An account of the holiday season – 2019

I have had a long and positive Holiday season this year. I had to work on Mondays and Fridays, but this did not prevent me from feeling relax and peaceful, and enjoying my life a little bit better.

Notable positive experiences include:

  • cleaning the house – which took three days but was worth every minute & huff and puff
  • decluttering and donating unwanted or unused items – which felt great. It was like many of the unnecessary burden have been lifted off my shoulder and my life was in order again. Highly recommended
  • visiting a sick friend – which felt great
  • purchasing some items from thrift stores that made my life brighter, easier, and enjoyable. Among them are a little night lamp that fit my bedroom so well, a food processor that I wanted to have for a very long time; now I can have carrot salad more often; a porcelain teapot that I have been trying to find for a few years to replace my current highly battered one; and several pots that are adorable and admirable – this is always a unique pleasure. I feel like I have got the best of pots from thrift stores
  • finding time to recuperate and feel less pressured and stressed; watching Netflix and enjoying my time; cooking wholesome food with pleasure now that I spend more time on my 1st floor thanks to the new TV and Netflix
  • having an account of the past year and entering the new year with hope, great plans, and determinism
  • reflecting on my relationship with my family

I feel lucky to be able to find the items that I have been looking for with such an affordable prices.

I feel great to have assesses my last past year and see how much I have accomplished.

I feel proud of having a routine more like a “normal life”.

I feel encouraged to make even further changes and improvements in my life.

These are all positives.

I feel, however, conflicted about the thoughts and feelings I am having on my relationships with my family members. At one hand, I love them so dearly. But on the other hand, I resent. I realize that I feel guilty for not being there with them and caring for them. This is especially true for the parents. This is not something new, but facing it that raw is.

I came to a point that it will be better for me to accept this guilt and move on. I have done my best to keep contact with my family and help whenever I can while also tried very hard to build a life for myself. Having a family somewhere else with expectations from me and frustrations about myself have always been nagging and dragging me down…. The more I sought for acceptance, I think the farther possibility it became. Or, it was always there, but I could never expect it and, hence, could not see it. Hard for me to know. But this explains why I always felt like not settling anywhere and feeling low self-esteem as a person. Family approval, believe or not, is so important in one’s development. But I am at an age (around half a century) where I can let go off this need, right?

Right.

As, I said earlier, it will be challenging to accept this guilt and end seeking approval from family and their consequences, but I must.

With these in my mind, I also have great plans and wishes for 2020. I plan to pen them later in the day.

I wish you all a great relationship with yourself, your family, and the world as a whole in 2020! 🙂

random thoughts

I have not written in a while.

I have a number posts started and then halted. They did not feel genuine enough. As if, what ever I would write would be just an automatic statement rather than me speaking. Who needs the dry facts and reports? Nobody. But we need conversations.

That is right.

Lots happened since I last posted here. Some good, some not so much, some just meh. Overall, I could say there are positive progress in how I manage things.

For one; I started to lightly delegate the tasks that I am not even supposed to do, but end up on my shoulder anyhow. Very, very light improvement, but quite significant. It feels right and I am happy with it.

Two; I did not work this past weekend, which is again amazing. I rather wanted to shop, see other places, and do things that excite me. Well done.

Three; I did get a professional award, which felt quite good! It is an international award which makes it extra sweet. I feel confident. Much confident and this is so well deserved.

Four; I realized that as long as I continue to react to, rather than manage or just ignore emotionally, the adversaries, I will find myself in the same stressed or over-whelmed state. So, I am head-butting some small challenges, rather than avoiding them. Maybe I will get de-sensitized. Maybe I will get crazy. But maybe I will just float with the situation while also making realistic decisions and taking realistic steps. We will see. This is a classical getting out of the comfort zone trial….

