reconstructing when life needs it

I have taken significant steps to change things; the way I work, live, or interact with others. Just because I realized the amount of change I have been thinking about or implementing, I came to realize today that I am re-constructing myself, my work, and my life. I am also re-constructing my attitude towards myself, work, my family, my co-workers/friends, money, and my life.

It feels great!

I have done what I thought was best at times. I cannot regret, and I am not willing to. They serve me well over sometime, but not anymore. Time to change, time to do differently. For a better tomorrow as I want today.

I am fine with that.

As a matter of fact, I am encouraged, excited, and happy about these!!

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What progress I have had so far?

I am more compassionate and supportive of myself. I feel the need to take care of myself and my wellness is becoming important. This is very healthy and natural – I take that it is a real need and this is empowering.

I am less concerned about the mistakes I may have done, developed new interests and skills, and feeling successful after a 2.5 years of high stress and hard work season. I am very aware of my strengths and capabilities, and I am more confident. What remains to be implemented is to take it easier and maybe stop working regularly at the weekends. And say no more often.

I value life and am curious about it more like when I was young. I want to be out there with life, within life, and I want a fuller life that is not restricted with my work or how stressful or constrained I may feel. I want to taste it – whether it is visiting new places, meeting with new people, having a new outfit style, trying new things, or simply just buying myself a lovely meal, I want to experience life in a wider way. It is my birth right, like is yours.

I am forgiving more and letting go more. This positively affects my relationships. I also speak less and listen more. I am more authentic or genuine than before, less reserved, but equally loving. I am putting myself more out there without fear or fear of rejection, stigma, etc.

At work, I am speaking of my mind less and developing a political attitude to less annoy others, but still make the points I want to make. I do not need to insist on things that others would not agree to. Sometimes my job (at work) is just to bring them over for discussion. Let everyone think and decide.

I have stopped recording my expenses and savings as of yesterday. I realized that it was a constant battle for me to see how much I had spent and how much of it was extra (which meant I beat myself for it). I do not need this in my life. It served me well in the last few years, but came to a point that it started to harm me. So I am stopping it until next time I need it or benefit from it.

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All started in action by re-arranging the furniture of my bedroom yesterday. The “new direction” of my furniture made me realize it was needed, felt great, and was full of opportunities for me to realize. I then visited a nearby book store and purchased two books – both inspirational. I sat at a cafe and started reading it. It was quiet, and the 6 bucks I paid for the tea and scones were the best 6 bucks I have ever spent. This was one of my most enjoyable things to do at the weekends, which I had stopped in the name of saving money. Now I see that I can enjoy it still. And I will as long as it continues to be enjoyable.

Then, I met with some friends and decided to dress up. Boy, it was a great idea. I went there not expecting anything (that is, not having any prior plans or thoughts) and I just took it one moment at a time. All the new experiences I have had and all the new people I have met, and all the positive thoughts that went through my mind as a result, are priceless. Life can be very awarding if we step in it and watch what it can offer. Not all the time, but this does not mean that it does not. I will take my chances with life more now.

I also decided that it was time that I had stopped worrying about work. This week I am going to take a couple of days and shut my work email down. I do not want to think about work. Just myself. My plan is to be visiting new places, a public library or two, some art galleries, and simply sit and read a book at a cafe. All while dressed up like I would love. I also would love to smile more (honestly it makes one feel better right away), immerse in what life can offer, eat better with healthy food, and continue to reflect on and celebrate the wonderful change I am leading.

I have experience from which I have learnt. And I have faith that the next days will be better and everything is happening as they are supposed to be. I trust that this is true.

 

 

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facing the fear

I have been dreading a meeting with a colleague for a long time. This meeting happened today.

The reasons I was dreading this is because; a) my colleague had treated me really bad in the past and I really do not want to do anything with her; and b) the work she wants me to do somehow jeopardizes the importance of my own projects – that means fear and anxiety.

While I disliked being in this situation, sometime whatever you do things can go on bad anyhow. So I decided as a professional it would not matter how she treated me. I was more concerned about how what she wanted me to do would affect my work. I mentally prepared for what I must do (being kind but firm) and what I must clearly emphasize (what I can do and cannot do) for this collaboration to go forward. In these regards it went very well. At least for now.

I do not trust her and as a result I am not saying it is over yet, but I have important gains today:

  1. I faced my fears and dislike and it did not hurt at all. Next time I have fears I my want to remember this
  2. I am not naive enough to think that it is over yet and I can still be on the cautious side while working with her. This way I can continue to protect myself and my work. This means more stress, but….
  3. I was able to protect myself today, but not my projects. Thinking that she would go ahead with these projects anyhow and my work would be still at risk, so my involvement in this collaboration does not do more harm than it normally would. This feels right and may explain why I did not just close the door. I just need to speed up a little bit and complete my projects right away (argh..)
  4. Since I could stand up for my needs and draw a line for what I can do or cannot, I can be assertive again next time

When I think these, the fear becomes not important.

And fear becoming not important is HUGE.

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 that  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 ( 🙂 ) 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 🙂

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 🙂 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 🙂

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 🙂

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday evening musings

It has been a fine day.

We have a crispy and windy day today. The ice on the side walk is concerning, but still a short walk to the convenience store was refreshing and enjoyable.

I love snow. I think it lightens up my usually gray city and give a sense of “hibernation” time. Having a mug of hot tea at my hands and watching the outside from the windows are my favorite “me times” in winter. And if I have a plant on the window sill, then it is even more enjoyable (you know my love for plants).

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I would love to just chill during the 10 days following this Friday. I have been thinking just yesterday how my 2018 has developed, and it is amazing to be able to see the progress in some areas, changes occurred, and things to be highly grateful for. I am looking forward to a detailed reflection to remember and enjoy each significant experience, close the unnecessary issues or memories, and open space for new hopes, plans, and opportunities. It is an amazing feeling 🙂

I am unenthusiastic towards cleaning and decluttering I must do at home and the office (my traditional holidays activities), yet I know that once I start, they will go on, and once they are finished, I will feel a lot better. I may also do some small furniture re-arrangement here and there, and certainly shop and take advantage of the sales. I may as well buy one or two more plants, even though I promised myself not to purchase anymore. I may gift myself, right?

