holidays diary – Day 12 (and the end of it :) )

Boy, we are done – back to work! πŸ™‚

I am ready.

I have had not the usual relaxing and joyful kind of holidays break this year, but some things got done and better; I cleaned my home, decluttered and donated, shopped a few days and purchased lovely things, cut out the junk food significantly, saved quite a bit of money by not eating junk food and not taking the cab everyday to work, did light work and almost completed two important documents, socialized with friends, gifted and got gifted (all great things that I am looking forward to using), slept longer than usual, and experienced much less stress and frustration created by work and work environment. I also let go of self-imposed “must do” kind of attitude and took some house chores and personal care (like, hair cut visit) easy. This last one is quite a change in my attitude, which I surprisingly found health. Well done πŸ™‚

I could not read a novel that I so much wanted to, but hey I can always read a novel in any of the days. So, that is cool.

I have reflected on my life in 2018, but did not plan anything new or extraordinary for 2019. I am not against resolutions. On the contrary, I like and believe in the positivity and hope they give to us, even for a short term. I can always make resolutions, so this is cool, too.

Overall; not bad, eh?

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Today I meant to shop at thrift stores. We had bad weather in the morning with lots of snow, but when the bus started to work, I decided it was okay to go have a good time. I was the only one in the store and I could not find anything for my liking. So, when I saw outside, I understood why there was no one around. A new storm had just started and it was quite miserable outside. I do not know how I could make it to the cab station. Luckily it was a cabbie that I knew and the ride back to home was quite pleasant.

At the beginning it felt silly to have left the home at all, but sometimes we must try and take the chances. This is exactly what I have done. The outcome was something I did not wish for, but I have no control over the storms and I was able to make it home safely. Hence, I take it easy as well πŸ™‚

I am relaxing this evening as well and have my itemized plans for tomorrow. I am ready to work like a golden horse again, until I become tired again. Knowing that all my efforts will be to reach my own goals, I am finding this easier to think about. Deep down, I feel that great things will happen to me this year; lots of awesome opportunities will find my way; success, health, money, respect, awards, and recognition will come to me easily; and I will continue to grow and develop personally and professionally.

I am looking forward to these.

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Hope 2019 is treating you all with Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation πŸ™‚

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Reflecting on 2018

I have had a brief survey of the year in my mind. It has been an interesting year indeed.

Important things in my personal life were:

Physical health: I re-started yoga/stretching classes in early 2018. As usual, I have enjoyed the relaxing feeling it provided me with, but eventually I pulled a muscle at home and ended up in the emergency room again. I have had excessive physiotherapy this year, which I should be continuing but cannot because of the financial reasons for one. And mostly because after a while I stopped doing my exercises, so what is the point of getting physiotherapy sessions anyhow? This can be one area to work on in the new year.

Mental health: I have had a tough year with stress and anxiety. I for the first time started to attend a counseling service and I keep it in my mind should things get unbearable again. It is a peace of mind, knowing that there is and there will be support should I need it.

Financial health: I did not save as much as I wished, but I have done what I could. I am trying to turn things around since last week with my spending curbed for now. My investments lost quite a bit due to the fluctuations in the market, but I am taking it easy, knowing thatΒ  have no control over it and maybe over time they would rise again. Hope is a great thing.

Affirmations: I became interested in affirmations and at one point they really helped me get positive thoughts and beliefs about people and experiences. I know that they can work and help me feed my mind with different perspectives and better thoughts.

Positive thinking: Being an eternal pessimistic ( πŸ™‚ ) it was great to read positive words and alternatives lately. I actually started to experience these positivity in the form of little miracles, better luck, and better feelings overall. I am grateful for the books that give me positive thoughts and am looking forward to keep doing this and affirmation practice in the new year.

