random thoughts

It has been a week that I am on anti-depressant medication. I think that there is a slight, at least, difference in my thoughts and emotional reactions. I think it is working and the best response is yet to come.

The foster cat Mona has been good, but had an episode of vomiting and constipation. A visit to vet has ensued and today she is fine, but I gotta watch her the next few days to make sure she poops. Yes, you heard right. I am looking forward to seeing her poop. Never thought I would be that interested in poop, but since it is important for Mona, it is important for me.

We have had a bright day today and even though it is chilly, life is good and easy. We will start to get snow soon, and I am excited about it!

Saturday morning musings

Happy to type this post this morning; it has been a while that I put my heart, mind, and words here.

The great news is that it is a beautiful morning where I feel no rush to sip my coffee or start doing home chores. I am not in rush… What a powerful, positive, and attractive feeling.

There is this bird that I woke up to each morning. She sings like nothing I have heard. Incredible melodies, maybe 2-3 different tones. Remembering it even puts tears of joys in my eyes. My daily walks around my neighborhood continues to delight me – there are so many new trees, yards, and plants that I got to notice, admire, and love. It is these moments spent in nature that I realize the one organism messes up with much is sadly  human.

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What is going on in some countries with COVID-19, all the suffering and deaths, failure to control the pandemic and support people, and resistance to use even the simplest public health measures makes me angry, disappointed and disgusted. This is human life we are talking about – can you not implement policies that others are already successfully doing? Can you not put on a mask, or practice physical distancing of 2 meters? Can you not realize this is not FLU.

Rant over. But I needed to do this for the memory of all those who lost their lives needlessly to COVID-19.

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The effects of this pandemic is continuous, of course. I continue to feel depressed, but not sure whether this is due to pandemic and the changes it implemented in my life, or other things going on in my life, especially related to work.

It has been a mixed feeling at the beginning. I had enjoyed having a break from office and working fully from home. It was doable and I was feeling advantageous because working from home is not something new to me. BUT over time people I worked with could not keep up. We started to fall back and my productivity decreased considerably. This sucked. Only lately I feel like I am finally completing the lagging tasks and I can look forward to new, fresh ideas and projects. This is at least a great development lately.

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I also feel like I must take a break and I am starting with a few days the week ahead. I plan to do what I want to do most – contemplate about what is important and what is not. In life and at work.

Remarkably, it has also been a time of change for me. I try to remove my perfectionist attitude and relax the measures a little bit, which makes an awesome difference in the work load I shoulder and give others more responsibility for their action or inaction. There are other changes. I think I will write about these changes and the positive effect they have on me later. Change is an opportunity and gives me hope, makes me excited, and absolutely less depressed.

I think I am feeling depressive because there are things that are not working for me anymore. That is why change is powerful, needed, and feels hopeful.

I also feel very strongly about the fact that I have been feeling like shit for a very long time and it was time that I choose to feel better.

It is gonna be alright.

This too shall pass.

When it does, it will be much better.

I believe in it.

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Feeling down, but looking up!

I am feeling down today, a little bit more than usual, but I keep my chin up and look up as well.

I think I am just tired and vulnerable to feel nervous, shaky, and to have low self-esteem, or my nerves are fried to a point that I cannot even see what the reality in the issues I deal with is.

The first one can be remedied by a break, self-pampering, and so on,

The second one can be fixed by therapy.

Or, by quitting all the struggles, all the issues, and this effing job environment.

I admire those who quit everything and followed their dreams by making drastic changes.

I did follow my dreams but ended up with this job. It was the dream job once, but not anymore.

It is time to find another dream.

I actually have it – retirement. Early retirement that I am eligible to take with a little bit of pension is 5 years away.

I cannot survive comfortably with early retirement, but I can stop at least for sometime without thinking income. I can move to a cheaper country as well. I can. I can get out of this environment.

5 years is a long time.

This is not the first time that I thought about resigning my job. I think it was always there, the most serious ones being in the last 3 years.

3 years passed since then – can 5 more years pass?

It sure can, especially if I can survive this time. Pandemic – duh…

But imagine staying in this toxic unhappy environment and missing life somewhere else?

Take a leap of faith, be brave, and conquer the dreams and life?

or,

Take a huge risk, create and go through more anxiety & hurt, and be even fail ?

The problem is we do not know which one is actually better – here or the future place – what if it is bad as well?

What is it that I must choose?

…………………………

I know that eventually this too will pass.

I know that the real issue is why do I care so much about the toxic work environment and relations?

As soon as I think I let go and uncare things & people, I can have less emotions nagging me and I can be happy where I am and in my life.

Why can I not do this?????

random thoughts

How you all been doing?

I feel like this pandemic has got on my nerves quite a bit. Self-isolation, working from home, limited social life, limited store visits, and limited fresh food all suck.

There.

I said it.

It sucks!!!!

Today I went to a store just to pick a box of pastry. I felt victorious and free. I decided to do my grocery shopping every week to buy different food each time. I decided to eat better and a variety of food. I decided it was not yet a disaster situation. It was still safe where I was. And, it was okay that I get some sort of normalcy and provide my body and mind some sort of a relief.

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Summer is here and I love it. My yard is good – I cut the grass almost every day to control it. My trees are blooming and I just love nature and what it can do. It is the best time of the year.

I have saluted each tree, each plant in my neighbour during my daily walks. They are pretty – how come I have not noticed them earlier? This pandemic is allowing us to approach life a little bit different. Not necessarily a bad thing, as this new ability to pay more attention to our surrounding shows. Some says the current social activism around #BlackLivesMatter movement and the protests were able to involve more people because many of us are away from the workplace. I think there is a truth in this.

What is happening regarding the #BlackLivesMatter movement is certainly an interest to me. I hope that the words will be followed by actions by allies, public members, governments, and organizations, and things will permanently change and equity will be everywhere and racism, discrimination, oppression and increased violence and poverty and so on will cease to exist. I know it is not going to be easy or in a short time, but we can strive for these objectives. It has been a long time that these hurt and harmed. It is up to us to end and turn things around.

Let’s do it.

Let’s act.

Genuinely.

Persistently.

Happily.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happiness IS possible

I was happy for the entire morning yesterday. Really happy.

I was excited about the day. The great weather. The ability to walk, The ability to work. The ability to survive and do all bunch of other things. I had a life and it was going well.

Since it does not happen all the time, it was precious! It was beautiful! It was energizing!

🙂

………………………………..

Then, what happened?

Well, work related shit happened and I had to find a solution to a confusing situation that directly relates to me. It is important that I find the best solution so that I can feel that my interests are protected to best.

………………………………..

I increasingly realize that finding solutions to complex situations is one thing that drains me and stresses me…… Since it is an intense mental process, and I cannot help but have that urge to find the solutions right away, it means that my work and life are interrupted and I feel heavily overwhelmed until that solution miraculously shows up in my mind.

If only I could develop some sort of confidence that I am capable of finding solutions without getting into an intense thought process.

Another thing is when I need to write an email. Sometimes I find myself revising it so many different times until I find it making the point clearly and without giving away more than what it is intended to. With work-related emails, there is always a chance of being mis-understood or having negative consequences if the email does not sound right. So I draft and sometimes revise them multiple times, which is another annoyance for me. BUT today I realized that I revise them to make these emails better, which is better for me – so I should actually trust my instinct, keep revise until I am satisfied, and be happy to revise at the same time.

It appears that a change in the perspective is something I can benefit from.

And, the more I analyze, the better I can see why I experience certain annoyances…. This reminds me my worry journal that has been therapeutic. Time to get the dust off it.

………………………………..

Regardless of what, though, it has been great to remind myself yesterday that happiness was possible.

🙂

cabin fever is real

I have had it enough.

The revolution started this week (e.g. making the decision to do the grocery shopping every two weeks, rather than every three weeks so that I can eat and enjoy fresh produce) is continuing.

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Today I made the decision to go to store AGAIN and get some more fruits.

And what did I see?

Mulch being 50% off.

Whaaaat? Forget the fruit.

I have been meaning to get mulch for years so that I can make my yard look a little bit better. Friends, since I do not have a car, I needed to make multiple visits to the store and get around 12 bags of mulch. Luckily I have had a shopping cart that can handle 2-3 bags at a time. It was tiring, but I made it 🙂 Tomorrow, I will start cleaning the areas in the yard where I want to place the mulch on. Hopefully what I have will be enough – if not I will make other visits to the store. It is going to be awesome. I am excited 🙂

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But before I forget, I must say the most revolutionary step I have taken. All multiple visits to the store today were made without a mask on. That is right. I made the decision to not put on the mask. Maybe a stupid idea, but I wanted some sort of normalcy in my life.

