Reference letter for myself

I wrote three new reference letters for my past team members or a new colleagues in the month of January. I have said so many wonderful things about these three people that it was incredibly positive and joyful experience. Nevertheless, I wish that noone else asks me to write a reference letter anytime soon, as it takes time to be write these letters and I desperately need my time for myself.

The book that I purchased in the weekend had a section about self-esteem where the author suggested that we say things about ourselves like we would say for others. What a great idea!

Why did I not think about this before??

I start writing a reference letter for myself tonite. It is gonna be long, but hey, we will go through it like a champ!

🙂

 

joy journal – June 1, 2018

It turns out that I have lots of things to be grateful for – so here is the list 🙂

  1. I am grateful for waking up early and hitting the road when it is quiet
  2. I am grateful for working really efficient and taking care of a couple of important things – this feels highly satisfactory and also increase my self-confidence
  3. I am grateful for my money making my life easier and comfortable
  4. I am grateful for the new cactus seedling appearing today, even though I am losing two others to mold (I have lost 3 so far – life)
  5. I am grateful for keeping calm today – how lovely! 🙂
  6. I am grateful for mowing the most of my yard this evening. Through the end, my mower got broken. At first I was kind of like sigh…., but then I realized this was an opportunity to buy a new and better one that can make this chore much easier for me. It can be more expensive but it will hopefully make my life easier as well
  7. I am grateful for all the food I have at home
  8. I am grateful for the opportunity to shop tomorrow – what is it about shopping and feeling good? 🙂
  9. I am grateful for keep working, although I have been working very intensely in the last one year and I am stressed. I am amazed by my boundaries and the way I function 🙂
  10. I am grateful for laughing a couple of minutes ago while watching a TV series 🙂
  11. I am grateful for staying away from a colleague/friend who makes me nervous
  12. I am grateful for the weekend, which will let me do some work and also give me time to recuperate
  13. I am grateful for my plants. I do not know how many I have right now; At the office I have the cacti seedlings and 4 pots of plants. I also have 2 plants rooting in water – I will plant them next week. At home is much more: I have 5 cacti; 4 succulents; a gollum jade, 4 haworthia, 4 jades, some leaves rooting including christmas cactus, a snake plant, a spider plant, a hoya; two palm-like plants, bambu, an earth star, lots of succulent props… Where am I going with all of these plants? 🙂 Sharing will feel awesome 🙂

 

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What do I appreciate about myself today?

  • I appreciate myself for trying to do right all the time
  • I appreciate myself for keep working
  • I appreciate myself for realizing that I can use my money to make my life comfortable, even though it may be expensive for now
  • I appreciate myself for keeping positive today
  • I appreciate myself for allowing myself to relax and enjoy tonite
  • I appreciate myself for having plans for the weekend
  • I appreciate myself for not thinking too much 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

joy journal – Feb 4, 2018

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and peacefully. I had no dreams and my morning was easy and without negative thoughts crossing my mind. 

2. I am grateful for working till noon and learning some important and complex information that will be very useful tomorrow in a meeting and three other meetings the next week.

3. I am grateful for baking my sourdough and eating it warm with butter 🙂

4. I am grateful for eating fruits today.

5. I am grateful for chatting with one of my neighbours.

6. I am grateful for not working a lot in the afternoon and enjoying this freedom

7. I am grateful for listing the work I must do for each of the day of the week. I have important deadlines this week and I cannot miss any of them. This kind of lists help me a lot keeping track of things.

8. I am grateful for speaking with my family today; it was a nice and lovely talk that brought laughter to my life 🙂

9. I am grateful for getting interested in affirmations. I know that my mind listens to itself a lot and my mind usually focus on negative issues or problems. Why not the opposite? I am making an effort to read some lovely affirmations and reflect on them.

10. I am grateful for one of my colleagues not sending me their comments this morning. I feel free to move on without the need to integrate their comments in my report and the need to deal with the frustration and negative feelings their words would bring. I really dislike this person. I must exercise forgiveness to remove these feelings from my life. Or, remove this person from my life. Which one is easier?

11. I am grateful for having a safe and sound home; power to heat my home; clothes, furniture, and all other things that make my life safe ad comfortable. I surrounded myself with great items that I like or use. All is welcome in my life.

12. I am grateful for listening to the fearful voice in me during my anxious moments. Although it is hard to listen to it, it helps with extracting information that will be useful for me to prevent future events. That can be the main benefit of anxious thoughts…. So be it.

13. I am grateful for feeling free and knowing that I can do whatever I want to do!

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate myself for easily having a mixture of both positive and down moments during the day. I survive it and I do not resist it
  2. I appreciate myself for eating better today
  3. I appreciate myself for being kind to myself
  4. I appreciate myself for changing and implementing new ways to enhance my life. For example; I decided social media and news was giving me depressive thoughts – so I will limit my exposure. I will continue to say “no” to unnecessary tasks; I will continue to turn my email off at the office while working; and I will continue to let my perfectionist habit to ease while doing un-critical work. I will handle my interactions with my colleagues better too; I will keep it to professional topics while interacting with them; I will not help or listen to those negative people that drain my time and energy. I will keep thinking about how to do this better. Things will get better. This new chapter of my life, leaving things behind, and being excited about a new life experience is exciting!

 

wish for a new chapter in my life

Today was an interesting mix of feelings: I have been feeling kind of better one moment, and the next moment, feeling the same as in the last months when I was quite stressed and anxious.

In the middle of all of these “transitional” feelings, I felt like it would be so nice if I had closed this chapter in my life and open a new one; after all, thinking about what happened or did not happen would only make me feel frustrated, resentful, or anxious while thinking about how I changed and what I learnt along the process would only make me energized, freed, and hopeful.

Choice is quite clear.