Transitioning to gray hair: this saga has been going well this year. 2018 can be the first year in the last ~20 years that I have not dyed my hair myself at all. Yes, I have been to hair saloon to get toners and highlights to help with the transition, but I never struggled myself at home trying to dye my own hair. For this, I am very happy πŸ™‚

Visiting my family in summer: This was great and quite positive. Not everything is rosy of course, but I am happy to see them. It also gave me the much needed break and soothed my nerves. The positive feelings and well-being continued for a while after I returned back. It was overall a highly positive experience.

Stress, anxiety, and sleep changes: These have been I am afraid quite high this year…. It is mostly work related and deep down I know how to better handle it; walking/exercising, better diet, less work, more extracurricular activities, etc. When there are too many work to do, stress and anxiety becomes difficult to manage. I must be wiser than this. Hopefully in the new year. We shall see. Overall, however this kind of experiences help me personally develop and take things differently. Take my sleep disturbance, for example. At first I took it as a very negative experience (hence the term “disturbance”), yet later I benefited from it by ending up at the office early mornings (around 5-6 am; I realized that until 10 am, I could do much of the work I expect from me, as these are the times with no or little distraction around). This was a great realization, for which I am grateful.

Plants: My… I became interested in succulents, cacti, and house plants this year, which have given me the most satisfying and joy-creating experiences ever. they make me happy! Growing them, caring for them, watching them, sharing them with others πŸ™‚ All is well in the plant world.

My professional life:

Funds for new projects: I was able to get two projects as the project leader and another one as the team member, which are all great progress in my career. In a time when everybody is fund-crunched, these projects put me in a much higher place than many of my colleagues. I should be happy and proud of myself. My extraordinary efforts in the last few years are now paying off – this is wonderful. Perseverance, hope, and hard-work are all benefiting me. I am grateful.

Reports: I was able to get 5 big reports out this year, a couple of them especially being hard to bring to completion.

Completed projects: One big project of mine, which was lingering around for around 4 years have been finally finished in early 2018. It was a hard ride, but eventually is done, and I could not be more excited.

Dumping a committee work: I let go of a committee I was a part of in the last 7 years. It was not an easy decision as I had enjoyed my role in it, but it was also the right one. I cherish this decision.

Taking up on a new role: I took a new role in my organization, which I have been interested in. I feel lucky πŸ™‚

Interview with an outside organization: I got interviewed by an outside but professionally related organization in Fall. They even circulated it to thousands of my colleagues all around the world via an email. I feel honored and excited by this. I am glad that I took my time to prepare this interview.

Online courses: I took two online courses this Fall, which were amazing. I want to take a little bit more, maybe in the Spring to help develop my skills and knowledge better. Learning is always exciting πŸ™‚

Overall, a year full of both negative and positive experiences, like anyone else. It has been a hard year – that is for sure, but it also showed its good side and credited my hard-work and perseverance. I think my focus for the new year will be to take things a little bit easier, caring for my mental and physical health much better, and continue to grow personally and professionally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

recent realizations

It has been going quite stressful and also kinda smooth with respect to work. It is very hard for me to decide whether this means the long sought-for change in my attitude and evaluations, or a sign of a problem coming.

I sure wish it is the first alternative.

The changes that have happened in me and my attitude when it comes to work are as follows:

  • I compare myself to others now, rather than comparing to the ideal I hold up for myself. This kind of relaxes the stress I impose on myself and increase my confidence (as I do not beat myself up for not reaching to the “ideal” I painted.

 

  • Nobody, even myself, can say that “I do not work, contribute, or produce”. I have proven myself how much I do work in the last two years and I am more than content with this. This brings confidence in my abilities and makes me feel like I am not dispensable. Rather I am a valuable part of my organization.

 

  • I am vocal about the hard-work I do and ask for appreciation or acknowledgement. This may sound like “begging for things”, but it is rather a sign of my confidence and self-esteem; I am content with my performance and I want it to be recognized.