Protecting yourself every minute sometimes creates its own stress. I wanted freedom.  Luckily, nobody sneezed on me or talked to me.

I am still scared of this virus – do not get me wrong. I am not trying to be reckless and increase my risk of contracting this virus. Please don’t take my lead and forgo putting on your mask. Do what you need to do to protect yourself.

I was just scared of that feeling of having a limited life, being limited/isolated, and eating limited food. It has been 2 months.

This thing called COVID-19 affects us in more ways than I initially imagined.

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random (morning) thoughts on anxiety

Good morning World – I hope all are doing well in this beautiful Saturday morning.

The Spring has been showing its face in the last while. We have shinier days. Being outside is fun and comfy.

I have been feeling kind of anxious lately. It is one of these episodes that I easily get irritated and scared. They say growing is always painful, but pain is an indicator that something has been tried/done and once you are over the pain, you are wiser. Better.

I hope so.

In addition to its pain, anxiety and irrational fear also stop you or limit what you want to do. After all, trying to move away from the fears and worries is only natural.

The other option could be to de-sensitize myself to criticism, failure, worries, and fears. I have been trying that by undertaking bigger roles (which can create more issues) and by addressing challenging issues. I kind of think that the more issues I have to deal with the better I can sort among what is important what is not. I sometimes, just sometimes, can achieve this. Is this a progress or just lucky encounter, I do not know.

What I want to know is what is best for me?

Am I doing good pushing myself like this, or should I just omit things that bother me? The latter option is really tempting, but I also know that one worry-some thing goes, and then another one comes. So changing the perspective and the attitude seems to be the best way.

It is also the hardest.

I think I would like to take time this weekend to reflect on this. Who knows, maybe I will realize something, read or think about something.

These being said, these existential issues somehow help me forget about the seriousness of the COVID-19 situation. I shopped after two weeks yesterday. I wanted to shop, as it excites me 🙂 I bought cleaning products and some canned food, and it felt great. But putting on a mask and gloves, and then taking them off once I was out of the store, coming home, changing clothes, washing them up, and washing my hands and face up until they felt all red was not fun. These are the moments that make me realize how serious this virus situation is (duh!). I think I have been ignoring it so that I would not experience the anxiety it creates.

Perhaps the anxiety I am having over other points are actually a good thing – who knows?

I cannot claim to know how life works. But I sure need some guidance and reading to do on anxiety and how to manage it.

 

 

Good morning

Good morning everyone!

Let’s start the day having good wishes and vibes. Are we not fed up of the news and worries the current pandemic and other life conditions & experiences generate.

Let’s make today a day of positive thoughts and experiences. Whatever our life conditions are.

It is a choice.

I will not work today and tomorrow.

I rather want to cool down, connect, and reflect.

Time to get the mental strength back out of the confusions, disappointments, worries, and other limitations.

Once my mind is clear, I am strong.

When I am strong, I can take care of many things.

When I take care of things, I feel confident and satisfied.

When I am confident, I can grow bigger.

When I grow bigger, I can do more.

But first, I must get my mind clear and free.

Today is the day.

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COVID-19, March 30

Monday.

Really?

It feels like Tuesday already. Have you also lost track of days?

It was a productive work from home day. I also managed to have two remote/online meetings.

I continue to get up early. Today it was 7 am. Have I mentioned that I wear my work clothes? Yup 🙂 I comb my hair as well. I don’t put make up, however. That is a nice break from the routine.

I want to go to office, but the weather is not permissive.  I hope that before the end of the week I can make it there. There are a number of things I must do to help my work. Like printing some documents; getting some files; and so on. I also want to have a kind of break to my isolation. A change in scenery. A change in activities.

Anyways; I continue to cook and eat at home. Today realizing the extra weight already put on, I decided to do some light exercise at home. Nothing major but I believe it helped at least stretch my muscles. It was also relaxing. I want to keep doing it.

But really, the weight gain is real. OMG – why is it so easy?

The COVID-19 situation continues to escalate. Some of the stories are very horrific. The rapid deterioration that some of the hospitalized patients showed is what makes me scared most. They say around 30% of the hospitalized patients have now passed away. Is that correct? My goodness – please help us. What are we up to really??

I have been checking online grocery shopping services, and it seems there is one at around my neighbourhood. This is very pleasing. If I must, I can survive at home.

How is our mental health in the midst of this pandemic, isolation, and fatality news?

I am grateful that I continue to work, otherwise I think the situation is not fun…. How long will we able to go on like this, before we develop serious or permanent mental health issues, I wonder. There is peace coming from knowing that we are all in this together. At least there is healthcare. At least we are not out there but inside (some countries did not lock down yet). At least we have connections – online and remotely. The community seems to care about each other and compassion is palpable. And so on. In the midst of this pandemic, it is worth remembering these.

Eventually we will survive it. I suspect, however, we will also be changed deeply. Somehow, I feel like it is going to be something better. I just wished we did not need to have people die for it.

Let’s flatten this curve, friends.

Let’s stay inside.

Wash those hands.

Be kind to yourself and others.

Call a friend.

Connect with family.

Take good care of yourself.

And have hope.

Sunday musings

Happy Sunday everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

all the good things lately

Many things have been going better lately and I have been feeling better as well 🙂

Notably:

My short and disrupted sleep pattern have been reversing slowly. I can now sleep till 7-8 am. I still wake up during the night and have fragmented sleep, but the improvement is that I can mostly go back to sleep.

My anxiety levels are almost leveled… This is amazing. It can come back (and sometimes I do feel that it is), but as long as I stop stressing myself about stuff and write my worry journal, I am in a more comfortable state. It is strange to notice that my anxiety flares up as soon as I think “I do not know what to do“.. Duh… Classical trigger of anxiety. Nevertheless, I am very grateful for this period of time.

I feel very confident and have self-respect, admiration, and esteem. Wohaaa 🙂 This is HUGE. I owe it to a number of changes in me lately;

1) I am more initiative (such as in initiating new projects) and motivated to expand my skills to new areas. I do not try to calculate risks anymore – only big ones, not the small things that made me busy, anxious, and less initiative in the past few years. It goes well so far, I am forming new collaborations, I can ask people for favors of involvement easier, and I believe that all is much better now with these skills. I also appreciate my development and efforts more, knowing that this way I will be able to grow and do better professionally. I appreciate myself extra because these also takes guts. Seemingly, I have them 🙂

2) I believe the reason I am less conserved and introvert and more initiative is that I care less.. Yes, you heard right. The less I care about the potential and negative outcomes (e.g. failure, being rejected, etc.), the better I do and get responses. Strange but works! 🙂

3) These are all possible because I finally realize to take time for myself and my own value, personally and professionally. Good times 🙂

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I am one of these individuals that benefited from self-help books. Not all of them, but some were quite influential. The idea of worry journal, feeling better with detaching from my immediate issues and seeing the bigger picture in life, reading positive messages and feeling better as a result, etc. were all good to me. I am not naive enough to think that I have a life-long habit of thinking and feeling better, but at least I know that these strategies can be re-applied, if needed in the future.

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I have other areas in my life that I must focus, though. My diet is not the healthiest, my weight increased lately, I hardly exercise, and my spending habits are still harming my saving goals.

One way to help implement them in my life is to write specific goals. So here I go:

My diet: Aim for eating 6 different foods each week; stop pizza and eating out; eat more protein; buy and eat more veggies, especially crunchy ones.

My weight: once I start eating better and walking everyday, I know that it will decrease to its usual amount. Also, stop eating pizzas, peanuts, and junk food!!

My exercise: I can walk in the evenings quite easily. I can also start walking in the morning (to office). Weather is nice and once I start it I know I will enjoy it. I can also do light exercise at home – like my back exercises and light weights.

Spending habits: If I lose the junk food, I am sure I will be in much better shape financially. I also need more specific goals….

MORE to come.

 

 

 

 

 

random thoughts

After a hiatus from blogging, here I am again 🙂

Goodness knows, I missed it!!

The last month has been good to me. I still struggle with frayed nerves and occasional elevated blood pressure; insomnia and stress; but things are looking a little bit better.

