where does the time go?

I have no idea why everything takes more time than I can plan for nowadays?

Am I tired?

No.

Am I undertaking too much?

Yes.

I just accepted two small but additional tasks today, considering that they will strengthen my professional skills. I was happy in the morning to have them. Yet, I turned resentful in the evening – only because I could not finish what I was planning to do today. Today, rather than my own work, for 6 hours I helped a team member of mine do and finish their work…. As a result, I am late to take care of some critical jobs of mine and opportunities.

There are lessons to be learnt for me from this (recurring) experience. I kinda know what I must do (say “no” and let others be responsible for their work), but am hesitant to do it knowing that if they cannot do it right or on time today, I will have to fix a bigger problem in the future.

Goodness help me.

a touch of kindness and cacti

I have a colleague that I find quite annoying. I really do not understand his reactions or comments. It is like we are of different worlds.

Fine with me. Fine with him. We keep our professional interactions distant. It works.

This morning he brought me a cactus (prickly pear) – my first cactus ever! He was aware of my latest interest in succulents and thought I might rescue his cactus. It is the most beautiful cactus -a¬† little one with 3 levels of pads; the third level consist of small ones and it is so pretty ūüôā

It has been a warming moment between my colleague and I. I was genuinely happy and he was happy to see how happy I was. Emotions can be quite healing, my friends.

I was excited the whole day.

I planted my cactus in a new pot, changed its soil, and placed in a nice window sill. I will not water it for a week or so to give the roots a chance to heal. In a couple of months, I will try propagating it – I may have mini cacti! ūüôā

These being said, I have 4 cacti seedlings germinated. Unfortunately I dropped and broke one of the glass propagation containers. It demoralized me, but it should not (my new approach to self care – trying not to beat myself for accidents or mistakes…). I sifted out the soil, hopefully still having the seeds, and placed in another pot. I am not hopeful about the future of this propagation attempts, but who knows? Maybe the more I ignore (which I am inclined towards now), the more likely that one or two seeds will germinate… We shall see.

Three lessons learnt today;

  • A touch of kindness certainly can dissolve ice
  • Ignoring succulents/cacti is a much better approach for propagation – I can swear that the more you care, the less they grow or strive!
  • I can be compassionate towards myself ūüôā

 

 

 

Sunday morning musings

It is a bright and warm summer day; who can complain about these? Certainly not me ūüôā

Water GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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It is a routine Sunday morning, which is good. It feels great to be back to my routine after a couple of agitated days.

There are things that I realize after the recent ordeal:

a) I feel better within my own so called “highly structured daily life”, where every action and activity has a time and meaning. I do grocery shopping on Thursdays, purchase milk on Saturdays, clean the house and do the laundry on Saturdays, read, write, and watch movies/TV series during the evenings, and work during the weekdays between regular hours. I miss spontaneity time to time, but losing my routine when I most need it (i.e. when I am agitated and stressed) is worse than the boredom that I feel when not having spontaneous activities. You may call me old, hey, I may call myself old, but honestly I like the way my now middle-age mentality works for me, and knowing what works and what does not work for me. One can call this wisdom that comes with age….

b) I may need to reduce the amount of distractions I have at the office so that I can focus on what is important for my work. I lead a small team of talented individuals, some of which requires more supervision that the others. I also have collaborations with other groups and roles in committees in my organization. Late Spring, I started to aim for having at least 2 work day with no meeting, which turned out to be quite beneficial for me. I would love to keep doing this with some luck, by saying “no” more often, and by organizing my time a little bit better. I contemplate on increasing the work hours, either during the week or assigning a week night for work. Fridays can be a good option, but I will have to see that. While I am aware of the fact that I must work harder or longer, I also would love to keep my “me” time that relaxes me and lets me engage in learning, writing, and fun activities. I am a strong proponent of having “me” time. I do not wish to let go off this now.

c) The recent agitation was triggered by me being not prepared well in advance. When I realized that the work I was working on was, although bright, not feasible, I felt anger. Towards myself, towards everything and everyone that kept me away from having more time. This is not right and this is not healthy; others have nothing to do with this. It is my own responsibility to protect my own time and manage it better. I should take full responsibility for my own actions, or inactions, and stop being a drama queen. I cannot keep failing myself. This gotta stop.

d) These being said, I must also say that stress sometimes makes me work way productive than the rest of the time. Like the rest 3 days, when I actually fumed a lot but also did a lot. Stress is counter-productive when it is too much, but as the others would also say, it also facilitates some action. Thus, as long as I remind this myself during high stress times, perhaps I could go through those times smoother.

Lessons learnt… Sometimes over and over… But, hey I am a human being with all the fails and limitations.¬†

Fail GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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I am looking forward to today; there will be a thrift store visit (I hope), conversations with my family, a sourdough to bake and give to my good neighbours next door, and some X-File episodes to watch at night! Boy, the later parts of the Season 2 was just heart-pumping and the first episode of Season 3 is making me jump in excitement! Thank goodness that we have such joys and excitements in life! 