 

  • I take things easier or make an effort to take them easy. This has happened in the last couple of days; I have so many things to figure out and urgently that I do not have the time for any of them. My usual self would go, read, and contemplate about all the details prior to making a decision or moving on, but I do not have this luxury anymore. So, the end result is instead of paralyzing my mental work, I move on with the abstract concepts and general views. Better than nothing. At least I feel better.

 

  • I take mini rests everyday, usually at night, to recuperate. I allow myself to stop thinking about the issues and rather focus on my personal interest and try to enjoy my time. Things can wait till tomorrow, when I will have a crystal clear mind.

 

  • I use my morning hours to my advantage and do the most important things. I need to take the cab to the office at 5-6am, but that is okay. It gives me time and comfort.

 

  • I remove distractions from my life so that I can focus on what is important. The house chore can wait, the emails can be responded later, and work can be delegated to others if not critical. How about that? My.. My.. what a change πŸ™‚

 

  • I keep a well organized and healthy office environment. Clean and free of clutters. And full of plants πŸ™‚ They make everything look and feel much better. I am very excited about them πŸ™‚

 

  • I keep telling myself that this is not the first time that I ended up with under stress. I have survived the past stress and I will survive this one too.

 

  • I will not accept new tasks for a while – this is a relief and makes me determined to say “no”.

 

  • The more issues I deal with, the more I learn about myself and how to best work. I truly believe that no matter how mundane a task is I would make a detailed assessment and work carefully. The more responsibility I do have, the more issues appear. Since my time and energy do not increase linearly with them, I must place them in a “relative” scale. I still care and pay attention to things, but again when I compare myself to others, I feel confidence in the work and assessments I do – if they can not fail, why should I?

 

  • I feel much better if I put the effort and do my “best”. I mostly care about silencing my own critique; as long as I am satisfied with myself, I do not care much about what others think. Lovely πŸ™‚

 

  • I just realized this morning that “good stress” makes me remember things and motivates me to address things. Thus, even though I may end up having anxious thoughts in the morning, I know they are there to remind myself to move. Good job!

 

  • I evaluate things differently now. Previously I used to define the changes in my sleep pattern (sleeping around 6 hours and then waking up quite early) as “sleep disturbance”. Yesterday I realized that the opposite was true. While my sleep pattern has changed, it was for the best; I still get sleepy at around 10 pm, have a deep sleep around 6-7 hours, and wake up early. This gives me much needed rest (deep and sound sleep) and much needed time (by going to office early). It is not disturbance, as I used to label it. It rather is a blessing πŸ™‚

 

  • I also realized that while I have a tendency to go around my comfort zone (by, for example, focusing on the tasks that I am most comfortable to address first than the more important tasks), time to time I also jump into risky projects. They are hard to develop or execute, but once they are taken care of they yield higher value. I do not do these continuously, but the last year has been like this and I keep going. Either I will fail or I will win. Only time will show.

 

It has been good to me that I found myself in such a stressed situation – things have started to clear.

I hope πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

Saturday morning musings

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Add these to this tulip that dancing with the sun in my yard πŸ™‚

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graceful acceptance of failure and mistakes

I have had a comment from an experienced colleague of mine about a work I have done which also included his involvement. Looks like I have missed some critical information in my report, which he drew my attention to.

I fully agree with him that these information should have been there. So in contrast to my regular self who would become defensive, I realized he was right, and thanks to him the work would be better presented now to others. I gracefully acknowledged this.

I was surprised with my reaction, but I am equally pleased with it. Admitting a negligence and mistake is a good thing; I like it when I see it in others. Today was my turn.

I must say this is a great experience for me. I had had another meeting on Friday, which had some heated arguments. I am not afraid of arguments, but creating a negative air around myself and the room. I realized that with today’s experience I would have managed the Friday’s meeting better. It is too late for it, but next time I will be better.

This experience tells me that there is always a possibility and opportunity for spontaneous growth and one can fail but can also accept it gracefully. I like this newfound wisdom.

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