horrified me more than anything else. What would I do if my fear become reality? What if I lose it then? Would I cry, scream, or beg? How would be the pain I would go through? How would I stand all of these? There was no relief in it. The end was, well, horrible.

Since neither resisting the fear nor accepting the fearful reality were solutions, then what was it going to be? Establishing what I could do to scare myself less and making new memories and new beliefs were essential in my recovery. This is how I found in myself the courage to calculate the risk; how likely was it? Was it possible to get away from the prompters (those things/people/events that made me remember it), would change in my life be helpful in getting rid of the fears? Was there a space, behaviour, attitude, or people that I would feel safe with? What would I find the strength, hope, and protection in?

That was a turning point. Took sometime, but it is done.

I still time to time feel that they are check me, making me feel like they are coming, but I am not going to let them take over again. Nope. I have suffered quite a bit from anxiety. While this is my wish, nevertheless, if it happens again I am confident that this time I will go through it faster and with much less suffering.

In the mean time, I will go ahead and continue working my mind, have a healthy and relaxing life style, and enjoy my life. I have one life. I mean to enjoy it. Pretty much actually. And that feels good. Great in fact.

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*that is probably the end of Sasha’s story

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Sasha – part 5

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end content

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two nights ago

a thought crossed my mind

“this will end one day”

it said

realizing the truth in it

maybe for the first time so naked

I felt the urge to live and panicked

I did know that

I would either regret

not having been with you

or be content

knowing that I did love you

I will not get to choose

which one will show up in my mind

to prevent the regret

forgetting you till then

would be the best

yet I will take the risk

I wish to end content

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Kate’s short story – XVI

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while waiting the end of “us”

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I trashed everything that reminded you. But memories are the worst; how do I bury a part of me?

Nevertheless, with a strange pleasure I can say that it has been four days…I was not able to feel anything for you.

Neither love nor hate.

I did not miss you.

I did not even cry.

There has been other times like this before; none so long, though. I had estimated that over time they would get longer and longer. Then, one would be “it”. “It” would be the end of “us”.

While I cry over you, I often find myself humming “Come What May” of Moulin Rouge; one particular line I like – “suddenly my life does not seem such a waste“. It is such a fragile line.. What happens if one replaces the word “waste” with “mess”?

ah, yes..

There will be an end of us.
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Kate’s short story-V

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the poem of heart

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we all were wrong

it started as a joke
then stuck around
yet I got it serious
and I was into it
maybe it was your joy
may be your loveliness
for whatever reason there I was
waiting you

one fall evening
you gave me a flower
finally thought
you would ask me out
waiting long enough

I asked a friend
“T, do you think he likes me?”
he said with sadness

“no, he does not”
my heart sank…
we all were wrong
and I was
the last one to know
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Kate’s short story-IV

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love comes and goes

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Love comes and goes; that is my observation.

It is such a fragile thing, love is; it is like an unstable chemical that one moment there with all of its intensity requiring all the attention for its needs and then the next time, it is gone … no more the exhilaration, no more the joy, no more the excitement, no more the demands of it.

Nowadays I feel like it does not exist any more and I find a kind of serenity, peace in it. Deep down, though, I know I in fact find a great pleasure for its non-existence towards him. That is possibly my ego talking and if my ego was not strong enough, then I would be deeply saddened by its non-existence; is not my love toward him what I loved more than him?

Things will change soon;  I will choose practising kindness and forgiveness and my ego will subsidize as a result. I will start feeling the intensity of it and its demands from me again. Like someone/something that I cannot say no, I will give my whole attention to ensure its survival. It will drill my heart. I will shed tears.

Human heart is a primitive thing and human mind is a calculating one. This duality is what bothers me most about love.

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Kate’s short story-III

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the sincere poem

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when I was there with you
I had a glimpse of life;
it was beautiful
and exciting.
and I was plain happy.

Happiness, one I got used to too quickly.

did I love you?
I have been pondering over and over again
I cannot know the answer;
as I do not know why I loved you
before and then
but then I came to realize that
when it is just an internal monologue,
it is not love anyway.

but I loved myself when I was with you;
a happy, excited, soft, and expressive intense creature!
Boy! I loved myself then
and now when I remember!

if you are going to stay angry at me
go ahead do that
but if you think you cannot forgive me for that
you are plain wrong

Kate’s short story – II

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