I believe it is gonna be a fantastic day!

The X-Files GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Have a great Sunday everyone ūüôā

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gifs by:https://giphy.com/gifs/sky-water-Xlk4JrwQE7XEs;https://giphy.com/gifs/fail-how-never-L1MlsgW6c7n5C;https://giphy.com/gifs/the-x-files-3o85xJ2EwWyDOWsxlC

 

random thoughts (and a lot of rant)

Friends;

I have had another challenging day. I am happy that it is over but it was hard. Very hard. I am writing to face my short-comings and rant about myself. So if you are interested in feeling better, I am afraid this is not a post you would be pleased to read.

That being said; yes I have short comings. We have had this 4.30 pm meeting arranged maybe 4 months ago. It involved a lot of people and those that we have not met face to face. Making a good impression and exploring collaborative ideas while also making everyone on our side look good and feel happy was a challenging task.

I failed.

It looks like I was not updated well enough, the idea I was proposing was not well developed, and I did not form critical connections and involve necessary people before. I should have done these prior to this meeting.

I feel like a failure. I feel naive and not suitable for my position. I feel like I would have controlled everything better but could not.

I am trying to mend the things on our side, and I hope acknowledging my own contribution to this experience involving others will ease some sour feelings between me and my colleagues.

I left the meeting feeling stupid. I am now kind of back to my senses and writing helps a lot too. They say after every fail is a great lesson to be learnt. This experience should not be about me being an inadequate person at work, but about discovering the things I should be learning. So I write them as they appear in my mind right now:

lesson 1: be kind to yourself

lesson 2: nobody is perfect, so am I. So what?

lesson 3: next day these feelings will pass – nothing is permanent

lesson 4: when compared to very important things in life, this failure is nothing.

lesson 5: I have short-comings and I know next time how to be better

lesson 6: it is okay to acknowledge my short-comings., especially towards others that pointed out my short-comings

lesson 7: if I find myself fail in one part of life over and over, maybe it is a sign that I must move into another part and try my performance there. Perhaps there is something that I can do a lot better

lesson 8: not all reactions I have got was negative – some things are working.

lesson 9: after all, I may feel like failure but looking at the reactions (that what I was proposing was not well developed), that is also opportunity to get others involved and perhaps contribute to the case more. That is actually pretty good considering that getting my team’s attention to the problem was the biggest challenge for me at the first place.

lesson 10: tomorrow is another day and next year nobody will remember this.

lesson 11: my feelings are exaggerated by the fact that I have had another very ridiculous meeting yesterday. One person that I was interested in working together and I had a phone conference. That person only talked and talked and never let me talk and express my ideas or opinions. At one point, I raised my voice,¬†stated that the person was not listening!¬†(i am sorry I have done that) and cut his words. He then listened to me and understood the issues I have had at my hand related to the work. I dislike being mean to others, but I sure dislike being not considered or constantly being interrupted. I hope I never do that to others…

This and today’s meeting; they helped¬†accumulate my internal pressure.

I will make things better. I promise.

Feeling better already ūüôā thanks for listening!

seeing glass half-empty

Argh… What a mess.

I am tired.

Almost exhausted.

One thing over the other.

It is all work-related of course…

You know I really believe in the fact that I usually have a tendency to see the glass half-empty. If it was not for my joy journal, I would probably keep dwelling on the negative, issues, and the feelings I experience because of them. And I would miss all the beautiful things happening in addition to them.

I, however, work well.

I, however, take care of stuff to my best.

I, however, witness beautiful things around me.

I, however, cannot accept well the things that I cannot change.

I also do not forgive myself easily.

Argh…

here I am miserable within my own world that I shaped for myself.

I know I am not the only one that goes thru this. I know many people work and face with hurdles as much as I do, even more and bigger. yet, they keep smiling and not exhausting as much as I am.

The reasons I am feeling miserable, stressed, exhausted, and inadequate are because of my own choices towards work Рit needs to be high quality, finish as soon as possible, and I should dwell into new fields all the time.

Well, I cannot have a work of poor quality, so I applaud myself for insisting on it. Yet, I can relax the need to finish things in limited periods of time. And I do not have to fly in the new fields, new questions, new projects all the time. Maybe it is time that I realize I have a limited capacity, too. Perhaps instead of challenging myself and others around me, I should focus on what I do best. Maybe I should choose comfort over challenge more often.

Lesson of the day ūüôā

I am gonna make that bread thing work

I am feeling discouraged by the unsuccessful baguette trial today.

