joy journal – Jan 29, 2018

It has been a good day.

1. I am grateful for sleeping late but waking up early. I woke up with things to do in my mind, which was overwhelming. Yesterday night I decided not to resist to this idea – after all if I resist something, the annoyance increases. I will see how well this will progress in the coming days.

2. I am grateful for taking the bus – my hero! Right on time 🙂

3. I am grateful for working with a team member of mine the whole day; we are finalizing a project of 3.5 years and she has done an amazing job. Understandably we are very excited about this. We will continue on Wednesday again, but what we have done today was a wonderful work 🙂

4. I am grateful for treating my team member to tea/coffee and snacks. These absolutely help us to have a more cozy work environment and provide some comfort while doing a serious job.

5. I am grateful for walking back to my home this evening; a first in a while. I am coming back to my routine slowly… I feel accomplished with each of these small steps; re; taking he bus, walking, not taking the cab, eating better, etc. Yay! 🙂

6. I m grateful for working at home in the evening of another report due next week. I am kind of late but have moved it very well. While walking to home I was thinking that I did not know how to fix it, but as soon as I sit in front of the computer and opened the document, it just moved on.

7. I am grateful for working at the office till 6pm, not coming home early to work, and hence stress myself further at home. Not leaving the office early to come home to work is one of these small steps that makes me feel good and makes me feel like I am back to my routine.

8. I am grateful for eating a large potato salad filled with green beauties. Very healthy and it was yummy 🙂

9. I am grateful for turning my email off while we worked at the office today. This is my second or third time doing this. I did not even missed it. What a distraction it seems… I am very proud of myself for doing this change as well.

There are a number of changes I have implemented lately and I will be happy to state them here again:

  • turning off the email while working on important things
  • leaving my “perfectionists attitude” on un-critical tasks
  • saying “no” more often 
  • motivating my team more
  • eating better and healthier
  • treating myself with weekly chocolates and little pastries time to time
  • making an effort to work at the office, rather than at home
  • supporting myself during these stressful times and showing compassion
  • making an effort with positive affirmations
  • making an effort to stop resisting the thoughts that annoy me
  • taking the bus or walking, and protesting the cab company
  • making Fridays “eat fish/meat” day – this has been going on for the last three weeks and I noticed that I feel good about this. Whether it is fish or red meat (which I rarely eat) – I am not sure. In all cases I eat a large green salad, which I suspect is helping a lot too
  • believing that I have time, which reduces my stress, even though that usually means working at nights at home
  • understanding myself, my needs, my priorities, and hurdles – particularly my own criticism towards myself and my work
  • realizing that my daily home routine is important and without it I feel over-whelmed, stressed, and somehow absent…. It is important to spend time without thinking about work and making my mind work on rather other things to give it a break

—————————–

Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  • I appreciate myself for making an effort to feel good
  • I appreciate myself for eating better, pampering myself, and caring for myself
  • I appreciate myself for keeping calm and focused today
  • I appreciate myself for changing and improving my quality of life, especially at work
  • I appreciate myself for taking time to write these, which help materialize them

 

 

plans for Spring

Change of season is a great reminder of the continuity of the change in our lives. While I cannot control every change in my life (like aging), I can make some changes in areas that I need.

1. Decluttering again. It has been a while since my last decluttering activity. while stretching my back muscles this evening I noticed all the books that I will probably never read again. I love them but it may as well be the time to depart our ways. I hope they will get enjoyed by someone else.

Books are of course just a start. I am sure I have accumulated one or three glass jars here or there; some old cleaning cloths somewhere around the house; some old socks and shorts/pants that wait to be retired. I am sure this decluttering will not be as extensive as the previous one (it was a major effort) so I hope one weekend I will just start and complete it. Not this coming weekend, but sometime..

2. Eating better and hopefully losing weight at the same time. This has been a continuous wish that has not occurred yet. why is it so hard to lose weight at middle age? I used to easily lose weight if I wanted to when I was young, but my two latest trials ended up with gaining weight. what is happening? what should I do differently?

I know limiting bread and other refined carbs (like bagels and pasta) helps to lose weight. I also know that fruits like apples or pears as well as raw chewy veggies like cucumber  and daikon help me to lose weight. There is something about raw food – I can guarantee you… So, my aim is to eat at least one apple or pear and one chewy veggie everyday. wish me luck 🙂

One of the best ways is to bring fruit to the office. I often need snacks anyhow; why not to eat fruits? Hmmm.

3. Time for new shirts. I have not shopped for shirts in the last one year or so. I have exhausted my current ones, except a couple of nice ones that are kind of tight now… If I lose weight, they will be lovely to wear. Should I wait or buy now? Okay – maybe two shirts can be purchased, why not?

4. New hair? I have been meaning to have a hair cut for sometime but so far I have not done this. The last time I have had it (around two months ago), the hair dresser did not shorten it much. So now I have shoulder length hair. While it is not bad, I always have liked short hair. I really hope I will find in me the motivation to go to the hair dresser this weekend and I will find a great hairdresser this time. I also need coloring, but I will do this as usual.

timeline:

1: a future weekend

2: starting tomorrow

3: this weekend?

4: this weekend?; I can have the hair cut at the shopping mall when I can also buy the shirts. So this is quite doable if i do go to the mall this weekend.