I enormously benefited from the worry journal practice and I would recommend it to anyone.

I also do not work all the time and try to take a rest during the weekends. This also includes visits to cafe houses and enjoying my time on Saturdays and Sundays. Life is good.

I reduced my baking bread saga to every two weeks, rather than every week. This gives me a chance to just have one less task to do at the weekends. I bake two loafs at the same time and freeze one of the loafs. When needed, this loaf is as good to go as a fresh one. It works wonderfully for me.

I make a good attempt to take the bus and save money from cab fare. This has had a positive impact on my chequing account. I am excited. This was also topped up with the tax return – I am happy to say that I do not need to use my line of credit anymore and my chequing account is lifting up nice and easy. I feel quite excited about this!

I walk more often now. We have beautiful weather that makes it possible. I feel like energized and the hibernation season has surely ended.

Work is going okay. I still feel strained sometime when faced with difficult decisions. But I move along anyway and guess what – nothing is as bad as it looks.

I relaxed the self-imposed obligations and do not attend the meetings at work unless they are really interesting or absolutely required. This feels good as well.

I say “no” more often as well. I kind of prioritize my time over others’ needs. What a change! What a progress! 🙂

I have taken a couple of days off in the last two weeks – only because I was not feeling well or enthusiastic about going to work. I was worried at first, thinking maybe I had lost my interest at work for good, but I rapidly realized it to be a wrong assumption. I love this – I love loving my job.

Spring is here, which signals a time to close the loose ends and start anew. Last year this feeling had resulted in me getting interested in plants – succulents and cacti to be exact. This year I am not sure what it is gonna be, but I wait life to direct me to my next exciting interest.

I have more positive relationships at work thanks to me getting some rest and things look brighter and more positive.

I have socialized with friends a couple of times and this also had a positive impact on me and how I feel.

My relationship with my family is also much better since new year and I am very grateful for this.

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time to really prioritize myself and my well-being

I have not written here for some time.

I took some kind of break from internet for a while so that I could rather read inspirational books and analyze my feelings by writing on my worry journal.

It all started with a two-days I took off work – my first time in my entire career that I used my vacation time to focus on myself and rest. This is 25 years of work, my friends. All other times I used my vacation time to visit family or friends (where are they now?)

In that two days, I wanted to do whatever I wanted to do – reading books, sitting at a cafe, ordering meal, shopping, reflecting.. Just about anything but working!  It was good. I did not check my emails during this time, which was a miracle, by the way.  I still try not to check the work emails in the evenings and at the weekend. I also try not to work at home and generally take things easy.

But I am also angry with anything that bothers me, and I think my blood pressure increases time to time in such a way that it is alarming me. Deep down I think I am also depressed. I do not know friends – I feel a lot of things nowadays and I think I should really prioritize myself and care about my body and mind, and I should let go off any past or current issues or negative feelings to feel okay.

Honestly, the other day while I was having elevated blood pressure (I think that is what it was)  I just felt that I could as well die at that moment and I would not even care.

This is scary.

On the good side, since I have started the worry journal practice, my anxiety is manageable.

This is priceless.

 

my worry journal practice

I have been looking for doing something different the other day and I found a book of mine about worrying. I have had the book for over 4 years. I had forgotten it existence.

One of the things this book suggests (the author, to be exact) is to have a worry journal where you jot down whatever goes through your mind during the episode. By analyzing and logically facing the situation/thought that creates the worry, instantly it helps with the feelings. I have been trying it for two days now and I carry a little journal with me. It is amazing how fast it fills, but not everything is negative. I happen to also note down potential solutions and how well I can take things.

Today and yesterday I have had 2 worrisome thought trains each day. They are separate issues and mostly related to work. My worries, as they seem so far, happen both at home and at the office. Most of the time, they are logically manageable. They also humble me and help me develop/remember compassion not only towards myself but others. Writing helps see and materializes these.

I like the fact that I am looking for ways to make my life and mental health better. I love the fact that so far this practice has been going well and useful. I hope to be able to see the patterns over time should I continue to keep journaling.

One of the ideas of this practice is also to identify the triggers and noticing body sensations. I for the first time noticed how faster my heart pounds when I go through a worrisome state.

Another way to deal with worries, this book suggests, is to have a “worry space”. There is an example in the book about a lady who chose a fire escape at the work place for this purpose. By attaching this particular place with the worrying, the lady was eventually able to not worry outside of this place. Is this not wonderful?

Not everything is dark. There are positive things happening at the same time, if we just can look at the situation with a logical, but not emotional mind. It is not easy or possible all the time, but it is worth giving it a try.

The book’s title is “The Worrywart’s Companion”. The author is Dr. Beverly Potter.

when enough is enough?

The question in the title of the post can mean many different things.

I have a tendency to revise my work heavily in a way that eventually I puke of it. For some reason, I cannot feel that it is enough until I reach to this state. Often times that means that I am working on the same documents over and over again. This also means it is improving, but it also means that my time is spent. I am increasingly getting aware of the fact that this is one of the things that makes me feel drained.

What is the right thing to do? I ask myself – to set myself a maximum number of revisions – which would help with focusing on each time. Or to heal that feeling that if I do not puke of it, then it is not good enough. I link this behavior to perfectionism and my interest in due diligence – I only feel good about something (and thus do not beat myself) when I convince myself that I have done what can possibly done and as such if there is a negative consequence (like a criticism), I do not blame myself much.

Sounds a little bit pathetic.

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I just had a conversation of a friend and she has had it and is planning to retire sooner than she has been planning to. She says she cannot take the anxiety and fear coming out of being in a work environment that threatens her well being and dignity (she has some managers that treats her like an outcast). She was upset that an early retirement means less money, but then she also questions whether her well being is less important than the money. I was very happy for her that she prioritized her well being and chose to end this toxic work-experience. I can easily see that she will be happier, free of the negative effects of her work, and start a new chapter in her life. She had enough.

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Today one of my team members and I finished a long, hard work…. It went so well so smoothly this week after a long battle that we both cannot feel the satisfaction coming out of this victory. It kinda feels like it was too good to be true. Looks like we are used to hardship, but not the relief coming out of overcoming it. We had more than enough hardship. It is time that we cherish the success. I will wait for this feeling to sink in….

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I continue to head-butt situations that scare me. Do not get me wrong, I am bone – chilled. I am that scared or do not know what to do. I feel beat and shaky. I feel like anxiety is all around me. I feel like I may be doing something wrong by taking the step or by not taking it. But I move on rather than caving. I feel like this is a learning opportunity. I may fail. I may make mistakes, but whatever I decide to do is the best at the time being and things will move into something better, one way or the other. Perhaps as a person – by walking through the fear. Perhaps as a professional – by taking steps that I am not sure where they will take me.

I gotta trust more. I gotta trust myself. I gotta trust life. I gotta trust other people (this one is hard, but not trusting myself or others is equally hard).

I gotta move on.

And I must take care of myself. The feeling I have nowadays – being cold, shaky, beaten  – makes me extra anxious. And when I am anxious, I cannot think straight and cannot make good decisions. The most important thing for me is to heal this feeling. Once my mind is clear, I can make decisions easier and I can take better steps.

I gotta care about myself and rest. Tonite. Tomorrow. This weekend. Sometime, somewhere I must let myself find my core strength.

 

 

random thoughts

I do not even know what I will write here, but here I go 🙂

My joyful affair with the online resources at the library continues. I have read two novels and am screening a self-help book now. It is about anxiety and how one person saw it, experienced it, and found ways to acknowledge, manage, and eventually overcome it. When I read the story-line, I find a lot of things in common. The ways to ease the anxiety also make sense – they are so familiar to me; a good diet, exercise, monitoring thoughts and intercepting the anxious ones, getting help, being grateful/keeping a gratitude journal, and finding (new) ways to enjoy life at the same time. So while I have the knowledge, why the practice fails short?

I enjoyed and greatly benefited from affirmations last summer. They gave me a genuine happiness for some time. I kept reading books that give positive messages and hope, and I greatly benefited from reading them as well. Yet, here I am; sometimes exhausted, sometimes down, sometimes depressed, and sometimes anxious and on the edge. My moments of positive thoughts and feelings are getting harder to locate.

