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.

Lean In Climate Change GIF by Sub Pop Records - Find & Share on GIPHY

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 🙂

Indie Musicvideo GIF by Polyvinyl Records - Find & Share on GIPHY

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.

Mental Health GIF by Qieer Wang - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

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Sunday morning musings

I came to realize that;

  1. I am tired and need a break
  2. I have filled my plate with more things than I can handle – again
  3. I secretly wish that this pandemic and social isolation continue like this for at least a year so that I can take my break, make my mind, and finally start doing things differently

 

I have been longing for changes or so long – this pandemic may be my opportunity to do so.  This being said, I have been on this quest for so long and it is strange that I have not moved up a bit (okay, maybe a little bit). Why all this waiting?

Sometimes a drastic step taken in a new direction without much thinking and saying good bye to status quo is the way to go. I want that. I just do not know how to do it…….

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With my summer vacation went out of the window, now is the time to plan a home-vacation……… The predicament is that – what different things can I do to make it a vacation? Challenge?

Oh, on a second thought, I like it 🙂

Just like the song below – isn’t it wonderful everyone?

There are things that energize me. Like Freedom. Freedom to sleep, freedom to watch Netflix, freedom to speak, freedom to get up late, freedom to walk, freedom to not do what I do not really want to. Like walking – honestly it is one the best things that I can do to my body and mind. Like eating healthy food and keeping a healthy body. I am good at cooking and eating generally speaking healthy food, but not necessarily keeping my body fat down. Like journalling and blogging that help me vent out, realize, and reflect. Like doing exciting work and completing important tasks.

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At work, I am completing some things, some others are still hanging out, and new tasks keep appearing (mostly generated by myself). I have been kind of slow in the last two weeks. It felt needed and okay, but I think it is time that I speed up now. I know that every once a while I slow down, and when I come back, things go very efficiently. So, I take this as one of such mini breaks. Tomorrow, I can start again and move fast and high. This feels great, my friends.

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Do you think we can continue with this altered life style for another year or so, until we have a vaccine that works? Assuming that we will survive this time period, of course (I really hope so!). Or, do you think the negative effects will accumulate and come to a point that it will become quite a strain on systems, governments, and businesses that we will see an incredibly drastic changes and hardship?

This last hypothesis is kind of cruel, and also not so much realistic – I would say. The world has seen worse things, like the 1918 flu, conflicts, two world wars and countless of other wars, famine, lack of services, diseases, injustice, shit and bit – we always found a way to come back and stand up.

Have we not?

Viens, viens… Come, come………

COVID-19 (April 3)

Friday.

Yay….

The day started early, which is awesome. I worked a few hours and then spent the afternoon on a 4 hours remote meeting.  4 hours…

I walked twice today. In one of these walks my roads crossed with an aggressive big doggy. I screamed in horror when he came literally a centimeter away me and showed me his teeth. He was weird. He seemed to be very friendly. Maybe he was playing – I don’t know. But it was very scary. Luckily he run away for an unknown reason. I was sure that he was going to sink his teeth on me. I am lucky…

I am also lucky as there are friends that check on me. One just emailed. How wonderful is this?

🙂

It has been 2 weeks that I have been mostly working from home.

While I had decided to do grocery shopping every two weeks, I decided that I better do one big shopping tomorrow. I just heard a grocery store being closed because an employee was diagnosed with COVID-19. If something like this happens to my store, my chances of acquiring grocery significantly reduce (I have no car..).

So tomorrow morning first thing first, I want to grab my shopping cart and purchase as much food as I can. I am not gonna hoard, but will get a significant amount of dry/canned food. I must do this.

 

Stay safe and be kind

First to yourself, and then the others

Give someone in need a hand

Smile at least

 

🙂

That turned out to be fine,  “pandemic poem” 🙂

COVID-19 (April 2)

It has been a more or less pleasant day.

I could not sleep yesterday night. Felt kind of sick and it worried me. But then in the morning all was okay. That is good.

I walked twice today. Once prior to a meeting, around 25 min of walk, It was nice to get fresh air. The second was longer around 45 min. It was beautiful out there, just walking.

My stress levels are low. I think this may be the best thing coming out of this pandemic.

I find that my work communications are kinder and more compassionate. While we still continue to talk about work, we also talk more about how we are during this time. It is good, There is a sense of community in the air. Maybe it is true that once we get out of this pandemic, the entire human species will become enlightened, selfless, compassionate.

I wanna believe in this beautiful picture, BUT I also know that once this ordeal is over, we will likely go back to where we were. I suspect though some things can change. For example, there are more emphasis on caring ourselves and s.l.o.w.i.n.g d.o.w.n…….

Slowing down can be the best thing we can ever do. Indeed!

We are so competitive; always running against time. We always have deadlines – even our bills have deadlines. Our food has expiry dates. Like, what is it with us and time really?

I like the idea of slowing down and savouring it – whatever we are doing.

Let’s slow for a day and savour the moment…

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COVID-19, April 1

So, Spring is here!

My, my, my..

It should be feeling great, but with what is going on with the pandemic, the sad sorrow and fear it creates, it is hard to get excited about the Spring.

Are we getting depressed?

Sort of…

……….

Maybe just depressive, not depressed.

……….

Let’s keep our chin and hopes high, friends. It is a strange time, but we are going through it.

Brighter days to come.

 

COVID-19 (March 31)

Cannot believe we came to the end of March. Spring must be here 🙂

I slept well again and woke up at 7 am. It was a great morning and I decided it was time that I went to the office. It was quiet there, which is great for work. It was a productive day.

I am tempted to go to office and work there, but I came to my senses this evening. I must limit my risk to be exposed to COVID-19. To do so, I must limit my out of house adventures. I decided that unless extremely needed, I can visit my office once every two weeks or so. Not more frequent. Nope.

Since I walked both in the morning and evening, I felt great today. While I was walking everyday, what is a much better way is to be walking long (around 45-60 min), just enough to break a sweat. This kind of walking is more pleasurable and more relaxing than short walks.

I cooked and ate home-made dishes.

I spoke to family and knowing that they are okay feels great.

I heard from two friends today – one through an email and the other on phone. It was awesome to hear from them and I feel very lucky to have them in my life.

Good night, friends. May you always be kind and loving to yourself and others, including animals.

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.

COVID-19, March 29

Sunday is here 🙂

I do not know what I am doing with my days. I meant to enjoy being away from office and finding a chance to actually reflect on life, but this is not happening. Maybe it is not the time.

I had not meant to work today, but I was bored, and eventually, craved for work. So work I did. I am glad I have, as I love the feeling of things working and moving. It is motivating.

I ate more than I want to. I have no solution to this. I never had… Better let go?

I spoke with my family and seeing that they take this virus more serious than me is very inspiring. I am proud of them. While I want to go to store and do my grocery shopping, I think I will look for opportunities for pick up services or online orders. I am sure these will not be easy, as many people will be looking forward to these services. Oh, well. Whatever I can, I will take it.

Tomorrow is another remote work day. With two remote meetings. Somebody needs to abolish all meetings. I mean it. I dislike them. More so now than before. Many professionals love to brag about online meetings. I beg to be more genuine and say they may be good if done sparingly. Nobody wants to spend their time looking at a monitor and seeing the background of other people’s, unless there is a good reason and it is of a reasonable length of time.

 

COVID-19 (March 28)

I am enjoying my Saturday so far. Not to a great extend, but as much as I can.

First; I did not work and this feels great.

Second: I slept great yesterday night as well, and this is fantastic!

Third: I went to a local branch of Dolarama. It was a good walk. There were a couple of people walking, often with their pets. Other than that, it was a quiet and lovely morning. I bought a couple of things, including freezer bags which I now use to store my food in (I dump the store-wrappins as soon as I bring the food home) and pens. The store was awfully quiet. I wonder whether we will ever heal the economy after this pandemic.

Fourth: I did some pickling and strawberry jam/marmalade. The jam turned out to be really cool. We will see how the pickle is in a couple of days.

Fifth: I talked with my family and we are trying to support each other as much as we can. They are feeling the COVID-19 situation hotter than me here in Canada as where they are the resources and public health measures may not be as strong as in Canada. Like me, my family loves to spend time at home and have stocked up food that is enough for some time. But the morale is down, nobody knows when this will be over, and what will happen to us if we get infected.

While I have done implemented new measures to help minimize my risk now – like, minimizing the visits to the grocery store; cleaning the food/changing their wraps at home; keeping stuff in the front porch for 3 days before bringing them in the house; changing my clothes immediately after I come in from outside, and so on, I still am not 100% sure that I am doing my best. As a result, I am scared of getting sick…

Oh, well.