Fifth: I continue to be mortified by death and my own aging. Fearing death has been a recurring theme since my dad passed away. I do not want to die, as I do not know what it feels like, whether I would have strong regrets. Not having the people, or coffee, or plants, or anything else that I in fact love around myself… This feels like horrible to me…. Even though billion and billion of people and animals have experienced this since the dawn of times. I also feel like I have wasted my life as I am now close to 50 and my hair is silver gray. Somethings cannot be done anymore. Some looks cannot be had. There are regrets. There are “what is it that I am missing today?” feelings. This one will require me some reflection and acceptance…..

Death anxiety? Middle age crisis?

Both are real.

So, let’s honour this sweet moment of life and peaceful evening.

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holidays plans

It is mid December already 🙂

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

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


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

Some of my plans are the usual:

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

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

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

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

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

All very exciting questions! 🙂

 

 

 

very random thoughts

It has been a day alright; I have done work, managed to walk for half an hour during the lunch time, managed an aggravating situation better than how I would normally do, did not eat well, took a painkiller for my lower back, and am ready to go to bed for a healing and resting sleep.

I keep thinking that whatever is happening in my life is happening for the best. I know that my life is unfolding around me and I can watch, reflect, and adapt. I know that I am getting more interested in keeping my wellness and my family a priority. Work and the issues related to it has much less, but still huge, effects on me. I will take it one thing at a time. Maybe I will learn not to care about it that much eventually. I believe I will be better and my life will be better. With or without this job.

Sigh… The job. The best job in the world, but so much struggle to do things right and on time, with enormous effort on my side..

One thing I am noticing more chronically is that people around me think that I know everything and I do everything effortlessly. So whatever they may need, or cannot do and need a help with, it seems they are sure that I will fix it. Has this ever happened to you? How did you manage these situations and start protecting your time and well-being?

……………………………..

At least, thinking and seeing my plants make me very happy 🙂 I have always had plants at home in the last 10 years or so, but I had not paid that much attention to them until the last one year. I owe it to succulents, and one haworthia one of my friends have gifted me with. It grew fast and made me joyful. I was then hooked to succulents and cacti. According to my estimates, I have around 40 different species of plants between my office and home. Seeing all the colours, vitality, and energy steaming from them is priceless. Loving them fills me with love, happiness, and excitement.

The best of therapy, my friends 🙂

graceful acceptance of failure and mistakes

I have had a comment from an experienced colleague of mine about a work I have done which also included his involvement. Looks like I have missed some critical information in my report, which he drew my attention to.

I fully agree with him that these information should have been there. So in contrast to my regular self who would become defensive, I realized he was right, and thanks to him the work would be better presented now to others. I gracefully acknowledged this.

I was surprised with my reaction, but I am equally pleased with it. Admitting a negligence and mistake is a good thing; I like it when I see it in others. Today was my turn.

I must say this is a great experience for me. I had had another meeting on Friday, which had some heated arguments. I am not afraid of arguments, but creating a negative air around myself and the room. I realized that with today’s experience I would have managed the Friday’s meeting better. It is too late for it, but next time I will be better.

This experience tells me that there is always a possibility and opportunity for spontaneous growth and one can fail but can also accept it gracefully. I like this newfound wisdom.

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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what the day brings, you take it – II

I woke up at 6.30 am with lots of annoying thoughts in my mind.

Quitting and accepting failure crossed my mind, but something also kept me up beat and optimistic. It can be acceptance of the future, belief in a brighter future, or realizing that this is not the first adversity and issue filled time in my life, nor I am the first one to go through a similar time.

Things got better around noon and I realized things are not as bad as I think it would be or were. There were times that I have had similar experiences in the past. I guess our minds are programmed to consider all bunch of situation and focus on resolving the worst possible scenarios. This is taxing, is it not?

This being said, there were times that I thought things were better than they in reality were. Lack of insight? Lack of information? Lack of experience to think comprehensively? You decide.

I really miss my regular routine of walking to office, working, walking back to home, reviewing the flyers on Wednesday to decide my shopping list, grocery shopping on Thursdays, doing house chores on Saturday and sourdough baking on Sunday. Perhaps it is the best. Perhaps I was lazy and fell into the comfort of this routine. It is hard to know. What I know is that time to time life and work can get really challenging. Hold on to life at these difficult times and trust that it will get clear and better. It must be. It always is.

