Year of 2020

I want to make 2020 a year for my own.

I want to be free in 2020 and have a normal life.

Self-centered and caring – these are what I want for myself.

First thing first; I want to break my routine; have a smart TV and Netflix subscription; eat different food; try fancy recipes; wear good quality outfit.

I also want to stop responding to emails at the weekend and helping others achieve at my own expense.

I want my energy to be spent on myself.

 

 

random thoughts

Exhaustion and fried nerves – I know them very well.

I am very agitated nowadays. I know it from my reactions and how unwell I feel. This too will pass. When, however, I do not know.

Good news is that the weekend is here. I will make it a weekend of self-care and enjoyment. This means not working and not checking the emails – I hope I can achieve this.

Today our administrative staff suggested that I should reduce my work load and care about myself. How true. How do I do this?

Logically I know that if I feel better and energized, and have a clear mind, I can be more effective. Dragging my feet and combing heavily around my mind’s clouds to focus on work and do many things prior to their deadline is not helping my work or personal wellness. It actually drains me even further. I am at a point that I must take that break.

I do not know what I would do this weekend, but I will try to stay away from the computer and work-related thoughts. I want to collect myself and maybe cook healthy meals and think about new things. Maybe I will write a poem, a short story, or start reading about something new. Whatever it is gonna be, I want to remind myself that this is a break, a mini-vacation, and I deserve and in fact need it to keep going.

holidays diary – Day 10

I slept in a fragmented manner but it was okay – at least I did not have urgent matters to handle today. So, taking it easy was the way to go.

Nevertheless, I am not in a good mood….

I tried to do some work before noon. I stopped and then tried again a couple of times. It is hard to do something when you are tired and then not being satisfied with it.

Anyways.

I went to grocery store to pick some swiss chard – they were wilted so I opted out for a pack of hot-dogs instead. One of my new year tradition (only as a means to treat myself) is to bake some pastry with minced beef or potato/swiss chard. I went for both this time; I cooked the beef with onion for one. I replaced the chard with hot dogs for the other, cooked with onion, boiled potato, and tomato paste, and added some cumin, black pepper, and chili flakes. Yummy, right?

No.

Mistake one was they turned out to be too salty. Mistake two was that both were too spicy. The third was that I do not know why, but rather than buying pastry sheet I decided to prepare my own, which turned out to be too thick and too dense. They did not turn out to be great, even for someone like me who would savour any food regardless of how they look or taste.

Oh, well.

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You know I love my family, but I also have a rocky relationship with them, especially since my dad passed away almost 3 years ago. This is the first year that I did not call and wished them a happy new year. My sister and I have been having another boot of not-so-nice verbal exchanges lately. My heart is broken and I decided not to communicate with my family for some time. I am sure they are surprised or worried about me not showing up today, but they will get used to it.

Also, if they had wanted to reach me, they could call me.

Did they?

No.

So my consciousness is clear.

I do not wish to go visit them this year. I rather could use the time (my entire annual vacation time) and the money (required for flight) for myself…. I do not know. Maybe I could finally buy a dresser for my bedroom (I do not have any furniture in my bedroom except the bed and a small closet). Or, go visit somewhere sunny and interesting for a week or so. Or, stop worrying about not having money and rather use this money to feel a little bit secure.

When the heart is broken, nothing else matters. I want my family to care about me, respect me, and miss me. If they want it, they can find me.

This is a bitter end to this year, but maybe it is for the better. I always cared about my family as much as my conditions permitted, but I guess it is time that I rather care about myself.

The new year is the year of Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation.

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Have a great 2019 everyone – may you be filled with joy, happiness, opportunities, and love and may you be always appreciated, at ease, and comfortable with your life, yourself, your family, and your work.

 

self-value, self-care, self-respect

If there is something nice about hard times is that you kind of understand your own value and prioritize your comfort.

This is exactly what I have done. I am going for a short business trip. Under normal conditions I would take the bus, I will not do that anymore. I will take the cab so that I can at least have a comfortable and short ride to and from the airport both here and in my destination.

The amount of money I would save by taking the bus does not even cover the expenses I made for a session of the physiotherapy for my lower back, let alone the negative effects and pain of, sitting and waiting in already kind of long flight. Whose money am I saving anyways? A good organization that does amazing stuff, but saving money should not be at the expense of my health.

I am proud of myself and I really like this change.

 

What comes first? Me, me, me, or my wellness?

It has been somehow stressful day; I have so much to do! 🙂

Yet, I also felt like I could use my time better and I could award myself for doing well as well. This is really lovely – I think I have started to support and value my efforts a little bit better. Self-care is here 🙂

One thing I am doing this week is to cancel showing up in events that celebrate the achievements of my team members. It was a hard decision to make, but I am glad I have as it gives me the much needed time. It is a first too. I talk to my team members and they understand the reasons well as well. I would think this was selfish, but maybe I should be a little bit. In order to protect my time and reduce my stress levels created by the lack of time to recuperate.

I have been to my counseling session yesterday. I talked for 40 minutes. How lovely 🙂 Was I reserved? I was. But I also talked. I did not get a huge number of new thoughts/realizations out of the session that I did not already know -main points were:  mental health is important; I worry all the time; I am not interested in getting medication for anxiety or depression unless it is the last resort; I am close to burn out because of the intense work and stress (my counselor’s assessment); I must eat better; and I must exercise. And, time to care for myself – physically and mentally.

It is always good to hear from someone else that I must care for myself. This makes me feel supported in my decisions to not attend extra events this week and the weeks to come. This does not mean that I come first all the time, under all conditions – that would be selfishness and being self-oriented. It means my wellness should come first.

I like that.

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all the good things – check

  • sleeping well and getting up early – check

a good quality of sleep is something awesome, friends. It makes you refreshed, rested, and positive. Have I mentioned my doctor recommended using melatonin to help sleep? I took it only once; it upset my stomach and it felt strange. I am considering taking half of the supplements, but I will see how this will go first – maybe the better weather and sunny days will help. 

  • working at home on a report review and almost finishing it – check

this feels good. I have been working on it for the last three days. A kind of complicated file and reviewing it was hard, but I am almost there. I do this review for an external organization of which I am a member. There are a number of points that I do not have the expertise to evaluate. I note them clearly and make them know. I have come up with this idea a while ago while reviewing another file. I do not want to be responsible for shortsightedness if the file turns out to be problematic in the future. Feeling good to protect myself 🙂

  • deciding to go to office even though it is a public holiday today (Victoria day) – check

I thought it was the best opportunity to do some work at the office while there were not many people around. I am glad I have! There were a few people like me who worked today but it was such a quiet and peaceful environment that I felt like I have done 3 days worth of work in a couple of hours. I am pleased 🙂

  • walking to and from the office today – check!

this is the first time in a while that I have walked to office! I not only saved money (total around 20 bucks today), but also found a chance to exercise my body and calm my mind 🙂

  • eating better with lots of fruits and healthy food – check
  • feeling calmer and hopeful – check

this is very important for me. I have been having down moments and anxiety lately – today has been really good in this regard 🙂

  • realizing that my health-related expenses are increasing and I must make efforts to minimize my unnecessary expenses – check

This is not particularly a good news, but I would like to see it as such. It reminded me a few years back when I did not have much money left from my pay cheque (immediately after buying my house). It was a very hard feeling but I had decided to cut significant expenses to turn things around. I have not been fugal in the last 11 months, which shows in my chequing account. I have continuous physiotherapy (for my lower back) and now counseling sessions to start.. These are expensive services.

While I recognize their importance and benefits to me, I also recognize the fact that I may not be able to finance all of them while also taking the cab twice a day, eating junk food every day, and shopping without thinking much… It is time that I bone cut my all unnecessary expenses, friends. Every penny counts – I know this. I may not be able to get back all the money I wasted, but I may as well stop wasting more.