I kind of think that if I find the reasons, I can deal with it better. There may be physiological or genetic causes, which I cannot fix myself. But my thoughts I can. As a matter of fact, while affirmations and positive self-help books were wonderful, their effects are transient. I think that this is because I have not addressed the process of anxiety and depression-creating thoughts. Once they start, they easily form a train and get longer and stronger with each moment. If only they could be stopped. To me, that is why affirmations look like a sugar coat on an iron stick with rust. The rust is the thought pattern due to lack of awareness, which just stays there. Sugar is consumed very easily. And once the taste of sugar is over, rust appears all over again.

I have never been good at meditation or awareness of my thoughts, but I gave it a try many times. I think that it is time that I re-visit the idea.

 

 

 

all the good things – check

Do not get me wrong; it has not been bright lately, but I make an effort to recognize the good and positive in my life (this post is a good example).

  • I think I am going through a down episode and am highly suspicious of my mental health, but at least noticing this tells me there is still some logical side in me, which I would like to invest in more – check

I increasingly recognize that I have anger in me that waits to be released. If I am not pissed with a work that does not go well, then I am pissed by an encounter, and if not, then by my memories. I know that I must let go off the memories and emotions attached to them, but it is not easy or permanent.

Just yesterday I decided it was okay to have this state, which now is becoming my “normal”; “I cannot sleep well – so what? It has been like this for now and it is okay”. Or, “I cannot change myself or my life the way I ideally would like, and that is okay too as I have been trying to do this my entire life”. Or, “I do not eat well as well as I want to or exercise to give my tired body a chance to relax, but that is also okay”.

These are the thoughts that go through my mind. I think I am either accepting the conditions and make peace with them, or really started to quit my ideals, plans, or efforts. Hard too know for sure. But somethings are not working. They have not been working for a long time, and this may be a chance to actually let life fix what I could not.

  • meeting with a new staff at my work-place and clicking right away – check

what a positive person! one of those individuals whose eyes are radiant with joy and positivity. It was such a pleasure to meet and chat with her. We have some common interests and background, and today I just learn that she was into plants as well. So I gave her a couple of plants and cuttings, and she was excited about them. This feels great in so many different ways; sharing plants is always joyful. But seeing the joy of the person getting them is extra joyful. I made a great memory today, thanks to her. I also felt my energy lifted after interacting with her, as this person has the most positive and happy vibe I have ever seen in someone. I fell quite lucky and I thank life for this.

  • becoming a member of the library and having access to digital books and audiobooks – check

this is fascinating! why did I not try this before?? It is such a great service and I immensely enjoy reading the books by my favorite writer and having access to audiobooks, which I am highly curious about. Magnificent development in my life – that is for sure.

  • eating fruits and yogurt – check

it has been sometime that I enjoyed these. They are healthy, tasty, and make me feel better

  • realizing that nothing is written in stone and I too can let go off some of my beliefs and find a balance in life – check

I do not know why, but all of a sudden this past Saturday morning, I got stressful again and worked the whole weekend. It went well, only slower than I wanted to.  With my stress came my internal pressure and turmoil, and I became more and more aware of the fact that I must release this internal pressure somehow (see above the 1st point). How exactly?

I know what work:

  • walking everyday
  • not working every weekend
  • mingling with people and making better memories
  • doing new or spontaneous things
  • affirmations and being grateful
  • kindness – first to myself and then to others
  • eating well and healthy
  • taking time to release daily pressure
  • traveling
  • etc.

Questions is whether I can keep up with these…

I know that if I repeat them to myself, I will. As soon as I let the work to be the most important thing in my life, inevitably, my personal life and wellness become not important at all. I do not know why I cannot find a balance; one can work and then take care of themselves at the same time, right?

  • Being kinder to people around me today – check

This kind of experiences also humble me and make me more compassionate of others. Today I was extra kind to people around me, which felt wonderful.

 

 

 

random thoughts

Exhaustion and fried nerves – I know them very well.

I am very agitated nowadays. I know it from my reactions and how unwell I feel. This too will pass. When, however, I do not know.

Good news is that the weekend is here. I will make it a weekend of self-care and enjoyment. This means not working and not checking the emails – I hope I can achieve this.

Today our administrative staff suggested that I should reduce my work load and care about myself. How true. How do I do this?

Logically I know that if I feel better and energized, and have a clear mind, I can be more effective. Dragging my feet and combing heavily around my mind’s clouds to focus on work and do many things prior to their deadline is not helping my work or personal wellness. It actually drains me even further. I am at a point that I must take that break.

I do not know what I would do this weekend, but I will try to stay away from the computer and work-related thoughts. I want to collect myself and maybe cook healthy meals and think about new things. Maybe I will write a poem, a short story, or start reading about something new. Whatever it is gonna be, I want to remind myself that this is a break, a mini-vacation, and I deserve and in fact need it to keep going.

we are not alone in our struggles

An interesting thing happened today – one of my colleagues burst out her frustration in a meeting we have had. The frustration she had was unrelated to the meeting and the meeting attendees. But we all understood her and supported her. It was heart-breaking to see this otherwise highly cheerful and positive colleague displaying her frustration so rawly. The hurdles she mentioned were highly similar to what I have been experiencing. I felt an instant compassion and fully supported my colleague.

What has been happening to this work place?

Through my interactions with others, this week I heard about experiences of other colleagues as well. They all have the same base problem of being under too much pressure, expectations from them increasing day by day, and the increased workload mandating that we sacrifice from our personal time and mental health. While I do not enjoy finding many of us in this situation, I find it interesting that we hear more objections and voice related to the work environment compared to before. I think together we can form a stronger voice and hopefully get our voice and concerns heard by others, especially by the management. It is a hot pot now – not isolated cases. The future of such a toxic and unsupportive environment is not bright. They better fix it prior to a mass exodus of highly dedicated personnel. This is not the survival of the fittest kind of situation – if you cannot protect the mental health and intellectual capabilities of your people, you cannot really expect extraordinary work that they do, can you?

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This being said, I also mentioned my team members how tired and frustrated I was with some of the things not done or taken care of on time just a few days before. I feel like my endless support to my team has come to an end and is retracting now. I am surprised by this but it is what it is. I keep remembering what someone commented in one of my recent posts – if you are not full, you cannot pour. How true. I wonder about the demoralizing consequences of my frustration on my team members; did they feel the same way that I feel towards my managers? Did they think that I was not supportive enough towards them, or created a toxic environment with unrealistic expectations? I really do not know. But I am empathetic.

This change in my attitude towards my own team is concerning me. I feel like I am really on a dangerous line, which I hope not to cross and go all the way down from there. I want to take a rest, like I have done last weekend with less work and more self-care, but I have so much to do that I would rather work this week…

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The good thing is that I have progressed in making decisions quicker and not spending too much time on trivial points. I also let go of whatever task that does not serve me well. I do not aim for perfection anymore – just today I submitted a report to my colleagues asking them to chip in. Most importantly, the feeling I have got last week, that I was successful and better than what this environment offered to me has been permanent since then. This is amazing. I believe that this is because it is the truth, otherwise my usual skepticism would trash it the next day. I feel empowered by this. Very much indeed.

Nevertheless, I am still tired, stressed, and anxiety is growing in me. I feel like I need additional changes in my attitude towards the work. I will know it when its time comes.

Good night everyone.

 

 

Do we have the right to prioritize ourselves and our well being? Is it selfish?

These are honest questions:

Do we have the right to prioritize ourselves and our well being? Is it selfish?

I have been trying hard to feel good, especially about myself and my life. My last 20 years in North America and many years prior to that at home, I always worked towards ending this frequent feeling of “feeling like shit”, “fear/anxiety”, “financial and other insecurities”, and “low self-esteem”. I naturally kept studying and working to keep my mind occupied with these so that I would not think about the existential thoughts. I felt better as a result, however randomly. The trap is that studying and working, especially in my highly competitive field with high failure rate and with rapid deadlines, also mean stress and feeling like shit again, experiencing anxiety, insecurities, and low self-esteem due to high competition and failure rate.

So, what is this all about?

Entire story sounds like delusion to me.

————————————————————————————————————————

I have been in North America for nearly 20 years now. I left my home-country, my family, and my friends for work, and then stayed. I like the safe and relatively peaceful atmosphere of Canada particularly, even though the economic situations are straining me and my work place is getting more and more toxic especially lately, but it is alright here. And I know that despite occasional racist and discriminative treatment here and there (which really annoys and is so wrong), I believe I feel much better here in Canada than I would somewhere else.