I today believe in this.

 

why do we need to feel good?

At one point in my life, many years ago, I was feeling really bad. As a result I turned into books to understand these feelings, their causes, and how to better deal with the thoughts and emotions as a result.

One thing that misses usually from my overall look at life is trust; trust that things will turn out just okay. Trust that I will be able to handle things well. I now am somehow better in this area if I can remind myself.

My other big habit is to not let go of things, plans, wishes, or wants easily. I believe that they take quite a time and effort to come up with, organize, and execute. These, if not followed with success, eventually it leads to frustration and self-doubt. That hurts and amplifies the the first trust issue; trusting that I will be able to handle things well. This being said, not being an easy dumper is also good sometime, as many things in life require more than mere luck and rather lots of efforts and patience. I have good examples of relatively big success came by not quitting and constantly working towards the aim.

The third would be to have a sharp focus. This is great when there is a task at hand, but not great while dealing with life issues, which are often more complex and repeating in nature. Seeing the big picture, my own and the issue’s place within everything life offers can be quite illuminating; after all what is the big deal as long as we are safe, sound, alive, and able?

I once was silly enough to complain to one of my friends about my own itsy bitsy issues a few months after she has lost her dad. I apologized when I realized what I was being so selfish and insensitive to my friend. She did something amazing and gave a piece of wisdom; there was no pain little or big enough; pain is pain and it fills us almost immediately; fast and expandable. I love this definition, which is so true. But I still want to get out of the room of the pain and see the other things in life. This change in the perspective is healthy, promotes positivity, and eventually calms me.

if there is another thing that calms me is to surrounder to pain. I was not able to understand the meaning of this for years, but one day it just came; I was struggling to decide on something critical, very, critical, and after a long and painful internal fight, my shoulders just dropped. Decision was made by my body. I had failed to make the decision I so long wanted to make. But I could not take it anymore. Fight was over. Pain was pain, but less than the pain my internal fight created. Failed to make the best decision? Yes. Succeeded in surviving my turmoil? Yes. Life can be this messy sometimes.

We have so many examples of hardship in our lives. So many mistakes and resentful memories, actions, words, and behaviors.

What is the solution?

Keep going?

or

Forget these or forgive ourselves? 

 

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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Sunday morning musings

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

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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. 

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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!

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Have a great Sunday everyone 🙂

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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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The 14th and the last day of the staycation

I am spending the last day of my staycation for being grateful for this break and the experiences and lessons it brought to me.

For the last 14 days, my priority was not my work, but my home, sales/discounts/shopping, and my inner world. What a nice shift in mental focus...

The first week, if I remember correctly, was spent with cleaning my office and home. I had also planned to do decluttering – I have half-done this and donated a number of items, especially from my kitchen. I am glad they have found their new homes. I have not removed any of the old socks, shirts, or blouses yet, but I am sure I will handle it when their time comes. I also did not get into my storage area – it bothers me, but I know when the right time comes, I will handle that too. This one task is what is left from my to-do-list. And I am okay with that.

One of the lessons I have learnt during this staycation was it was not the end of the world if I had not done what I thought I must. I always have other choices. This is quite a change from my regular (and stiff) practice that if I have something in my mind, I should complete it right away. I learnt that I could be flexible and at the end, it does not feel horrible. So, I am good and slightly changed (which is interesting and quite welcome)….. 🙂

I also reinforced my opinion that I really crave for my own time; while I like being with others  and socializing if they are nice and kind people, I do not want it to be too frequent. I am okay as I am and I am okay being with myself. I knew that for a long time; there is no change in this. And that is okay. Of note; I went to two socials and hosted one during the last two weeks; more than enough for me 🙂

I shopped in four-five days of the staycation. The holiday sales are hard to miss and every year I take advantage of them. I had a list of items to purchase, the majority of which I have. The things I have not bothered buying this time were a tea pot, new socks to stock up, and new blouses/shirts. I know I can get these some other time, so there is no rush for buying them. I left them behind mostly because since November I shopped so many different times that even shopping has lost its attractiveness…. Anticipating to find them in the future is more exciting 🙂

The lesson reinforced is that even too much of an exciting activity can be boring after a while. Like shopping. Like staycation… 🙂 It is true that in the last few days I have been feeling bored at being home, or even away from the office. I am glad I have these feelings – now I will jump start my work at the office tomorrow. No resentment. No disappointment. It is a real balance indeed.