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When comes to holiday gifting, I am not very good at it. I lovingly gift my next door neighbours, who have been nothing but lovely and helpful people – I could not ask for more. I bought them a nice set of table clothes, which I hope will be enjoyed very much. While they were the only people I was planning to gift, I was given two nice gifts lately, which excited me. The positive feeling of this joy has prompted me to pay back and buy gifts for a couple of friends and colleagues. I lovingly chose them and will lovingly give them away. What a great feeling….

One of these gifts is to our administrative director. She always is considerate and help get gifts and cards to us when need/occasion arises. Just last week she organized a gift card for a member of our floor, who does an amazing job cleaning and ordering our work-place. I could not help but think that we have never returned her favor and gifted or recognized her specifically. I picked something for her, which I am sure she will enjoy. I will know tomorrow from her face 🙂

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So, my friends, this is a great day and a great time of the year. For many the holidays means a lot. Although I do not celebrate Christmas, it is still a very enjoyable time of the year; I will take a break, rest and reflect, and clean and declutter the house/office.

Honestly, I cannot wait 🙂

 

 

 

holidays plans

It is mid December already 🙂

I must be excited about the holiday time-off, but I am not there yet. I have some work to complete before the holidays so that I can take a rest and then start the new year with a fresh feeling. I have 9 more days before the holidays, so I feel like I must speed up. Yet, Murphy’s law – while some stuff are doing well, others are not. So here is to a roller-coaster type of day 🙂

But, I take it easy. This is my new approach to life’s hurdles. There is a lesson to be learnt from everything. Perhaps this year’s lesson to me is to accept the hurdles and delays, and try anyhow. Ok.


These being said, I am looking forward to having some “me time” during the holidays. I just declined a social and I am likely gonna decline some others too. I remember last years that when I attended the socials, I had hardly any time left for myself. This year more than ever, I want to slow down and I want to reflect and decide on new aims.

Some of my plans are the usual:

I will clean the house really well and declutter! It is gonna be awesome.

I may shop, trousers particularly, by taking advantage of the sales.

I may finally finish the place mat I started to sew 3 months ago.

I may reflect on life, my wishes, and needs, and the future.

Most importantly, I want to evaluate the past year (this blog is a good resource to see what I have experienced or thought). I always liked this exercise! How did I develop, personally and professionally? What did I accomplish and what did I fail? What did I learn? What can I do differently? How did I take the change (e.g. changes in my sleep pattern) and how did this change me?

All very exciting questions! 🙂

 

 

 

all the good things – check

  • enjoying the good weather and phasing out may times, looking out of the window and the nature around my building – check

Spring is here, friends. It is here. My daffodils are coming out, sky is blue, and there is no snow on the ground. I feel different. Immensely different. Hopeful. Positive. Changing naturally. Enjoying my connection with nature.

Realizing once again that after any dark season will come the light….

They may tell me this millions of times, but unless I came to this realization myself, I would never buy it.

I like the fact that by observing nature I can in fact make reflections on life.

Priceless.

  • enjoying the plants on window sill in my office – check

I have three new plants there. They are green. Their pots are nice and colourful. Just another sense of Spring and hope.

  • eating apples and being grateful for it, knowing that it is healthy – check
  • attending an award ceremony for a team member of mine and being incredibly proud and happy – check!

these are one of my favorite times 🙂 it is all worth it! What an honour. What an excitement 🙂

  • munching on food served at the ceremony and not feeling like I must cook at home tonite – check

talking about being lazy or disliking to cook 🙂

  • enjoying the warm and smooth breeze in the back yard – check
  • being aware and excited about feeling good and positive – check, check, check! 🙂

 

 

 

all the good things – check

  • getting up early and going to work before 8 am – check
  • working with a team member very effectively and finishing a project of 3.5 years – check, check, check! 🙂
  • remembering to celebrate the end of project – check!
  • walking in the evening – check
  • working at home for 3 hours on a report and thinking “what do I do wrong to have this hectic year full of work and stress?” I must change things again – it is the time. I should say no more often. I should write my reports better so that I will not have to revise and change them significantly – this is causing me to work on them more than required. I must look for opportunities to lessen my paperwork.  I can set aside time each day for little work that would not require full focus or energy; these could be taken care of really fast and would give me acceleration. I notice that I work incredibly efficient in the morning – so I can aim to get up earlier and do the important work first. From tomorrow on I aim to get up around 7.30. check
  • getting no discount from an international meeting. I did not really want to attend this meeting this year. I asked for a discount in attendance fees and I was not awarded it this year. I feel relieved, even though this is a rejection! 🙂 There will be other opportunities – a new city, a new type of meeting. I am looking forward to the opportunity to find it out!  – check
  • being ready for important work tomorrow and having good plans for tomorrow and the weekend – check
  • securing a seat at a committee of my union for another year. This is important for my professional development and feeling more supported and secure – check

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joy journal, Jan 27, 2018

1. I am grateful for sleeping till past 9 am; I was surprised with this but obviously my mind or body needed this rest. So it is welcome.

2. I am grateful for enjoying my coffee and feeding my sourdough starter; it had risen well and was smelling very fresh and sourdy 🙂 Good baby!

3. I am grateful for speaking with my family and being happy altogether – what a great feeling to be happy together with the people we care.

4. I am grateful for reminding myself that I will make an attempt to not let others hurt me with their greed, unkindness, and mean and demanding attitudes. This is very important for all of us; why do we permit this kind of people or their behavior in our lives? I know at work it is important to keep these people in our circles for our work, but is there not a better way? There is. I will find it out. I am determined to keep reminding me this and make an effort to find ways to manage mean or negative people.

5. I am grateful for walking to a store and buying eggs and other items that were on sale and I had needed. It is important to be able o care for ourselves – whether this is food, exercise, or pampering ourselves, let’s do it!

6. I am grateful for treating myself with chocolate today 🙂

7. I am grateful for working on a report and then stopping to enjoy my evening. I meant to reflect and nurture myself by reading a book. I have read for a while and now it is time to chill in dark, writing my journal, and listening to music.

8. I am grateful for eating healthy with eggs, tomato, garlic, and sourdough bread. It was a light but tasty dinner.

9. I am grateful for liking my graying hair 🙂 What a wonderful feeling!

10. I am grateful for liking to care for myself; I love shopping and getting things that I need or consume; I like making my own bread and eating it with love; I like cleaning myself, my home, and my clothes; I like functioning and still kicking and never ever ignoring my own needs!

