random thoughts

What a beautiful, bright day!

We still have snow here and there, but since the daylights savings stuff ending, we get to see much better weather and day outside, I want to walk so badly, hopefully tomorrow.

Tomorrow I am getting my taxes done. I admire those people who do their own taxes. Hats off! I never tried it in Canada, Honestly I am scared that I will do something wrong, and the CRA will get back to me after 🙂 So, I pay over 100 bucks each year for my taxes to be filed. Peace of mind, that is. Hope to get a return and add up to it a little bit more, and make a prepayment next week 🙂 this is so exciting – I am looking forward to it.

I was able to get up around 8 am, and it made my day very productive. I know that getting not later than 8.30 am is a factor in my productivity.. Since we started working from home, my sleep has been really good (sleeping 6-7 hours/night) and since Mona – my foster cat – came to stay with me and I started to take antidepressant medication at around the same time, it even got better. Now I can sleep around 8 hours, without anxiety and negative fears/thoughts filling my mind during the night.

However my morning sleep has also become too sweet, and as such, I love, LOVE sleeping in, an hour or more in the morning. This means I usually get up around 9, 9.30 am. With the morning routine of feeding Mona and cleaning her bowls and litter box/room, that means I do not start the work till at least an hour later. Staring the work around 10 am almost always makes me feel like I am late, and as a result, I feel stress to catch up. Oh well.

So hope to make it a habit to get up around 7.30 – 8 am so that I can feel a lot better, despite cutting from the sweet morning sleep 🙂 Wish me luck 🙂

Anyways, all is well on my, my family’s, and Mona’s side. So there is so much to be grateful of. I am grateful for:

  • sleeping well and getting up relatively early
  • having a productive, calm, and peaceful work day
  • we all being well and healthy
  • eating home made meal and apple
  • getting a highly positive comment from the organizers of an event I participated last week – their note was short but specific to what was amazing about my talk (engaging the audience with my talk during this virtual meeting), so I especially loved it 🙂 Great motivation to keep going, making interactive talks, and knowing that my efforts paid off,
  • beautiful, bright day that gives the impression that Spring is coming
  • resting and relaxing tonite by blogging, surfing on the internet, and watching Netflix

have a great night everyone

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somethings make your time worth it

It is a peaceful Saturday night – I am enjoying it widely 🙂

I woke up early again. I was talking to a colleague of mine about the sleep situation today. They have little sleep every night, and as such are almost exhausted. I can see the tiredness in their eyes and face. I realized once again how lucky I was – even though I am not able to easily go back to sleep once I am awake, at least I can get deep sleep for 5-7 hours per night. I am quite refreshed when I wake up, not tired or exhausted. My only issue is the thoughts that pass thru my mind that stress me. That is all. I am on the lucky side when compared to many of my colleagues. I am glad that I had this conversation today with my colleague.

I have seen many of my colleagues today as there was an organizational event that required our contributions. I was happy to be there and take part in the event. I have a similar event to attend tomorrow, but I am not worried about it. It is gonna be fun and I will have a chance to wind down both during the event and later at home. It feels good to be doing these as I am proud of my contributions and what positive difference I can make to my organization. It is well worth my time 🙂

Have I mentioned that I have become interested in online courses and am enjoying taking courses on topics that interest me professionally? 🙂 Yup – my new hobby 🙂 I have come across information about a class on social media, which clicked with me and in a split second, I enrolled into the class. I have started in September and I am currently finishing up my second course. Nothing too detailed or completely distant to my current level of knowledge, but in terms of case studies, opportunity to discuss with other attendees, and providing a frame for knowledge and filling the gaps, I find the online courses quite beneficial and enjoyable for my taste. I am all about free courses for now and making sure that I will not be abused financially by some random site. If you are interested in courses/workshops offered by online resources, libraries, or universities, I highly recommend you to check them up. Learning is a highly exciting activity 🙂

I also would like to mention how much I adore my natural salt & pepper hair now 🙂 It has been over a year of adventure that I decided to transit to my natural hair. Time to time I am still saddened by the gray patches, but then it is such a shinny, healthy hair that I fall in love with it a few minutes later 🙂 I also incredibly happy that I do not need to dye or cover my roots, and I am free of the sadness that came from seeing the gray roots a week or two after I dyed my hair in the past. I am free….. The first up to 4-7 months were quite challenging, but I am almost there. I just need to get it cut to get rid of my highlights that are now limited to the ends of my hair. Cannot wait 🙂

This is the short account of what went thru my mind today.

Talk to you later, my friends. Have a great Sunday!

 

 

 

time to slow down

I have been sleeping much less lately.

Last week I woke up around 5-6 am each morning and went to bed at my regular time (around 11 pm). This is like 6-7 hours of sleep per night. Today I woke up at 4 pm after 5 hours of sleep and worked a full 12 hours at the office. Surprisingly I am not even feeling tired.

This is not normal.

I think I am at a heightened state. I knew that I was stressed and working very hard since last July. But I did not think that I would adapt to this prolonged stress situation and perform high. I realize it now that I may be close to a burn out, and thus, I should slow down to prevent it.

I have an important submission to make tomorrow. After that I will have to take care of many things but I will take it easy. I plan to take the Friday afternoon off and have a kind of long weekend. I want to sleep, eat better, and just wind down.

I can do it.

With this, I am not saying that I am capable of doing it.

I am saying that I allow myself to do it.

walking, gardening, and good night sleep

Garden GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I am beat!! 🙂 I walked and went around on foot for 4 hours yesterday evening. When I returned home, my feet and legs were aching and they kept doing so the rest of the day. Thank goodness, in the morning everything was back to normal 🙂

I wondered whether it was like this when I was young. I could not remember for sure. I know I would be tired sometime, but it would be because of working/walking/standing whole day? I had so much energy when I was young that I would not be surprised with this.

Anyways, the physical exercise and activity continued today too. I decided that it was the right time to fix the yard. The back of my yard has uneven surface, which bothers me. I tried to level it a little bit in the past, but there is still so much to do. So I decided today was a good time to have this as a project.

Boy… Ok… Long story short; I probably will have to work on that part of the yard 3-4 more weekends. I could continue after 1 hour of digging, carrying soil around, collecting glass and plastic pieces (previous owners did not do a great job with keeping that yard healthy), but at that point my back was aching from forward folds and all the stuff carried around, so I decided to stop for today. 

The work I have done today is not a huge one, but it is a good start. I think by taking it easy I will be able to handle this without taxing my body and mind. I am really looking forward to finishing it and planting seeds and flowers around. And I am glad that I did not wait till end of May when we usually start working in the gardens 🙂 I feel like I am on time, even early to work on the yard, so I feel relax rather than stressed about it.

One other plan of mine is to have mulch and place it around the trees. There is also a part of the yard that I want to cover with it; this section has currently small rocks/stones to cover it and every year more and more wild plants grow in it. I hope that by mulch I can make it look a little bit better and also help get rid of unwanted plants. Good plan 🙂

It is great to have projects and work on them, and it is great to be out there with nature. I am also happy about the physical exercise I have got. I am sure I am looking at a sound sleep tonite and many weekends to come ! 🙂

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gifs by:https://giphy.com/gifs/garden-n4m076mRxZJpS;https://giphy.com/gifs/cheezburger-sleeping-cat-3GYIW5MkHQif6

sleepless

I have submitted an important proposal today, and as usual immediately after that I felt beat….

That is a usual experience – I think it pressures and stresses me so much that when it is done, I get completely drained…. It is like being mentally exhausted and needing a refreshing break..

As a result, I came home early today and spent time with my lovely sewing machine:) I also cooked a healthy meal and enjoyed it very much.

Yet, now I cannot sleep. As a matter of fact I do not want to go work tomorrow. In my case, sleeping late almost always translates into getting up late anyways. Maybe I will take the morning off… I feel like I need that distance from the office….

Anyways, sewing is great, my machine does awesome, I have identified nice projects to start, and I am all excited about it. I just need stuff – like fabric, additional presser foot, threads, rotary cutter, cutting boards/mats etc. I finally ordered a portion of these just a few minutes ago and I plan to shop at the weekend for the rest.

Although it is expensive right now, I believe sewing will open new possibilities and excitements for me. So, it is all good (well.. it would be better if it was cheaper, but what can I do?).

I am kind of worried because I shopped quite a bit lately and I still aim to make an extra lump-sum contribution towards my mortgage before the new year. I am kind of feeling this plan will be difficult to implement, which further stresses me…. I want to convince myself that all expenses I have made lately were for good reasons and were required. Almost all were… Except the sewing stuff of course – but I must also be okay with gifting myself, especially considering how much I gift others, right?…

It is one of these times that focusing on saving money and living the life I want are contradicting each other.

Sigh….

Perhaps I should make that mortgage contribution right away so that I will have a better idea about how much money I have available to me. There is no point in waiting, is there?

With this little self-rant, now I am ready to give another try to sleep 🙂

Have a great night everyone!

random thoughts

A cold and snowy day!

April and Spring…Yeah right 🙂

The scenery from my office window was amazing with snow covering the trees and roofs of the houses. I must say I will miss snow. The truth is the winters here are so long that after a while it kinda becomes the “normal” weather. It is enjoyable. It is beautiful. It does not bother anymore. Spring and summer become distant realities, if not dreams…. And with June, we kind of notice the change, the warm temperatures, and maybe more than that, the awakening of the nature. Spring, after all the snow and dark days, really surprises me every year. Very interesting experience indeed…..

When I was in Toronto, winters were colder, but the sky was always blue and clear. It did make a huge positive difference in my mood. So when I moved here, more than the huge amount of snow dumped every winter, it was the lack of sunlight that bothered me. After all these years, I might have just adapted to the lack of sunlight. Or, it may be the vitamin D supplements I started to take in the last 6-7 months that makes me not requiring sunlight as before… Hard to know.

I worked long hours today, mostly at home. Until 8 pm I was busy with documents. I feel good working and taking care of stuff, especially if they are going well. Today was just one of these days. Now I will focus on relaxing my mind by watching TV shows or reading blogs. I gotta slow down my mind to go to sleep.

I noticed that in the last few years, I do not require 9 hours of sleep anymore. It is maybe more like 7 hours. I had read somewhere that as we age, we would need less sleep (since our physical activity levels would reduce over time). I do not want to believe in it as I am reacting to aging 🙂 but, no – seriously – my activity levels did not change in the last few years, so I am not sure whether it is the reason behind my reduced sleep needs. But I must say this gives me more time and an opportunity to go to sleep late. So, I cannot complain 🙂

Have a great night everyone 🙂

random thoughts

The work has stolen some of my sleep last night… I woke up at around 5 am and the thoughts about the work that waits for me to take care and all the work-related issues that I have experienced lately have jumped on me. I could sleep after a while but it was not nice.

There was a period of my life right after the new year when I had started the yoga classes; this period of time was when I had felt genuinely happy…. This lasted around 5 weeks until I got my back problem exaggerated. It was a great feeling, it easily came to me, and it was beautiful. I woke up happy and excited in the mornings.  Not like before when work related thoughts would just fill my mind as soon as I woke up; this almost always made me cranky and stressed. Not the best way to start a new day…

I feel like I am returning to this depressive mornings and I do not like the idea. As a matter of fact, I feel like I may be slipping in to a little depression.

Work related stress is something real. I know I can deal better if I stop undertaking too much or by having a less perfectionist but more relax mind. So far I was not able to do either of these. But tomorrow is another day… Hating my job or having a depression are not somethings that I am looking forward to.

nights

You know I love the night, way more than the day.

There is something so healing, so peaceful about silence, darkness, and lack of chatters and other people-related distractions (like phone, email etc). Nights are totally “my time”.

In the last one month or so, I started to have the habit of taking my laptop up to my bed and reading and relaxing there. This is quite unusual for me, but it was mostly motivated by the back problem I have had; sitting or lying in bed is easier on my back than sitting on the couch or the chair. At first I was not sure how I would feel about this, but now I am enjoying it very much.

I am often up till 12 pm or so, and even later at the weekends. I do not know whether it is the positive effects of my iron and vitamin D supplementation, but I am feeling less need to sleep (around 7.5 hours rather than 9 hours) and can easily wake up at around 7.30 – 8 am. I do not get up at that time, though. One of my long-time habit is to go back to sleep. I am usually up around 9 am. Then I go to the office. Usually takes me less than 30 min to get dressed, take the bus, and arrive there. I know I am lucky that my job has a flexible schedule and nobody says anything about me not being in the office before 9 am or after 4 pm. I am lucky (I told you I had a great job – it will be so difficult to leave this work).