Being away from home and family is never easy. Home is home and family is the most important thing in life. Yet, when being with family and your well-being do not go side-by-side, what do you do? Emotionally, I want to go back, but logically I know this is not the right decision, at least for now. So I stay and I refuse the demands from my family to go back.

I am not convinced that I can survive mentally there, not unless I changed the way I think and deal with things in a more healthy way. Otherwise, I see myself easily in more anxiety, stress, and depression. Who can benefit or be happy with this? Neither me nor my family. I cannot get my family understand this. They think that I can earn much more money, have less stress and issues that I experience or may experience, and feel better there with the support of my family. I do not buy this. I cannot buy this.

————————————————————————————————————————

So, my family needs me, yet by prioritizing myself and my well-being, I deny them the help (financial or emotional) they expect from me. This naturally creates conflicts and lots of negative emotions and encounters between me and my family.

Tell me; how selfish am I to do this? Keeping myself rather in a stable and peaceful place that I believe is better for my mental health at the expense of abandoning my family except seeing them annually for a month or so, calling them every off-day, and financially helping them when they need it most?

I believe it is selfish. That is why I feel like shit as well.

As I said, the entire story looks delusional.

 

 

 

anxiety….

Anxiety is crippling on me nowadays….

I am trying to hold on and take rests at the same time.

It is strange as this is not the busiest time – It is quite busy,  but at least some things are going well and I have the energy to keep going. Maybe I just need a break.

Timing is good because a friend of mine is coming to visit me in the next few days. It will force me to work less and enjoy my time with my friend. I am grateful for this opportunity and am looking forward to my friend’s arrival.


Sunday morning musings

Peaceful morning with the coffee on the table and music at the background – what else do I need right now? 🙂

Cat Coffee GIF by hoppip - Find & Share on GIPHY

Appreciating the beauty of the moment put aside, I feel like my anxiety is checking on me, and as a result, I feel like I must convince myself that there are remedies.

I increasingly recognize that there are two types of anxiety creating situations:

  1. one; when there is a real issue which if left unattended may create bigger issues, and;
  2. second; those that exist as possibilities which upon becoming reality can create a real issue and if left unattended may create bigger issues.

I deal with both of these the majority of the time.

Nervous Mio Akiyama GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I am pretty good at managing the 1st type of anxiety creating situations (mostly work-related). I still time to time struggle with them as well, especially when there are too many of them all at the same time, which stresses me.

The best remedy I have found so far?

Reminding myself my past experience:

  • I will not be scared for no good reason
  • I am able to handle anxiety and issues – so far I have. It may take some time and can down me a good chunk of the time, but I have seen that I am strong and resilient
  • Challenges grow me and I have solved many of them in the last few years especially. I can feel confident
  • I will continue to be okay with those thoughts that will benefit me, move me, and motivate me so that I can move on

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The second type is the one that comes from nowhere. It kind of places itself in my mind when I have no or little type 1 anxiety creating situations.

The best remedy I have found so far?

Reminding myself;

  • I will not be scared for no good reason
  • I will think about what to do when my fears become a reality – until then it is a waste of my emotional stability, time, and energy to try to find solutions to non-existing fear-creating situations. Over and over I have seen that I can make (more) rational/logical decisions at the face of adversity
  • I will not resist to anxiety creating thoughts; no matter how many times I come across anxiety

Ladybug GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gifs by: https://giphy.com/gifs/ES4Vcv8zWfIt2;https://giphy.com/gifs/nervous-anxiety-12nMEydAAgCxYA;https://giphy.com/gifs/ladybug-QIkavkylBv0Z2

totally random thoughts

It was another day with lots happening at work. I am not complaining. I realized that as long as I do my best, I am content with whatever is going on at work.

It was a fine day with blue sky and warm temperatures. Do you not love such Fall days? 🙂 It was a blessing and I took it up in my memory to remember later and be grateful now.

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I am not eating well and this shows on the scale. I have lost a few pounds lately and I am feeling cold today. Tomorrow night I have a meeting till 9 pm, so I cannot shop, but Thursday is the day to get some warming food. Raisins would be nice too – they are sweet and have iron, I heard.

When I am cold, I often suspect being scared. I do not know where this association comes from, but that is alright. I have my blanket on and feeling warmer each minute. I also thanked the thoughts going thru my mind a few minute back (all negative or worrisome), as I came to realize that they are there for a reason. My mind works on them so that I can be prepared for the worst. This habit creates anxiety but trusting the benefits of it also makes me take feelings generated much easier. Wisdom? Distorted thinking? Maybe.

I am feeling a little above the sea in terms of the things that I feel anxiety about. As I wrote yesterday, no matter how big or small the issues, I have a tendency to look for and dwell into issues. The more issues I have the more I prioritize and then dwell on the biggest. I really would like to believe that I have a limit to anxiety and once the roof is reached, it cannot get worse than it. Only go down from there. Either I manage to do so, or I get support.

Mental health is such an important issue. I am becoming more and more aware of its importance. I have been planning to go see my counselor again sometime, but I have not complied with their advise (e.g. eating better, walking and exercising to reduce my stress levels). So I feel like if I go see them now, I will start from the beginning. What is the point of, then? I must say talking about my stress was therapeutic, as facing an issue almost always reduces its power. Perhaps just for this reason only, I must go see them. Considering that I am not sure whether I am turning things around or approaching yet another crisis, making a new appointment looks like the best idea.

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The thing about my work is that it does not leave much time for anything else. I have so many other things to do. Do I have to wait for the retirement? Will it ever be able to retire? Will I be able to do the things I would like to do now then?

Why to postpone life?

This is a powerful question.

One benefit of the stress and pressure I experience at work is that I constantly question whether this whole thing is worth it. Why do I not spend time with my family instead?

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Truth is that I cannot be sure of I whether I will be at peace and anxiety-free then. Unless I change myself and manage the anxiety easier, no matter where I am, I am probably going to feel similarly.

I am determined to turn things around.

If I cannot, then I trust that life will show me the best way forward. Maybe it will be a good thing to quit this job when it comes to it.

We shall see.

 

 

 

 

 

have not written for a while….

I have not written much lately – what have been going on in my life?

Well. It was mostly quite positive experiences 🙂 🙂

Affirmations and mental health/outlook: I have had quite reduced stress levels since I came back from home-visit. I was into affirmations, which miraculously made my mental state and thoughts positive, and me happier and healthier. They do work, my friends 🙂 I think we all need to “hear from ourselves” that things are exactly as they are supposed to be, there are many beautiful things and people happening in life, there are many opportunities out there (most may be shaded by the daily clutter, but if we stop and think about them, they do appear), and love, peace, health, success, recognition, and money all comes if we think like this. Happiness is a possibility and is available. We just need to open up to it. And maybe spend some time everyday reflecting on them 🙂

Succulents and new friendships: I have come across another plant enthusiast and we hit it off right away. We have similar interests and are at similar stages of life. Exchanging succulent cuttings was a blessing that I cannot cherish enough. Certainly a great experience, not only for getting new succulents, but also getting to know a person like myself in many ways and developing a kind of friendship at the same time.

Budget and frugality: My budget has been going well, with a frugal life style re-implemented. I spend more than I project, but I continue to save every week consistently. I found that health related expenses (vision care, medications, physiotherapy etc.) take up a good chunk time to time, but other times it is fine. I find ways to save, however small they may be. Of course the exceptions would be new succulents acquired every once a while, pots and soils purchased for these beauties, and occasional social activities. I made it regular to go to thrift stores for pots and I also purchased a number of nice blouses at such reasonable prices that make my life abundant and easy. I am grateful.

Changing how I work: In terms of work, I continue to change how I approach it and how I let it to shape my personal life, mental health, and life priorities. I have got new responsibilities, an additional role that I was interested in and for which I am really excited about, and am dropping yet another role that does not serve me anymore (and was getting on my nerves. They may want me back, and in such a case, I may re-consider it, but until then). And, I realize once more that a lot of people that work with me get dependent on me to conduct, move and complete the work, which is so much more load for me than I should shoulder. I distanced myself from a couple of colleagues that saved me some time. But I must also do this with my trainees, which is a challenge. I will continue to work on finding a solution to this.