Sixth; over and over I come to the point that I must sort out between what is important and what is not, and this solitary period of pandemic may be just what I need. I have a long way to go, I know, but so seems the pandemic. My painful growth in this important area therefore seems to go on for some time…

…….

Stay safe, friends. Sending love.

 

 

 

COVID-19, Day 8 (March 27th)

A week is over and I could not be happier. I am determined to celebrate Friday!

This week, I worked only from home and it was full and packed. I have had 7 remote meetings and tons of email correspondences, now that everyone feels like speaking through the email and the administration takes this opportunity to tell us what we should do and how they help control things. There is certainly an email fatigue accumulating.

After shopping in the morning and doing some light work, I decided it was time that I let go of things and rather focus on personal life. So, I cleaned my home and cooked healthy meal. Watching Netflix and browsing the internet, if I want.

Today and tomorrow I will just let myself enjoy my moments.

Now that we are working remotely, I feel ambitious and want to get the best out of these times. My team is doing well and their work is going okay, too. But I want to finish a number of things that have been on my to-do list. One by one, I am taking care of them and it feels pretty amazing. This is cool. Once I move on with two or three of them, there will be an opportunity to start something new. This is exciting. I wonder what it is gonna be! 🙂

I must also admit that I need to actually just stop and be with life….. I have been meaning to do this, by taking a break, for sometime, but it did not happen. Perhaps what I should do is to take time off from work till Monday. Two days would give me enough time to relax and rest, and on Monday I could go to office. I think I like this idea. I think I will benefit from the freedom from work, and connecting with life more.

Here is a great, peaceful music that I hope you too will enjoy.

Be kind to yourself and others. Stay safe friends and enjoy every moment.

 

 

 

COVID – 19, Day 7 (March 26)

Cannot believe a week it has been that I have been mostly at home, leaving only for shopping and daily walks.

A week.

They say that it can continue yet another 2-3 months. I think we will eventually get used to this and, hey who knows, perhaps ask to work remotely after that 🙂

Things are getting more and more serious. There are more people now infected than before, and more mortality.

I talked to a couple of my colleagues, and it made me get more scared. Well, first they do not leave the house (I have been walking everyday).

One of them said that they would even wait a few days before they collect their mails 🙂 Wow. Never thought of this. Am I naive?

The other one said that they wash and disinfect everything they purchase from the store, including food. What?

Why have I not thought about these??

Do I take it light?

I do not know. But after today I decided to take it serious. I am aiming for grocery shopping every 10 days or 2 weeks. I do not need to be at the store every week. So tomorrow morning I will go there with my shopping cart and fill it with durable as well as frozen food. Then, I will just leave home to walk. Hopefully I will not need anything till the next one.

Stay safe, my friends.

Be kind to yourself and others.

Give someone in need a hand.

 

 

 

COVID-19 Day 6 (March 25th)

Cannot believe that it is the 6th day away from office and in the house (mostly).

We had a kind of rainy/snowy day. As a result walking was kind of not fun, but still okay. I walked twice for short distances, worked in between, and stopped working at around 4 pm. Works is going extremely productive, for which I am grateful. Lack of distractions works for me 🙂

On the personal side; I cooked healthy food but ate a lot. The weight gain is immediate…

My stress levels continue to be low and I can sleep long and deep.

The pandemic is catching up where I am and it is scary. I think the worst is yet to come. Are we prepared?

Am I prepared?

Are you? I hope we all are well prepared.

This feels like a Zombie attack sometime.

 

COVID-19 Day 5

Can’t believe it is the 5th day.

I worked today from home, but nothing too exciting. One remote meeting, some emails, and a couple of correspondences. It was not one of those days where I would focus on something and significantly  move things. That is okay.

On the positive side; I received a couple of appreciation emails and it really made me feel great. Good vibes are amazing! Send some good vibes to others, friends.

 

On the personal side:

Interesting that I sleep well and long. This break is working for me 🙂

I cook and eat healthy food. Nevertheless, the slight weight gain is obvious and concerning…. Oh, well 🙂

I walked twice again today. In the morning I took a long walk, around an hour. It was good. We have a cool but bright day. I have seen more people walking today than before. Some people make an effort to keep around 2 meters distance between themselves and others. The majority do not. I try hard to keep this distance. Maybe as time goes on, more people will pick it up.

I saw people lining up at around a church, which I believe is soup kitchen or something. It broke my heart to see so many people lining up, and so many people in close distance to each other. Once this virus spreads to less fortunate, you know it affects them more drastically. Prayers and good wishes are on.

My stress levels are low and it is a good thing.

How long do you think we will continue like this?

Wherever you are; stay safe and well, my friends.

 

COVID-19 Day 3

Sunday is here!

Friends; I continued my day as usual; baked my sourdough (my goodness; can something smell better?), did some work on computer, planned for my week (yes, we are still working), made two jars of pickles (jalapeno and radish pickle), cooked food, and walked twice – one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

The roads are almost always empty with occasional cars and walking/jogging people. I question sometime whether I should still be out there.

I know my chances of getting the virus from those who are walking on the road is low, as I keep at least 2 meters of distance from anyone, but still; paranoia is paranoia and I tend to think conservative when it comes to serious things. Thoughts?

My plan for this evening and tonite is to chill back and enjoy my time as much as possible. My plan for tomorrow is to get up early – as usual – put my work attire on (it helps to work at home!), attend two remote meetings, and do work that has been on my list. I also want to walk twice again; one in the morning and one in the afternoon to keep my body engaged and get fresh air and sunlight.

Have a great Sunday evening everyone. Wherever you are I hope you are safe, washing your hands, staying away from people, gatherings, and social functions, and taking great care of yourself and others around you.

 

 

 

COVID-19 Day 2

I slept like a child and got up at 7 am.

When you start the day early, the day welcomes you, nourishes you, and slows you so that you can enjoy more of it without stressing for time. I love such days.

I have not worked today. This is a wonderful development on my side. And it feels great.

As usual, I cleaned my home and did the laundry. I also fed my sourdough starter and have a dough to be risen overnight. I have not been baking bread in the last 2 months or so, so having my hands in that dough and working with it was an amazing feeling. I cannot wait till tomorrow and smelling it, right out of the oven.

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I did some more shopping. I feel like I am hoarding. Nowadays my shopping is almost doubled. It is not necessarily a bad thing – my freezer and fridge are full, just in case, and I have all cleaning and personal care products, except liquid hand soap. I feel confident this way and it is a plus on my side, but from this week on, I must just focus on getting fresh food and other essentials, but not necessarily stocking up.

I walked in the afternoon as well. All of a sudden it turned out that I ran out of garbage bags. Now. I was one of those who used the plastic shopping bags as garbage bags. Since they are not offered anymore in the grocery store I often go to, that means I must purchase them…… Okay…. I have. I am good for another 2-3 months – thank you. Who knew?

I found a chance to talk to my good neighbours and they are scared. They are both above 60 but very active people. She said that she could not look at facebook anymore as she only saw scary stuff. Sometimes I think that we must be scared so that we will take it serious. Is this really the only way, however?

The death rate in Italy and other parts of the world – due to COVID-19 – is continuing to break my heart. I do not think anyone see that coming. Or, maybe someone did but many people did not hear or listen to.

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Overall, I enjoyed my Day of self-distancing. But it is just the beginning. I want to feel like this is an adventure (no disrespect to those who get sick or die is meant here). A change in my daily life. Hope that does not mean that I will gain weight, but, oh well…. Just for the record and to keep myself accountable: I am 217 pounds today. Cannot gain more!!!

Also, when I think about the economic consequences, I cannot help but think that if this continues like this – and by all predictions it looks like it will continue for months – what will happen to our workplaces? Will they try to get rid of us? OMG.

But, no.

It is not a time to feel discouraged and pessimistic.

We will get through this.

 

 

 

The 4th day of the 4-day long weekend

I took Friday off and together with today – Remembrance Day in Canada – that means I was off for 4 days.

Yes, I have not worked much and did not go to office. I mostly spent my time at home, with the exceptions of a thrifting adventure on Friday and a short visit to Shoppers on Saturday to grab a couple of things.

I often plan for how I am going to dedicate my time during such breaks. I had not planned anything this time, and till this morning this had annoyed me – I had felt like wasting this wonderful opportunity of 4-days.

Well, it turns out it was okay. This morning I understood it finally. I was supposed to stop (duh) and just notice. Well, I noticed a couple of things, some through analyzing my dreams.

I have been in a transitional period of my life where I am moving towards great personal and professional experiences.

I dare more. I focus on great causes and roles. I slowly but steadily change and prioritize myself at work. I gain confidence. I achieve. And, I get satisfied and excited by myself and my work. Again – like in my youth. Amazing.

A new chapter is opening.

This give some peace and also makes me quite excited and hopeful about myself.

I believe my personal life will also be positively affected by these thoughts. My weight saga, for example. All my life my weight – or what it means for the society – controlled me, and made me self-conscious and lose self-esteem. I noticed that as long as I keep my own eating/diet, I slowly lose weight. I gain weight, however, when I eat outside of home or with others. For example, when I have lunch or dinners with others. When somebody treats me with a chocolate/cracker or anything else at the office. When I attend a committee meeting, which offers pizza. When I go visit my family – goodness – I eat so much there. And when I travel to other places.

As long as I keep my own eating/diet habits, I may be just fine. This is something to try!

I also believe that there is someone out there for me. Yes. It is interesting that I am opening to the idea of a relationship, at this age, at this time. But, that is what it is and I think I am completely over my heart-breaks & and those men whom I once loved. Hmmm.

🙂

I leave you with a wonderful album by Emma Shapplin. When I was a young student, this album was quite popular. I love it to date and am happy to share with you.

Maybe some of you remember it as well 🙂

positive vibes

The thought crosses the mind and the heart feels.

That is what they say. I kind of believe in this.

Today, I am turning my regular thought pattern of working of problems, and rather, note the random beauty and safety around me.

Like the light coming into my bedroom window right now – what a majestic thing! It is free, available to everyone, and has found my way. I am lucky :). Ligth finds me.

The song I am listening to right now is peaceful, melodic, and intense at the same time. The guitar is both speaking and dancing. All the peaceful and lively melodies find me feed my soul, get my attention and lift my mood up.

I created two lovely sourdough loaves today and shared one with my good neighbours. To be able to share without feeling the need or enforcement is such a bliss. I like this about myself – I like to share the things I cherish. I am kind to my neighbours and I treat them time to time with nice food, little gifts. I am abundant and kind.

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I find things to do when I need to. Like today I painted a number of small terra cota pots for my yet-to-come succulents and cacti (planted seeds last week – wish me luck). I have hobbies that let me create and get excited about what I can do.

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I feel less anxious than Friday and this is wonderful. Once again, my fears triggered by external resources/people and made me remember what I should be careful about in my future steps (about work). I welcome this fear to make my future less problematic and I let it go now – it served its purpose.

I planted a number of seeds in a windy day. Some may have gone around to my neighbours’ yards. May they find their niche, germinate, and make someone happy and joyful. Nature and I have so much to share.

Rain and wind knocked some of my daffodils and tulips. One tulip is standing tall and is about to bloom. Like this tulip, I too stand up no matter what.

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Everything is available in life and I claim my part of life right here, right now.

How about this as a turn of the way I often think?

🙂

 

 

 

Sunday morning musings

It is another Sunday, another beautiful morning, and another opportunity to get excited and joyful about life.

Somethings can help:

Sorority Noise GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

Afv Pets GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

Family GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

Laughter GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

Nature GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

20Th Century Fox Home Entertainment GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

Dog GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

and

 

 

Go lose yourself 🙂

 

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gifs by:https://giphy.com/gifs/sororitynoise-coffee-sorority-noise-3o6Zt7efI3ruag4zEA;https://giphy.com/gifs/afvpets-cats-pets-afv-l41lTEXcm2fWlcidy;https://giphy.com/gifs/family-zHPBCQqcUzMR2;https://giphy.com/gifs/laughter-Z8WX4rUQZvRhS;https://giphy.com/gifs/green-stream-XAe9aDBIv3arS;https://giphy.com/gifs/foxhomeent-book-books-3o7btW1Js39uJ23LAA;https://giphy.com/gifs/exercise-derp-derpy-Pk20jMIe44bHa

 

Sunshine Blogger award: nominated and nominating :)

sunshine-blogger

Thank you Corrine at Sew and Sew for nominating me for this blog award!

Corrine and I recently got connected here and we have common understanding about certain aspects of life and importance of support and empathy. Plus, have you seen her projects – she sews! I sure am inspired by many of her sewing adventures and by her warm personality. Have a look at her blog if these features of her interest you.

I am usually skeptical about this kind of blog awards, primarily because I do not know who is benefiting by the circulation of these awards. But I am happy with recognizing and saying nice things about other fellow bloggers, and telling a little bit about myself along the process. So I will go for this one, too.

As usual there are some rules, which I directly copy and paste from Corinne’s nomination post:

  • Thank the person(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award (making sure each one knows they are nominated) and write them 11 new questions to answer.

Here are Corrine’s questions and my answers to them:

  1. Did you have any other names in mind for your blog (if so, what were they)? I cannot remember right now; but I remember initially this was a professional blog where I was planning to write about our job/career. That means it was probably a very boring name!  Boy, am I glad that I switched to a personal blog after realizing that a professional blog was not gonna work 🙂 
  2. If you could choose a language to be fluent in, which would it be? Italian! i always wanted to learn it, especially after I spent a couple of months in Italy when I was young. What a great, magical language. Allora! 
  3. What is the best joke that you know? Hmmm… You have got me there. I am such a serious person that can I say that I cannot come up with a joke right now? How disastrous! Give me a joke book right away!!! 🙂 
  4. When it comes to food, do you prefer sweet or savoury? Savoury. I have no sweet tooth and I would love any salty/spicy food over a sweet one, except the peanut butter which I love and can eat anytime 🙂
  5. Which blog post are you most excited to upload? I like pretty much all of my posts as they come quite spontaneously and are not planned at all (well, maybe with the exception of weekly budget checks, which are quite structured). if I must choose, though, I would say my “joy journal” posts are the most joyful ones 🙂
  6. What is your favourite project that you have completed so far? I believe in the recent years this would be my bread baking adventure 🙂 it has been almost a year and I am progressing quite a bit and it has been literally very electrifying and satisfying experience 🙂 In terms of my sewing projects, I have no excellent product yet but I love the placemats I did for the kitchen 🙂
  7. What was your last search on Google? That was probably the weather forecasts! we are still having quite a chilly weather (today was – 10 C ….You are welcome – I hope now you appreciate the Spring and warm weather more  🙂 )
  8. What song can you not get out of your head at the moment? “I dreamed a dream” from Les Miserables has been in my mind the entire day. Sad, but beautiful and powerful…..  
  9. What is the best gift that you have received? My mom gave me a gold necklace for my 18th birthday with my initial on the pendant. My mom was working very hard to provide for us at that time. It must have been so hard for her to come up with the money but she had…. I value that necklace more than anything else.
  10. If you were a superhero, what would be your superpower? Heal. I would heal sickness.
  11. What is your favourite day of the week? Friday has always had a special place in my heart! 🙂

And, here are my nominees!

The nominees have a choice of accepting or rejecting the nominations – totally up to them. Of course this list is incomplete as I can only nominate 11 today, but I am hoping there will be other occasions where I will be able to acknowledge and nominate more fellow bloggers 🙂

  1. Deb from https://onceuponahotflash.com/. Her daily grateful posts are a must see! She is really nice and I know that she always has some positive and wise things to say – thanks Deb!
  2. https://quercuscommunity.com/2017/04/18/random-reflections/ here is a nice gentleman with an interest in photography and community work. He is quite fun and wise too – always a delight to follow such bloggers. No nonsense and all beautiful/meaningful posts.
  3. Jessica from https://betweenthreewaters.com/. Jessica always has something funny to say about her motherhood experience and her daughters are two very delightful young kids! I also learn quite a bit about farming and farm life by following her. Take a look at her blog 🙂
  4. https://apparentlyimbipolar.wordpress.com/2017/04/17/normal-is-it-scary/ I recently started following this young lady who is writing about her mental health issues and progress. I applaud her for increasing awareness about mental health/bipolar disease – so well done.
  5. NinaSusan at https://ninasusan.com/. Ninasusan and I have a common pursuit in life – happiness! One of my best friends here at blogger space – always understanding, wise, and supportive. Thanks Ninasusan – one day, we will shine thru that happiness!!
  6. Jennie at https://jenniefitzkee.com/. She is a teacher and always have something wonderful to say about children and teaching/learning. I wish she was my teacher when I was at school. 
  7. https://mookielovesbread.wordpress.com/2017/04/15/maple-yogurt-multi-grain-rolls/. One of the blogs that I follow which is dedicated to baking bread! So many yummy recipes – check it out 🙂
  8. Cheryl and Becky at https://beckyandchaos.wordpress.com/2017/04/15/spicy-lentil-soup/. These ladies have awesome travel adventures and always great recipes. They  lately started a challenge to try a new recipe every week, which I find very inspiring. Enjoy!
  9. Anne from https://snowbirdofparadise.com/. Anne is one of those bloggers whom I respect quite a lot. She has always been wise in her speech and her comments, and is not afraid to write excellent pieces on social issues and events. 
  10. https://luxuriouslythrifty.wordpress.com/ One of the recent follows of mine; a great and sincere blogger writing about frugal plans/journey, and other stuff. Quite a warm person with honest posts – hard to not like what she needs to say 🙂
  11. Mo from http://devisecreateconcoct.com/. Another great site about frugal life and all bunch of other stuff such as DIY projects. Check it out.