And the inner world; well, work is important, money/saving is important, rest is important, but nothing is as much important as family and people I love. Interacting with my family in a closer and natural way as in the past was the highlight of this staycation. I am grateful for every second I spend with them and I am grateful for their well-being, love, support, and time on this planet. May they all live a long, healthy, happy, and peaceful lives as their hearts wish to.

I hope you all have had a great time during the holidays/new year break and are ready to start a new work year with enthusiasm, determination, and energy 🙂

 

 

 

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 🙂 thanks for listening!

there is (cat) love once again

After my emotional experience “deciding-not-to-adopt-the-adorable-cat-due-to-his-previous-health-problems“, I have thought quite a bit.

My first reaction was to get cold feet again. But there was something nice about the scratch post and the little toys I had purchased last week, which are still in my living room. I did not feel like donating or removing them from my sight.

Mouser or not, I guess I realized I really wanted to have that type of special bond I had felt for the cat (that I decided not to adopt) with another one.

I experienced quite a sadness about the first cat choice of mine, yet now I think it was in fact useful for me. Prior to looking for cats, I always thought about the happy moments and joy that I would have by having a lovely living being around. If s/he would hunt pest/mice, that would be great too (the recent pest problem in the house has been a great motivator for me to get a cat, even though I had considered to get a cat in the last one year or so). I had also thought about sicknesses and felt the responsibility of taking care of the cat, but honestly I had not considered the emotions I would have when the cat would be in trouble (e.g. sick, injured etc.).

In other words, I was not completely ready to have the cat.

It was like buying my house. I bought the house with excitement and 9 days after I moved in, my roof leaked from 2 different places and made me severely anxious and depressed. I had felt betrayed by the previous home owners/renovators, and my real estate agent and the home inspector. I felt clueless, ineffective, and very stressed too as it took me almost a year to find a contractor and get the problem fixed.

While that was a horrible experience, it had also told me that life was not gonna go on like I imagined it. Even though I had heard the house repair and maintenance needs/issues from others, I guess without experiencing it, I had felt like it would never happen to me. That was not the reality. While I felt bad for a long time and I still feel like my home may give trouble to me anytime, I guess now I have a more realistic view too. Yes, good days will happen (like the last 1.5 years during which I have had no major issues at my home) and bad days in the future (like that time when I have had the roof problem). And that was only normal. Expected. My house-roof problem had made me experience and see the reality.

Realizing/remembering these helped me to think differently about my cat ordeal. I would be attached to my future cat too and there would be both good days and bad days; there would be sickness, injuries, and even death. I could not expect all joy and excitement, re; my life with the cat. I would have anxiety, depression, or worry about the cat, the way I take care of it, the way it is and the diseases, such as worms, associated with it, and the financial cost of taking good care of it (vet visits etc.). And there would be purrrs and all too 🙂

So, I feel better now and I am not afraid to think about getting another cat.

As a matter of fact, I went back to the first shelter I have been to two days ago, alone, and planned to check the cats I have chosen through the website. I had 6-8 cats in my list, but I found myself checking/spending time with two only; both of these cats I had seen two days ago.

One of them was a female with odd-coloured eyes (one green, one blue). She is quiet and feels alright. Yet, not necessarily exciting, bonding..

Then I went to the male cat section and I found myself checking the young male cat who spends time in his cage mostly and who looks quite grumpy to me. I had joked with my friend the other day that I would love to adopt and observe this cat very much, but it looked like I was scared of him and that he would give me trouble/stress, so I would not be interested in him.