I made my first bread last week without knowing much about bread-making. I did not measure water or the flour; it included egg and vegetable oil (as I thought bread would contain these), it was 100% whole wheat flour (which rises slowly and usually yields hard breads), and I only raise the dough once and only for 45 min  and at room temperature (it was supposed to raise twice and rest each time around 2 hours at a warm place. At least that is what others are saying) and then baked in the oven at an arbitrary temperature (325 F) until I thought it looked alright.

Then I read a lot about bread-baking and watched I do not know how many videos, and I tried my second bread today. I admit I forgot many things that I had learned (kneading well and making a solid dough, not a sticky batter), adding seeds on top, etc. but, I thought I was more knowledgeable this time and would end up having a great loaf.

Alas….

Anyways… While I was excited to have my dough risen today, I was quite discouraged after the baguettes¬†I made¬†today, but I am not letting this bread making saga leave my hand yet. I will follow recipes if I must. I will watch more videos, read everything I read again, and I will follow my guts. I will make this work.

This being said, I wonder whether sometimes reading/learning too much confuses us or makes us more and, perhaps even falsely, confident (my second bread)? Maybe improvisation and listening to our guts can prove to be better sometimes (i.e. my first bread)?

Anyways. I know that like anyone else, I am capable of making breads. I also learnt by experience now (knead the dough, make a dough not a batter, rise the dough less, add seeds on top and apply egg mixture, etc.). Maybe I will  not become an expert of all bunch of different ones in a short time. Maybe I should focus on replicating my whole wheat bread recipe (the first bread) until I get confident that at least one type of bread I can make without failure. I then can move on with the recipes.

You know that I will be baking another bread next weekend, right?

decluttering, decisions, and the need for change

Mostly because I was tired of the fear of going thru the clutter in my living room (which also includes my study), I have started decluttering my living room this evening; I have not done a super-duper work yet. I just dusted two shelves of a bookcase, went thru each item there, dumped those that are absolutely not necessary, found some items (like USB keys) I keep buying as I need them big time (yay!), and torn down the used-up pages out of my notebooks Рthat is all (while the work I have done was little, it somehow felt good Рsee below).

Ironically, this area is¬†a mess right now; with books, stationary items, and others sorted and put in different piles. Even though I do not like having¬†such a disorganized view in my home and I do absolutely dislike having unfinished work once started, to my surprise I am not annoyed. I guess the reason is that I am glad that I started; I know that once started I will keep going. At least the fear of doing this activity is gone…. But more than these,¬†I stopped after half-an-hour of cleaning and decluttering because I felt like I was not making good decisions.

Consider this example: I found 4-5 cards and their envelopes in a box on the shelf. They are in good condition, but looking at them does not bring me joy or excitement. Plus, I had completely forgotten their existence and as well may live without them. My dilemma is: what to do with them? Store for future use because now I am aware of their existence and as such can appreciate and make use of them in future, or dump or give away because I¬†do not necessarily like them and I have not used them in the last, I do not know how many, years…

I pondered about it and I am glad to say that I now decided I would not like to keep them. So tomorrow, they will be in a different pile. Good job.

There are however other, more important decisions to be made: which books should I keep? This will give me quite a head-ache. I am clear about donating the novels, as once I read them I cannot re-read. But what about others? The books I have not read yet are also okay; I will prioritize them to read next time (it is actually exciting that I have books I have not read yet). But among those I read about history, science, personal development, and project management; which one of them should I keep? If I am not keeping books, how should I get rid of them? donate them to friends, library, or charity?

On a interesting twist, I dumped many cards sent to me by friends and colleagues. They were all nice-looking cards with good wishes in, yet they have been on my window trim for more than a year. It felt right to get rid of them, clean the area, and implement a change by placing a nice pot of plants. I am not sorry for this decision – change became that area and it feels good.

nevertheless, I have some¬†lessons learnt from this afternoon’s experience:

1) although I have not read the book (but read many blogs about it), I seem to be embracing the Konmari way of decluttering (i.e. whatever does not give joy should go),

2) it may be scary or unpleasant to declutter a part of the house, but it eventually happens and feels good,

3) as usual decluttering activity helps with remembering the existence of our stuff, and bringing them out for use or donation (either way, it is good),

4) if you feel like you do not make good decisions, stop before you move on, give yourself time, and wait for the clarity that comes with the break, and

5) even for things that we love so much at the time being, there will be a time to replace them with something else (because we crave for change in the scenery).

random thoughts

I cannot believe it is Wednesday- the week is almost over.

In the morning, I needed to unexpectedly work on something with one of my team members, which somehow threw my daily schedule off. I felt distracted and inefficient. Thus I am not feeling satisfied about my work performance today. I did some work in the rest of the day though, just not the important ones that require my full attention. That is what happens when my day is fragmented between meetings, phone calls, urgent matters, and all. I need to protect my time to handle things.

I have learnt my lesson РI better keep the morning hours to myself so that I can do things and feel good about it. Awesome!