And, here are my questions for my nominees:

  1. What do you think is the most beautiful thing about your life?
  2. Do you prefer warm or cool climate? 
  3. If you were to protest, what would it be about?
  4. Are you an introvert or extrovert?
  5. What flower do you like most? Please tell us about it.
  6. What do you think about cats?
  7. We all have dreams – have yours materialize in your life? What was your biggest dream ever?
  8. Would you see yourself living in a homestead sometime soon?
  9. Tell us about your favorite dish/food.
  10. Which one is less intimidating – singing or acting in front of 1,000 people?
  11. What would be your advise about being happy?

so it goes the song…

Been a busy day, the bus came 20 min late while I waited on the street in the morning, I looked tired and stressed the entire day due the last week’s hurdles, I thought I/my hair was looking really miserable and that was hurting my image more than I want to admit, but I cannot complain.

I cannot complain because none of these matter so much in my life or in somebody else’s life. Plus, I am listening to a beautiful song right now, which makes me fill with love:) 

Boy, 80’s/90’s were the best time of the Pop/Rock!

 

 

when was the last time…

I sang from the bottom of my lungs?

🙂

Cannot remember but today was close 🙂

I am very grateful!!!! 🙂

There is something awesome about being one with a lovely tune, letting your body feel and work out that tune, feeling its energy reaching to every single cell, not caring whether anyone would hear, get irritated, or make fun of your song, voice, or enthusiasm.

Singing may be one thing that makes me feel amazing, alive, and immortal today 🙂

I have had vocal cords problems a while ago, which had affected my voice. I thought I would only talk with a whisper and never gain my voice back. Years passed, body and vocal cords are healed, and here I am screaming from the bottom of my lungs a song that I thought I had forgotten!

Wake up.

Let go.

and, for goodness sake

SING YOUR SONG!  🙂

 

the 8th day of the staycation

Wow!.. Days pass quickly. I cannot believe that I have 6 days left before I return back to office and start a work-marathon….This thought somehow depressed me, but I will let it go.

I have had a fine day with shopping and nothing else in particular. I am making an effort to have free time so that I can reflect rather than keep myself busy with doing house chores or other activities.

The year 2016 has been quite an interesting year for my life. I felt happiness quite a bit; especially when I started yoga/stretching classes in January. It was going well, I was feeling connected to my body and appreciating it, but then one night I pulled a muscle on my back and I quit those classes. Alas..

I under-estimated how bad that lower back problem was and even though I was recommended to see a physiotherapist I did not and two weeks later I pulled it again. I had no chance but to take it serious. And I have. I attended physiotherapy, my work-place purchased me a standing desk, and I have been doing my back stretches/strengthening exercises  quite frequently. My back is feeling alright, but I am not naive to think that it has been healed completely. I will keep taking care of it.

Then late February my dad passed away and sadness engulfed me. if you follow my blog, you know I am grieving quite a bit… He was a gentle soul who deserved much better. I wish our lives were different.. May he rest in peace.

My relationship with my family strained a little bit after my dad passed away and we are trying to mend it. I never thought that I could have such a serious issues with my family members, but I did. Just recently I decided to go visit them this summer – I hope things will be back to normal. Love is stronger than anything else, even though time to time I too succumb into disliking things and people. Nothing changes the fact that my family is important to me.

In October, I went to a European convention and got strained there for two additional days because of a labor issue in the host country. The stress and anxiety I felt was palpable – would I be able to find a hotel room to stay? When could I return back safely? . Eventually it turned out to be okay, but this incident changed me a little bit. perhaps next time I can handle it better (not that I wish another adventure like this…). During those times I accidentally stepped on a song by Sia – Chandelier, which remains to be one of my favorites since then. I believe there has not been a day that I have not listened to it. The voice is captivating (though I am not sure what to think about the video).

 

In May I started to bake my own bread and in september I started my own sourdough starter 🙂 these two have been quite interesting adventures and  I am so happy that I have them in my life 🙂

And lately in November or so, I also became interested in sewing; I bought my sewing machine and have been collecting all the notions and supplies since then. I am not good at sewing yet, but I hope I will be over time 🙂

And, as per my budget; I have had the greatest budget at the beginning of 2016; it was the leanest budget I have had in the last 7-8 years and it did wonders for me. I was able to significantly reduce my spending, bring my chequing account to a positive balance, increase my RRSP contributions and my mortgage payments. During summer I succumbed back to spending unnecessarily, yet I hope the new year will give me a chance to keep my budget on track.

And finally; I lost around 15-20 pounds during the the past year. I suspect that baking my own bread and my lower back problem both contributed to it. I am feeling good about it and wish to keep losing some more fat in the coming year.

As per work; it continues to stress me out and I perform well, however, less than before. There are times that our interests change and I guess it has been the case for my work too. I still do a considerable amount of work, but there were times that I wished I could retire. Retirement is a distant dream, but it is such a freeing dream… I wonder what else I would discover and get interested in….

This year was also one of these that I made an attempt to be more social. I hosted a few times at my house, but it worked out well. I socialized with friends and colleagues and enjoyed them to some degree. Honestly I am not very interested in hosting or socializing again anytime soon, but I am glad at least I tried, made an effort to enjoy these occasions, and realized once more that solitude is the best life-style for me.

Quite a busy and influential year, is it not? 🙂

joy journal – Oct 25, 2016

I have been feeling great lately and that reflects on my joy levels. I know this is life and there are ups and downs, so this up will be likely followed by a down period. Yet, I am determined to enjoy and be grateful for every minute of this period, rather than anticipating a down period following it. Writing solidifies and makes my mind know deep down (and hopefully remember in the future) what a lovely time I have had. So, here I go 🙂

1. I am grateful for the refreshing sleep. I have not dreamed this time, but I woke up feeling good, which is quite rare for me. I often times wake up with thoughts and stress of things to do during the day ahead, but not this time. This time I was just joyful; free and optimistic.

2. I am grateful for the nice Fall weather that makes it enjoyable to walk 🙂 The Fall scenery is so beautiful to look at – I am in love with it this year.

3. I am grateful for the relaxed and happier mood I have after walking. Being in the office, doing work, but not getting stressed or down because of work is a true blessing. Today I worked easy and effective without getting crazy stressed. How about that? I wish my every day was something like this.

4. I am grateful for not leaving my office early and keeping working at the office in the afternoon. It has been sometime I have done that and I must say it is beautiful. I also enjoy working at home, but I think it is time that I spent more time in my office – it is comfy, lovely, and there are nice people around. It also helps me to limit the work I do at home and this way my home once again becomes a place for relaxation.

5. I am grateful for brewing my own coffee at my office and having the means to do so. How lucky I am to be able to do this?

6. I am grateful for walking at the evening and sweating a little bit. It is a little bit windy but still warm for late October. I love the peaceful feeling coming out of walking and sweating.

7. I am grateful for doing my lower-back stretches and also adding some push ups, tricep and bicep exercises (with dumbbells) as well as forward lunges. It has been some time that I tried push ups and I was happy to see that it did not kill me right away 🙂 I hope to continue to do these light exercises almost everyday.

8. I am grateful for drinking milk and getting my calcium and vit D supplements. My blood tests show that they are helping me increase the calcium and Vit D levels in my system, which is awesome 🙂

9. I am grateful for the raw veggies, beans, and eggs I have consumed today; they are healthy, simple, and lovely food; I am blessed with having them at my home. oh, and it is the first carb-less day in a while 🙂

10. I am grateful for yet another no-spending day 🙂 is that not awesome? 🙂 It is awesome! I feel lucky and very abundant. A miraculous feeling indeed 🙂

11. I am grateful for good memories and laughs that put a smile on my face whenever I remember them. There are so many good people I should thank for these – may they always find life easy and lovely.

12. I am grateful for relaxing the entire evening at home – I am free of stress, concerns, or negative feelings.

13. I am grateful for the song I have been listening in the last few weeks. I have an habit of focusing on one lovely item and listen/watch it over and over until its effect on me disappears, which leads me to find something new. I am still hooked with this song and am enjoying the feelings its music creates in me. The lyrics is depressing, but there is something captivating about the tune and the voice of the singer.