Changing myself: And just this weekend, I realized that my next personal challenge will be to “express things positively” rather than negatively. This weekend I met with a friend of mine and I at one point was hard on myself and was criticizing myself (I was criticizing myself for not rescuing more plants from a certain death; they were being discarded and I took 4-5 of them to care for and the rest I did not pay attention because I already had these types of plants). She said “I cannot believe you have turned such a positive experience to such a negative one“. She was right.

I decide right now not to use “I should” “no/not” as much as I normally do.

We will see how this goes 🙂

Have a wonderful night everyone!

What comes first? Me, me, me, or my wellness?

It has been somehow stressful day; I have so much to do! 🙂

Yet, I also felt like I could use my time better and I could award myself for doing well as well. This is really lovely – I think I have started to support and value my efforts a little bit better. Self-care is here 🙂

One thing I am doing this week is to cancel showing up in events that celebrate the achievements of my team members. It was a hard decision to make, but I am glad I have as it gives me the much needed time. It is a first too. I talk to my team members and they understand the reasons well as well. I would think this was selfish, but maybe I should be a little bit. In order to protect my time and reduce my stress levels created by the lack of time to recuperate.

I have been to my counseling session yesterday. I talked for 40 minutes. How lovely 🙂 Was I reserved? I was. But I also talked. I did not get a huge number of new thoughts/realizations out of the session that I did not already know -main points were:  mental health is important; I worry all the time; I am not interested in getting medication for anxiety or depression unless it is the last resort; I am close to burn out because of the intense work and stress (my counselor’s assessment); I must eat better; and I must exercise. And, time to care for myself – physically and mentally.

It is always good to hear from someone else that I must care for myself. This makes me feel supported in my decisions to not attend extra events this week and the weeks to come. This does not mean that I come first all the time, under all conditions – that would be selfishness and being self-oriented. It means my wellness should come first.

I like that.

Art Doodle GIF by Chibird - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/art-cute-okay-3oxHQjb3brk6dOWBGg

                                                                           

 

all the good things – check

  • sleeping well and getting up early – check

a good quality of sleep is something awesome, friends. It makes you refreshed, rested, and positive. Have I mentioned my doctor recommended using melatonin to help sleep? I took it only once; it upset my stomach and it felt strange. I am considering taking half of the supplements, but I will see how this will go first – maybe the better weather and sunny days will help. 

  • working at home on a report review and almost finishing it – check

this feels good. I have been working on it for the last three days. A kind of complicated file and reviewing it was hard, but I am almost there. I do this review for an external organization of which I am a member. There are a number of points that I do not have the expertise to evaluate. I note them clearly and make them know. I have come up with this idea a while ago while reviewing another file. I do not want to be responsible for shortsightedness if the file turns out to be problematic in the future. Feeling good to protect myself 🙂

  • deciding to go to office even though it is a public holiday today (Victoria day) – check

I thought it was the best opportunity to do some work at the office while there were not many people around. I am glad I have! There were a few people like me who worked today but it was such a quiet and peaceful environment that I felt like I have done 3 days worth of work in a couple of hours. I am pleased 🙂

  • walking to and from the office today – check!

this is the first time in a while that I have walked to office! I not only saved money (total around 20 bucks today), but also found a chance to exercise my body and calm my mind 🙂

  • eating better with lots of fruits and healthy food – check
  • feeling calmer and hopeful – check

this is very important for me. I have been having down moments and anxiety lately – today has been really good in this regard 🙂

  • realizing that my health-related expenses are increasing and I must make efforts to minimize my unnecessary expenses – check

This is not particularly a good news, but I would like to see it as such. It reminded me a few years back when I did not have much money left from my pay cheque (immediately after buying my house). It was a very hard feeling but I had decided to cut significant expenses to turn things around. I have not been fugal in the last 11 months, which shows in my chequing account. I have continuous physiotherapy (for my lower back) and now counseling sessions to start.. These are expensive services.

While I recognize their importance and benefits to me, I also recognize the fact that I may not be able to finance all of them while also taking the cab twice a day, eating junk food every day, and shopping without thinking much… It is time that I bone cut my all unnecessary expenses, friends. Every penny counts – I know this. I may not be able to get back all the money I wasted, but I may as well stop wasting more.

Good thing is that one of my recurring expense, my hair treatments as part of my saga to transition to gray hair is about to come to an end. I have one appointment next week and maybe yet another one in summer left to complete the transition (I hope). My hair looks a lot better than what I thought it would be, but it is time that I take a break from expensive toner treatments and see whether I can keep my hair myself. We will see how this will go ahead 🙂 Gray hair is a sensitive matter!! 🙂

  • removing a social from my calendar – check

under different conditions I would be happy to attend, but I am so booked that I do not wish to spend time on other peoples’ functions anymore. This was a surprising turn for me. Am I getting selfish? No. Am I prioritizing myself? Yes. I needed this.

I also did not want to spend money on this function. I thought I would rather spend this money on myself and this felt good. I am taking care of myself 🙂

  • deciding that I did not have to attend all work-related functions or meetings – check

there are at least 4 functions I was invited to in a couple of weeks. These are functions that will acknowledge my team members’ success and achievements. While they are incredibly honoring moments, I will be wasting around 10 hours collectively. I can rather use this time for myself. I can go to physiotherapy, for example. Since each session costs me around 2.5 hours, I was only able to have sessions every other week. can you imagine? i cannot even make it to my physiotherapy because I am so crunched of time…

I kind of found that sad.

It is the right decision. I can use my time to care for myself. I am sure my team members will understand.

  • thinking that whatever has been happening in my professional life, they are not more important than my personal well-being – check!!!

Priceless.

 

 

Saturday morning musings

It is a beautiful sunny day that gives warmth to my heart and soothes my mind.

I m enjoying my early morning coffee and thinking about life, mine particularly.

Some things are going well. I am eating better and I bought a number of fresh produce to support my body and mind. There is something nice about taking care of myself and noticing this.

I am excited about the terra cotta pots that I have painted. So many colours! Will my cacti seedlings find their ways to growth and safe transportation to these pots? They say it may take around 6-12 months to reach them a safe size (around half an inch) to pot individually. I hope to be able to see this happening! 🙂 I have currently around 22 seedlings that germinated in the last three weeks.. Yuppiii! It is a unique excitement to look at them in the office every day and seeing how many there are and how they are doing. I have two “albinos” that if I understood correctly cannot produce chlorophyll and are bound to die. I cannot graft them now (which is one of the ways to make them survive an thrive). That annoys me, but it is a way of nature I guess so I will take it.

 

The week has been turbulent as per the work but it is over now. We have a lot of issues and delays experienced that are worrying me. But then a new collaboration on a new project of mine is developing, which is exciting. I think I had written this a while ago that around 20% of my efforts turn into a productive one. At least I have that many of the work reaching to some kind of maturation. I made a short talk where I mentioned about our projects and it was kind of nice to see what a great diversity I have in my abilities. I also noticed that one project that I have been talking about for sometime now found its way to being in progress. This is awesome! I have yet another one that I am trying to bring to life. It has been in my list for a couple of years and I think I have found the perfect collaborator to do so. Maybe next year I can start talking about it in more detail as we move with the project. Overall, this kind of talks may take time but they also help me to see what I envision for my work, where my passion is, and how I develop over time.

To be able to recognize the positive side, among all the turbulence in my inner world, is priceless.

Add these to this tulip that dancing with the sun in my yard 🙂

IMG_4121

 

 

 

 

What a day….

I was emotionally quite drained yesterday and found myself sleeping at around 7 pm. I slept around 12 hours and in the morning, I felt quite better.

I had quite a dream yesterday night. One of those dreams where you want to move in a certain way but you cannot. Everything I hanged on to to get up from the floor turned to something else and absolutely useless, and I was making an extraordinary effort to even move my arm holding on to that something….I was so focused on moving my arm and getting up in my dream that I did not even notice, talk, or support the person (a family member so dear to my heart) who was next to me in my dream.

There are many messages in this dream, I found quite reflective of my mental state and life/work struggles. I neglect the people most important to me (family), I find myself in constant struggle to even go through the simplest tasks (but I keep going despite everything and persistently try, which makes me admire my energy and determinism), and I am disappointed by the resources or opportunities available to me (or, I feel like nothing or noone supports me or they are not what I think they are).

What a dream.

I know that this dream is a work of my subconsciousness that is in a healing process. I believe it made my mental state better.

The whole day, I felt remarkably calm.

I knew that I must have changed things.

I knew that I was resisting to many things or changes.

And now I know that sometimes failure, the one thing that I am so afraid of, is actually needed. Sometimes, my friends, things do not go the way we wish them and there must be a stop point in resisting to let go or change the directions of our lives. if we cannot make this decision, then the failure makes us realize that we came to an end. Failure, in such a case, is a blessing, as it stops you from moving in the wrong direction.

I think it is time that I gracefully accept the failure. This feels safe and surprisingly good.

This does not mean that I let go of my current efforts to produce ideas and hard work. It means that I am kind of unattached to all my plans and wishes right now, and I have stopped beating myself about the possibility of current or future issues, problems, or unsuccessful work.

This is a relief.

I am not naive enough to think that all my issues are resolved or this mental clarity is permanent. But I am not afraid at this moment of issues or their effects on me. I may get up tomorrow feeling anxious and extremely caring about every single plan or wish of mine, but right now, I will soak in this peaceful feeling.

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I made my appointment with a psychologist yesterday. I resisted this idea for a decade or two. Maybe this is what is giving me these feelings of letting go. I am not sure. But I want to feel good and gain my composition, strength, and happiness again. I want to see and think more clearly.

Life is interesting. It teaches you everything you need, whether or not you want it is not relevant. It fixes you.

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In the mean time, I started to eat better – I ate some carrots at noon and cooked a meal for dinner. I ate healthy stuff. I took my time to cook for myself. I walked a bit during the day. I considered cutting coffee a little bit – from 6 cups to 3 cups maybe. I did my back exercises – not fully, but at least I recognize that if I do them, my healing will be speedier. I made a conscious choice of not filling my mind with worry about a problematic report that I expect to get tomorrow. I decided to smile more today and being a more pleasant and positive person – and it went well. I decided to not listen to music or TV shows late at night and rather focus on reflecting on the moment.

I decided to write these here so that I can document the reality.

Which I hope will change in a better way starting soon.

what comes with a year

I do not know how I feel, but after eating some food, I must say I am feeling better 🙂

I think I have not eaten much in the last 24 hours. Yesterday evening was busy with a friend. I think we have had finger foods but then forgot to eat a decent dinner. This morning, as usual, I have not had a breakfast. And then, at noon, I managed to eat some left over food. But I guess that was it until 10 min ago, I remembered to eat a slice of sourdough and some yogurt.

Why am I telling you all of these?

I am very aware of the fact that I am highly stressed, somehow depressed and anxious. The last one year has been quite intense in terms of working, having all bunch of frustrations, and not taking a good care of myself. These were topped by the injuries, one to my elbow and the other to my lower back. I very well know that I must care for myself most during this time, and I am most resisting to the idea.

Why, I must ask.

Why would I resist to taking good care of myself?

I feel like every additional step I must take will stress me more. Like walking and other exercises my doctor has recommended to help with my sleep and stress problem. I used to walk every evening from my office to home, rain or shine did not matter much. Not anymore. I even cannot make to physiotherapy every week, even though it is probably a very important healing process for me. There is always something to do and something to take care of. Except my own well being.

I did, however, a good job today and started looking for a mental health counselor. My first shrink session to come 🙂 I cannot believe. Maybe I should have done this long time ago. I really do not know. Maybe I will find relief.

I hope so.

I realize that in order for things in my life to change, I must change myself. The way I think and approach things.

Wish me luck 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

all the good things – check

  • finally making it a part of my reality and consulting my doctor about my stress levels, anxiety, depressive mood, and sleep problems – check

it has been an interesting experience. I am not new to having stress, anxiety bouts here and then, depressive thoughts, and lately sleeping much less than usual. While I was feeling perfectly fine during the day, I thought I would consult my doctor. She suggested nicely to exercise 6 times a week; try melatonin for some time for my sleep – if it does not work out, I can get a pill later; and see a counselor to get a better idea about other ways to manage my stress and occasional anxiety I get. Perfect. I always thought that it would feel weird for me, but it did not. I said to my doctor and I believed in it completely when I said – that I want to feel good. well done, I would say 🙂

  • taking the bus this afternoon, rather than the cab – check
  • painting one of my old-looking pots with the new paints I have bought yesterday – check
  • eating a large bean salad with joy and appetite – check
  • working nice and easy – check
  • deciding not to work this evening – check
  • watering the radish and flower seeds in the yard – check

my radish seeds have done amazing! They appeared around a week after the sowing and I could not be more excited 🙂 There is something incredible about growing something from seeds 🙂 🙂

  • using my new watering can to water the yard – check

why did I not think about buying one before??? It is such a useful thing and only costed me 6 bucks this weekend! It takes a couple of times to fill and then water the seeds/seedlings, but without it I would not be able to do this, either, so I am so grateful that I have purchased it – there will be many flowers and seeds coming out in my yard this year and many years to come 🙂

  • growing cacti seeds – check, check, check!

I planted them 10 days ago and yesterday I have seen my first baby cactus, and then yet another one a few hours after that. This morning, an additional one appeared and this afternoon I noticed yet another one, too! What a joy, friends! I never thought that I could germinate them, but I did it!! Checking every morning and every once a while during the day and seeing new green tops showing up is an amazing feeling – I am so excited!

 

 

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.

Hope Springs GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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detachment, work-place, and mental health

I feel so detached to my job. Maybe that is a good thing, maybe not.

Maybe it is a good thing. I am not fully satisfied with my job or my work-place anyhow. I am exhausted by the work-load. I can hardly find time for my own personal development and enjoyment. I am away from the people most matter to me (my family). I am frustrated and my nerves are fried frequently. I often ask myself “what is it that I want from my life and my future?” and I have no answer to that. I feel dried up. I feel living in a microcosmos that consists of mostly work, its problems, and the anxiety it creates.

On the other hand, my job is often respected. My salary is good, thank goodness. I have a simple life where I am – grateful again. I can have quite a frugal life if I want and save money each year (well, maybe not this year but that is okay). These are good things.

So, maybe detachment is a good thing so that I can actually leave here and open a new chapter in my life. It is somehow exciting but considering that I must find another job, it is anxiety-creating as well. I am scared of not finding a good job, a well-paying one.

Anxiety is a horrible thing, my friends. It stops you even you take a step. It fills your mind with all the negativity or possibilities that hope and excitement are buried under a heavy cloud.

Of course, one can argue that if I cannot change my circumstances, then perhaps I can and should change myself.

I am not sure that I can change myself. The way I think and take things. Not so much really. If I had worked less, maybe I could see things more clearly. If I had relaxed, maybe I would get less frustrated. If I had not cared, maybe I would not be emotionally impacted. It is hard to change myself, though I made some significant changes this year. Ironically I am working more, but at least on things that I benefit from. Like the committees I work at – they personally and professionally improve me. Like the new projects I am designing.  Like my creative juice sometimes running full-bodied and sweet. At other times, with other tasks, however, I am heavily burdened.

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I had started the day more or less well. What triggered this turn of emotions was a note from a superior showing the “stick” (where are all the carrots??). I feel intimidated, threatened, and certainly under-appreciated.

I just wonder how long I should take this sh.t and why I do not have the courage to quit myself. It is like I rather am waiting for something to happen so that I can say “that is it! I am quitting!“.

I am waiting, I see.

It is not a full detachment yet, with each “stick” I get closer to it. Maybe it is a good thing.

And, I have serious suspicions of this work-place making me mentally sick.

Depression? Anxiety? Both? Or simply, being fed up?

 

 

finding a balance

My recent bout of feeling anxious and down has several causes I can think of. One of them is the re-prioritization of extensive work in the last 7 months of my life; I worked day and night and with great intensity. I have undertaken new roles, new projects, and faced lots of issues to deal with. I have been trying to grow and get stronger professionally. That meant giving my own emotional and physical health a lower priority and some parts of the jobs the same.

Right now what I am feeling is lack of control over my work and personal life. My mind keeps presenting me scenarios of negative outcomes, one being failure. Anxiety I am feeling is real.

I find some level of serenity by facing the issues, realizing what happened and why happened, and getting back to my past experience to predict for the future. My issues are the ongoing neglect on the other parts of my professional and personal life that if not handled soon can create negative outcomes; the reason they have happened is because of the toxic and negative work environment that pushed me to work at a high level continuously and the need to deal with this stress with unhealthy habits or food; and my past experiences tell me that this too will pass if I handle things well now, re-prioritize things in my life, be kind to myself, and the anxiety I feel is often an alarming but useful reminder of these changes.

I may be a control freak and I have no shame in telling this. My job requires a good deal of control for a high quality work, so maybe I am well cut for it. Maybe it makes me this way – who knows?

It is well known that in my line of work, there are many pressures that we need to deal; internal or external. Nothing new to me. I will take one thing at a time. Some things need to be dropped. Other things need to be started. I cannot prioritize my personal life yet, but I will start with controlling the work first (obviously it is very important for me) stating with neglected parts of it, starting tomorrow.

I may also ask for help. My mental health is important to me. If this goes on for a period of time, I will be speaking to a doctor.

In the middle of all of these reflections, I keep wondering how that life-work balance works for everyone. 

Life GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/life-3EAGWsRjSzb2M

 

 

Saturday noon musings

The beautiful day of Saturday has arrived 🙂

I have been to a short trip yesterday for work and it has gone well. I made new connections, made a great presentation, got people interested in what I was to say, and enjoyed a number of meals and long walks in a city that was surrounded by water. Island cities can be really magnificent.

Beach GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I was very tired physically prior to this trip but I returned back replenished. My mind particularly. This change has been great to my fried nerves. Hence, I woke up feeling better and with a shoother mind. Things look a lot positive and lovely now 🙂 The lesson learnt is to take breaks if we can and focus our minds to different things on the face of adversary. I know this very well theoretically; I am a difficult learner, but I hope one day practice will make it perfect 🙂

Practice GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Now I have a lovely day in front of me with no activity scheduled. I need to go shop a little bit, which would mean walking. I have neglected walking lately because of the pressing deadlines, but I will take this opportunity today to re-gain my love for walking. I am kind of reluctant right now, but I know I will find it great once I start, so as soon as I finish this post I will put on my walking shoes, grab my shopping tote, take myself out to street. I am sure the crisp air will make me delighted.

Walking GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Have a great Saturday everyone!

Happy Animation GIF by Chris Timmons - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

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gifs by:https://giphy.com/gifs/beach-travel-sea-26Ff8iOQQ31fap9BK;https://giphy.com/gifs/loop-flowers-pink-hair-l0HlOawzLhL5Pxwbe;https://giphy.com/gifs/walking-penguin-waddling-XZn9yRAjnVEQ0;https://giphy.com/gifs/MZg5d1aZTvsbe

 

The second day of the “work” staycation

Today went well too; worked more or less without much of a distraction and it felt good to be able to do this.

My anxiety levels are still high, though, and unless I find a way to reduce it, I am afraid it may escalate. So I will be making a good effort to go back to my routine tomorrow; thank goodness it is Saturday tomorrow and I will fill it up with my regular activities, such as cleaning the house, picking up milk from a store, doing laundry, preparing my sourdough for over night rise, and speaking with my family. I must also clean up the yard and pick the weeds and other unnecessary life forms. I never knew how much I would appreciate my daily (and often times boring) highly structured life-style.

I am familiar with anxiety accompanied with shallow breathing and the feeling of being scared of something, someone, a thought. I try to not resist but rather relax into it and mediate the situation with some meditative music and focusing on the positives; I have a great family who supports me; I am doing great work; my home and yard are at a much better shape than last year; I keep budgeting and living frugally; I try to find joy and happiness in little things; there is a wonderful weather outside; I was able to keep my window open the whole day and have fresh air inside; I have good friends who are happy to socialize with me and help me if needed; I have usually a great job that provides me with more than enough money (even though it also makes me feel inadequate – the main reason of my latest anxiety boot).

Happy GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I feel angry at the conditions that limits me at work and my performance; i am angry at the funding situation for our projects; I am angry at the endless competition we undergo to achieve something; I am angry at the economy; I am angry at myself for not saying “no” more often and often ending up doing other peoples’ works. I am angry at myself for not focusing on the positive and the big picture we call life, rather than all the little antsy bitsy things that I let to annoy me.

I want to feel good and I know that as long as I have this wish, this anxiety will not go anywhere. Wishing to feel good by running away from what I am experiencing is a form of resistance that makes things worse. It is so counter intuitive. I know there are things that I will change and improve as a result of this experience. I just do not know what they are.

The best remedy for anxiety is to trust the unknown. I need to trust to life, the universe if you will, people around me, and more importantly, myself. I may fail at work according to my own or others’ criteria, I know I will get up being better and stronger out of this hurdle. Maybe I will turn things around by being a little bit more smart in protecting my own time and energy, a little bit more lucky, or by changing my own attitude towards myself, my life, my work, my colleagues, my hopes, and my failures. 

I know all of these. 

Now it is time to believe in them.

Love GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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what was important

I know I am having an internal dialogue about the things I am not happy with (mostly my bad habits and not being able to work lately due to the trips) and the boring daily routine that I have had.

All the activities and their sequences in my life are predictable; the way I get up, brush my teeth, the way I put on my socks, leaving home after that. Brewing coffee right away as soon as I arrive the office, checking the emails, attending to the meetings, coming home (usually by walking), changing my clothes, cooking or preparing something to eat, then the relaxations by browsing on the net and blogging.

I am a person of habit, having a system that keeps things in track. It is not always bad as it also makes my life efficient. It is just boring. very boring.

I know I am not the only one living like this or saying this. So I do not feel like having a unique situation. But I really would like this to change. I would like to be more spontaneous and less structured. I also would like to work better and more.

I have an interesting relationship with my work; I feel a lot better when I work. I feel a lot better when things are completed. I feel a lot better when I can take care of the projects and work.

In the last month, I was not able to do so mostly due to the trips I have taken. I must confess I also liked being away from the work and visit new places and being in the moment. Being away from the office also meant stress as I had to work harder to complete things prior to the trips. But it is time that I go back to my work as before. I should not be hard on myself as I also have worked and accomplished quite a bit lately; my widely praised presentation that got positive feedback from many is a good example. I just need to finish the other stuff. Stuff that has been on my list for months. Time to get them done! 🙂

Timing is also great as the holidays season is coming. I usually take 10-12 days off during this time. That means I can really kick it until then so that I can enjoy both the satisfactory feeling of already taken care of my work and the time off from it.

So I am going to just do that. One thing I need to stop doing is working at home. It is lovely and the majority of the time effective, but it also makes me too relax. I guess I will commit to being in the office and working there from now on. I will work at home only when being in the office is unbearable (which does not happen too much).

I will also come up with plans to enrich my weekend life; whether this will be going and checking out stores, shopping malls, or bookstores, I gotta do this. I know I am on shopping ban for many items and I have a budget, but I will have to trade money with enriching my life with other activities and experiences.

This morning, I thought “what is important in my life?”. Here is the list:

  1. my mental and physical health: eating better and exercising, losing weight a long the way (hopefully), having a content and less boring life, getting rid of unhealthy habits, taking care of myself better and improved personal care.
  2. family and friends: their well being and support are important to me.
  3. work: I love it and I want to be more successful. It also helps me with how I feel about myself, my support to family and friends, and my financial health. that is why it is important. But it should not mean that for the work, I should forget what if more important (number 1 and 2 above)
  4. financial health: as much as I can do; not more important than myself or my family’s well being at this point. Fully dependent on my work and my performance.

I now will go away and contemplate on how I can do better in these aspects of my life.

have a great sunday everyone 🙂

problems; how important they are?

Like anyone else, I have things to think about, resolve, or worry about.

A friend of mine lost her father to cancer last year. I was talking to her after a couple of months, and she was still devastated and sad. yet for some reason she asked about my life, I happened to complain about my own issues. Then I had realized that was so inconsiderate of me – she had lost her dad and my problems were so minor compared to hers.

When I told my friend I was sorry I was bragging about such unimportant things, my friend said something that I cannot forget; she said “There is no little or big problem; problem is problem and how you feel is how you feel. If something trivial makes you feel like sh.t, you feel like sh.t and no one can argue that you should not feel this way, just because it is a little issue according to them, or relatively to others problems.”

That was such an amazing understanding and compassion on my friend’s side. And a great moment for me.

I have problems; big or small does not matter, but right now they are important for me.

Are they more important than having a serious health issue or losing someone I love and care?

No.

Do they hurt me now?

Yes.

Will I be okay?

Eventually, yes.

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