Well, I was wrong – that is the cat that I am pretty attracted to, one that I can feel some kind of love, affection, and interest towards. I spent some time with him, let him sniff my hands, touch my hands with his little feet, and eventually I took him out of his cage and held for a minute or so. I was not scared this time and he was not, either. So that was the moment I decided that I could get this cat.

We do not know much about this cat as he was abandoned a month ago and was a stray. I was told that he does not like to socialize with other cats and that is why he is spending time in his cage, but I am not sure that is the whole truth or he is sick/old or something (hope not). Honestly, he does not look like a very active cat or a mouser to me, but hopefully I am wrong.

I will go have my friend look at the cat again and if things are alright, will put in the adoption papers. I may get heart-broken again if there is something wrong with him or he is too old, so I am keeping my hopes lower this time, but I am also kind of excited that I could love and bond with a cat again 🙂

money: you have it or you do not have it

Many years ago, I was living in Toronto, one of the greatest cities in Canada.

Toronto is a beautiful example of multicultural/multinational city. I believe I have met with people from all over the world and it was awesome! Food was amazing, groceries were diverse and affordable, social and cultural activities were abundant and lovely, and the city was clean and well cared for. It was good to be in Toronto 🙂

Like any other big city, however, it was  expensive to live in Toronto, especially the rent. When I was there, I had a contract position that paid no benefits and a limited salary. While I had no luxurious life style, as a single person I had to be very careful with my money. Despite this I had accumulated debt in the first few years. I handled it better after that time. This was the first time that I had ever had debt in my entire life.

As a highly educated and hard-working professional, I was uneasy about my job and the finances, and was constantly thinking that I was deserving better. I kept thinking that I did not have enough money…..

Well.. Until I got fired from my contract job.

Getting fired is a horrible feeling. What was I going to do? How was I going to handle the rent? Living expenses? How was I going to find a job?  I was given a 4-months of notice so I still had time but this did not prevent my anxiety over the blank future.

The same day that I was fired, I remember looking at a bunch of coins I had found in my pocket; I had slightly over $3 and for the first time in many years I had thought “I have a lot of money. I can buy 3 cans of beans with this and eat for three days.”

That was a sad but profound experience. I had understood the value of money….. I started a tight budget, I moved to a cheaper rental, and I cut out my daily expenses by 40% or something. I appreciated everything I have had and every single dime that ended up in my purse.

A month before I was to leave my work place, miraculously I was offered a better position at the same place and stayed there for another year. I was very grateful for this opportunity and I had felt rich 🙂 But I did not relax my budget; I kept going. While I still needed to look for jobs after a year, I decided I would keep my budget and save as much as possible. I found some kind of enjoyment and peace of mind in these savings. After that job, I found another one for a year and I continued my frugal life and savings. These two years were the toughest years in terms of finances, yet also made me aware of the value of the money.

I am not sure what prompted me to remember these today, but I am grateful for the experience. After I have found my current job, I continued my frugal life a couple of years but later I relaxed again and started spending more than I should have. That lasted until I purchased my home, which hit me in the head hard. I needed to reduce my spendings significantly if I wanted to keep my home and my mental sanity. So, here I am into a 10 months period of budgeting again. And it is going more or less well.

I am grateful for the financial hardships that taught me valuable lessons; I am grateful for myself for caring about my finances and for learning; and I am grateful for life and people for giving me the opportunities that helped provide me with a comfortable life.

Here are the life lessons I have got lately

Here are the life lessons I have got lately:

1. whatever you do, never underestimate yourself; modesty is a great virtue if you ask me. Yet some people confuse modesty with lack of confidence. Horrible experience.

2. never take b.s. from others. Even those people who are very important for your life can push you with their unacceptable behaviour – never let your self-worth to be trashed; never let insults, games, and whatever else you think is an unacceptable behaviour on you by others. Stand up and speak up. Let it be known. Give yourself a pat on the shoulder after that.

3. Try something new every once a while; start a light yoga, stretching, or meditation class. See how you feel during and after the class. have you noticed something new? something different? is it a positive experience?

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