14. I am grateful for all the food, furniture, clothes, shoes/boots, accessories, appliances and anything else at my possession in my home; they make my life easy, complete, and enjoyable. I am so lucky to have found and purchased them.

15. I am grateful for my blog that allows me to express my joy as well as sorrow. Life, as it is. Life, as I experience it. Life, as I interpret it….

16. I am grateful for being grateful 🙂

joy journal – September 2, 2016

I have had a kind of disappointing day. That means, I particularly need to write to my joy journal! 🙂

1. I am grateful for walking in the morning to the office. In the past two weeks that is what I have been doing and it feels good. It helps clear my mind and is quite useful for my health.

2. I am grateful for having a relaxing day at the office till a meeting at 2 pm. A 1.5 hours long meeting in the afternoon, on a friday, and right before a long weekend is not a great idea… Considering that I am particularly edgy when I am forced to sit longer than an hour and that it was a very boring presentation mostly, I am very disappointed and somehow edgy… BUT I am ready to leave this behind and enjoy the first night of the long weekend! 🙂

3. I am grateful that it is the first long weekend of the Fall. I am very fond of long weekends – they give a chance to relax and do stuff that I could not otherwise find time to do. For example, I plan to do some deep cleaning this weekend, shop, clean the house, do laundry, cook breads, and take care of the yard all at the same time 🙂 Boy; these are all too much, especially since I also need time to relax. Thus, this three day long weekend excites me 🙂

4. I am grateful for doing the grocery in the evening. I have bought fresh produce which excites me. I hope to cook tasty meals this week 🙂

5. I am grateful for walking back to home from office. I have had a chance to help clear my mind after the disapointing afternoon meeting and relax a little bit.

6. I am grateful for my back feeling a little bit better. I have been doing my stretching exercises in the last while and they seem to have helped. In today’s session, I did not hear the “crack” that my back usually yells when I do one particular exercise. It makes me sad each time, as it tells me that there is some type of friction or calcification at my spine. I did not have this problem prior to winter when I have had two episodes of bad back issues. I want it to be gone. I am too young to have such a problem! 🙂

7. I am grateful for chilling at home all by myself. I still long for a cat to be around, but honestly I am not in the mood to be woken up by someone in the morning. Day by day, I am getting more objective about my own needs and how incompatible it is to have a dependent thing around me. Bitter but healthy truth. This being said, I also would like to foster cats for short time, possibly starting mid October or so.

8. I am grateful for the sourdough I have been struggling to form this afternoon. I have got a lovely levain today (started it yesterday), yet the dough is not a great one; it is fragmenting, too sticky one minute and top-dried up the next moment. Honestly I had given up after 3 stretch and fold attempts, and just stuck it up in the fridge, hoping that maybe in the morning I would have a dough which is workable. I just checked it out and it is actually coming along. So I gave it a quick kneading, felt how smooth it was, got excited, and left it to rise in the fridge. I hope tomorrow I will be able to share the pics of a nice sourdough loaf 🙂

9. I am grateful for the music I am listening to right now. I discovered it a couple of days ago and I am hooked. It is relaxing, meditative if you will, and very soft and gentle for the ear. I feel like my frustration accumulated today is melting slowly but steadily…

10. I am grateful for being grateful 🙂

 

 

 

 

random thoughts

File:Forget me not.jpg

photo credit: Rude (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Forget_me_not.jpg)

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Today is off, but I went to the office nevertheless. It was magical – it reminded me how well I can do without distractions of emails, phones, meetings, and just people around. In 4 hours I have done days of work… I am very grateful.

The day is warm and shinny with a blue sky. I could see all my neighbours out working in their yards, chatting with other neighbours, and having barbecue parties 🙂 It is as if not only the nature has awaken by Spring, but people too.

Honestly we deserved that after our long winter. This winter was not harsh as it was the last two years. But nonetheless, I am sure all residents are cherishing its end 🙂

I am spending the afternoon at home with listening to calming music and reflecting on  the productive work today and the beauty of Spring. My lilacs are blooming and so are the forget-me-nots. Forget-me-not flower has rapidly become my favorite a couple of years ago when I purchased my home. These little blue  flowers are so elegant, so cheerful, and so beautiful. I feel lucky to have them right in my yard.

Wishing everyone a great Spring day 🙂

today’s bits (and love, heartbreak, music, and lyrics)

It is almost midnight – this might be one of the rare cases of my late-night posts 🙂

I have had a great work day today. There was no people interrupting me, no phones ringing, no snow storms lurking on our heads. I just worked within the relaxing and focused atmosphere of my office till past 5.30 pm.

It was so productive that I did not want to come home – if I was not hungry enough I would as well continue to work at the office.

It has been a while that I have felt that way. As a matter of fact, I have realized more and more lately how un-protective or stressful it has been for me to work at home in the afternoons between the last summer and the new year. By staying in the office till 5 or 6 pm since the beginning of the new year, I feel like the time I need for work is doubled, abundant, and available to me. I am feeling more relaxed, better about my performance, less stressed about time, and more productive as a result.

I love these 🙂

The entire day I worked on a report of a member of my team – one of the delayed tasks of mine. I am close to finishing it, which I expect to happen next week. That is very motivating. With this motivation, I continued to work on another document till 30 min ago – wow! 🙂 It is going well too and I hope to draft and submit my report in a week or so. One more hard work is on the way to completion and I have no feelings but positive ones for spending this Friday night with work 🙂

…………………………………………….

On a separate note, I have been stuck at listening to a song lately; I asked my friend, who introduced me to this song a couple of days ago, to help translate the lyrics.

I was right – this song is amazing……. Care to listen?

……………………………………………………………………………..

“…I will not walk with you on the same path again

You put traps for those who walk with you

I will never touch your skin either

You have your walls standing right before your skin

By hitting these walls

Again and again

I got covered by calluses

and because of tears and crying

I now am covered in mosses…”

……………………………………………………………………………..

 

joy journal, Nov 2, 2015

joy 🙂

hope 🙂

good developments 🙂

joy 🙂

Life is full of ups and downs. I repeat again that not everything is all bright and shinny in my life. But I try to keep my head up off the water by focusing on the positive side. There are somethings that I will have to accept as they are, somethings that I can help change, and somethings that I can hope for.

Thank yo for joining me in this journey to focus on the positive, not the negative, so that I can have a stronger mind to deal with issues.

1. I am grateful for waking up on time and going to the office early (around 9 am). It allowed me to relax with my coffee and taking care of some work prior to a two-hours presentation. No rush, no stress. Allowing myself ample time helps me to prevent stress 🙂

2. I am grateful for my presentation going well, even though it is a 2 hour presentation. We have time to time such long presentations as educational sessions. I have been preparing for it for quite sometime and I am pleased to see that this paid off. The presentation went well, I have got good questions at the end, and eventually the message was transmitted effectively. Good job! 🙂

3. I am grateful for the positive feedback I have got after the presentation. It is more or less a formal assessment about the effectiveness of my speech. The feedback was also sent to my boss, which is great. I feel so excited and motivated 🙂

4. I am grateful for the work I have done today! I have been away from the office for 10 days or so because of my trips. I have been feeling the need to go back and finish tasks. I have started it today, which I am sure will continue for some more time. Till mid december, when I will slow down right before the holiday season, I am planning  to take care of a couple of important stuff in addition to daily tasks. I cannot wait 🙂

5. I am grateful for talking to my team members and expediting their work, too. One of the team members is about to leave and we are trying to make sure this transition is good for him as well as for us. We are progressing very well.

6. I am grateful for making appointments with my team members individually so that we can focus on their tasks and needs. Appointments make me focus my time on specific topics or specific tasks. I am happy to do this.

7. I am grateful for the coffee I have got today; light and creamy 🙂

8. I am grateful for the minor house repair being done today! Cannot believe it has been finally done. It makes me feel so relieved, so excited! There has been moments that I had felt pretty sour about the job. Having negative feelings is not nice. Now, I stand reminded that eventually things happen 🙂

9. I am grateful for the yogurt, mint, and olive oil I have eaten for dinner – I know they are all nourishing and healthy stuff that are useful for my body.

10. I am grateful for looking outside of my office window and enjoying the scenery. The trees are changing their colors – what a beautiful scenery!

11. I am grateful for remembering to smile today. One of my coworkers said I was looking stressed this morning. I was actually just neutral 🙂 I told him that this was the regular expression in my face; unless I smile, lots of people think that I am stressed :)) By smiling more often, I expect to feel better and radiate more positive energy to the people around me.

12. I am grateful for walking in the afternoon back from office to home 🙂

13. I am grateful for my warm house, my couch and blanket. They make me feel pampered and safe.

14. I am grateful for my TV and the cable with streaming service. I can choose among many series and movies to watch and there is a huge excitement coming out of this.