Since the days are long now, I stay up late in the office, maybe until 6pm.¬†That is great so that I can catch up with work. In my unit, the summer work hours for staff is 30 min less/day than in winter. When comes to us, it seems to be opposite. This is of course a voluntary act on our side. I would rather work long hours in spring/summer than short hours in winter. When the darkness set, it is time to go home. That is my motto ūüôā

I still have two more weekdays and if I wish, I know I can work at the weekend. I am hopeful that I will finish the things at my hand.

So no worries.

All will be fine.

random thoughts

1. Writing is therapeutic; I had said that a couple of times before. I am not particularly feeling positive today, thus I am constantly looking for ways to feel better. Moving to couch from the recliner; eating a healthy meal (very good for me); trying to watch TV to focus my mind on things other than my feelings, and seriously considering eating sweets..

2. I thanked myself for the first time in a long while…. I thanked myself for despite everything, the heavy work schedule and responsibilities, for taking care of stuff all by myself. I should do that more often..

3. Why do the washing machines sometime shake violently and scare us? The first load was problematic, which made me thought “how am I going to balance this huge machine now?”. I continued anyhow and the second and the third loads run with no problem. I remembered later; that must be the load – I should have stopped the machine and redistribute the clothes to help machine find balance. Lesson learnt! ūüôā

4. I am looking for good news here and there; why are they so hard to find? Or are they there but I cannot see/find them?

5. let me create my good news then; I already have progressed quite a bit towards becoming a “Pollyanna” with my “joy journal” series….. All right; here is the good news for today; I have every single thing at my life to enjoy my life. A moment of realization and appreciation.

lessons learnt and realizations

There are a few lessons I have got and realizations I have made today, after writing about how I felt nowadays in the previous post.

It is true that negative feelings, feeling down, thoughts, and worries are not fun to go through. Yet, they help to draw attention to issues not addressed or need to be addressed. I am grateful for them.

Here are what I have realized today:

1. I am a human being and as such, I try my best all the time. It is just that, time to time I cannot do that well. I cannot see the issues right away, even though I see them, I may ignore them to take care of more important things. Or, I may just not have enough energy to deal with many things all at the same time….

2. I have limited energy. I have energy and it is all right; but what I am trying to say is that at a given time, I gotta focus the energy I have on things important for me. Whether it is work, life, or being lazy.

3. yes, I have been feeling lazy time to time. When compared to before i.e. when I was younger, I am less physically active, less energetic, and more dormant. Especially at home. As soon as I come home from work, I focus on relaxing… Not necessarily a bad thing. Just conflicting. A lot of messages on media or in conversations with friends and colleagues focus on the importance of relaxing and having a “me” time. The¬†question is when to stop having a “me” time to rather¬†focus on issues.

4. I gotta arrange my life and my work schedule way better. I know under the circumstances, I have done my best. But in future I can do better. Some things need to change. Starting with my un-healthy life style. Eat better, exercise better, think better. And when it comes to work, I gotta stop undertaking more than I can. A healthy dose is needed.

5. My mind is clouded majority of the time. I lack the sharp focus I used to have. Age? being over-whelmed? What is the reason for that? How can I claim my sharp focus back? I have not figured out this one yet.

6. I noted patterns about my reaction to issues. I have a tendency to ignore them, until they come back bigger. I thought I was a control freak! ūüôā Obviously I am not. Maybe I should get more of a control freak to prevent ignoring issues. Again, that is in contrast to what many would say; that sometimes we need to let go and stop worrying… Now I see the worry as a sign that something requires my attention. I may not be aware of what it is, but I think it is the sub-conciousness that gives these signals.

7. Lessons learnt are valuable. realizations are valuable. Taking action to work towards a better experience in future is even more valuable. That is what I need to focus.

that is all I have to say for now. let me see whether I can come up with more stuff this evening ūüôā

Life is interesting

Feeling depressed nowadays… Maybe I am tired, maybe I worked a lot lately, maybe there are things that deep down bothering me. I do not know. I am human; feelings, including depressive feelings, are a part of it. That is what I know.

I have been feeling overwhelmed for some time lately. I am not sure whether I undertake too much, am too ambitious, or it is just one of these times, I do not know. I feel like I really need a break.

Many things went wrong that aggravated me in the last few weeks. Sometimes, I think these things do appear in my life to make me pay attention on them… Maybe I have been ignoring them and now it is a good time to address them.

My first reaction was of course to resist to these feelings. But I am experienced; the more I resist, the bigger they become. Acknowledging them, accepting them, and then taking steps to address the issues… That is what I must to do go through this turbulent time.

There are some lessons I have had from these experiences. They somehow make this depressive period pass less painful.

Life is interesting.

joy journal – Dec 11, 2014

I am grateful for a lot of things today;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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