11. I am grateful for being abundant and having everything I need being available or accessible to me.

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate myself for keep going and not stopping my routine
  2. I appreciate myself for letting myself to be happy with my family and others
  3. I appreciate myself for pampering myself with chocalate
  4. I appreciate myself walking to the store even though it was a chilly day
  5. I appreciate myself for eating healthy and not needing expensive or luxurious things to eat
  6. I appreciate myself for realizing the progress in me and in my thinking; I learn; I realize; I appreciate; and I move on.

 

 

 

 

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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how blogging changes your life

I have been contemplating, however late it seems this year, about the changes I want to make in my life in 2018.

Then I realized I have already done quite a bit of changes and improvements that made my life abundant, easy, more self-sufficient, and satisfactory. I think I am good where I am 🙂

The majority of the changes I have made fall in the following categories: frugal life; simple life; reduced waste; and self-reliance.

Let me explain.

The need for frugal live was driven by the home-ownership that necessitated cutting costs and increasing age that require better investments so that I could handle the repair and other costs a house requires (a 100 years old house requires many) and the anxiety and uncertainty about my own future. While I was on the average pretty good in living below my means, thanks to many inspiring stories and bloggers going through the same journey I found some kind of strength and higher level of motivation. Score! 🙂 Frugal life-standards made me appreciate what I have had and the excitement coming out of finding ways to cut cost, better deals, and better financial management. As a result comes the feeling of being less dependent on material and being abundant in so many different ways.

As part of frugal choices, I also switched from automatic take of cab in the morning and the afternoon during the work days. It was a struggle alright and it still is. Bus operates only every 30 min and in our harsh Canadian winters it is not a pleasant activity to wait in an open bus stop. I still take the cab time to time when I am crunched in time or tired. But when compared to previous years, I say the reduction in my transportation cost is an impressive success.

I also walk time to time to work and from work. I am usually good at routinely walking in the afternoon. In summer time walking in the morning is also very pleasant. I feel great after walking 25-30 min and it also makes me proud of myself for having a day relying on my own abilities rather than others. It is one example of self-sufficiency and easy-peasy life style I have developed lately.

Other examples of self-sufficiency efforts are baking my own bread, making my own jams/marmalade, ad pickling. They are not only exciting activities, but I also share them with neighbours and friends, which gives me an extra level of excitement.

The frugal life also brings in reducing waste, particularly food waste. I now am very conscious about what I purchase and I also freeze food. Frozen food is very practical for me as I do not like cooking everyday and a ready meal is always appreciated, especially if they are home-made. I implemented other changes in my aim to reduce the waste. Plastic shopping bags is a good example; I mostly use my tote now. I donate my clothes and other items if they are in good conditions to prevent them from ending up in the landfill (and support people in need). I use mostly re-usable cleaning cloths rather than paper towels. I cut up old clothes (not good enough to be donated) and use them as one-time cleaning cloths. I make use of coupons, while not in great quantity, to help with my expenses. Last, I also purchase items from thrift stores that helps not only me and environment but also the people in need and the organizations that support them.

I also declutter once a year or so to identify the extra, un-wanted, or battered items, and then remove them from my office or home by dumping, donating, or re-using. Excellent activity I must say. What a relief once they are gone out of my life. Additionally, it helps me to see what I already have and make use of them and feel grateful for their presence in my life. How many times I found a pair of shoes or a piece of clothe in good condition that I could use? Blogs about decluttering was instrumental in doing this activity at a more conscious level.

When I look at all of these I kind of realize that they are all inter-connected; frugal life style is powered by decluttering and making smarter choices about expenses and needs/wants; waste and unnecessary expenses are reduced by many small acts; abundance increase by being aware and grateful; and life becomes quite easier once we realize the alternative ways to do the daily activities.

How is blogging related to all of these?

First, we by sharing our own stories and plans somehow support the others with the same interest. Second by sharing our plans, we move one step closer to implementing these plans in our lives. Third we often find new ways to enrich our lives and reach our goals; whether it is through shopping bans, or developing a hearty sourdough starter by looking at the others’ experiences.

My take on my current life style is that I in fact have done very well in reaching these aims and changing my priorities. It took me around 3 years, but I am content at where I am right now and I think this blog and blog sphere have been instrumental in it.

 

somethings do not change, others just do

Happy new year everyone!

I am in the 10th day of my paid holidays. I have done what I planned to do during this time; did not work or think about it, cleaned and decluttered my home, and interacted with my family always everyday.

One things I have not done is to reflect on 2017,  my experiences and having a closure on both the issues and the exciting developments. Each year I have done this, with some success being appreciated, sour points surfacing, and some important lessons learnt along  the way. When these doors are closed, there open doors for a fresh year ahead. Overall, it is a healthy exercise.

This does not mean that I cannot reflect right here and right now:

I have had an interesting 2017. I worked really hard especially in the last 6 months of the year, mostly from home. It stressed me but also made me create new ideas, projects, and reports. No day was wasted. I can say that I made an extraordinary effort to turn things around at my professional life. Whether they will turn out to be fruitful is to be experienced in 2018. So, there is hope there 🙂

I have become more assertive and said “no” at work a couple of times. I am looking for many such occasions in 2018, which will be an interesting experience to come. Hope I can do this well.

I have not visited my family this year, which was hard on all of us. We have differences and lack of communication when comes to certain feelings, but I am hopeful that we will continue to have more open communications in 2018. After all, there is nothing more important than my family and their well-being. I just wished I could support them better. I feel limited and incapacitated in this regard, bu who knows maybe in the new year I will be able to change things for the better. I am hopeful.

On the personal side, on the general I have done well with my finances and savings. It was a golden year. But I do not wish money to be my most important focus this year. There are people (like my family) and myself that deserve a much better appreciation and care.

I took time off and stayed in a European city for 5 days, mostly spent with working or dealing with the cold I had got at that time. It was interesting to see how I would deal with things under unusual circumstances. 

I have had my nerves fried as a result of hard-work and it has been venting out lately. So one other benefit of the holidays time off for me. I just wished it did not affect others around me, especially my family. We are trying to find a common ground on communicating better, which is very pleasing. I love my family.

And I realized how brave I was because since July I am also transitioning to gray hair. I do not like looking “that old“. This is exactly how I feel. Old. Not wise, not aged well, but old. I keep thinking “when did I passage to this age?” Life is fast if we do not stop every once a while and re-evaluate our lives and choices. I have come to this conclusion many times lately. This must be exactly what they mean by the middle age crises. I am right in the middle of it.

These being said, I am aware that a day, December 31st of each year, is not the only day that we can reflect, celebrate, appreciate, change, or improve things as we wish. 

Maybe that was the reason I have not particularly reflected this year until now.

Somethings just change by themselves. I welcome this.

Happy new year!

 

likes and dislikes

While yesterday I had felt pretty excited about Friday (start of time off from work for 10 days), this morning I woke up feeling kind of sluggish.

I, as usual, went to office, had two meetings and came back home to finish work at around noon, but I got overwhelmed again; there is so much to do – some I want to do, some I must do, and some just appears out of nowhere. My blood tension increased again I guess.

In the last 6 months, this is the second time I have had my blood pressure increasing. Both are stress related. Both stresses are related to work. 

I want to feel good.

I am increasingly noticing the things I like and things I do not like. These will be my compass to re-organize my life and work in the coming year.

For example;

  • I dislike doing others’ works
  • I dislike pressuring emails or words
  • I dislike not being appreciated
  • I dislike people not knocking my door before waltzing in my office
  • I dislike people not doing their parts and leaving me on the limbo or with more work
  • I dislike the sacrifices from my time and energy and work I feel like I must do to protect my team members and to move our projects

I must change.

  • I like shopping
  • I like planning for shopping
  • I like saving money from sales or use of loyalty points
  • I like trying new hobbies, such as jamming, pickling, and bread making
  • I like thrift store visits and hunts
  • I like being abundant and able
  • I like walking and feeling energized
  • I like reflecting and progressing
  • I like being in a clean and decluttered environment
  • I like supporting people in need
  • I like looking at my fridge and pantry and realizing how much I have
  • I like reading a decent book
  • I like watching a nice movie
  • I like being excited about daily and little things; whether it is walking, taking the bus, or being resourceful

I will work on limiting what I do not like and enriching my life with what I like in the coming year.

My promise to myself.

 

 

 

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? 🙂 ). 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! 🙂

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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9 days to holidays and reflections on finances

Counting down the days till holidays 🙂

I started cleaning my office yesterday, my traditional activity before the holidays. I am 1/3 done and would love to complete it sometime soon. Maybe tomorrow, maybe Friday, but maybe next week. But I will be doing it 🙂

I also started thinking about my budget and life-style for the next year. I can see that unless I become more careful I may not be able to save what I want to save. Last year has been a great teacher for me in terms of finances and my own attitude. 

I learnt that:

1. if I do extreme budgeting I get unhappy and all I think about is spending money. I know that because I tried a pantry challenge or something early in 2017 and restricting my shopping experience was unpleasant and expensive :)))) So I should not restrict my already tight budget

2. Work stress makes me feel like I am entitled to make unnecessary expenses, such as on junk food. This is very silly and I need to work on this

3. I need both short-term and long-term financial goals. My overall calculations are for the entire year, but I would feel much better if I can have a soon-to-be-completed goal so that I can keep my eye on it, strive for it, and eventually feel the satisfaction of completing it. I think I will have to work on this idea to keep me motivated. After all, we can aim all we want but unless it is realistic or reachable, we will lose our hope first and then the intention to reach the goal.

4. While I can spend on junk food and rationalize it, I also continue not to over-spend on grocery or other things, which is strange… This must tell me something. Why do I turn blind to unnecessary expenses, which are often much more than my grocery bill? if I can figure this out, I can figure out many other things…

5. I continue to be not cheap when it comes to socials. I notice that many people do not get that generous with me when I host them, so I want to opt for a smaller thing to take with me to socials; a loaf of bread, a jar of pickle, a baked goods are good options.

6. I stopped picking my colleagues’ bills when we go out together, which is awesome.

7. I still treat my team members with lunches or so time to time; this was 2-4 times a year so far. I think I will make it once year now. I will have to really work on this because I really like celebrating their accomplishments. 

8. It is great to be taking advantage of the sales for items, such as clothes, required each year. This occurs often during October-December. I think one thing I should aim for is to save this money way advance; whether it is thru my fun funds or savings from the expenses that I could easily make but do not (like picking up others’ bills). 

9. Talking about the fun funds, I have never been clear about how to use them last year (fun funds are the money left out of my weekly allowance). I think it is time that I handle this better. I think this year I will replace the term “fun funds” with “weekly savings” and I will use these savings as mortgage pre-payments.

10. I will be on shopping freeze for trousers and jackets this year; the only place to shop for blouses/shirts will be thrift stores. I will continue to buy items that are supposed to be personal, like socks, from regular stores.

– to be continued –

 

#5 topic for reflection during holidays

I have been thinking; without taking new challenges, growth is stalled. Why do I not look at the problems as challenges and see how I learn and grow?

Taking issues as challenges will be my #5 topic to reflect during the reflection season (aka holiday season).

I have been dealing with a lot of issues all my life, both at work and at my social life. I  yesterday mentioned about “liking my comfort zone” in the last few years. It is somehow related to this.

I have many work-place issues that I constantly try to solve. Little, big does not matter. They are constantly occurring. There are times that I am free of them, which are blessing. Naturally when one appears after such a period of comfortable time period, I react negatively.

I will try to take it easy next time. Next week I have an important meeting that can change things for me. I trust life. As long as I keep my cool, it is gonna be fine. I suspect that I will have to make a hard choice after this meeting, but it is possible that this choice is the better one. I must trust life. I must trust the unknown.

I will then decide with a soother and more rational mind.

#4 topic for reflection during holidays

This has been something I have been keep visiting but never fully committed to:

#4 topic for reflection during the holiday season for me is to take more risks. Being more bold. Doing things differently or doing different things.

I have had a tendency to move around my comfort zone, both at work and at life in the last few years. This past 6 months I somewhat moved into two new fields at work. It has been a bold step that was hard on me (too much stress and too much of a hard work), but it also helped grow me. Being interested in new topics, challenging myself, and then producing things/reports/projects that look really good gives a huge satisfaction. I would like to keep growing this way at work. Who knows; maybe I will even change my work 🙂

As per my life and life-style, I need to apply a similar mind-set. The trouble is that as I age, I find that I need/enjoy more of stability and less of challenges. Social interactions would be one example – I am getting more and more enjoying a solo life and limited social interactions than before. Good? Bad? I do not know. But this might be one area to challenge myself.