15. I am grateful for working at home this evening on an important document. We have been revising it for some time and I am very satisfied with its current revisions. After that, it will be ready to submit. yay! 🙂

16. I am grateful for the relaxing music I am listening right now. It is calming…

17. I am grateful for focusing on the positive.

18. I am grateful for being grateful and coming up with this list today! 🙂

joy journal, Oct 19, 2015

joy 🙂

happiness 🙂

peace 🙂

kindness 🙂

joy 🙂

1. I am grateful for stretching for 10 minutes this afternoon. I have been meaning to do it for quite sometime. I am not new to stretching; I used to do it everyday years ago. I am glad I pulled a muscle at my back last week, which prompted me to make it a priority in my daily life.

2. I am grateful for the rug in my living room – it is now my stretching post! I can dim the lights, put on the relaxing music, and then stretch on the rug. What a practical solution… I feel lucky and happy for this rug.

3. I am grateful for having a decluttered house with minimal furniture. If I had more stuff, perhaps I could not find a suitable place to stretch in my house. I am not only abundant, but also free by not having many stuff around 🙂

4. I am grateful for walking in the morning as well as the evening. Both cases give me a chance to work my body and eventually relax me. The benefits of walking is a lot; health benefits is one; mental benefits is two; helping keeping my transportation expenses is three; and feeling accomplished after each walk is four.

5. I am grateful for talking to a nice colleague and having lots of laughs in 10 minutes. It is always great to be around positive and joyful people.

6.. I am grateful for all the food I have at home; they nourish me and make me feel abundant.

7. I am grateful for working well today, albeit being stressful I have done well with some tasks.

8. I am grateful for the walking shoes I have; they are comfy and good looking. It is very easy to walk, thanks to them. They make my walking possible and a pain-free activity.

9. I am grateful for my computer, internet connection, and youtube for making it possible to search for and listen to relaxing music.

10. I am grateful for all the people that created and produced the lovely music that nourish my mind and heart.

11. I am grateful for being healthy, safe, and sound.

12. I am grateful for taking care of some of the aims in my life so that I can move on with other areas that require my attention. Me controlling my stress levels as well as taking better care of my body are priorities.

13. I am grateful for making many aims of mine a habit (e.g. limiting expenses, walking more, and eating better). Sure, these were a struggle at the beginning, but now they are a normal part of my life (which I do without much thinking and mental judo).

14. I am grateful for my morning coffee; it jump starts my mental alertness and helps my day transition into an enjoyable one right away. It is great that I have many little things in my life that I enjoy and like.

15. I am grateful for wearing my rain coat this morning. It was not necessarily raining but it keeps me also warm. today was a chilly day and it just fit me well. I also noticed that it feels a little bit larger than it used to be last year; am I losing weight? 🙂

16. I am grateful for the up coming trips – they will help me refresh my mental focus and give me a good break. It will be tiring, but nevertheless a great opportunity for me to connect, learn, and explore new places and colleagues.

17. I am grateful for my house that not only provides shelter for me but also keeps me warm during this chilly months.

18. I am grateful for being grateful! 🙂

crush of the day

I love listening to this soothing music that not only relaxes me when I need it most but also delights me with its musical harmony and colors; each of the notes and instruments have individual as well as collective beauty.

Give it a try; especially if you are going thru a down time. Hope it will soothe you with its beauty as much as it does me.

random thoughts

I feel like writing about small indulges that make me feel pampered 🙂

Considering that the only expenses bigger than $1,000 were my washer and dryer (excluding my flights to visit my family and my house), I guess I am doing good pampering myself while also looking after my funds.

So here is a list that I can come up with now:

1. Having breakfast: I love having breakfast at the weekends! there is something nourishing about it and the fact that I get to have it on the weekends only, it is my way of start celebrating the weekend. Breakfast does not need to be too expensive (though it  depends on your preferences. Nevertheless, breakfast and lunch are often times much cheaper than dinners).

2. A good book that captivates my interest. There is nothing like a great book that makes your day enjoyable, time frozen, and mind and heart filled with new knowledge, emotions, and empathy. 90% of my books are purchased from second hand bookstores or charity. The only book I have had pricey was a project management book I needed to study as part of a certificate program (time to sell it now). Borrowing books from libraries, of course, does not cost a dime – give it a try.

3. Chicken noodle soup: is there any other food that nourishes the body while also relaxes the mind? What is the cost of this? $3?

4. Taking photos: that is a really fun activity. Other than the cost of the camera and print outs, the cost of all the memories and lovely pictures recorded is basically $0. Plus, can we really put a price on recording memories?

5. A good cup of coffee every once a while. I love caramel or maple syrup added coffee every once a while. There is a cafe that do these in a shopping mall I go time to time. A great way to award myself.

6. Food: food is always a tricky material for indulges. I happen to reward myself a lot by food, especially pastries and bread (though I am trying to limit them lately). My new year eve meal is almost always some pastry I make at home with beef and pastry sheets. Even though I love this meal, I am glad that I do not bake it more than twice a year.

7. Movies: Although I have not done this in years, seeing a movie at a theater is a lovely experience.

8. Tea, apple cider, and hot chocolate: whether black, green, or herbal, tea has a calming effect. On cold winter days, in addition to tea, hot chocolate and apple cider are my favorite beverages.

9. Leisure walking: Although I do not do this as often as I wish to; when I do, I enjoy it very much. Especially those that occur spontaneously where I do not before hand plan for the route, take my time to enjoy and examine the scenery (even looking at different houses and their characteristics can be an interesting activity).

10. Going through the stores at the airport: One of my favorite activities! I love looking at the merchandise and the variety of items. This is particularly nice when the airport is in a different country. As you can guess, the books sold are the ones that get my most attention. but hey, they are great 🙂

11. Browsing the stores: I have a negligible habit of impulse buying thus I am not afraid of going thru an entire store, examining and exploring the items. It is one of the meditative experiences for me when I truly focus and thus get a mental break from daily thoughts and tiredness. Thanks to this activity, I have discovered many different food (e.g. savory I am so fond of) that were not a part of my regular diet.

12. Taking a road trip: I love it when we drive on a car together with friends or family. Have you noticed that the conversations are different, lovelier during road trips? Especially when we all are going to places that we have not explored before. Whenever I have a chance to suggest an activity, i suggest a road trip 🙂

13. Music: Music is… awesome! I listen to it while at home and office. The free music channels and youtube makes it basically free. Could not be happier 🙂

14. Writing my blog and reading other blogs: Very amusing, relaxing, informative, and affordable activity. Okay I need a computer and an internet connection to do so, but these two help with so many activities (listening to music, watching videos, doing research, learning, booking flights and hotels, etc.) that their cost comes really low. Plus writing helped me to learn a lot about myself – how about that as a great benefit?

15. Planning, planning, planning: I have a thing for planning for goals I would like to tackle. Coming up with a question and then designing a step-by-step strategy to reach the goal is always exciting for me. Yep I do mess up with executing the plans sometime (my recent healthy life-style plan that I blew is a good example), but eventually all go well.

16. Sleeping in: every once a while there comes a weekend morning that makes me sleep till noon. This does not happen to much, but I believe it happens when my body needs it. Often times, it is relaxing.

17. Sleeping late: there is something peaceful about late-nights, some kind of freedom… Friday and Saturday nights are my freedom nights when I can stay up till late, reading, writing, or watching TV. Serenity..

18. Spending time in my yard: I have a small yard with a couple of trees; lilacs are particularly my favorites. Seeing them in summer is a beautiful feeling. The same thing with just being in the yard and listening to the sound of trees – the soothing whoosh their leaves make with wind…..

19. Scents: I love my perfume but due to scent-free policy of my workplace, I only wear it at the weekends. Its scent is so lovable I am glad they produced it! The same thing with candles and soaps. I have a soap that leaves a nice scent after each hand-wash. I would not change it at all. When comes to candles, I did not buy lately but I make sure to check them at the stores. One of my favorite one has honey-cinnamon scent.

20. Wearing my best shoes: I am a person of habit, so I keep wear the same things weeks after weeks. Yet, every once a while wearing a different outfit or my favorite shoes makes a difference in my mood 🙂

21. Grocery shopping: I love grocery shopping. Finding fresh produce is a rare and often cheerful activity for me (where I live, fresh produces are hard to find).

22. Shopping after the holidays: this is the season for shopping!. The sales right after the Christmas are unprecedented. Boy, do I stock up? 🙂

23. Thrifty store visits: Even though I often end up not buying as much as I plan to, I love browsing through the shelves in thrifty stores, especially the kitchen items and the books. A good book I certainly will buy. The kitchen items are mostly an interest; to see all the old stuff… I have a thing for old things. They are different and very interesting for me.