 

 

 

little indulgences

I have been drinking a mango-berry juice blend from an international store in the last 3-4 days. One of my friends gave me a bottle. At first I did not show interest, but once I tasted it, I was hooked 🙂

I call it my “little indulgence”. Drinking small amounts over 3-4 hours at night has given me enjoyment. It is sugary and that is why I try to drink only 100-150 centiliters of it per day.

To tell you the truth, it is not cheap, but I have now motivated to save more money so that I can afford one bottle a week. By walking to the office yesterday and today, I feel like earned the money to purchase it. In other words, I am trading money for it.

I have been thinking about it; such little things can make such a huge and positive difference in my life. What other little indulgences can I have in my life?

The list I came up with is not too long, but it is good start. Whenever I need something to excite me in my life, I will return back to this list and acquire the items. So that I can feel pampered and enjoying my life :

1. berry-mango juice

2. tea with honey and lemon

3. new lipstick

4. a new soap, hand cream, moisturizer with nice scent

5. a new hat/toque: now that it is winter and I like these, time to find out the ones I have somewhere at the house first, and then maybe buy one that I may like. I have had 2 hats that I was very fond of which I lost last year.. I can get similar ones.

6. new hair cut

7. new hair color

8. a new book

9. baguette: I love these bread; every once a while I can enjoy it

10. gourmet cheese

11. rice cracker: I love it even though it does not agree with my system too much. every once a while alright.

12. chocolate;  even though I do not have a sweet tooth, every once a while should be okay.

 

what are your little indulgences? 🙂

random thoughts

Welcome to the chilly fall day 🙂

My home is really chilly; I upted the thermometer last week to keep it around 18 Cs. Tonite it is particularly chilly; my knees are feeling it. Thankfully I have my blanket 🙂 What would I do without it?

This slush blanket has been with me for 4-5 years. I bought it with love and since then there has never been a chilly day that I have not used it over my lap and legs. A perfect companion.

Chilly weather reminds me the Games of Throne’s famous sentence; “Winter is coming”. I do not like our long winters that much. Hopefully it will be a reasonable winter this year.

I love walking on chilly weather though – with my scarfs and the gloves on. I am fond of both of them. They make me feel pampered. Hot chocolate and all bunch of other warming beverages also have a role in this feeling.

Autumns are somehow romantic 🙂

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! 🙂

random thoughts (on my spending habits)

I would like to reduce my spending and I know I can up to 8-10K per annum; I have two major expenses that I am aware of and have been struggling to switch to better, more affordable alternatives.

One of these expenses is the cab I take every morning from home to office. I did well last week taking the bus, but not this week. The reasons? I feel overwhelmed by all the issues in my life, small or not, and I would like to pamper myself. An additional one is the relatively low levels of energy in the mornings. And also, I do not like to wait for the bus, so the timing of waking up is really critical for me.

I know that I feel a lot better when I take the bus. There is nothing much I can do for my  energy levels. I can use the extra time to walk (rather than to wait) a couple of bus stops prior to taking the bus. But how do I pass the need to pamper myself?

The second expense I can cut is related to healthy life style. Eating better food for example. Or having breakfast during the week days. Not eating bagels at the weekends. Not eating out. Almost all of them are again related to my need to feel good and pamper myself.

Yesterday I felt like drastic changes may be more effective than the “transitional ones”. Once and for all, I can remove all these from my life and start a new chapter. I may pamper myself by other means; walking and exercise always worked with me. Yoga class close to my home, which I had attended for a month in the winter, has been incredibly relaxing and pampering (the only thing is the monthly fee, which is around $100). I can keep myself busy for a while while I adjust to the new life-style. Most importantly though I need to convince my mind that pampering myself (my mind) does not mean that it should be at the expense of my body (e.g. unhealthy food).

Yesterday I was frustrated with myself and felt like I could lock myself in the house and mentally work on this last point. It ends in my mind and maybe I will start brain-washing myself right now.

Hope that will work.

challenging myself

I have been thinking about changes that will enhance my life, my health, and my financial health for some time. I have not done anything substantial yet, which finally came to a point that the entire lack of implementation of changes started to make me unhappy with myself.

I do not need to be unhappy about myself.

The main problem of mine is that even though I know what can work, I have the confidence that they will work (I have done similar changes before), I just have a substantial need of pampering myself. The need to relax; the need to take a break from everything; the need to feel good; the need to not constrain myself. The more I pamper myself, the longer the issues remain unresolved, the heavier they accumulate as an emotional baggage.

In other words, pampering myself  = inaction = bothering myself more over the long run.

I do not need these.

From this morning on I invited myself to several challenges:

challenge 1: take the bus (not the cab) – get up at 8.15am to catch the bus.

challenge 2: eat better and healthy – cut out the carbs and consume more veggies

challenge 3: walk an extra 30 min at the weekends

challenge 4: do not buy books for two months

challenge 5: cut out the bagel breakfast- one bagel/breakfast

challenge 6: do grocery shopping as required and buy small amounts – many stuff perished in my fridge so far – what a sad waste.

challenge 7: start listening to music and relaxing 20 min a day.

challenge 8: drink at least one cup of tea a day

challenge 9: get up in the morning and smile to yourself and hum a song

challenge 10: look outside the window at the office three times a day – enjoy the view and relax

challenge 11: record the progress in these areas in breaking the routine or joy journal categories

challenge 12: increase the contribution made to the RRSP account

challenge 13: during the day remember to smile

challenge 14: lose 15 pounds in two months – record weight and food consumed every day

challenge 15: stick to the plans – I have done these before and I can do it again

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: