Gratitude for ever

I started writing gratitude journals years back to help remind myself all the great things that was happening in my life. Writing these almost always makes me feel good. That is for sure. It is therefore one of the ways that I help reduce the emotional distress coming out of anxiety or depression. For example, just to be able to remember that I walked in a warm and quiet day with blue sky (and, hence, not only enjoyed my moment but also did something good for my health) sounds great, is it not? It is. Obviously, it also says that I made a good choice that day. Extra gratitude!

But, this kind of approach is fragmented – I start everyday again and again, as if it has no link to previous days or the future.

A couple of days ago I realized that there may be additional things to consider while practicing gratitude journaling.

If I restrict things to write about to experiences, choices, and activities of the day, I almost always lose the continuity and being grateful for things that are continuous. For example, having the freedom to pursue my dreams. Having the ability to change things. Having the ability to feel happy.  Reminding myself that even the worst thing shall pass one day.  Good memories. Good friends. Good experiences.

There are things better and bigger than what is happening a day in one’s life.

Let’s focus on this greatness. Boundless opportunities. Bigger picture. The full life. The whole experience.

 

 

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.

Got GIF by Game of Thrones: #PrepareForWinter - Find & Share on GIPHY

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.

Across The Universe Spring GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

————————————————-

gifs by:https://giphy.com/gifs/across-the-universe-6g9fN5IYV9Oc8;https://giphy.com/gifs/prepareforwinter-game-of-thrones-snow-3ohzdUi5U8LBb4GD4s;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

all the good things – check

1. not working like crazy and taking my time and phasing out for an hour or so at the office – check

2. sleeping well and waking up with not so many negative thoughts – check

3. delivering a very interactive presentation, connecting with the audience who was hesitant and passive at the beginning but became cozy and excited about the presentation later, and making it a memorable experience for everyone – check

4. taking a cab and making it an easy and comfy experience to pick a card for my team member who will leave soon for another job – check. I have been meaning to do this for sometime. It is strange that when we look for a nice card they are nowhere to be found. I picked a nice one that I am very happy with and wrote a nice thank you and appreciation note for her. I hope she will like it!

5. eating grapes – check

6. eating a previously frozen home-made soup – check

7. attending an odd yoga class that aims to release muscle tension and finding it one of this interesting life experiences – check. My goodness; it was a crowded class, there were a lot of people shaking, making noise, breathing aloud, and making sure that we the rest of the pack laugh uncontrollably as a result :)))))

8. looking good with a new hair cut today – check. it is strange that a hair cut can make such a positive change in our outlook and how we feel. I will remember this and will use it as a means of therapy in the future 🙂

9. Being hungry and planning to eat something in a bit. It is getting late but I appreciate having appetite – check

10. watching an old movie that I always loved and enjoying my night – check 🙂 

 

 

joy journal – Feb 4, 2018

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and peacefully. I had no dreams and my morning was easy and without negative thoughts crossing my mind. 

2. I am grateful for working till noon and learning some important and complex information that will be very useful tomorrow in a meeting and three other meetings the next week.

3. I am grateful for baking my sourdough and eating it warm with butter 🙂

4. I am grateful for eating fruits today.

5. I am grateful for chatting with one of my neighbours.

6. I am grateful for not working a lot in the afternoon and enjoying this freedom

7. I am grateful for listing the work I must do for each of the day of the week. I have important deadlines this week and I cannot miss any of them. This kind of lists help me a lot keeping track of things.

8. I am grateful for speaking with my family today; it was a nice and lovely talk that brought laughter to my life 🙂

9. I am grateful for getting interested in affirmations. I know that my mind listens to itself a lot and my mind usually focus on negative issues or problems. Why not the opposite? I am making an effort to read some lovely affirmations and reflect on them.

10. I am grateful for one of my colleagues not sending me their comments this morning. I feel free to move on without the need to integrate their comments in my report and the need to deal with the frustration and negative feelings their words would bring. I really dislike this person. I must exercise forgiveness to remove these feelings from my life. Or, remove this person from my life. Which one is easier?

11. I am grateful for having a safe and sound home; power to heat my home; clothes, furniture, and all other things that make my life safe ad comfortable. I surrounded myself with great items that I like or use. All is welcome in my life.

12. I am grateful for listening to the fearful voice in me during my anxious moments. Although it is hard to listen to it, it helps with extracting information that will be useful for me to prevent future events. That can be the main benefit of anxious thoughts…. So be it.