24. Ethnic stores: There are so many different things in these stores that I make regular trip to one close to my house. It is a little food store where I can find the most interesting spices, hot sauces, and dried food. Plus, that store is incredibly cheap. I wonder why that is.

25. Soft facial towels: These are priceless; there is nothing nicer at the end of a busy day to come home, wash my hands and face, and feel the soft towel on my skin. I would highly recommend you to get a thick, slushy towels that is a delight to use.

26. Creams and moisturizers: my hands require hand cream throughout the day. In winter, it is almost essential to moisturize the rest of the body. I am grateful for these creams and lotions that not only nourish my body but also smell good 🙂

27. Time spent with family and friends: Do I have to talk about it? It is the favorite activity of many people. Are we not lucky?

I hope your list of things that make you feel pampered is longer than this.

Go pamper yourself in this beautiful Saturday! 🙂

joy journal – August 15, 2015

I have not written my joy journal for quite sometime (due to vacation). I missed expressing gratitude and the good feeling coming out of it so much.

1. I have many things to be grateful about the time I spent with my family – there is no short way to express all of them here. I cherish every memory and every smile, hug, and kind word. I am grateful that my family members are well and sound; loving and supporting; and genuinely interested in my well-being. Thank you all of you for being there for me.

2. I am grateful for my job. I have gotta give its credit; it gives me a sense of purpose, excites, and provides me with livelihood (despite the challenges and occasional crises that I face). Thanks to my job, I get to see around the world, live in different cities, meet with people with diverse backgrounds, and get insurance. Insurances are important too – providing a sense of security if something out of ordinary occurs in life.

3. I am grateful for my house. It is in a quite neighborhood that is close to downtown as well as my work place. It is true that the prospect of the serious repairs (e.g. the foundation problem I probably have) has been giving me the chills and depressed me beyond my imagination; that I cannot develop trust to the previous owners/renovators, which prevents from feeling peaceful in it; and that I constantly find myself checking for potential issues and thus further create anxiety in myself. But then what can I do? I did not know there may be problem in my house. I did not know when I purchased my home that houses can be fragile and they require constant maintenance. I did not know that it would take me a long time to accept these and then finally find peace in this acceptance. I have not still fully accepted these and thus am emotionally suffering deeply, but I know eventually one day I will give up the resistance and glide into acceptance gracefully. I thank my house-troubles for this; reminding me that it is a process and I am going thru it.

4. I am grateful for my retirement plans, however small they may be. It is true that I could have saved and invested more for my retirement and in the past I have had very obvious expenses that I could have avoided. Yet past is past and I can only look at the present and the future. I have been giving serious thoughts about budgeting lately (mostly motivated by the expenses related to the repairs at home) and have progressed quite satisfactorily. I have a healthy and abundant budget that will take care of my fixed as well as variable but essential expenses that I have been implementing in the last 2-3 months. I know I can do better once I feel comfortable with it. It is awesome to feel this hope and confidence. It is awesome to know that I am making a difference in my financial situation, however small it may be.

5. I am grateful for summer; where I am usually is cool in summers (15-25 C). But since I came back from vacation, it has been hot, sunny, and lovely. A perfect summer 🙂

6. I am grateful for the document I have to finish till monday evening. I have made quite a progress with it yesterday and today. Seeing that I can work effectively under mild stress by taking it lightly (the benefit of having a wonderful vacation prior to it) is one thing, but more importantly the fact that I had to do it in such a short time is what helped me to adapt to work so soon and to stop feeling the emotions associated with leaving my family.

7. I am grateful for my blog. Writing is therapeutic, reading other posts and interacting with fellow bloggers are fun, interesting, and informative. It certainly helps me feel better.

8. I am grateful for the breakfast I have had this morning together with a friend/colleague of mine. I had my usual bagels and coffee after 6 weeks of vacation and a wonderful conversation with my friend, which felt great 🙂

9. I am grateful for walking to and from the coffee shop and sweating a long the way.

10. I am grateful for my new little fryer that makes fried eggs so tasty, so different 🙂

11. I am grateful for doing the laundry and aerating my home today. No I am not cleaning my place this week. My friend who house-sat while I am away already took care of this. I am feeling blessed.

12. I am grateful for being keen about starting a huge decluttering at home. Yep! I have been meaning to do it for quite sometime. I will start easy with bathrooms (which are easier to declutter) and slowly move to the other parts of the house. I will open every single box, purse, bag, and drawer. I will sort things out generously, collect the usable items for donation, and dump the rest. I really need this – I feel like I am carrying a huge and unnecessary weight on my shoulders. This feeling gotta go. I am also excited for the possibility that I will find out many stuff that I had forgotten I have had but are useful or valuable. cannot wait to rediscover my stuff 🙂

13. I am grateful for my couch that provides me with a comfortable place to sit on and write this journal.

14. I am grateful for my laptop, internet connection, cable, TV, phone and all others that help me have a comfortable and engaging life at home.

15. I am grateful for all the stuff I have brought from my vacation. Many of them are the gifts that are given to me by my family members, which I love and cherish. Seeing them around make me feel extra grateful and happy.

16. I am grateful for the music I am listening to right now. It is relaxing and something I have not had heard before and thus is interesting.

17. I am grateful for today being Saturday. I can enjoy it as I please without going to the office.

18. I am grateful for my joy journal and my continuous wish to write in it.

19. I am grateful for life.

20. I am grateful for being grateful.

15 random facts about me :)

By the encouragement of thesmallc, here I am writing some facts about myself. Thesmallc is a great writer (with no reservation I say this); she has a very powerful and genuine pen and incredible insight into life and cancer. Absolutely one of my favorite bloggers (among many others).

Anyways, here are 15 facts about me; surprise, surprise 🙂

  1. Until I started blogging, my primary hobby was to read books. Books are still my favorite items around the house, but blogging has changed me somehow. In a positive way I hope 🙂
  2. I happen to be a bad cook – no question about that. I am not proud of it but that is what it is 🙂
  3. I have a great job that pays a decent salary, yet since I have spent the majority of my life at schools and with training, I have little accumulated for my retirement, which I regret real good. Be smart and start saving early! Whatever you make, save a portion of it for your retirement. And start doing this early.
  4. I have got a PhD.
  5. English is not my native language (some of you already sensed that, did you not?) 🙂
  6. Even though I dislike it very much, I keep cleaning my home and doing laundry every weekend 98% of the time. I admire my consistency in this regard.
  7. The first story I wrote was named “Joe and his dog”. I was 7 years old, penned it down on a small blue covered pocket notebook that I still remember…. The story, as you can guess, remained unfinished.
  8. I have a very serious look; scary if you will. Not that I mean to. Unless I smile, a lot of people think that I am angry or pissed off. I am not angry or pissed off. Well, at least the majority of the time 🙂
  9. When I was a child, music was my greatest interest. Till now, I tried to learn how to play the following instruments: mandolin, flute, and violin. I must say violin is the most elegant, most challenging, and the most admirable one for me. Of course I have not excelled at any of these instruments 🙂
  10. I am a very practical person – can find a temporary fix for almost anything in a split second (unless I am stressed; then the opposite occurs) 🙂
  11. My stress levels can get real high. I do not like that at all. I found exercise is the best remedy, yet I have been too lazy too tired in the last few years to exercise.
  12. I started martial arts at the age of 35; like many other things in my life I was not good at it but it was very good for me! I would recommend everyone, regardless of their age, to give it a try (should they be interested in) at a safe and serious school (i.e. dedicated to the art but not to giving belts, earning money, or kicking the sh.t out of someone else).
  13. I loved opera, not listening to or watching it, but singing it. I was not good at singing opera either (like many of the things in my life I never perfected this skill), but giving it a try has always made me excited and happy 🙂
  14. I have read a lot about leadership and management; I am more suitable for management positions than for the leadership positions (who would follow me??) 🙂
  15. I think my job is the best thing that ever happened to me (other than my family). It keeps my mind working, I like what I do, and it excites me (yet I still dream about retirement; sigh… 🙂 )

And as I already said this in a comment at thesmallc’s blog, I have to make an effort to know which direction is right or left 🙂 All the cab drivers I put into wrong roads/streets, please forgive me! 🙂

cheers everyone

joy journal – June 22, 2015

1. I am grateful for waking up, albeit with a negative mood, yet for nevertheless being alive.

2. I am grateful for missing some people, some smiles, some good memories that I cherish. Yep, I have lost those people, yet having the memories is priceless.

3. I am grateful for working stress-free but effectively today; many tasks have remained that I need to take care of prior to my vacation. I think this weekend and next week (July 1st – the Canada day holiday) will be great opportunities to put an extra effort to finish them all.