Good thing is that one of my recurring expense, my hair treatments as part of my saga to transition to gray hair is about to come to an end. I have one appointment next week and maybe yet another one in summer left to complete the transition (I hope). My hair looks a lot better than what I thought it would be, but it is time that I take a break from expensive toner treatments and see whether I can keep my hair myself. We will see how this will go ahead 🙂 Gray hair is a sensitive matter!! 🙂

  • removing a social from my calendar – check

under different conditions I would be happy to attend, but I am so booked that I do not wish to spend time on other peoples’ functions anymore. This was a surprising turn for me. Am I getting selfish? No. Am I prioritizing myself? Yes. I needed this.

I also did not want to spend money on this function. I thought I would rather spend this money on myself and this felt good. I am taking care of myself 🙂

  • deciding that I did not have to attend all work-related functions or meetings – check

there are at least 4 functions I was invited to in a couple of weeks. These are functions that will acknowledge my team members’ success and achievements. While they are incredibly honoring moments, I will be wasting around 10 hours collectively. I can rather use this time for myself. I can go to physiotherapy, for example. Since each session costs me around 2.5 hours, I was only able to have sessions every other week. can you imagine? i cannot even make it to my physiotherapy because I am so crunched of time…

I kind of found that sad.

It is the right decision. I can use my time to care for myself. I am sure my team members will understand.

  • thinking that whatever has been happening in my professional life, they are not more important than my personal well-being – check!!!

Priceless.

 

 

a touch of kindness and cacti

I have a colleague that I find quite annoying. I really do not understand his reactions or comments. It is like we are of different worlds.

Fine with me. Fine with him. We keep our professional interactions distant. It works.

This morning he brought me a cactus (prickly pear) – my first cactus ever! He was aware of my latest interest in succulents and thought I might rescue his cactus. It is the most beautiful cactus -a  little one with 3 levels of pads; the third level consist of small ones and it is so pretty 🙂

It has been a warming moment between my colleague and I. I was genuinely happy and he was happy to see how happy I was. Emotions can be quite healing, my friends.

I was excited the whole day.

I planted my cactus in a new pot, changed its soil, and placed in a nice window sill. I will not water it for a week or so to give the roots a chance to heal. In a couple of months, I will try propagating it – I may have mini cacti! 🙂

These being said, I have 4 cacti seedlings germinated. Unfortunately I dropped and broke one of the glass propagation containers. It demoralized me, but it should not (my new approach to self care – trying not to beat myself for accidents or mistakes…). I sifted out the soil, hopefully still having the seeds, and placed in another pot. I am not hopeful about the future of this propagation attempts, but who knows? Maybe the more I ignore (which I am inclined towards now), the more likely that one or two seeds will germinate… We shall see.

Three lessons learnt today;

  • A touch of kindness certainly can dissolve ice
  • Ignoring succulents/cacti is a much better approach for propagation – I can swear that the more you care, the less they grow or strive!
  • I can be compassionate towards myself 🙂

 

 

 

joy journal – Nov 30, 2017

1. I am grateful for pampering myself in this long and tiring period of hard-work. I eat food my body craves for, I keep myself warm and cozy, and I make my daily life as comfortable as possible.

2. I am grateful for the snow we have had today! The first real snow of the year, which is always delightful to watch. The slow fall of the flakes, the white sky, trees, and roofs, and the need to drink a cup of hot tea. Magnificent! (remind me these in three months when I will be completely fed up with it 🙂 )

3. I am grateful for two productive meetings today. One of them motivated a team member of mine and the other myself. I had asked for a favor from a colleague of mine and she did it during this meeting.  I feel awesome 🙂 She was great really.

4. I am grateful for receiving the garbage collection schedule for the new year in the mail. It will help me remember to leave my garbage and recycle bag out on exact dates.

5. I am grateful for the new cardigan I got from the thrift store this weekend! It is a lovely piece, very soft and cozy, and keeps me warm. Come to think about it, this past year I almost renewed half of my wardrobe by purchases from thrift stores. They did not cost me a lot of money, they were fun to look for, and a delight to use. I feel lucky 🙂

6. I am grateful for working at home and finishing up a report. It is due Monday and I think I have done really well. I had decided to draft it just 4 weeks ago, immediately after another big report. I was tired and exhausted then, but was also motivated to start this one because of its benefits. I have got quite a support from my colleagues and superiors who have seen its draft form. These make the time and energy spent on this report just fine 🙂

7. I am grateful for my elbow feeling better thanks to physiotherapy. I never thought that it would be so beneficial considering that I waited like 5 months after the initial injury. Human body is a miracle and medicine is awesome 🙂

8. I am grateful for tomorrow being Friday! I have only one meeting in the morning and the rest of the day I am free to finish small tasks and maybe go visit a thrift store. After all, I feel like I have deserved this break and the excitement to see all bunch of diverse items and clothes. Have you ever thought why we can find more diversity in thrift stores than regular retail stores? Very interesting.

9. I am grateful for being interested in life and work, although the latter has been getting on my nerves a lot lately. While the work place has been toxic, I found an opportunity to engulf myself in productive work rather than resentment. This feels like a good luck to me.

10. I am grateful for my computer, internet connection, and everything else I have that make my life comfortable and enjoyable.

11. I am grateful for being grateful.

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate myself for working hard and seeing the benefits of it, even though my nerves seem to be on the edge
  2. I appreciate myself for keeping a simple and abundant life
  3. I appreciate myself for saving and investing for my future
  4. I appreciate myself for stretching
  5. I appreciate myself for liking and getting excited about little things in life

 

 

back to my routine

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

This feels good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Routine is good my friends.

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back pain

Pulled my back again this morning for no apparent reason – this is why it is particularly scary… No apparent reason. No twisting. No slipping/skidding. No lifting heavy objects. No nothing. Just like that I pulled it and the incapacitating pain came back.

I had a very bad episode a month ago and I had ended up in the emergency. With medication and rest as well as light walking and stretching in 8 days or so all the pain had gone. My doctor had prescribed physio-therapy which I had not made an appointment till out of laziness or carelessness. Lessons learnt – never show carelessness when comes to your health.

I made an appointment with a nearby physiotherapy place this noon and I will go there twice a week until I get some kind of relief. In the mean time, I was recommended to take breaks every 30 min and stretch. I am of course on painkiller and muscle relaxant, too.

I really do not appreciate myself not being careful. This has been finally my eye-opener. I not only sit at the office for hours but also at home. Home is worse, as I sit with a very poor posture on the couch for many hours…. I knew it was not good, especially yesterday when I had experienced some kind of pain and inflammation due to sitting so long. Thankfully I came up with the idea of walking yesterday, which had helped. But obviously it only delayed the coming problem, rather than curing it.

I do not want to have a chronic problem with serous pain or disability. From today on, I will not only have physiotherapy, but also do stretching and and exercise good posture. That also means I need a firmer chair at home to sit on – no more couch.

My “normal” days are over and if I do want to be healthy, I will have to show care to my body.

You do that, too.

 

random thoughts

I have been quite relax lately about my budget; yesterday and this morning I have taken the cab to the office (rather than walking or taking the bus).

The reasons were the followings: yesterday it was raining so I decided against walking; and today only because I felt like I needed to pamper myself and it was better to be at the office right away, as there were many things that I would like to work on.

There was a mental judo, of course; I was beating myself for getting relax with money, but then something inside me said “You only do what you think is best for you. Tomorrow is another day. Do not take this as a complete failure“.

How awesome to be able to say this and even more than that, to be able to hear them among all the chatter that goes in my mind 🙂

I remind myself that every once a while, things will not go ahead as I planned or wanted them to be. Every once a while there will be other things more important than my cab fare. I know that I can start taking the bus tomorrow, if I do not feel like walking at all. And I can go to bed early to make sure I will arrive my office early, too, so that I will not feel the push in the mornings.

Even though I do not make it tomorrow, I will try it later again.

I will be gentle on myself. That is my promise; why to break my own heart?

Be gentle to yourself.

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