13. I am grateful for feeling free and knowing that I can do whatever I want to do!

————————————————————

Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate myself for easily having a mixture of both positive and down moments during the day. I survive it and I do not resist it
  2. I appreciate myself for eating better today
  3. I appreciate myself for being kind to myself
  4. I appreciate myself for changing and implementing new ways to enhance my life. For example; I decided social media and news was giving me depressive thoughts – so I will limit my exposure. I will continue to say “no” to unnecessary tasks; I will continue to turn my email off at the office while working; and I will continue to let my perfectionist habit to ease while doing un-critical work. I will handle my interactions with my colleagues better too; I will keep it to professional topics while interacting with them; I will not help or listen to those negative people that drain my time and energy. I will keep thinking about how to do this better. Things will get better. This new chapter of my life, leaving things behind, and being excited about a new life experience is exciting!

 

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.

🙂

so it has been 2 years blogging…

wordrt

So it has been two years that I started this blog??

Wow!

Time has truly flied.

I started this blog to keep my mind busy with something new so that I could heal my heart break. I was not interested in neither writing nor reading blogs.

At first, of course…

Then, things have changed.

I started to be brave and enjoy putting in words whatever came to my mind. I wrote my first poetry here; often without editing or revising, and in my second language. A couple of them turned out to be good. Surprising…. I write my joy journal here. My humble lazy recipes. My daily ordeals and baking adventures. My struggles with issues, work, unhappiness, and loss of dead ones, to count a few. Over time, I opened more and more about myself, my inner world, and my life – I never thought I would in a virtual world. What a blessing and freeing opportunity.

I also started to enjoy reading others’ blogs and learning from them; the pain, love, excitement, and issues of people out there; I come to realize once more that we all were more or less the same. I thought and reflected a lot. I still do.

I met with wonderful people here; supportive, smart, sincere, genuine, and lovely. I found myself in a community – a virtual but nevertheless real community.

The recipes made my day; even though I did not like cooking. I sure tried many bread recipes posted here, though.

I did my most frequent decluttering activities, thanks to many bloggers here that inspired me with their efforts, plans, and wisdom.

I got many useful tips about budgeting, saving, and financial health. Some of them I implemented in my own financial life.

I learnt about others’ suffering, like sickness or treatment. I developed empathy as a result.

I learnt things that I had never thought before; like minimalism, homesteading.

I learnt about myself; not only by blogging but also by interacting with other fellow bloggers.

Blogging, in a sense, has changed me and my life next to my family, friends, unfortunate life events, and career.

I never thought it would.

I am mesmerized….

And hugely grateful….

happiness

I have many objectives in my live that I believe will make it better, make me healthier and wealthier (at least debt free). These are more or less attainable.

My life-long objective was to be happy. I have had happy periods in my life, which I cherish. These memories also make me believe that I can be happy.

Do not get me wrong, I am not unhappy. I just would not define myself as a happy person.

I just have had a conversation with a friend of mine. She is a single mom and having financial problems. On top of that, she feels stuck and hopeless. Obviously a down time for her. I could do nothing but listen to her. I understand that she is deeply unhappy.

It is selfish, but after hearing her hurdles, I felt blessed. So what if I do not feel happy? I at least did not have the challenges my friend have: I was in a safer environment, largely abundant, with a stable and awesome job that stresses me but also excites me. I never needed to think about finding the food for the next meal in my life. Maybe I am spoiled in fact.

I always believed that happiness is not a neutral state (as the state I am in where I am neither happy nor unhappy). It is rather a positive state where I smiled for no reason, looked at life and observed it rather than reacting to it, and hummed songs along the way. Life was very enjoyable then.

I also know what unhappiness is; it is agonizing, painful, and depressing. Very negative state.

I have had long, unhappy periods of life in the past. I wish not to feel that way again. So what if I do not feel happy? At least I do not feel unhappy right now.

But, as soon as I read the above sentence, something inside me started to rebel; I want to be happy!

So how do we get happy?

I have analyzed the times I was happy. I have no particular reason that I can put my finger on. It is so fuzzy that seriously if you asked me what would make me happy for a prolonged time, I am sure I could not tell you what that was.

This does not mean that I do not get momentarily happy; I do. when I see my family and friends, when I travel, when I realize something, when I have good luck in something… But momentarily being happy and being happy for extended periods of time are different; it is the latter that I am curious about.

Is it possible that we get happier as we age? i am not sure. I for sure deal with things and emotions a little bit better now that I have experience. But as I age, the probability of serious issues and experiences (such as sickness, losing someone loved, grieving etc.) also increase. I do not know, but I have been feeling like I am at the best period of my life. And I should be very grateful for it. Perhaps I should forget about happiness and accept what I have as the best.

Still though something inside me rebels…

crush of the day

Shamelessly, I am crushed with myself today 🙂

Why would I not? I have had a relaxing day, I am motivated to finish work before the holidays, I have slightly elevated self-confidence, I am really looking forward to end the lagging life discussions/relationships, and am ready to meet with new life experiences! May they turn out to be joyful and positive ones. For everyone.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: