random thoughts

I started the week high energy and started to feel tired again since Wednesday. Since the Holidays it has been non-stop – what was I expecting? I need a break.

How are you all holding up? Did you get the vaccines yet? I am still not eligible – because of my age, but hoping soon it will get to my age group. I cannot wait. The new announcements that it is an aerosol transmission/airborne is alarming me – how are we going to ventilate all these workplaces, schools, and residences? If my work place offers half working from home program, boy, I will take it right away. Vaccine or not, have no interest in getting anywhere close this virus.

Our weather is gray nowadays. Maybe we will see blue sky and sun this weekend. It would be so nice. There is something so great about the Spring. It is energizing and tell us that the hibernation season is over. We can rejuvenate.

So, how exactly am I planning to rejuvenate? I have done well walking just for the love of walking in the early week. Seeing the neighbourhood, trees, and houses are always a delight. I love the crisp air that “washes” my face and gives me tremendous peace. Walking in the mornings and evenings are certainly great. I cannot wait to do this more regularly. But, what else? Will I declutter? Will I change the furniture? What will I do?? Dilemma. And mystery 🙂

Despite being in a lock-down in the last 14 months, I have not gained weight. What a miracle… Did you? Many people have. Maybe this is one of these fortunate times that I was spared of extra fat. I wanna laugh, but I am also serious. It feels great to be on the lucky side 🙂

My foster cat Mona is doing well. Such a sweet heart. She eats less now and is losing weight. We waste quite a bit of wet food, but honestly, as long as she is well, I am okay with this. Why are the cans so big? A kitty cannot eat the entire 156 grams of food in 3-4 hours, so what is the point?

Anyways, let’s focus on the positive that Mona is well. I am well. My family is well. Spring is here. I had a little increase in my salary so I feel great about it. I am abundant and have everything I need. I can contribute to the animal rescue organization by covering cost of some of the food and litter. My friends check on me. I can walk, I am functional. My antidepressant works. I can take things much easier and and feeling absolutely better.

I saw a blog by a medical practitioner the other day with a title asking Do antidepressants work? Boy, please do not use this kind of titles – it sounds like you are suspicious. In my experience, yes they do work. My medication may not work someone else, and they can hopefully find relief in another drug (if they are interested in taking a medication). I feel like the fact that sometimes we are put in places where we need to defend our choices or our antidepressants is mind-blowing. Ask me and my experience.

How is the economy going on where you are? It is surprising me that the market is still doing high. Prices are going up, though. My favorite yogurt has increased like 50 cents a tub, and I am hoarding it whenever it is on sale. I can eat around 5-7 tubs of yogurt per week, so hoarding is for a short time only, and it works well, In a given day I probably have like 10 tubs in my fridge. You can call me freak if you want, but it does not change the fact that it is my favorite evening/night snack. I also use it liberally with meals and soups. Yogurt is good and much better than McDonald’s.

When was the last time I ate from McDonald’s? Hard to remember. Wendy’s possibly, yes. But not McDonald’s in decades..

Anyways, seems like I am very talkative tonite 🙂 I will cut it out here and say that please keep yourself safe, have hope that this too shall pass, and enjoy whatever you have and give you joy.

random thoughts

I am watching a movie on Netflix that made me laugh aloud 🙂 It is a lovely experience.

It is also a beautiful Saturday night. When I was young, Friday and Saturday nights would be the best time of our lives. We would be free; get up anytime we want; and meet with friends and family.

Then would come the Sunday.

Sundays at that time were quiet… Most stores would close and traffic would be often silent. People would mostly remain at home, and get prepared for the next day, Monday. Sunday was the day of homework, studying, ironing clothes (yes, we have and still do iron our clothes, except that I became acclimatized to North America and except for job interviews, I do not put my hand on the iron).

So Sunday, like for most of us in North America, is now a fine day for me. I am still free; can get up anytime I want; and I can see my friends normally. Or shop. Or work.

What matters is that it is yet another day full of opportunities and comfort. So, I hope we all will have a pleasant Sunday tomorrow.

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Going back to the beginning of this post, I like comedy movies but hardly watch them. I now realize that this is odd.

As someone who has a tendency to get anxious (or depressive), I actually have an appetite for mystery and action movies. Sometimes I also watch horror movies – surprisingly they help reduce my anxiety if I am within an anxious episode. Drama is not for me, nor documentaries.

None of these, however, explains why I do not watch comedy movies more often, laugh, and have a chuckle or two every once a while. They absolutely lift my mood and as someone who laughs from the belly, each laugh makes my internal organs massaged and feel better (or, at least this is how I interpret the situation. I am sure thought it at least relaxes some of the muscles).

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Sometimes it is easier to not try whatever is better for my mood than continue with status quo.

Do you also feel the same way? “The effort” required to feel better (in this case, finding and choosing a comedy movie) may be discouraging. I was reading a blog a few minutes ago and our thoughts are kind of similar. The good thing is that both my fellow blogger, Snowbird of Paradise and I have found recently something that make ourselves feel better.

As she said, let’s not discouraged by the effort needed to feel better. We all have the same vulnerability to feel down. It may be hard to put the effort solo, so, let’s support each other, even virtually, even every once a while.

Let’s feel good, friends. Let’s feel good.

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The half full glass of sewing

I became interested in sewing only lately – I believe 3 weeks ago or so. I had used a little toy-like machine to sew around the edges of a piece of fabric to have extra baking cloths. I immediately fell in love with it!  I looked for a good deal, finally got a nice one, ordered a wonderful sewing machine, and eventually received it last Friday:)

Well, there are also expenses associated with it. I ordered additional bobbins, presser feet, and needles; am buying threads and fabric; and am needing other supplies like cutting mats, rotary cutters, scissors, pins, and more threads and fabric. I will possibly need more stuff and notions over time. So, it will cost me money….As a matter of fact just yesterday I have had that dilemma again – is this really worth it considering that I am on a saving adventure?

I do not like this thought at all.

I believed genuinely that sewing was good for me and that is why I bought the machine. I enjoy it and I sure will benefit from it. So tonite, I have been busy trying to list all the benefits of sewing and now I am feeling better 🙂 .

Here is my case for sewing:

1. Sewing is a great, interesting, and exciting hobby: Everybody needs a hobby or two that will distract our minds from the daily stress and issues and make our lives whole and better. I used to read books till last year as a continuous hobby; then started baking bread; and now am moving with sewing. I am in fact lucky that I have these beneficial, positive, and lovely interests in my life!

2. Sewing can help me make my living environment better: Once I got the supplies and necessary trial-error-experience, I can do so much with the sewing machine and improve my home. My long-term plans are to sew curtains, table cloths, bed covers, quilts, pillow covers, placemats, dishmats, napkins, sewing machine cover (yes, I will do this one too 🙂 ), bed sheets/linen, to name a few.

So for all these new and hopefully beautiful things crafted just according to my taste, soon and over the many years to come, am I not supposed to be actually joyful and grateful? I project that these will cost me more money than the factory produced items I could buy, but may not the pride, excitement, effort, and anticipation of making them myself just worth the extra price?

3. Sewing can make me more self-sustaining: I know from my bread baking adventure that it feels wonderful to be able to keep trying and baking my own bread (sometime brick-like, but that is okay), not buying store-made bread any more, and sharing my loaves with friends and neighbours.

If I can sew stuff, including clothes, then I sure will be more self-sustaining and I sure will feel the pride coming out of it. I did not sew till just 3 weeks ago!! Is that not a great ability now?

4. I can repair clothes and household items: I have a number of shirts and trousers that need a stitch or two. I also would like to fix certain problematic areas of select clothes that are in good shape but are not my favorites right now (like sleeves that are a little bit longer than I desire). My other alternative would be hand-repairing them, but this type of sewing has never been very successful with extensive repairs/fixes. So, in fact now I may be able to do these a little bit better. Will this not limit waste and increase savings over time?

5. I can sew clothes: In fact I would love to sew tunic tops; I even have a plan for a green one in my mind (it will be my first serious sewing project). How about pajamas?

6. I can make gifts by sewing and save money: This will be a penny-saver that is for sure. Every year I spend around 300 bucks for gifts. There are people that I love who are away and I do not gift at all (like my good friends). So, why do I not just improve my sewing and craft skills and make them gifts myself? A nice table cloth or quilt is sure to warm even the coldest heart.

In summary, here are the main benefits associated with sewing: better mood, better self-sustaining abilities, limiting waste, reducing a portion of my regular expenses (like gifts), and making my home/clothes the way I want it…

With these in mind, can I really brag about the expenses associated with sewing?

Especially that I am making an effort to identify the best priced supplies and do not do haphazard expenses?

And also, I just remembered: at the beginning of a new adventure like sewing, certainly the expenses are higher because of the additional but durable items required (like scissors, cutting mat etc.). Over time, my main expenses will be threads and fabric.

Overall, what is my verdict?

I will be okay and I should focus on enjoying my sewing journey!

 

joy journal – Nov 27, 2016

Tonite, I have find my mind going around negative thoughts and feelings- what better reason to write my joy journal? 🙂

1. I am grateful for sleeping well, having many dreams, and interpreting them. I am not an interpreter but among all three dreams, there was one common theme – that I was dwelling on/keeping the (negative) past memories and events too much. It is time to let these go and move on with a positive attitude, and create new memories…

2. I am grateful for the coffee I have had at home. I love brewing coffee at home 🙂 why did I not do that before? Until three weeks ago, I only brewed my coffee at the office and at the weekends I bought  myself coffee at coffee houses. As part of my minimal spending plan to finance my additional shopping during the holiday season, three weeks ago I started brewing it at home and this week I realized how much I actually enjoy this 🙂 I would love to make it a better experience by buying maybe better and aromatic beans for a change. I love vanilla and hazelnut – flavored coffee :). Otherwise honestly the coffee at the coffee houses are much better than mine! Time to change this 🙂

3. I am grateful for speaking with my family and having lots of laughs together.

4. I am grateful for catching the bus and going to the shopping mall. On the way back, I needed to wait around 40 min for the bus, but, hey, what can I do? In the past I would take the cab, but my conscious choice is to be able to save my money for more important things… So, even though it was a dump and rainy day, I was grateful for waiting for the bus inside the mall and keeping dry..

5. I am grateful for the french press coffee maker that I purchased – it was on sale and I have got an additional discount. It did not cost me too much and it looks really lovely. Upon my return I brewed coffee in it and I must say it is even better (lid is more solid and secure) than the presser at my office. I could not be happier for having this affordable, beautiful, and useful item 🙂

6. I am grateful for all other items I purchased today, which all will be useful in my life.

7. I am grateful for dying my hair 🙂 I am so not excited about this, yet I gotta do it every month or so 🙂 I am trying a new shade and it looks like the dye itself was better than the previous one. Thank you 🙂

8. I am grateful for being 190 pounds 🙂  I was heavier. In 2016 I lost around 15 pounds, very slowly. I am no sure about the exact reasons, but it is mostly because I do not eat late at night anymore (I used to eat a lot before I go to sleep…). I am very happy with this new habit and the positive outcome it brings to my life. My aim is to drop another 10-15 more pounds, maybe in a year or so and hopefully keep them off. The trick is to have this healthy eating pattern over time – a great trick 🙂

9. I am grateful for making conscious choice of letting negative things go off my mind and reminding myself to keep having a happy mental state. There are things that bother me… yet, I have been feeling so great lately that I will not let these thoughts/feelings ruin my overall mood. Feeling good is an amazing thing and I would love to keep it as much as I can.

10. I am grateful for making the better choice of buying and eating dried fruits than biscuits at the shopping mall 🙂

11. I am grateful for the big salad and the healthy meal I have had at home for dinner 🙂 They are healthy and good for my quest to lose fat.

12. I am grateful for having the night to myself and enjoying it as much as I can by watching movies and reading – what a blessing!

13. I am grateful for being safe and sound in this bad weather. We have had quite a rainy and windy day today and the wind is pounding everywhere. It is awesome that my home is standing tall and keeping me safe during this difficult weather.

14. I am grateful for having lots of food at my fridge. freezer, and pantry. I have a lot of things to consume in the coming months. The minimal shopping plan that I implemented in the last three weeks was very useful in consuming what I already possess, but I am thinking I can do better. For one, I have not eaten dry food lately and I may as well focus on consuming them this week. This will help me not only save from my current grocery bill, but also give me a chance to replace them with fresh ones.

15. I am grateful for my computer, internet connection, power, heating, appliances, furniture, clothes, books, TV, and all other items I have at home. They make my life easy, comfy, enjoyable, and safe.

16. I am grateful for my joy journal and taking time to note all the lovely, exciting, interesting, valuable, lovable, and appreciable things, people, and experiences 🙂

joy journal – May 22, 2016

1. I am grateful for sleeping well.

2. I am grateful for buying myself a coffee and enjoying it. I must admit – it is becoming more and more boring. I buy the coffee and then sat at a table for a few minutes, and then grab the coffee and walk back home. I wonder; do I really need this? Perhaps, I should stop buying coffee and a french press and start brewing my own at home. I can purchase aromatic coffee to motivate myself.

3. I am grateful for cleaning the yard a little bit more and planting seeds 🙂 I planted parsley, basel, and sweet pumpkin seeds. I also have had seeds for some flowers that I have no idea what they are; they are planted too. Exciting 🙂

4. I am grateful for meeting with a neighbour while I was working on the yard. It is an elderly lady, who was very nice and kind. She even offered to give me some flowers as she was trying to thin them down. If that happens, I will be very happy 🙂 what a lovely lady !

5. I am grateful for giving water to the seeds in the afternoon. It took me maybe 8 trips to the back of the yard with a pitcher, but I am happy that they could get this essential element. I must repeat this every day till they germinate and possibly after that. It will be so exciting to see the little sprouts 🙂

6. I am grateful for putting all dry food, including spices, that were preserved in nylon bags, in to safer containers. I am not happy with the fact that I found some pest activity in one of my cabinets. I have not had pest problems lately and I was pretty  happy with this (I had one 4 – 5 years ago, which had bothered me a lot. these things called mice can get in everywhere and it takes weeks to get rid of them even with a proper pest control). I decided I could not risk anything. So I used my glass cans for many items, a large oven dish with lid to preserve my flour bag in, and an old canister to save the spices. I now have only a small amount of sugar in paper bag and all the rest is protected. My, please do not let these pest remain here. I put sticky pads everywhere – it is disgusting to see mice catch on them but it is more disgusting to have mice at home….

7. I am grateful for baking two loafs of bread today. One of them, the one with the rosemary and green olives, was amazing! I could not taste the plain bread yet, which I was really looking forward to – maybe tomorrow. I will freeze some of them as I have baked 3 breads this weekend and I do not want to end up eating all of them.

8. I am grateful for relaxing today. I have not thought about work and I do not need to think about it till the morning.

9. I am grateful for cooking a nice dish today; dried eggplants with rice. Yummy 🙂

10. I am grateful for deciding to shop next week and purchase red mulch to help decorate my yard and to cover some problematic areas. I think this is the best decision to fix the yard. I am sure it will look a lot better. I also hope to buy yard plants and flowers. next weekend will be exciting 🙂

11. I am grateful for my back feeling good and not being problematic. I have been feeling good in the last few weeks and am not doing my exercises frequently. I liked the exercises; they were good for me. But they were nevertheless one additional item on my to-do list, which means an additional strain on my mood. So far, so good 🙂

12. I am grateful for having the night to myself – I plan to read interesting blogs and watch TV shows.

13. I am grateful for the nice weather. I kept my window open for many hours today too to let the fresh air in – what a great feeling 🙂

14. I am grateful for being grateful 🙂

my baking adventures and excitement in life

I have written a couple of days ago; excitement is a lovely thing 🙂

I have been thinking since then that that is actually very true and I seem to like excitement (planning, thinking, reading or writing about future plans, whether it is my budget and savings, or currently, my baking adventures).

I like this kind of excitement because honestly I am too stressed to enjoy my life. My mood is pretty much dependent on how the work goes and what hurdles we face. This gotta change and I gotta find a balance in my life between work-related emotions and life-related emotions. Eventually I am hoping that they will balance and when one of them sinks, the other can still keep my mood at a healthy level. That is why it is important for me to find things that will excite me. Who knows what it will be next day, but nowadays it is baking. I

I am planning to bake yet another bread tomorrow with baking powder based on a recipe I found on the net. I hope that this time I can do this as I really am not interested in buying another store-baked bread.

While at the beginning of my baking saga, I was only interested in yeast and how it works, I later got determined to bake my own bread all the time, dwelled into other recipes (such as tea biscuits), and now I can see that I am actually getting interested in dishes where oven is involved.

Not sure why that is but I am kind of thinking;

First, my subconscious mind. For years I have been saying “I cannot cook. I do not like cooking.”. Now the term is different (baking) and I believe that is why I am not negatively reacting to it and I in fact am okay with preparing food by baking.

Second, the availability of all kinds of recipes on the internet makes it easy and convenient to select and try dishes/bread.

Third, I am really in love with yeast and how it works, even though I have failed brutally once I was trying to bake bread/baguette. Baking powder is also interesting for me – improvising with these two is an interesting adventure, with lots of learning and all.

Fourth, baking enables me. I can bake for myself and I can bake for others. This morning for example, instead of buying something to eat with my coffee, I opted to bring in my own biscuit and enjoy it with my coffee at the cafe. Yesterday, I baked for a social. These are new abilities in me and I like this feeling.

Fifty, there is an excitement in planning to bake, choose a recipe to try, shop for ingredients, and actually try it. Considering the fact that baking does not require anything expensive and can be done at the comfort of my home, I am extra excited.

Sixth, I am eating better. Well, maybe not the tea biscuits 🙂 but the bread I made and the zucchini dish I tried today are healthier than what I would otherwise eat. I will never try those store made breads full of who knows what. Less chemicals to consume and more confidence in what I am eating. And any veggie that stays in my fridge while relentlessly waiting me to cook, can now be included in an oven dish or a veggie bread. I can trick myself eating more veggies by baking – I am excited about this.

Seventh, making use of what I have and not wasting food/veggies.

Do I have to say more?

🙂

I wish you to have such excitements in your life that make you healthier, happier, learning, and excited about life.

on happy, unhappy, and neutral mood

Today I have decided to check time to time how I was feeling during the day. In a few cases I did that I found that I was feeling okay (i.e. neutral); neither unhappy or happy; neither stressful nor un-stressful. Neither joyful nor un-joyful.

At first I thought this was not good as I am determined to make myself happy from yesterday on.  Only later I realized that that was actually not bad; I could as well be unhappy, stressful, and miserable. But I was not. That should be something to be grateful for 🙂

I remember 2 different times in my life when I had felt happy for extended periods of time for no apparent reasons:

First, many years ago when I had first moved here. I had got the greatest job I had dreamed for many decades (literally); my finances were better, and I had the job security for the first time in my long career. I could not help but feel genuinely happy 🙂 This feeling of happiness lasted around 6 months until a person I dearly loved got seriously sick.

The second one was in January this year, when I had started the yoga/stretching classes. They have had highly positive influence on my mood; I was relaxing and feeling connected to my body and myself during the sessions. It lasted until I have had back problems first and then the death of my dad at the end of February.

For a middle aged person, these two occasions of happiness may sound pathetic. Maybe it is.

But, perhaps I must explain what I mean by happiness first: when I say “happy” I mean seriously happy, elated, hopeful and joyful about everything in life and having no problem whatsoever. It is kind of different than what I have felt today, where I am neither feeling elated nor down (i.e. depressed). As a person who suffered from depression in the past, let me tell you being in a neutral state of mood is not bad, either. As a matter of fact, it is quite a progress for me.

Yet, knowing how sweet is the happy state feels, I naturally long for it.

random thoughts

What a beautiful day; crispy but sunny 🙂

I have a good mood mostly because I have had a great work day today; I have had 5 different meetings but all went very well. Also after I came home from the office, I took care of a document which was lagging at my hands. I always feel awesome after my procrastination ends 🙂 During the day, I also started to take care of another big work related issue; once I started and if I do not lose my speed, I know I will progress this one, too.

Considering how much I have been beating up myself for not working efficiently lately, this improvement in my performance is an exciting one. I am not sure what contributes to this, but I am glad it is happening.

I must tell you one thing: changing the furniture around my home last weekend has had a positive change in my mood. I keep telling myself how great and peaceful the new couch/seating area feels. I have been contemplating about it yesterday night and I am kind of thinking this set the positive mood for today. Could not be more appreciative 🙂

have a great night everyone! 🙂

random thoughts

Life is good.

I am working slowly but steadily. My mind is working and thus is happy.

It was a warm day; the evening is young and I have many interesting books and blogs to read; I am happy, peaceful, and slightly excited; just the way I would like to feel.

The effect is mostly coming from the carbs I have eaten for the dinner – I know this feeling so well. I am trying to limit the carbs but their positive effects on my mood is amazing.

Moderation… Moderation.

I have made purchases today, which kind of threw my weekly budget up to the maximum level. I am feeling a little bit nauseated with that, but I know tomorrow is another day, next week I can make it better, and under all conditions, I am constantly striving to do my best 🙂

Sometimes I feel like the effort and having an aim to accomplish is more exciting than reaching the aim itself. I need years to turn things around with conscious spending. Instead of waiting so long, why not to enjoy today and reflect on my experiences?

Yes, Mam 🙂

crush of the day

Oh well, it has been a while since I shared a song that I love. Here is a collection of “rock ballads” by several groups.

Personally I am stuck at listening the “Show Must Go On” over and over (the first song in the link below); I am sure others are great, too.

Music is so great – one of the most therapeutic “meals” for the mood. Happy listening everyone 🙂

tomorrow is another day

One of those days that I feel meh.

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

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

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

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

joy journal – March 30, 2015

Here is today’s joys 🙂

1. I am grateful that I have waken up easily and relatively early 🙂 When I woke up, it was bright and shiny, and I could see the light beams on the floor. That was such a magical feeling… I think we will get spring sometime soon… Not fully for some more time, yet eventually. Yay!

2. I am grateful that I felt really good in the morning. I really think it is the effect of the books I am reading.

3. I am grateful that this positive feeling continued the entire day; I was calm and totally not stressed, even though it was one of these busy days with maybe 30 min left to myself in between the meetings. I could see that this was possible and I could do it. This is seriously the first time I felt that calm/relax in the face of a busy work day. I am hopeful that I will do that again and I am amazed that it actually occurred to me today 🙂

4. I am grateful that in the evening, I stayed late in my office and worked smoothly. No stress, no regrets, no complaining. Thank you books! 🙂

5. I am grateful that I walked from office to home. Because of the snow storms and all, in the last few weeks I was taking the bus. Today I walked, I remembered how easy it was, sweated just a little bit, got fresh air, and was proud of myself.

6. I am grateful for having a big salad and some other healthy dishes, but no bread today! I am honestly excited about this. gaining independence from bread will be awesome! 🙂

7. I am grateful for relaxing at home tonite. I have not started reading my books that have such a positive effect on my mood, but I know I will start doing so and go to bed in a much better mood than usual.

8. I am grateful that yesterday night, instead of resisting to leave the peaceful atmosphere of the night (that I love so much, which thus makes me go to bed late usually), I decided to be positive about it and did not complain to myself… I guess that helped me to go to sleep peaceful, but not resentful 🙂

9. I am grateful that Friday is off and this is going to be a long weekend! yay! I am so excited about this! I am positive that I will handle work and finish a couple of critical tasks so that I can enjoy my weekend without working! OMG, I will shop again this saturday; books, books, more books! I am so excited about this 🙂

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