Anyways, why did I start writing about nights now? I think because I was thinking the daylight savings ending (or starting?) this weekend. Does that mean we will have an extra hour of sleep or not? That I do not know, but I know that we will have more sunlight.

Yay for sunlight! Now, I love the nights but this does not mean I do not love to see the sun. I do. It gives me more energy and positive mood. Overall, sunlight is good for me, good for many people. I am so looking forward to it.

It also signals me that spring is about to come. Well, where I am we can expect snow till May but that is okay. I guess once March is over, the worst part of the winter will be over, too. When there is hope, there is excitement.

They expect a warmer than regular Spring this year. That would be really awesome. Four years ago or so we had a warmer summer here where people would get tans and overall looked happier than other summers. That was one great summer. Hope we can get a warmer than average spring and summer this year.

Hope we can all enjoy them.

Hope I can enjoy them.

random thoughts

I feel like writing about small indulges that make me feel pampered 🙂

Considering that the only expenses bigger than $1,000 were my washer and dryer (excluding my flights to visit my family and my house), I guess I am doing good pampering myself while also looking after my funds.

So here is a list that I can come up with now:

1. Having breakfast: I love having breakfast at the weekends! there is something nourishing about it and the fact that I get to have it on the weekends only, it is my way of start celebrating the weekend. Breakfast does not need to be too expensive (though it  depends on your preferences. Nevertheless, breakfast and lunch are often times much cheaper than dinners).

2. A good book that captivates my interest. There is nothing like a great book that makes your day enjoyable, time frozen, and mind and heart filled with new knowledge, emotions, and empathy. 90% of my books are purchased from second hand bookstores or charity. The only book I have had pricey was a project management book I needed to study as part of a certificate program (time to sell it now). Borrowing books from libraries, of course, does not cost a dime – give it a try.

3. Chicken noodle soup: is there any other food that nourishes the body while also relaxes the mind? What is the cost of this? $3?

4. Taking photos: that is a really fun activity. Other than the cost of the camera and print outs, the cost of all the memories and lovely pictures recorded is basically $0. Plus, can we really put a price on recording memories?

5. A good cup of coffee every once a while. I love caramel or maple syrup added coffee every once a while. There is a cafe that do these in a shopping mall I go time to time. A great way to award myself.

6. Food: food is always a tricky material for indulges. I happen to reward myself a lot by food, especially pastries and bread (though I am trying to limit them lately). My new year eve meal is almost always some pastry I make at home with beef and pastry sheets. Even though I love this meal, I am glad that I do not bake it more than twice a year.

7. Movies: Although I have not done this in years, seeing a movie at a theater is a lovely experience.

8. Tea, apple cider, and hot chocolate: whether black, green, or herbal, tea has a calming effect. On cold winter days, in addition to tea, hot chocolate and apple cider are my favorite beverages.

9. Leisure walking: Although I do not do this as often as I wish to; when I do, I enjoy it very much. Especially those that occur spontaneously where I do not before hand plan for the route, take my time to enjoy and examine the scenery (even looking at different houses and their characteristics can be an interesting activity).

10. Going through the stores at the airport: One of my favorite activities! I love looking at the merchandise and the variety of items. This is particularly nice when the airport is in a different country. As you can guess, the books sold are the ones that get my most attention. but hey, they are great 🙂

11. Browsing the stores: I have a negligible habit of impulse buying thus I am not afraid of going thru an entire store, examining and exploring the items. It is one of the meditative experiences for me when I truly focus and thus get a mental break from daily thoughts and tiredness. Thanks to this activity, I have discovered many different food (e.g. savory I am so fond of) that were not a part of my regular diet.

12. Taking a road trip: I love it when we drive on a car together with friends or family. Have you noticed that the conversations are different, lovelier during road trips? Especially when we all are going to places that we have not explored before. Whenever I have a chance to suggest an activity, i suggest a road trip 🙂

13. Music: Music is… awesome! I listen to it while at home and office. The free music channels and youtube makes it basically free. Could not be happier 🙂

14. Writing my blog and reading other blogs: Very amusing, relaxing, informative, and affordable activity. Okay I need a computer and an internet connection to do so, but these two help with so many activities (listening to music, watching videos, doing research, learning, booking flights and hotels, etc.) that their cost comes really low. Plus writing helped me to learn a lot about myself – how about that as a great benefit?

15. Planning, planning, planning: I have a thing for planning for goals I would like to tackle. Coming up with a question and then designing a step-by-step strategy to reach the goal is always exciting for me. Yep I do mess up with executing the plans sometime (my recent healthy life-style plan that I blew is a good example), but eventually all go well.

16. Sleeping in: every once a while there comes a weekend morning that makes me sleep till noon. This does not happen to much, but I believe it happens when my body needs it. Often times, it is relaxing.

17. Sleeping late: there is something peaceful about late-nights, some kind of freedom… Friday and Saturday nights are my freedom nights when I can stay up till late, reading, writing, or watching TV. Serenity..

18. Spending time in my yard: I have a small yard with a couple of trees; lilacs are particularly my favorites. Seeing them in summer is a beautiful feeling. The same thing with just being in the yard and listening to the sound of trees – the soothing whoosh their leaves make with wind…..

19. Scents: I love my perfume but due to scent-free policy of my workplace, I only wear it at the weekends. Its scent is so lovable I am glad they produced it! The same thing with candles and soaps. I have a soap that leaves a nice scent after each hand-wash. I would not change it at all. When comes to candles, I did not buy lately but I make sure to check them at the stores. One of my favorite one has honey-cinnamon scent.

20. Wearing my best shoes: I am a person of habit, so I keep wear the same things weeks after weeks. Yet, every once a while wearing a different outfit or my favorite shoes makes a difference in my mood 🙂

21. Grocery shopping: I love grocery shopping. Finding fresh produce is a rare and often cheerful activity for me (where I live, fresh produces are hard to find).

22. Shopping after the holidays: this is the season for shopping!. The sales right after the Christmas are unprecedented. Boy, do I stock up? 🙂

23. Thrifty store visits: Even though I often end up not buying as much as I plan to, I love browsing through the shelves in thrifty stores, especially the kitchen items and the books. A good book I certainly will buy. The kitchen items are mostly an interest; to see all the old stuff… I have a thing for old things. They are different and very interesting for me.

24. Ethnic stores: There are so many different things in these stores that I make regular trip to one close to my house. It is a little food store where I can find the most interesting spices, hot sauces, and dried food. Plus, that store is incredibly cheap. I wonder why that is.

25. Soft facial towels: These are priceless; there is nothing nicer at the end of a busy day to come home, wash my hands and face, and feel the soft towel on my skin. I would highly recommend you to get a thick, slushy towels that is a delight to use.

26. Creams and moisturizers: my hands require hand cream throughout the day. In winter, it is almost essential to moisturize the rest of the body. I am grateful for these creams and lotions that not only nourish my body but also smell good 🙂

27. Time spent with family and friends: Do I have to talk about it? It is the favorite activity of many people. Are we not lucky?

I hope your list of things that make you feel pampered is longer than this.

Go pamper yourself in this beautiful Saturday! 🙂

nights, sleep, and carbs

I could not sleep. This is one the rare nights that I had to come back to my living room. TV is on and I am posting a blog.

It is raining outside – it started in the late evening. I wonder whether it will rain tomorrow, too.

Carbs are great in the sense that they help me sleep. I will have some bread in a minute or so. I am sure it will help me to get sleepy. Another thing that prevents me from sleeping is an active and excited mind. Thoughts. Well, it happens to anyone, anytime I guess.

Nights were always my favourite – quiet, peaceful, and lacking distraction. Great time for reflection, connecting to self, and relaxation. But, I had sleeping problem maybe a decade ago. I was not able to sleep till 4-5 am in the morning. i am not saying it has been healthy and did not affect my life negatively – it did eventually. I found exercise and eating carbs were the best way to help me sleep at a normal time.

So I can have carbs and let my body complain about it, or, I do not eat carbs and have difficulty falling asleep. Dilemma. Eventually, I hope my body will be okay with eating some carbs right before going to bed: sleep is essential too 🙂

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