COVID-19 (April 15)

Yesterday and I today I worked long hours. I am writing an objection letter to rejection of my promotion request.

I know that it will not make a huge difference. Goodness knows, I wanted to quit putting energy in that, but could not. I had to do this.

But I seriously want to quit my job, and I cannot afford it, either. Not yet.

This is how you lose motivation towards your workplace.

I have been to this point a number of times. This is not the first time. But it can be the best time.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Time to finally change priorities.

I want to prioritize:

  1. my survival
  2. my family’s survival and supporting my family during the pandemic and beyond
  3. quality of my life
  4. being grateful for each pay cheque
  5. being grateful for each dime saved
  6. having hope that I will look for jobs once this pandemic is over
  7. dumping all unnecessary work off my shoulder

The rest, like promotion, should not matter.

 

finding a balance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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life priorities

I woke up feeling a little bit lost thinking that my life priorities need to change and I should re-prioritize what are important.

For my entire life, my work was prioritized mostly because I love what I do (mostly).

In the last 3 years or so, I prioritized my personal and financial health over work a little bit after I purchased my home: I was not highly successful in terms of personal health (I had a lower back problem that ended me in the emergency, which still acts time to time; I have not lost the extra weight I am carrying around even though I am 5-10 pounds lighter than 5 years ago; and I have not been consistent about eating a variety of food every week). But I was more consistent with the financial planning, frugal spending/budgeting, and savings.

The last 6 months, I became agitated by the toxic work place and all the pressures. One solution to overcome this feeling was working more (irony, is it not? ūüôā ). So I worked almost non-stop since the beginning of July. I feel tired, stressed, and somehow more accomplished. Sadly, working hard and stress also means eating junk and getting lazy and not walking as much as I would. Also not saving as much as I would.

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Thus, I realized this morning that sometime setting priorities do not work and we may not be able to keep up with all of them at the same time. It does not mean we cannot try. It just means that realistically it may not be possible and that can be okay.

In other words, I forgave myself for eating junk food! ūüôā

Joking.

I forgave myself for changing priorities and not sticking up with the most important one.

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I know that my traditional annual reflection time (aka holidays ) is coming and it is only natural to realize these now that we are close to it.

For 2018 I would like to prioritize my health and well being, work, and family; they go hand-to-hand. Financial plans will be my least of priorities this year. This does not mean that I will not be budgeting and aiming to save; just reminding myself what is important more.

Family cannot be prioritized enough. We as mortals are here for this moment and may not be the next one. What $ and work can replace the people we love? They will be on top of my list.

I enjoy not having a chronic disease, but who knows what will happen next year? Probability of having one increases with each age. Thus, I will care about my eating, exercise, and lower back as much as I can. 

And work? I can continue to work but maybe a little bit less intense and more effective. What I need is a way to control my feelings and find a venue to vent them out and clarify my mind. The yoga classes offered close to my home always relaxed me, yet looks like they also exacerbated my lower back problem. Goodness knows, I want to start again to feel that way. I wonder whether there are programs designed specifically for people like me having back problems? One thing to check.

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back to my routine

Today after a month or so I am finally back to my regular routine; home cleaned, laundry done, sourdough stater fed, and more importantly I am not working.

This feels good.

There is something nice about our daily life and routine. It helps us to pay attention to our regular surroundings and activities. I kinda look around and notice things to be grateful for; my yard for example has considerably improved this year with the new back fence and new plants showing up. I love going around it everyday and noticing how the life in my yard doing and remove unnecessary weeds and stuff. It is great to be feeling content, excited, and hopeful about a part of my life.

I also find a chance to notice things that require care and fix them before they get worse. One of my household plants seem to have too much water in the vase, and as such has started to reek (possibly the microorganism growing in the water at the bottom). I cleaned it well and now hope that the plant will regain its health and vigor. It is a life and deserves the best from us.

I am watching the X-Files and am happy to be doing it.

I will prepare a nice dinner today with healthy ingredients, which will help me to gain my strength back and reduce the toxic effects of ongoing stress.

My windows are open and fresh air is caressing every corner inside.

My street is quite and eventless, encouraging an easy rest at home.

I have had fruits and home-made kefir cheese and sourdough this morning, which gives me the necessary energy and encouraging thought that I am back to healthy life-style.

My kefir grains are doing just fine and my sourdough starter is raising.

I have not got any negative news or annoying emails just yet and I am very grateful for this.

I appreciate this opportunity to just relax and give my mind and body a break.

I am excited for being free this evening and tomorrow and all the things I can do with my time.

And more importantly, I am happy to be with myself and reflecting on life and my life, which was much needed. Like this morning, I woke up with the thought that one day I would cease to be and whether what I was stressing myself about at work or at life would worth it. The answer is no. There are so many other important things to do or pay attention to. Time is given and passes pretty quickly. Life is bigger than what I have been focusing on lately. Loved ones and our own well-being and happiness are the most important thing. So much stress and its negative effects on body and mind are foolish. It is time to have a much wider look at life as a whole and re-adjust the priorities and plans. I have not got much of an idea about what they would be, but I am grateful that I have the metal sanity and clarity at least for this moment to even think about this. 

Routine is good my friends.

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on death and life

Prince has died a couple of days ago. May he rest in peace.

I have been thinking about death and life again since then. I was not a remarkable fan of Prince, not because I did not think he was an influential or great musician, but because I was more interested in other genres. Yet, his sudden death as someone I knew hurt.

Death is a reality. And it is scary. And only at my middle age, I am getting to realize this.

I too can die and will die. We just do not know when. Because I am a middle aged person and because I faced death in reality when my dad died, almost everyday I think that I am getting close to my own death every passing day. I feel a rush, almost an anxiety about this.

Because of this¬†(or, maybe I should say “thanks to this”)¬†I do not want to miss life. I do not want to die just yet. I do not want my mom and my siblings to¬†feel the pain of my death. I do not want to die before I understand what it is the life that I was supposed to have but missed so far, and before I realize what is important in life. Before I¬†relax, enjoy, and get¬†happy with my life.

I am dealing with many little issues, mostly related to work. I am not happy with this. Why would anyone have a life mostly oriented around, shaped by, and focused on work? Where are the life  experiences other than work?  Why do I care about my work that much? Why can I not re-focus my mind?

I do not want to live and die like this.

I must either quit my job and face financial hardship, or change my mind, remain in my position, but reduce my expectations from myself.

There are books to be read, people to be met, places to be visited, words to be said, happiness to be generated, and peace to be made.

I should deal with my insecurities. So what, if people would not think that I was not overly successful? So what, if others would do better than me? So what, if my performance was less bright than others?

None should matter when it is a matter of life and death.

I should matter. Not others.

 

The life in the diary – I

Fiction

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October 8, 2014

I do not know what to say any more – I felt like whatever I thought so far, I put in writing.
Though it is possible that if I had written more,  I could have discovered more. Said more. I just cannot continue.
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January 26, 2013

My doctor is optimistic; she says I will be fine at no time. It came back, so what?  I am not worried, I have done this before. Yet, I know as soon as I step out of the door, I will start crying. Because it feels unfair.

The first days are complete shock.¬†Being told that you are sick and need immediate medical care is….weird or something…..Its meaning is so thick, so heavy; reality does not sink for some time.

After that, it changes you though. Priorities change for one; I do not care about work that much for example; it does not fill in my entire mind or future worries. No. Neither the fences that I was planning to paint nowadays. I do not care. Let them rot. I hope though I will not lose my job along the way; I need the insurance and the salary. That is the most critical thing I need to keep now.

Will I need someone to care for me at home? Will I be able to find someone to do so? Can I afford it? Who will shop or cook for me? Will I be able to find any friends around me?
But no; let’s not think about these yet.

Not yet.

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The life in the diary – I

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