Somethings will likely continue: I will still have to work hard and long hours; deal with issues and find solutions; deal with people; and deal with stress.

But I will also keep saying no to extra work; lose my perfectionist attitude on un-critical tasks; turn off my email when I need to focus; delegate some of the tasks to others; pamper myself with little indulgences (such as chocolate); be kind and supportive to myself; read inspirational or positive news and stories; and spare time for myself and my daily routine. I would also not dwell on the past issues or experiences and make my mental space less toxic and foggy.

How does this sound?

It sounds and feels great to me. I am ready to forget past feelings and replace them with a clean sheet of mental and emotional space.

I am releasing the negative thoughts about the people who gave me hardship; I am releasing the negative thoughts about myself; I am releasing the negative thoughts about life.

I am welcoming the opportunities; lovely people; success; calmness; peace; hope; and self-appreciation.

I feel like I must write these last sentences over and over to make my stubborn mind digest them 🙂 I may or may not be able to do these right away, but I know that I am moving away from negativity towards a new chapter in my life, and away from feeling like s.it to feeling stronger, determined, and hopeful 🙂

 

 

 

joy journal – Jan 29, 2018

It has been a good day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

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

 

 

joy journal – Jan 26, 2018

I have had ups and downs today, but I know that writing here will make me focus on the positive and I feel better good after that! 🙂

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and waking up on time. I have not used an alarm clock for so many years that come to think about it, it is amazing that I wake up when I need it ! 🙂

2. I am grateful for taking the bus; good for my pocket, good for environment, good for the community. yay! 🙂

3. I am grateful for encouraging a team member of mine who feels over-whelmed by a new task he needs to do. I am frustrated myself that it is not done yet, but sometimes a little bit encouragement can go way above and beyond. I shall see.

4. I am grateful for coming to home in the early evening to work and getting stressed. Honestly it makes me more stressed than being at the office. So I must stop this and embrace my office full time…

5. I am grateful for starting reading and revising a long report. I have been dreading this, but I have started and it will go on. My plan is to fix it hopefully tomorrow and move on. It is a report written by three of us, two of us being seniors. The other senior and I have different approaches and different levels of meticulousness. It creates and has created problems for both of us. I want this to be over before we get more annoyed with each other and hurt our relationship further. I ask myself; why is it me who is taking it low and still do her part? Is it because I walk what I talk, or because I am silly? Do not answer that :)))

6. I am grateful for doing grocery shopping in the evening. I bought all bunch of fresh produce and also fish. I love fish nowadays 🙂 I am feeling better after eating it with a large bowl of green salad. I cannot thank enough for these food.

7. I am grateful for feeling excited about tomorrow. Tomorrow is Saturday; I will first drink my coffee and browse internet for emails and news, and then clean the house. At noon I want to go shopping and take advantage of some sales in a nearby store; I would love to get some eggs, butter, and paper towel.

8. I am grateful for feeling a little bit angry about my efforts and being appreciated by others. As such, I have got more confident (or pissed off and does not care anymore). next time somebody tries to walk over me, I sure will stand taller.

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate myself for working – no matter what I keep going
  2. I appreciate myself for getting more confident, knowing that I deserve a much higher level of appreciation
  3. I appreciate myself for keeping my grounds – I will do that increasingly
  4. I appreciate myself for being excited about shopping and the weekend
  5. I appreciate myself for not getting anxious nowadays and feeling relatively better
  6. I appreciate myself for eating fish and salad
  7. I appreciate myself for helping others

joy journal, Jan 25, 2018

A relatively good day and I am happy to share these with you:

1. I am grateful for getting up a little bit earlier and catching an earlier bus this morning 🙂 It was a chilly morning but I just made it to the bus stop. A minute later my hero bus showed up and it really made me feel lucky and happy 🙂

2. I am grateful for having a very quiet time in the office before anyone showed up. It was beautiful and gave me much needed stress-free time 🙂

3. I am grateful for keeping calm the entire day, decluttering my office and opening space for new paperwork, relieving myself from stress induced by lots of things around.

4. I am grateful for sitting at a meeting that lasted 4 hours this evening 🙂 It is not bad for a person who has got a lower back problem 🙂 What helps in this situation is that whether it is an effective meeting with opportunities to learn something new and contribute. I have got these today so I am satisfied.

5. I am grateful for eating lots of healthy food in the office; apple and baby carrots being my favorites 🙂

6. I am grateful for changing my cab company today; yesterday one of the cabbies made me think very hard about taking the cab at all – mean people have no place in my life. While one bad apple should not make the entire batch of nice and kind cabbies bad, I felt like I must preserve my self respect. So I decided I did not want to pay another dime to this cabbie and one way to achieve this was to change the cab company. Over.

This will also give me much needed chance to stop taking cab, unless really needed, and rather focus on taking the bus or walk.

7. I am grateful for not working tonite

8. I am grateful for sitting in the dark, listening to a nice music, and writing my journal. It is “me” time, alright 🙂

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Things that I appreciate myself about today:

  1. I appreciate myself for focusing on work and feeling logical and calm
  2. I appreciate myself for making my self-respect a priority
  3. I appreciate myself for not working tonite
  4. I appreciate myself for learning 
  5. I appreciate myself for keeping up with the ever changing priorities and work dynamic
  6. I appreciate myself for being genuinely happy for a colleague of mine who will take a leave to recuperate after a highly exhausting and stressful work conditions – she deserves this. I wish her well.

 

 

joy journal – Jan 24, 2018

I am calm but not necessarily in the mood. I do not even now what to write here, but I trust that as soon as I start writing it, I will find things to be grateful for. 

1. I am grateful for starting this entry for today.

2. I am grateful for feeling calm, although I have things to be angry and pissed off about. 

3. I am grateful for submitting a big report today without making it “perfect”. Under normal conditions I would have spent many more hours trying to improve it. I read my report and while I could maybe do a little bit more meticulous work, it was a very well drafted and comprehensive report. So why to stress myself more? This is such a deviation from my regular perfectionist attitude. Because of the stress of heavy work load and frustration at work, I was contemplating about leaving my perfectionist practice and taking things easier. I did it today. A new path is opening in front of me. I am proud of myself.

4. I am grateful for helping my team members by giving them a ride with cab this evening – it was a miserable weather outside and we all appreciated not walking in the rain and on the ice.

5. I am grateful for enjoying coffee and muffins with a colleague this morning and having a nice chat in between.

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate myself for trusting life and still standing tall
  2. I appreciate myself for working till late hours – it is counter-intuitive, but when I have too many things to do I appreciate the opportunity to have time to work on them
  3. I appreciate the fact that I have left my perfectionist work attitude behind – things can get only better from here. I am changing. I have changed. I will continue to change

 

joy journal – Jan 22, 2018

1. I am grateful for sleeping well. My mind got full of work-related issues and stress right away, but I made a mental note (again) to monitor what I think and let them stop if they are negative. One day I will do this!

2. I am grateful for taking the bus in the morning. What a chilly day it was today… I have not chickened out and taken the cab. Good job! 

3. I am grateful for enjoying my coffee at the office and eating two apples. Apples are good for me and they are also very delicious 🙂

4. I am grateful for working really well in the morning without much of a stress. I had a meeting in the afternoon, which went really well and gave me much needed mental break from my own work and issues (would you believe that I am grateful for a meeting? hah ha 🙂 ) 

5. I am grateful for the bus being at the bus-stop right after I left the meeting and went out of the building. It was great to take the bus in such a windy and cold evening. I am lucky 🙂

6. I am grateful for cooking for myself and eating well.

7. I am grateful for realizing that if I do work well in the office, then I do not have, to or want, to think about the work at home. This is pretty interesting. I remembered that before I started to work hard and for long hours last summer, this is what I used to do; I usually enjoyed my evenings and nights by focusing on my relaxation, reading, writing, or watching movies. I was quite content with my life at that time. Home was home. Life was good. I ate less junk food and I felt better about myself.

I contemplated on this quite a bit this evening. Since the work load is still high, I still need to work at home. I did it today and I will have to do this in the coming days and weeks (if not months). I wonder whether getting up earlier would help with this? maybe instead of 8.30 I can be at the office at 8 and use that extra time to do work? I wake up at around that time anyhow; why not to use this for my advantage? Then in the evening maybe I would have more time for myself?

I hope so 🙂

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate myself for enjoying this moment; it is quiet, I feel good, and I still have time to enjoy the rest of the night
  2. I appreciate myself for making an effort to turn things around. Even I relapse, I try again. I respect that.
  3. I appreciate myself for increasingly remembering that anything new at work may mean new issues for me; It may feel overwhelming (and it does), but then I may and will find solutions to them. Maybe I will fail too, but is it not how I learn and grow?
  4. I appreciate myself not working right now and feeling optimistic about life and myself
  5. I appreciate myself for changing or gaining different perspectives, and for not resisting to these

 

joy journal – Jan 21, 2018

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and getting up with the feeling that I care about myself and support myself with kindness, understanding, and food. Great food 🙂

2. I am grateful for baking sourdough loaves. I baked two loaves today; both turned out to be delicious. How did I start with baking bread? It is a dilemma really. I remember that my first trials were frustrating. I am glad that I did not give up.

3. I am grateful for speaking with my family. we all love cats and talking about cats make us all cheerful and happy 🙂

4. I am grateful for cooking a healthy meal for myself and eating it with lots of garlic. Garlic became somehow common in my life lately. This crunchy and tasty food is making me feel better, presumably by reducing my blood pressure. I will take it! 🙂

5. I am grateful for seeing a change in my perception of my conditions. I see the glass half full increasingly. For a person who is known to be highly critical and skeptical, this is a wonderful change that has naturally come to my life.

For example:

I complained about my work a lot, but what if it is the best job for me for now? What if it is better than other alternatives I may have had should I have made different choices? I may have a stressful patch at work, but it is a meaningful job that allows me to contribute, create, train others, and learn. It also comes with a great salary. Although my salary is eaten up significantly by the taxes and extra taxes, it is still good enough to let me pay my mortgage, have an abundant life, and invest for my future. These may not be as much as I wanted them to be, but when I think that it could have been worse, I can do nothing but appreciate and like it…

The same thing with the city I live in. The economy may not be good and the future does not looks prosperous here, but it is a small and safe city with a very simple life. What if it could have been worse? Full of crime, traffic, and complications? I am indeed lucky to be living here.

Thus, I may have been going through a hard time, but it could have been much worse. I am grateful for realizing this.

6. I am grateful for being kind to myself.

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate myself for eating better, drinking kefir, eating fruits, cooking healthy food, and baking my own bread
  2. I appreciate myself for seeing the positive out of the negative, even though it may not be visible at the beginning
  3. I appreciate myself for exercising my right to say “no” the other day and having no negative feelings about it, which says that it was the right thing to do
  4. I appreciate myself for taking time to relax this evening after days of non-stop work
  5. I appreciate myself for getting excited about my plan to shop next Saturday
  6. I appreciate myself for exchanging nice words with someone I know and feeling elated about it
  7. I appreciate myself for working on my issues; I know I am angry deep down. I will find out why and I will release it
  8. I appreciate myself for mentally supporting myself when I feel like things are too much and I cannot handle them
  9. I appreciate myself for being ready for a busy work day tomorrow. I know what I will do and I am confident that I will do well 

 

 

joy journal – Jan 14, 2018

After an anxiety-filled and psychologically turbulent week, I am feeling a lot better now (and for now). This is a blessing and contributing factors are the followings:

1. I am grateful for my past experiences that helps me with understanding the causes of the anxiety and tackling it. 

2. I am grateful for my family and the blogging friends being supportive during this difficult time.

3. I am grateful for the warm weather that makes my life a little bit easier.

4. I am grateful for seeing some plants and flowers still being alive in the yard. It is amazing how resilient they are during winter. It gives me hope that despite the estimations that they would be dead now because of the snow and freezing conditions, some of them still survive. I shall too survive this time and the future ones to come.

5. I am grateful for eating better lately, which makes me feel like at least I am good at taking care of myself.

6. I am grateful for donating a number of items to a charity. I had had collected them from home in the last one year and now almost all of them are gone to be enjoyed by other less fortunate individuals. What a blessing.

7. I am grateful for buying drawer organizers yesterday and seeing that they do their job very well. Now my measuring cups and utensils are in different containers and my drawers are well organized. What a difference they make in how I feel about myself and my life!

8. I am grateful for treating myself with little indulgences; a small bar of chocolate yesterday and another two today. Knowing that I care about myself, try to release some of the pressure off my chest, and support myself is great. 

9. I am grateful for shopping yesterday and today. It gave me a much needed mental break from the issues. I also purchased lovely items that I would need, coffee being one of them 🙂

10. I am grateful for having the day to myself and so far having a more or less pleasant day and feelings.

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate myself for caring myself.
  2. I appreciate myself seeing the positives after negative experiences.
  3. I appreciate myself for being open about my current anxiety and stress.
  4. I appreciate myself for constantly trying to do good and feel good.
  5. I appreciate myself for functioning well despite the mental clutter, stress, and feeling anxious.
  6. I appreciate myself for cooking and baking healthy food.
  7. I appreciate myself for surrounding myself items/furniture etc. that are all either useful and needed, or loved and appreciated.
  8. I appreciate the fact that I donate to charity whatever I am done with and in usable condition.
  9. I appreciate myself for not further pressurizing myself with my own expectations.
  10. I appreciate myself for keeping a clean and well organized home that gives me a sense of peace and accomplishment.
  11. I appreciate myself for taking time to reflect upon, identify, and write all of these great things here.

joy journal – November 7, 2017

1. I am grateful for prioritizing my time and working effectively today. That is why I am not sorry for taking the cab from and to my home and making some additional extra expenses to keep myself pampered and time-efficient today.

2. I am grateful for my friends telling me how much they have liked the fig jam I made this past Sunday! It is always a delight to see friends appreciate my food – as a person who does not enjoy cooking this is a great feeling indeed. There is something great about sharing food, too.

3. I am grateful for getting a compliment on my hair today 🙂 Did I mention that I have had a hair cut and now my gray hair is more visible? I was very sad to see them at first but over time I grew to love my hair and the new style. I do not know whether in the future I will have the same feelings, but at least so far, I have not reverted back to dying my hair, which is a significant success!

4. I am grateful for the wild rice soup I have made and consumed today. It is a delicious and completely improvised recipe. I am proud of myself and cannot wait to serve it to my guests.

5. I am grateful for the beet pickles I made last week. They are tasty and give me an opportunity to snack on them, rather than eating bread or other carbs.

6. I am grateful for my kefir grains. They keep providing me kefir and cheese. I am now drying a bunch of them for later use. I hope I will be able to revive them later so that I can always have these magnificent organisms and kefir in my life 🙂

7. I am grateful for doing my physiotherapy exercises to help my elbow heal. It has been since May that I have had the problem. It is sad to see my body needing therapy like this, but hey, considering my age I guess this kind of things are just normal. Nevertheless, I must care for my body and keep it in good and strong shape. Goodness help me! 🙂

8. I am grateful for the flowers in my yard sill striving and flowering. The weather was so nice this year that I am not surprised that they still are alive. I am collecting their seeds with the hope that I can have more of this plant next year.

9. I am grateful for all the food in my fridge, freezer, and pantry. I think I will not need a big grocery haul this week. Time to consume what already have 🙂

10. I am grateful for watching movies and listening to music. They are distracting me when I need most and relaxing me when I cannot take stress anymore 🙂

11. I am grateful for working really hard nowadays. I started a new project last week, which has moved really well in the last two days. I surprised myself with my performance today and I am glad that work is moving well. I do not know whether they will find interest and get approved for us to do them, but designing and writing them are the best thing I can do. The rest will be at the hands of life. Let’s hope for the best outcome 🙂

12. I am grateful for the flexible working hours that allow me to come home and continue to work without distraction.

13. I am grateful for having no disastrous events in my life nowadays. I live in a safe and comfortable city that makes my life easy and peaceful.

14. I am grateful for sleeping well last night. Nowadays my sleep pattern is healthier than last few weeks when I used to sleep for only a couple of hours.

15. I am grateful for this weekend being a long weekend! My plan is to use the extra time to complete some work and also try orange jam! Yes, you have heard right – I want to try another jam, this time something that is my favorite. I may share it with friends should it turn out to be a nice one.

16. I m grateful for being grateful and taking my time to write these.

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Things that I appreciate about myself today:

  1. I appreciate the fact that I keep working and trying
  2. I appreciate the fact that I do not completely strain myself and relax some tight plans, such as my budget, in order to function better
  3. I appreciate the fact that I have lots of great food at my home
  4. I appreciate the fact that I find excitement and interest in small things, like pickling and jamming
  5. i appreciate the fact that I do a great job

 

 

 

 

 

joy journal – Oct 1, 2017

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and waking up in relatively good mood. I am feeling better today, with no obvious negative thoughts or stress. Lovely 🙂

2. I am grateful for my coffee 🙂 This drink is a great start to day, waking me up and giving me an instant satisfaction and pleasure. It is great that we have means to prepare coffee anytime anywhere at an affordable price.

3. I am grateful for cooking chick peas 🙂 I had put around a pound of peas in water yesterday. I was not expecting them to cook in 30 min 🙂 My mom was right – if you simmer them after they start to boil, it helps them to cook faster. Counter-intuitive, is it not? But give it a try. I am sure you will be surprised as much as I was 🙂

4. I am grateful for baking two great sourdough loaves today. I feel abundant and joyful. 

5. I am grateful for working at home, nice and easy. I could not as much as I wanted to do, but I have done good. This takes some of the stress away from me.

6. I am grateful for not chickening about a document I am reviewing. It is a kind of critical document that requires my full attention. I cannot make a mistake, or ignore a detail. It has been going well, knowing that I am doing my best and it is pretty good. My experience with this document helped me to develop some kind of confidence in my ability to handle critical assignments. There happened in me some kind of acceptance that it was difficult, can have significant negative consequence should I not do a comprehensive and thorough review, but it was what it was. An opportunity to grow.

7. I am grateful for the kefir cheese I made from kefir yesterday and today. It is healthy and tasty. Both my sourdough bread and kefir cheese seem to be resistant to microbial growth, which is quite pleasing.

8. I am grateful for my internet connection and computer that make my life easier and fuller.

9. I am grateful for getting used to silvery tone of my hair. Right now I do not feel like I am old. Who knows what I will feel tomorrow, but I will take this positive thought right now.

10. I am grateful for the safe home and neighbourhood. It is quite and peaceful. The only noise I can hear is from my internet and keyboard.

11. I am grateful for having the night to myself.

12. I am grateful for speaking with my family today. They are always nice and supportive.

13. I am grateful for feeling courageous today. I needed this feeling.

14. I am grateful for the gray weather that helped me to stay at home and work.

15. I am grateful for making beet pickles yesterday 🙂 I thought they would take a lot of time, but I was wrong. This is my second or third time making them. I noted the ingredients and their measurements (that my mom told me) to help me in the future.

16. I am grateful for my notebooks, pens, and paper that make me write on. Writing always relaxed me. Like this moment, even though it is an electronic text.

17. I am grateful for all the food I have in my fridge and pantry.

18. I am grateful for having no pain today.

19. I am grateful for being grateful and taking my time to note these here.

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Things that I appreciate about myself:

  1. I appreciate the fact that I keep going, no matter what
  2. I appreciate the fact that I am not scared of difficult tasks
  3. I appreciate the fact that I keep a quiet life
  4. I appreciate the fact that I keep my contact with my family
  5. I appreciate the fact that I cook simple but healthy food the majority of the time
  6. I appreciate the fact that I enjoy the scenery of my yard
  7. I appreciate the fact that I make an attempt to keep my home clean
  8. I appreciate the fact that I always take at least 2 hours per day to chill down and relax
  9. I appreciate the fact that I am a good friend and ready to help my friends
  10. I appreciate the fact that I have been kind to myself nowadays
  11. I appreciate the fact that I floss and enjoy it!

 

 

 

 

joy journal – March 31, 2017

I am not good at writing my joy journal this year…… I believe this is my only the second post in 2017.

I am the best person to know that writing this journal is one thing that always made me feel better, more hopeful, and joyful.

So, why is this neglect lately? Was I too joyful so that I did not need to write it, or was I not joyful at all so I did not even bother writing?

The answer is neither.

I was slightly down; that is for sure. Work has had some stressful & pissing moments in February and March. But other than that many great things happened, almost on a daily basis.

I was just lazy, I would say.

Now is a good time to break this pattern and start being and benefiting from being grateful.

——————–

1. I am grateful for being safe and sound in this stormy day. I was not hurt, fell, or got washed out by the rain or pushed around by the wind. 

2. I am grateful for my home standing tall, strong, and safe in this weather. This year we have had quite a bit of winter with lots of wind and snow. And now we are having rain. But the house has been great with no problem at sight. I am very thankful for this.

3. I am grateful for deciding to remove from my work list those that drag me down emotionally. Whether they are the unnecessary tasks or people, I say “no” more often now and it feels good. I will keep doing this as long as it serves me best.

4. I am grateful for all the food I have in my house. 

5. I am grateful for having the night to myself. It is quite peaceful to have no one around. 

6. I am grateful for having the energy and feeling good about myself. 

7. I am grateful for eating fruits today and enjoying them.

8. I am grateful for feeding my sourdough starter this evening. I hope to make a dough tomorrow and bake a loaf on Sunday, as usual. This weekend, I will also have a loaf or two with commercial yeast to give to my colleague who gave me a ride this evening. I do not necessarily like getting favors without giving something back, especially from those people who I have no close friendship. For some reason, when someone who is not a close friend of mine offers me this kind of help/kindness, I have a hard time accepting it gracefully. Old habit… And bread sounds great – I am sure they will enjoy. And I will feel even.

9. I am grateful for the movie I am watching; my internet connection; my computer; my power and heating; my phone line; my furniture; shoes/boots and clothes and everything else I have at home. All is necessary or useful, and well liked. 

10. I am grateful for reading and enjoying reading; whether it is books or browsing on the internet. But learning is the best thing a mind can relax and grow into. I have so many opportunities to do so that I am loving my life very much right now 🙂

11. I am grateful for re-starting my joy journal and being grateful 🙂

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Added after the post:

I forgot – as of Jan 2017, I also would like to note at least 3 things that I appreciate about myself. Here is today’s list:

  1. I appreciate the fact that I am not a cheap person
  2. I appreciate the fact that I can say “no” now
  3. I appreciate the fact that I make an effort to keep a simple, peaceful, healthy, and meaningful life
  4. I appreciate the fact that I am more focused on my own well being at the office
  5. I appreciate the fact that I have simple but effective/meaningful hobbies, like reading, writing, listening to music, or watching movies
  6. I appreciate the fact that I have a character and its genuine – what you see is what you get
  7. I appreciate the fact that I make a good effort to eat at least one type of raw veggie per day – it is essential for losing weight (for some reason, it does work for me..)
  8. I appreciate the fact that I am resourceful
  9. I appreciate today especially the fact that I am writing on my joy journal and also making this “self-appreciation corner” an integral part of it 🙂

Yay!! 🙂

thanking myself for my life style

Self-appreciation is something we do not even think about, but we all deserve big time.

I have many things to celebrate and appreciate about myself, work, character, life-experiences, and resilience. For this post, I will just focus on my life – style. Specifically, for its being simple and cost-effective.

here are the things I come up that makes me quite satisfied about my life-style:

1. Having no car: True that it may be restricting my mobility, but that does not apply to me. I have other means (walking, taking the bus, or flights) to go to places. I do not have to buy or lease one, I do not have to pay for the insurance, I do not have to apply for a parking permit to the city or pay for a parking spot at work, I do not need to look for and pay for parking space in the city, or I do not have to maintain or pay for repairs/replacements.

I am not arguing against having a car or two. Having a car is a necessity for many people, especially those who commute, or have kids to transport to schools or activities, or those who live away from their work places. I also know that it is a must for many where there is no public transport (like many cities I know in the USA).

My monthly transportation expenses, assuming that I take the bus or walk, are around $25.

Just by looking at that amount I now realize how easy it is for me to save…

2. Brewing my own coffee at the work days: I have been brewing my coffee at my office in the last 7 years. There were occasional buys from the cafeteria, but that is pretty much it. I am not sure how much I am saving by this habit, but considering I drink around 4 cups of (light) coffee per day, it must be quite so. A large can of coffee (~$10), 300 grms of coffee mate (~$3), and 200 grms of sugar (~$1) are enough to brew coffee for two weeks.

Can I guess how much I am saving compared to buying 2 cups of coffee/work day from Tims, for example? I think I can:

$3/per day x 5 work day = $15 per week. $60 per month. $120 per two months. Based on this calculation, I am saving around $50/month only from coffee…

3. Not eating out frequently: Since I started my budget last June, I limit it to maybe one or two times a month. Sounds pretty good to me. I used to eat out at least once or twice a week prior to that.

4. Having simple and low-cost pleasures:

   a) My weekends almost always include a morning coffee and bagels at a cafe. This is my signature pleasure – I must have them! 🙂 Honestly, I do not mind giving $6-10 per weekend to them.

   b) Over 90% of my books are second-hand books, purchased from second-hand book stores or the thrifty sores.

   c) I do not eat dessert or meat regularly, or buy food from convenience stores. The last one is mostly because there are 2 grocery stores within 10 min walking distance to my home – I am lucky.

   d) I live alone and I cook for only myself. And if you follow my blog, you know that I do not like to cook… For myself, I cook simple things and salads are my favorites in addition to soups. At the work days, I do not have breakfast and lunch is usually a canned fish or other snacks like trail mix. I am aware that this is not an healthy eating style. So please go ahead have your own delicious meals regularly as you need them, as you wish them. This is how it has been for me for decades and I guess that is what works for me.

   e) I am not interested in fashion and I often buy clothes and shoes when they are on sale. Holiday sales are my favorites. When I travel to other countries or cities, I shop there too, which are often much less expensive than where I am.

   f) Using internet for both entertainment and learning: I am very happy with my computer and internet connection. every evening and night, these give me a chance to read blogs and articles on the net, and watch TV series/movies. being content with these is something I must truly celebrate.

5. Exploring international stores and other small businesses: I can find many food, diverse food, at a reasonable cost in these stores. There is one close to my home where the spices, oriental sauces, pickles, canned beans, noodles, legumes, and olives are way cheaper than the stores. Many of these items I cannot even find in the big chain grocery stores. Plus, there is a pride and satisfaction coming out of supporting small business owners. Win-win situation in so many different ways.

6. Not hosting dinners at my home: Again, I am not arguing against this.. As a matter of fact, it is sad that I do not do that. Main reason is the fact that cooking for my lovely guests is an incredibly stressful event for me (only because I usually mess one or two dishes each time…). Maybe once a year or so, I will have my good friends over – but that is it. They understand and I am glad they do.

7. Not comparing myself with Jonases and giving up upon peer pressure: i do not do these. I do not need to have the latest computer or the TV, nor the cellular phone. I time to time get talks from friends about how I need to replace my old TV or replace my phone etc, but I do not give in. Give me a break. It is my life. I will replace my stuff when I need or want them. Not when the others suggest. I hope you do not have such toxic people in your life.

8. Vacations: I take one vacation per year and that is to visit my family. I do that every year and I am glad I do that and I am financially capable of doing that. My friends from other cities and countries invite me to their places, for which I am really happy and touched. If I had more vacation time or more funds at my disposal, I would love to do these visits – they are truly lovely and nice people. But I made a decision long time ago that my family had more priority over my friends. And I am glad I have done that, as now that my father passed away, I am glad I have seen him every year in the past decade or so, or before that whenever I could make it.

 

I am sure I have a longer list of experiences and choices to appreciate. Perhaps at another post.

I am sure you have many thing to appreciate about yourself. I would like to encourage you to find and appreciate those choices you have that enrich your life without breaking your bank account or psychology.

cheers 🙂

 

pacifying ourselves

I guess we all have times in our lives when we felt the need to pacify ourselves.

I have been feeling it since yesterday; I am not sure what bothers me, but the fact that I keep doing repetitive actions, such as cross words or puzzles, eat as I please, and spend money more liberally than before tells me that my subconsciousness is working on some feelings and I am unconsciously trying to keep my mind busy…. Or reward it.

In my experience, such periods of self-pacifications ends up with some realizations that hurt at first but then help re-structure myself, my thoughts, or my behavior. That is not always a negative experience; in fact I am curious now what the coming days will bring me. I hope to finally make the decisions that will further improve my life (such as quitting unnecessary expenses and unhealthy habits) or events or emotions that I need to finally face and then move on.

I welcome this episode with curiosity and with the acknowledgement that while it may disturb my emotional world, I know eventually it will be good for me.

self-appreciation: I thank myself for noticing this (life experience is a great thing 🙂 ), being curious about it, and having a healthy and mature stand about it.

joy journal – Nov 5, 2015

joy 🙂

happiness 🙂

self-appreciation 🙂

joy 🙂

1. I am grateful for today; it has been a no-stress and productive day 🙂

2. I am grateful for the warm house, clothes, and the blanket that keep me warm in this chilly early winter night. We have had snow in the last few days, which is quite early. They anticipate a warmer than usual winter yet the reality seems a little bit different. In the last two years we have had harsh winters with power loss and lost of shoveling (more than I have ever done before): I am not looking forward to another one, but I am hopeful that things can turn around – who knows?

3. I am grateful for the 3 bags of ice salt I had purchased last year; they give me a peace of mind. A couple of years ago, the entire city run out of salt and managing ice in front of the house had become quite a challenge. I made a mental note to buy others when I  see them.

4. I am grateful for making a change, taking it easy, and having a breakfast at a mall this morning. I must do this more often; I must go other places at the weekend and see different places, eat different food, walk on different avenues. Good plan! I am also extra grateful that even though I was on a shopping mall this morning, I did not want to buy anything 🙂

5. I am grateful for taking the bus on the way back from the mall to the office; I am lucky that there has been a bus and I only waited for 2-3 minutes.

6. I am grateful for my gloves! They keep me warm in this chilly weather. I should start having my scarfs with me; I really needed one this evening as it was lightly snowing and windy.

7. I am grateful for seeing and chatting a good colleague and friend of mine today; always a delight to be around nice and positive friends 🙂

8. I am grateful for getting another positive feedback about my presentation on monday! Truly one of the a highlights of my professional life! It is so amazing to see what I say and how I say was useful, clear, and understandable. The feedbacks are so useful and so exciting. Do yourself and others a favor dear friends; please say, write, email or report good performances, positive impacts, or useful actions of others; whether they are your own, your family members, students, friends, or co-workers. And hopefully these individuals will start doing this, too. There is nothing more motivating than knowing that you have done well 🙂

9. I am grateful for the milk I have drunk tonite; I know it nourish my body and it is a tasty snack. I am not a milk-drinker, but started to drink it since September or so after my doctor recommended it for my bone health – I am grateful for medicine and my doctor who help me help myself 🙂

10. I am grateful for my boots; they are in good condition, walking in them is easy and safe, and they will likely to be functional this winter.

11. I am grateful for tomorrow being Friday. Fridays are almost always great! This weekend I am thinking about doing grocery shopping and maybe visit a thrifty store – just to have a different weekend experience and perhaps to buy a nice shirt. I know I have a shopping freeze for shirts till holidays, but my favorite shirts are now getting old; it would not hurt to check the store out; maybe I will get a good deal.

12. I am grateful for the food I have in my fridge. I could not consume what I bought last week yet; I would like to not let them go bad; so this weekend I will prioritize consuming the produce I already have. I also would like to buy different things this week – I am thinking avocados, almond milk, tofu or kefir, fish, and collard greens or broccoli.

13. I am grateful for not feeling the pressure to go to bed soon; I love the serenity of the nights and I would like to feel this as much as possible. It is awesome that my job is flexible and I have no obligation to be at my office at 9 am.

14. I am grateful for looking out of the windows multiple times today to enjoy the scenery; the colorful trees, ponds, and the snow all make such a nice view.

15. I am grateful for starting my new budget week tomorrow; now that I have my fresh weekly allowance, I feel abundant and rich 🙂

16. I am grateful for starting to appreciate the good things I do, however small they may be, after each thing that require an effort, I thank myself. After each kindness I show to others, I thank myself. After eating healthy stuff, I thank myself. After making good decisions, I thank myself.

17. I am grateful for having all these beautiful experiences in my life.

18. I am grateful for being grateful 🙂

random thoughts

We have had the first snow yesterday!

Oh, boy.. It looks good. The trees and the roads are covered by the thin layers of snow. I realized today that I love this kind of scenery. I know I will complain about it and the winter, especially after February (because of ice on the roads, the snow storms, the shoveling adventures, and lack of sunlight), but today I am enjoying it big time 🙂

The work went well. As a matter of fact, I have worked up till 6pm on a document. It is moving really well and I have revised it after I came back home this evening; we are on the right track. I am excited about this. Working feels good 🙂

The day light saving changes made the daylight in the evening shorter; but for sure it also helps me to enjoy the dark evenings more, as there are more people now on the streets after the sunset. For some reason, I happen to like that. I should take my camera with me so that I can take pictures; there is something lovely about the dark roads lightened up by the lights and the streets energized by the people walking and the stores open.

A post I wrote yesterday and the interactions with another blogger (thank you tamtam) at the comments section convinced me to prioritize appreciating myself in my daily life. Here is what I mean:

I happen to do a lot of good stuff, like yourself, in life; doing meaningful work and hopefully contribute to the family, society and humanity as a whole, training, educating, and supporting others, contributing to the local and global economy, producing knowledge and experience, helping others in need, etc.

I love it when I am kind and supportive to others. Yet, like many of you, I am hard on myself; there are always somethings that I need to do better, easier, more, cheaper, etc. Beating up myself should not be the solution to do better. I know that there are things that I really need to be iron-fist-like; I need to be more health conscious for example and I need to get rid of one extra expense from my life. These are probably the only things that I need to be firm on myself right now. But all other times, starting today, I will thank myself for doing good.

Like this morning when I checked whether the plug at the back of my house was turned off; under different conditions I would delay it till this evening; but my inner voice said “check it now” and I did it. What a peace of mind….And I thanked myself after that with a smile. It felt awesome!

Or when I decided to work till 6pm today; even though that meant I could spend less time unwinding at home, working progressed something important and it felt really good. I thank myself for making this decision, and as you guessed, with a large smile on my face 🙂

The same when I decided to walk back to home from the office, instead of taking the cab this evening. It was late and snowy, I was tempted to take the cab, but I did not. I thank myself for this wonderful decision that not only helped me to exercise my body but also save money.

I will keep doing this from now on. I am not sure which part of my blog I will have these posts all together (maybe the joy journal?), but I will always note the things I have done well while thanking myself with a large smile on my face! 🙂

I hope you can thank yourself for many things you have done or not done today 🙂

my another set of two-cents on budgeting and saving

Vastly because I am bored this evening and thus am looking for something interesting to deal with, I decided to write about budgeting and saving again.

While I am an experienced saver, I had not been for some years and the possibility of financial hardship in future and having a chequing account with almost $0 in it (mostly due to home-ownership), you know I have been trying to change things a little bit.

Read a lot, tried and liked some of the strategies about budgeting and saving.

Here they are:

1. Expense freezes: Stop purchasing items or services of your selection for a short and defined period of time. Short period are important as in my case at least, it tells me that this is not a total deprivation; I know for example I will start buying books again (I have one more month left out of two months freeze). It does not hurt when I have such a mental attitude (and freedom).

2. Change the items/services for the expense freeze activity periodically: After one freeze can come another one; rotate the things/services so that you will never feel deprived of any of the many items and services you like.

So, after books, what will be my new freeze item? I am thinking about not buying spice or tea for 2 months. I love spices and teas; but I already have so many of them at home and teas at the office; so why do I need to purchase new ones? Maybe the only one I can buy is the savoury; this spice has something very much appealing to me.

3. Take an inventory of items: That I find is a very surprising activity. I have not checked or emptied my pantry for sometime. I am sure when I go in it, I will find many stuff that I do not regularly use, currently possess, but nevertheless forgot. Many of the spice jars (some may need to be dumped as they go bad after a while) or tea bags I know I have are good examples. I know I have some canned food which I have not eaten for some time; is it not a waste not to eat something already available?

Just last week I noticed how many rolls of toilet paper and paper towel I have stocked up. I am not going to buy paper towel until I have 6 rolls left (it can take upto a year to come to that point). I can buy toilet papers only when they are on sale . Otherwise I am good for another year.

When I look for other parts of my house, I am sure I will find other items/goods I have forgotten I have. I have a facial mask somewhere, which I loved using….Time to find it.

4. Re-use if you can: I am sure we all do that somehow, but good to remind ourselves time to time.

I used to use cleaning clothes in the kitchen, which I would replace every two weeks. I realized I can actually wash them up and extend their usage. The books now I am reading, which I have bought years ago, are other examples. Or the shopping bags I use to protect the small garbage cans (rather than buying garbage bags). The list can be really long.

5. Forego the comfortable alternative time to time: I was writing a shopping list last week and I noticed that I would like to purchase wet mops to clean the floors. I am happy with them; they are practical, doing decent work, and when done go to the garbage easily. I will try whether I can clean the floors with other stuff, like paper towels or old clothes. Just for some time.

The most important one for me is of course taking the bus rather than the (comfortable) cab 🙂

6. Give yourself rewards: I cannot tell how good that feels. I am not talking about having big rewards, but eating out a couple of times a week, buying a hand lotion with a lovely scent, or trying new types of flossers that make flossing just a pleasant activity are among the rewards I have given myself lately.

7. Design a budget for yourself and track it weekly (and then monthly and annually): I have calculated my annual  income as well as fixed and variable expenses (an approximate) lately using Excel. I have a much better idea about what I can do, what I can change, and what I cannot. I also have an idea about how much I can save (both the maximum and a less, more realistic number). An unexpected positive outcome of this budget sheet was the realization of how well I was doing in some categories; for example the % of my retirement investments are above good. So even though I have little cash in my chequing account, I am not totally disadvantaged.

Short-term assessment of my budget, such as for a week, works wonders for me. I not only control my spending better (now that I have a motivation to see the progress in a week) but also see the general spending pattern I have; how much I spend for grocery? Cleaning products? Transportation? Dining out? Extras? How do I feel about all of these? Can I let go some of them? Should I include some more?

8. And the magic!: If there is a magic to saving and budgeting, it is to have the motivation. My motivation to save (more) came from home-ownership and serious repairs. I did not want to have a worse level of financial hardship in the future, so to help prevent it I am saving now. That is my motivation. What is yours? What are yours? Keeping a focus on the end-product can help you keep motivated.

9. And the extra magic!: Be grateful for all efforts you put into your budget and savings; the articles and blogs you have read; the funds you have saved; and your determination to keep going even though unexpected expenses occurred or you slipped off your track and thus your budget or savings do not seem to be working for you and you feel maybe disappointed with yourself or the process. It is important to recognize your interest, motivation, and effort no matter how the finances turn out. Be proud.

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There; now that I have written those, I already feel better 🙂

Good night everyone.

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