Another area may be changing my style. This past weekend I wished I had worn dresses 🙂 Would that not be amazing? With proper leggings/pants, summer or winter I may be able to enjoy this new style. I think it will be just fine together with my new (naturally silvery, pepper and salt hair) 🙂

Goodness knows, maybe I will even go out to musicals or concerts 🙂

#3 topic for reflection during holidays

Being more assertive is my #3 topic to tackle this year during my reflection season, aka, holiday season.

As I age I found that I got more understanding and tolerant. While these are great qualities, they are not always great. Sometimes we must sit back, evaluate, and then say no. Whether it is our own ego’s or somebody else’s request, it does not matter. 

This past year particularly I have had a number of experiences with my colleagues and work-place management where I was literally taken advantage of and burdened with extra work and ridiculous requests. Since winter I have been distancing myself from such a colleague and I still need to handle another one. Also, for some time now I have been asking questions and not saying yes to everything my management asks me to do. Hear me my fellow bloggers and do not sign anything before you absolutely sure to understand. There is so much sneaky management tricks that may fool you, especially if you are like me and tend to trust. Consult your union, knowledgeable people around you, or a lawyer. This is real.

So I have had some progress in this area and I know that I will keep going until all becomes manageable. There is more to be learnt and I am looking forward to it.

 

#2 topic for reflection during holidays

I kind of started doing my traditional holiday reflections today; I am early this year 🙂

Anyways.

#2 topic for reflections during holidays will be my life.

In the last few years my main personal interest was to have a more frugal but enriched and simple life. I have done a good progress in this. 

Life goes on and years pass fast. While I am busy with work and trying to control my finances, many other aspects of my life are neglected. One important thing would be my family. Other important thing would be my health and emotional well-being. It is time that I realize as I get old, things that I can do get limited. What is important for me in the remaining years of my life? I must find this out.

This year, I would like to remove money out of my main focus and rather concentrate on these under-served areas in my life. I know that I enjoy simple and frugal life and being resourceful. If I focus on these, I know that financial stability will follow. It is a shift in perspectives. Hopefully this will work out well.

Additionally I want to have a healthier and stronger body and mind. I missed my weight-training exercises and leisure walking. I missed my push-ups at home and exercises that help strengthen my lower back. Maybe I would care my eyes better; since I keep working and reading, I wear my glasses all the time. This is not good – my vision is negatively affected. I lost some weight in the last year and I can keep doing this by focusing on it. My aim would be to lose another 10 pounds. This is not a huge amount, but can take significant effort. I will see how it goes.

Also I want to keep developing new interests and abilities. Lately it has been pickles and marmalade. What will be the next interest of mine? Will I start writing that book finally this year? Is this my next project? Will I start a side-kick, an additional source of income this year? Will I start or undertake something with a significant impact on not only my life but others? Is it my time to start being an advocate?

What will happen to my work, though. Without the stability it gives me, none of these seems like a possibility. I am seriously fed up with the environment and the responsibilities I have. Maybe I should keep looking for work elsewhere? Other positions? What would it be? Where?

I feel like my life will reach a tipping point this coming year.

#1 topic for reflection during holidays

I need to protect my time better at the office and let others do their work. Not me. I repeat, I should not be doing others work.

Period.

Since last July I have done well preserving my energy to mostly my own work. That costed me my 5 weeks of annual leave being spent at home working hard to do my own work. What a ridiculous situation… I still do not know whether I should be laughing or crying over this.

On the positive side, however, it is good that I have realized this and prioritized my work and performance over other colleagues’.

During the holidays you know I like to reflect to improve things in my life. This will be area #1 to further improve.

More to come.

an appreciation of the last 4 months

I made the final deadline of an important task yesterday and as of yesterday I am thinking “what a fantastic 4 months I have had” 🙂

It was hard, stressful, and full of personal and professional struggle, but I made it! Now, all I can reflect on it how beneficial and useful all these were.

let’s start with the beginning; we have had a fantastic summer and I walked during the day in the nature. It was very enjoyable and relaxing. I kept thinking how bright the future would be.

I made a job application out of frustration re; my work place; even though I have not heard from them, it was nice to see what I was up to. A personal and professional development opportunity indeed.

Then I took my vacation time (4 weeks ) to work at home and to get away from the meetings. I have done an enormous number of things during this summer and fall, which is such a great thing. I am very satisfied with my performance, even though I have no idea how the outcome will be. I trust life.

I made two over-seas trips (business trips) and have had interesting experiences. I was so focused on working that I missed many opportunities to enjoy my life, but now I just laugh at my naive-ness 🙂

I have dealt with serious and difficult tasks, one particularly very challenging. It dragged me down, made me suspect my abilities and made me lose precious time. But I made it, however imperfect it was. And I learnt about myself a long the way; I learnt that I do not quit when it is important for me. Something that I respect myself for. This experience also made me realize that I pull through difficult times, no matter what, and I can do this again!

In between all of these, I also decided to transition to gray hair, and boy, have I got the most challenging time! I hated my hair, felt old and lost, but kept going anyways. I am more brave than I think I was. What better feeling than this?

I have learnt that I can take risks and not be scared of them or failing. I learnt that I am stronger than I think I was and this feels great.

I have had a wonderful 4 months and now that it passed, I can reflect and realize.

I love this opportunity to learn about myself, changing as a person and as a professional, and undertaking more serious tasks and experiences.

Life is good my friends 🙂

 

 

my perfect life

Working very hard, feeling agitated and dealing with negative emotions related to mostly work, I feel more and more the need of sitting down and reflecting.

I have some inner work to do, which I have been neglecting, because almost all of my energy and time has been spared for work in the last three months. There are many warning sings, like being on the edge, having high blood pressure time to time, and lack of patience generally. I must stop and reflect.

This morning while trying to win the mental judo in my mind, I asked myself what would be my “perfect” life?

I know there is no such thing.

But I also know that I can always strive for a better life and more inner peace.

To reach that level, I must change the level of attention I pay to issues and peoples’ behaviors (that bother me). I must bring myself to my core, the loving life force, and open my eyes and mind to the bigger picture called life. I must set aside a time to just breathe and connect.

Even the idea of “setting time aside” puts me off.. When did we become so busy that we cannot even assign a few minutes a day to our own natural needs and abilities? When did centering our mind around life as it is become something unattainable? When did we become so full of work but lack of life? Why are we so competitive? What are we afraid of?

Sometimes I want to move to a deserted but safe place, like an island in central America, cut out all communications with outside world, and “lose myself” with just doing nothing. No phone or internet talk, no work or social obligation, no project to start, execute, or finish, no place to visit or explore. Just sit, gaze at the sky, and let my mind find itself.

Saturday morning musings

Listening to a piano piece, and drinking and enjoying my coffee on this quiet and sunny Saturday morning. What else would I need to feel grateful for this morning?

 

This is a day full of house chores, shopping, and interactions with family and friends. excpet the first one, you know, all is exciting 🙂

I am not sure why I do not enjoy house chores. But I kept thinking that I may not be the only one feeling this way. Shout out in the comments area if you are like me.

There is a beautiful , serene feeling coming after the house is cleaned and tidied a bit. It is brighter, more peaceful, and certainly more enjoyable. While I do start house chores out of necessity (one of my almost consistent house rules is to clean the house on Saturday mornings), but the positive feelings I experience after I see it cleaned, organized, and decluttered for the week is amazing 🙂

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As per shopping, I must visit a number of stores today. I plan to get some paint to help finish re-staining my porch, some dried food from a retailer, and yogurt from another nearby store. Thankfully all stores are close to each other and there is a bus stop close by. I am so grateful for the public transportation system that enables people like me to go around their lives easily and affordably. Many people assume that a professional like me would have a car. It is always interesting to see their reactions when I said this was not the case 🙂 I wonder how many of them see is as a limitation on my abilities or choices, rather than a good choice economically and practically….

That reminds me another memory where one of my colleagues was surprised that I had bought a house only after 5 years of moving here. He said he bought his house within two weeks after moving here. I had to tell him that I did not have a down payment at that time. While that was absolutely true, I did not mention that my main reason was that I was not interested in purchasing a house. I have never been and now I am a house owner (ahem…)…. I am still feeling a little bit sour about this; re; feeling the pressure to make an explanation……People can be very judgmental when comes to others. The same colleague was quite judgmental about our work yesterday, not knowing the importance and meticulous nature of it. That pisses me off.

Why do we speak up our minds and evaluate others’ situations without giving a thought on it first? There are so much to learn if we do reflect and think about possible reasons for choices made by others. If not, listening to others can help expand your thinking capabilities. Let’s reflect on this for a moment. I certainly do. I am not excellent about it either, but at least I constantly remind myself and get humble about things. That is one  more thing to be grateful for today.

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I am also grateful for my family, who were always there for me and mostly supportive. They did not get my circumstances and thus are not able to understand the reasons behind some of my choices, either, but at least they are trying after. This is priceless.

Go hug a family member today 🙂

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reflections

Today I have not worked like crazy as I have done in the past 3 months. I rather took my time to reflect and I needed it. This was mostly motivated by the fact that yesterday I almost collapsed emotionally. My nerves are fried and I needed a break to go back to a healthy level of exhaustion (if there is anything like this ever) and feel good (because I deserve it, like anyone else).

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Life is bigger than what we experience and in order to expand our experiences, we must stop this wheel of routine and un-focus for a while, and look beyond where we are. It is exciting and refreshing. I am glad I have found a chance to do so today.

One thing I keep notice in such times is that I actually do better than I think. For instance, in the last 3 months I have re-arranged the furniture in my living room and kitchen, and they both look lovely and more functional. It was hard to move everything by myself, but I made it and the end results are excellent 🙂

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I also made quite a progress in my yard. I digged the high part of the yard and placed the digged soil on the lower parts. I have four stalks of mint that are flourishing in the yard. I have planted seeds and grew beautiful flowers. New flowers and plants appeared in my yard this year, which are a delight to look at. I filled the sides of my yard with soil in the last two days (commercial soil) and now I have a wider-looking yard and the side sections are ready to be planted next year. It was tiring and challenging to carry those soil bags (30 liters each) from store to home, but I made it. I planted potato, garlic, and onion and all flourished and yielded (I have collected around 1 kg of potato; can you imagine my joy?)? I planted 35 cloves of garlic last week for harvesting next year and mulched over with dried leaves to protect them from frost during the winter. My neighbours renewed their part of the fence with fence similar to mine, and as such the yard looks really good now. Also the next door neighbours painted the exterior of their house and it looks beautiful. I have been lucky to have had all of these improvements this year 🙂

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As per work, I have done really good, even though it was stressful. At least my efforts produced results, which is extremely satisfying.

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I have points to improve still, but I am not worried about them. Only because I know I am capable of doing them, too. One recurring issue is eating better and a variety of food. I am making an effort again nowadays. we will see how this will work out. I must reduce or eliminate my extra expenses that are made only to feel good in such a stressful time of my life, but I am slowly getting there. I must also regularly do my lower back exercises to keep it healthy. A manageable list of aims that I am sure I can do. It is just a matter of time.

Today I have taken steps to improve in these areas. I ate veggies and fruits at the office; I took the bus rather than cab; I made an appointment with my physiotherapist to help me get on track with my lower back. I ate junk food in the evening, but I am assuming this too will be gone sometime. I accepted the fact that sometimes change occurs over time, rather than when I want it. Acceptance brings serenity. Nevertheless, I must keep trying and making these changes occur.

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joy journal – June 12, 2017

It has been a while that I wrote down my gratitude for many things, people, and experiences in my daily life that makes me feel lucky, happy, optimistic, or better about myself and my life. 

Here is today’s list:

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and dreaming. My recent dreams are not violent but somehow leave me feel heavy-minded, confused, and annoyed. I know I dream to work on some issues. I just wished I did not remember them – at least for some time 🙂

2. I am grateful for the cab ride and then resenting it the whole day. I took the cab because I wanted to feel good about myself (after the annoying dream in the morning). But by taking the cab, I not only lose 10-11 bucks but also all the benefits of walking, the most important of which is the “feel good” feeling that lasts the whole day. I need that free and ultra-positive feeling more than many things in life – so let’s get back to walking starting tomorrow morning. please 🙂

3. I am grateful for having a stress-free day at the office and doing some work. I was not as efficient as I wished but it went well.

4. I am grateful for walking at noon in the nearby forest. How lucky I am to have a work-place close to a large forest with little rivers and ponds…. what a blessing it was to just sit next to a pond and listen to the voice of the waves and looking at the blue sky.. it was there where I realized that my life was working out just fine for me; I have had a house, a job, a daily routine, a budget, and everything else I may need. I was healthy and still considered young. I did not have a huge problem that had no solution. I was mentally clearer and my psychology was stronger than before. My life was working just fine – it was the job situation that was kind of problematic. But, is it not great that at least an important part of my life was simple, easy, and comfortable? I realized that at least for that moment I was actually “happy with my life” – what a HUGE blessing!

5. I am grateful for being excited about my yard. Yesterday and today I was just thinking what a progress I have had and how beautiful my yard would be looking in two years. I have plans and I hope that I can do these slowly and one by one. It already looks a lot better than last year 🙂

6. I am grateful for my kefir 🙂 I ferment it for two days now, which makes it thick. But I miss the slightly carbonated and sour taste of it that I have had at the beginning (24 hours ferment). I really would like to see the grains get bigger so that they can start fermenting faster. This would help me get a large volume (around 3-4 cups) of kefir daily. Oh, well… Those days will come!

7. I am grateful for the food I have had today at the office and then at home. I have eaten some cheese, which I think makes me gain weight, but I had that huge appetite this evening and I felt compelled to eat it…. Luckily I have a couple of hundred grams of it left. I promise to myself not to but another one for some time.

8. I am grateful for having the evening and night to myself and enjoying it by watching movies, writing, reading, and contemplating.

9. I am grateful for changing my purses and now using a lovely one that I had bought from Rome a few years back 🙂 It is a beauty!

10. I am grateful for improving the cover letter I am preparing for the job opportunity I am interested in. I am taking my time with that application. The deadline is in 2-3 weeks and I honestly think about making the application the last day or something. I do not know why, but those applications that are submitted to me later (but not right away) are usually the better than the first applications. I think maybe it gives the impression of rushing by the applicant, which may mean either desperation or carelessness while preparing the application. So, I am taking my time. While I am interested in this job, I am not 100% sure of me being able to take it. Unless it offers me an excellent package of course and unless my trainees are okay with me leaving. This makes me feel conflicted about it. But, I must remind myself that I am appliying to this job to understand my needs and wishes better and to gain some kind of confidence. So, for now everything is going well and I have no reason to feel confusion or conflict.

11. I am grateful for having walking shoes that make walking/hiking a comfortable and enjoyable activity.

12. I am grateful for all the food I have in my fridge, freezer, and pantry 🙂

13. I am grateful for my hand and face moisturizers 🙂

14. I am grateful for my computer and internet connection that make blogging experience possible.

15. I am grateful for being grateful and taking my time to note these down.

The 14th and the last day of the staycation

I am spending the last day of my staycation for being grateful for this break and the experiences and lessons it brought to me.

For the last 14 days, my priority was not my work, but my home, sales/discounts/shopping, and my inner world. What a nice shift in mental focus...

The first week, if I remember correctly, was spent with cleaning my office and home. I had also planned to do decluttering – I have half-done this and donated a number of items, especially from my kitchen. I am glad they have found their new homes. I have not removed any of the old socks, shirts, or blouses yet, but I am sure I will handle it when their time comes. I also did not get into my storage area – it bothers me, but I know when the right time comes, I will handle that too. This one task is what is left from my to-do-list. And I am okay with that.

One of the lessons I have learnt during this staycation was it was not the end of the world if I had not done what I thought I must. I always have other choices. This is quite a change from my regular (and stiff) practice that if I have something in my mind, I should complete it right away. I learnt that I could be flexible and at the end, it does not feel horrible. So, I am good and slightly changed (which is interesting and quite welcome)….. 🙂

I also reinforced my opinion that I really crave for my own time; while I like being with others  and socializing if they are nice and kind people, I do not want it to be too frequent. I am okay as I am and I am okay being with myself. I knew that for a long time; there is no change in this. And that is okay. Of note; I went to two socials and hosted one during the last two weeks; more than enough for me 🙂

I shopped in four-five days of the staycation. The holiday sales are hard to miss and every year I take advantage of them. I had a list of items to purchase, the majority of which I have. The things I have not bothered buying this time were a tea pot, new socks to stock up, and new blouses/shirts. I know I can get these some other time, so there is no rush for buying them. I left them behind mostly because since November I shopped so many different times that even shopping has lost its attractiveness…. Anticipating to find them in the future is more exciting 🙂

The lesson reinforced is that even too much of an exciting activity can be boring after a while. Like shopping. Like staycation… 🙂 It is true that in the last few days I have been feeling bored at being home, or even away from the office. I am glad I have these feelings – now I will jump start my work at the office tomorrow. No resentment. No disappointment. It is a real balance indeed.

And the inner world; well, work is important, money/saving is important, rest is important, but nothing is as much important as family and people I love. Interacting with my family in a closer and natural way as in the past was the highlight of this staycation. I am grateful for every second I spend with them and I am grateful for their well-being, love, support, and time on this planet. May they all live a long, healthy, happy, and peaceful lives as their hearts wish to.

I hope you all have had a great time during the holidays/new year break and are ready to start a new work year with enthusiasm, determination, and energy 🙂

 

 

 

I have everything I need

I spend the New Year`s Eve as I wish it; at home and in peace.

I have found time to reflect in between the clogged toilet and my efforts to fix it; talking to my lovely family and enjoying every minute of it; and baking and eating my traditional meal of beef pie 🙂

I also have had negative thoughts crossing my mind (mostly because of the irritation some people gave me recently), feeling like sh.t sometime as a result, and also watching a horror movie just out of curiosity while I am also scared to watch it :))

It is a mental judo to deal with negative thoughts and annoyance; I easily pay attention to them, so they are usually very, very annoying. But when they become too much of an annoyance, the moment I make a conscious decision to not react to them, I find peace. I love those peaceful moments.

My reflections nowadays have made me realize that I have everything I need in my life; my family and their well-being; my own well-being, my job, salary, and financial independence, and meaning and hope in life. I am content with where I am and with my life, character, mind, and heart. I like myself and what I have become, and I love my family.

For the first time in a very long time, or perhaps even for the first time in my entire life, I feel whole, content, lucky, blessed, and satisfied all at the same time….. I should thank for my efforts, love and support of my family, and all the people and things that in a way constituted my life and helped make me who and what I am.

I especially thank those people who annoyed me with their unfair and unkind behaviors and ridiculous characters that make me realize how good-hearted, mature, kind, and genuine I and the people I care about are. It feels great to credit myself and others in my life who are awesome. This would not be possible without having annoying, selfish, ridiculous people in my life. They annoy, yes, but I now gained from this annoyance and it is priceless 🙂

Like anyone else, I strive for feeling better, having better life experiences and physical, emotional, and financial health, accomplishing my dreams, or just going thru the demands of life and work without losing my mind 🙂 There are many bumps along the way; I too have suffered by set backs, losses, emotional damages, bad people and circumstances, and my own inexperience and mistakes. Yet, here I am at mid-40`s that is perfectly fine with the imperfect world and life.. Even if this turns out to be a short-term thing, I am grateful that I have both thought and felt this way today...

Perhaps it is really true what they say; that we should sit and do nothing for some time. Then we remove all the rush and demands of our lives and find our true core. That life is life, with all the ups and downs. And we constantly strive to make it better as we wish it. And sometimes, just sometimes, we realize that we actually have everything we need among all the struggles, plans, pain, and laughter…

I hope you too will find this moment of peace and realize what a blessing your life is 🙂

Happy New Year!

Birthdays, middle age, and reflections

It will be my birthday soon.

As usual I do not plan to have something special that day. I used to have birthday parties with family and friends when I was young. Since I am away from my family, that tradition has long gone. One of my friends insists that i do something, even a little cake for myself, to take note of my birthday. Maybe I will..

When I was young, the age I am becoming now would terrify me. I would say it was too old and I could never imagine myself reaching that age. I hope I did not give the message of “please die prior to that age” message to my subconsciousness; I have no interest in dying now. As a matter of fact I just feel like I started living.

I am middle aged now and probably missed a couple of life’s opportunities, like having a kid. I am not sorry for this. For some reason, I was never interested in that. Maybe I never realized how fast the life goes on. This is a possibility. But other than that I feel like I have become more experienced with dealing life’s ups and downs and this gives me some kind of peace.

I have been reflecting for some time about my life so far, how I feel about the age, and my future plans and wishes. I continue to have no long – term plans, interestingly. I have some wishes, of course, like to live a long life safe and without chronic or serious diseases. The only thing that terrifies me about aging is getting incapacitated or suffering from a serious disease. After all, I live alone and it looks like I will keep it this way till the end.

I am not bragging about living alone. It may be hard to keep up with work and life and all the responsibilities by myself, but I guess I proved it long time ago that more or less I handle it. Of course there are hard, trying times, I make mistakes or fail. But then who does not?

I also wish to visit South America one day. This has been a recurring wish for me for quite some time. I had written about this and other wishes here. I have no idea why so far I have not taken steps to do so.

There are other things in that list, which I still keep being interested in. My wish to have a cat continues, even after I had to return back the lovely cat I adopted; I will try fostering cats for short times. Less responsibility for me and possibly a good chance for these lovely creatures.

I continue to work on my financial health and plans, including paying off my mortgage.

I may as well get that black dress sometime soon, if I continue to lose weight. I have lost my appetite for the last 6 months or so, and I have been losing weight slowly. I am kind of anxious that this may as well be a sign of a disease, but I sure hope I am wrong.

Overall, I have had an interesting life, not necessarily a happy life, but a very interesting one. It is my sincere wish that life will continue to amaze me, drive me to new and exciting territories, make me a better and wiser person, and bring me more joy and happiness 🙂

 

 

 

 

need for reflection

Six days ago one of my colleagues, who I have been working with closely for many years, have died suddenly.

It is such a shock; I had last seen him prior to my vacation – he was well and cheerful as usual. There was no indication that he had health problems. His family said he died all of a sudden.

I still find this difficult to accept.

Is life that fragile?

The answer is obviously yes.

I feel lucky that so far many people important in my life have remained alive and reasonably healthy. Yet the uncertainty about the future, as emphasized by the death of my colleague, made me feel quite anxious.

They say we should be grateful of every moment and for being well and alive, in addition to many other things in life (come to think of it; the last time I wrote my joy journal was almost 6 weeks ago. Time to do it again…). While logically it makes perfect sense, we (I) are so engulfed in the current issues/the requirements of the daily life that this point often is neglected – I have little/some idea about how to change my mindset so that I can relax more into the moment and have both acceptance (of the ever-changing, dynamic nature of life) and positivity (that eventually whatever looks like a big problem may in fact be less impactful than many others, or can be dealt with, or will just pass) every single day.

It is time for me to do some reflection. When the mind stops working on the same little details day after day, it becomes easier to see the reality and the big picture (that we often forget by focusing on small stuff) as they are, and assess better what is important in life. And I can guarantee myself neither the daily issues of my work nor the extensive repairs that will be required at my house will be the most important things in my life 🙂

cheers everyone

I am really looking forward to the holidays

I am really looking forward to the holidays so that I can take a break from work and my routine. I have to work three days in between the Christmas and the new year but the rest of the time I will spend to sleep in, get my favourite breakfast in the mornings, shop, and to clean and de-clutter my house.

De-cluttering; my favourite holidays activity! I am joking – it is only a quarter true. I am one of these people who would keep things. Once a year I take my time to go through stuff, dumb those not usable any more, and open space for new stuff. It is quite liberating, but sometime despite my best intentions, I cannot throw away things. Certain things still pile up I am afraid. So be it; I am not going to get crazy about things that can wait.

I am looking forward to moving furniture around and changing the living space, too. I am a creature of habit; usually keep my daily routine, whether it is the sequence of events during the day or the restaurants I dine in. Some degree of routine is good; it makes my life easier. Yet, time to time a fresh look or furniture arrangement can stimulate my mind and make me enjoy my surroundings more. So, let’s do that.

Shopping will be fun, too; hoping to catch sales. I love drinking coffee and going around the stores to shop. It makes me feel free; that is weird I know. But once you realize that I drink coffee only on my desk or at the breakfast place all sitting, you can understand why drinking coffee while walking and shopping make a unique and pleasant activity for me.

And as usual, I will take time to reflect on the passing year and develop great hopes for the coming one.

I am getting old now; each passing year makes me realize my mortality a little bit more. Should I be sorry for the days, weeks, years passed or should I be more sensitive to the coming ones? Commit to make the best of them? Realize that there are more in life than the career? See people I like more often? Forget and forgive more?

See? Holidays are great time to grow and change.

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