4. I am grateful for being usually organized and keeping a to-do-list at the office and at home. Once I take my time and put my focus on the projects/work and itemize their steps in a sequence, the rest is just following the plan one thing at a time. No need to in-depth thinking about the entire picture every single day.

5. I am grateful for typing and printing luggage name tags today; I bought two tag holder yesterday for my coming trip. I have had many occasions when the luggage either did not arrive to the right carousel or the right airport! Describing the luggage each time and waiting for them to be brought back to the residence is a headache. The name tags are supposed to help with the process. More importantly, it is for my peace of mind; last time I could not have had a name tag because of hurry and all I could hope was the description I gave would be enough to locate the luggage. It worked last time, but this year I am more experienced 🙂

6. I am grateful for having the night to myself – peaceful as usual.

7. I am grateful for eating fruits tonite – it is pretty much a habit now. I was only a sporadic fruit-eater. In the last while, I have been consistently eating apples and oranges. They help me with limiting the late-night eating habit (I used to not sleep if I had not eaten carbs, such as bread).

8. I am grateful for the tea I have had this evening – something different today a ginger-lemon tea. Surprisingly refreshing and tasty.

9. I am grateful for being okay with trying new stuff; like internet music sites other than youtube. Thanks to one of them I have come across one of the most beautiful songs…. I have been very happily listening to it, even though its genre is not one of my favorites.

10. I am grateful for walking in the afternoon (from the office to home); a slight yet consistent exercise 🙂

11. I am grateful for my notebooks, pens, computer, internet connection, books, cable, TV, phone line and all the food and furniture I have at home. They are useful; helpful; make me life comfortable and entertaining.

12. I am grateful for my blog; thanks to it I have a chance to write and formulate my feelings, thoughts, plans, and wishes.

13. I am grateful for keeping up with many of the challenges I have assigned to myself: I am walking whenever I can; continuing to eat consciously and simple; doing grocery shopping as needed not automatically; continuing to consciously spend my funds and making a consistent effort to keep my expenses within my limits; losing weights slowly without no sight of gaining back (yet); moisturizing my face everyday; drinking tea every work-day; continuing with my spending freeze of books; listening to the wonderful music both at the office and home (thanks to internet and computer); enjoying the view from my office and my yard every single day; and writing to my joy journal at least twice a week (not as frequent as it should be but that is okay).

14. I am grateful for not getting up late even though I go to bed late in the last couple of weeks; getting old 🙂

15. I am grateful for helping two people at work today and getting an unexpected offer of help from someone else for a big project of mine; he is supposed to introduce me to important connections tomorrow; cannot wait 🙂

16. I am grateful for looking at the mirror without getting terrified with the size of my belly! I am extra cautious with the belly as it can enlarge in a couple of days just like a balloon. It is such an interesting area in the body; seriously. I guess the types of food I eat can make this area change in a short time. The only way to get rid of this ever-hanging issue is to lose the fat around the belly area. They say this kind of fat is the most dangerous one, as it is close to the critical internal organs and fat can increase the level of inflammation that is linked to many disease such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and early aging…

17. I am grateful for being grateful.

joy journal – June 10, 2015

1. I am grateful for the warm day – today was the first day this year when only one jacket was enough (not two). It certainly felt like summer (finally)! Yay!

2. I am grateful for dumping the garbage for collection this morning – each time I am fascinated by the fact that so far I have not forgotten to do this 🙂

3. I am grateful for the left-overs from yesterday, which made a tasty dinner this evening.

4. I am grateful for my new computer! Yes, I am. It is fast, shiny, and does not get hot or crash every hour, as the previous one did 🙂 I am very happy with it.

5. I am grateful for the internet music sites I have learnt from one of my team-members today. I used to listen to youtube, but there seems to be other amazing sites. I find these sites refreshing and very useful. songza.com is one of these sites in case you are interested in. I am also amazed by the fact that I never thought about looking for sites other than youtube – was I limiting myself? Why did I not explore? The lesson I am getting out of this is there are numerous opportunities out there should I decide to look for. This concept can be translated to other aspects of my life. Wow! Love this 🙂

6. I am grateful for one of my team-member who enthusiastically work and generate very exciting data. Once needs to recognize and acknowledge the excellent team-players. They do not come very often, but if you see one, please try to keep them. One good team-member can do 10x better than 10 lousy team-members.

7. I am grateful for the classical music I am listening right now – incredibly energetic and harmonic. Made me feel good and at the same time very excited. Cannot wait to explore all genres 🙂

8. I am grateful for the relaxing night; it is peaceful and free.

9. I am grateful for everything I possess; the food in my kitchen, refrigerator, and pantry; the clothes and shoes, the furniture and everything else. I am abundant, safe, and sound thanks to them. I am grateful for myself and my job for making these possible.

10. I am grateful for learning to say no. I am getting better at it.

11. I am grateful for all the books I have. Some of them I had forgotten that I have had. Thanks to my shopping freeze, now I can find all bunch of interesting books to read right at home; very exciting!

12. I am grateful for working well and taking care of stuff. I have progressed quite a bit with the report I am working on. I have checked the majority of the data and so far we are good. I still have some stuff to do, but I have a great momentum and that will help me to move it way forward.

13. I am grateful for my new categorized budget and my awareness and enthusiasm to keep my expenses low.

14. I am grateful for keeping up with the challenges I have assigned myself a while ago: I cannot say I am routinely doing all of these, but they are in my list and whenever I can do any of them, I am happy to note. Today I took the busy (yay!); felt the happiness of taking the bus and congratulated myself at the office (yay!); walked in the evening; made no purchase (extra yay!); enjoyed the view out of my office window; drank chamomile tea; listening to the music (both at the office and now at home); expressed my appreciation and faith in my house and myself (that is something new; I find that it lifts my negative mood a little bit about my house and the repairs it needs).

random thoughts

A gorgeous Spring day! What a delight.

I have been listening to music non-stop yesterday and today. I had forgotten what a magnificent thing it was. Evoking so many different emotions; from admiration to joy, from appreciation to regretting. Regretting that I had forgotten to enjoy it for some time. Was too busy while take caring of stuff and relaxing.

They say we should stop to smell the roses.

When did our lives become so busy? So demanding?

The activities that excite me most seem to be in the past; meeting with my life-long friends, my family members, going to concerts, visiting new places, singing, falling in love. Ah yes, singing. Art could evoke such a rich array of feelings. Singing almost felt like being awed by life.

It crossed my mind to have a bucket list – have at least one trip a year that will excite me; buy tickets for a show or musical at Broadway; explore somewhere new, like Europe or South America; make plans to meet with friends; stop doing the same things over and over everyday.

Life waits.

Let’s meet.

Freddie – you are carrying on

Man, what a song it is; Show Must Go On.

RIP Freddie – knew your vocalistic and artistic uniqueness but not the fact that this song was written for you while you were sick and you sang it when others thought it was not possible.”

I hardly get amazed to such an extent; your determination, ability, and hissing others’ concerns at the face of death Freddie – you nailed it.

You changed something in me today.

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 🙂

challenges – daily progress

I am speaking too much today 🙂 this is my third post. But I gotta write this one, as it keeps me motivated and helps me make these changes in my life.

So here is the list of things I have done today to improve my life: I took the bus in the morning and surprisingly did not mind waiting 10 minutes for it; drank a cup of chamomile tea, which I usually do not like but was fine this time; looked out of the window to enjoy the nature and the surroundings at the office; walked back to home and then to the post-office at a fast pace (yay!); am motivated to walk more in the evenings and weekends; ate healthy meals and limited carbs; listened to the music at the office while working; and did not make any purchases.

I have done well today; maybe I should increase/change the challenges as time goes on. New challenges, new excitements, and new reasons to feel good 🙂

cheers everyone

random thoughts

It is a beautiful bright and warm day. Could not ask for more of weather. Is it not awesome that the weather has such a positive effect?

Kind of a regular Saturday for me – the routine is the same; getting up, getting breakfast and doing light work at the favourite cafe, cleaning and aerating the house, and doing laundry. these may be routine, but they feel great nevertheless; the ability to waking up, the ability to buy myself breakfast, the ability and motivation to do work at the weekend, the great feeling after seeing my home cleaned and organized. Routine or not, many things to be grateful for.

One change I have made today was to switch to my recliner – time to give a break to the couch. The good thing: where I sit now, I am capable of hooking my sound system and listen to the music thru my computer. That is great. A couple of days ago my next door neighbours were having a barbecue party and they were listening to nice, upbeat music. I enjoyed listening to it and now I can do that myself.

have a great, shiny, and happy Saturday everyone.

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