all the good things – check

I have not drafted any joy journal entries in the last few months. This feels weird…

I often do this exercise to remind myself about the beautiful and nice things and experiences I have had during the day – this immediately lifts my mood. Hence, especially when I need to feel better, it is one of the things that helps me. Today, however, I am writing this entry to share the things and experiences that make me feel excited, happy, and elated!

All the good things:

  • sleeping well, safe and sound – check!
  • waking up early, taking my time to get ready, and taking the bus – check

getting up early gives me the freedom to go to office early and do work without any distraction. I am very pleased with this habit (which is newly formed in the last year or so). Taking the bus is great as it helps with my financial plans by saving money. Lovely 🙂

  • walking back to home in the afternoon – check

I have been walking in the last two days. It relaxes me and it is so good for my body; bone, heart, cardiovascular health, etc. I know that it will also help me lose weight. I am grateful to be able to do this

  • enjoying the great cool but bright day – check

We have a cool summer here this year. I do not complain as someone who just came back from vacation from somewhere with a sunny and warm climate. Cool weather (around 18 – 23 C) is the best for me to function. I am happy with this year’s summer!

  • eating a healthy meal at home with raw radish as salad – check

radish is one miracle food for me. It helps me feeling better and with my digestion. I believe it also helps with my blood sugar levels, and as such, helps control my appetite. I love it 🙂

  • realizing that there are too many things to do at work and as such getting a little bit stressed and organized – check

this is a good type of stress that drives me to do what needs to be done smoothly and effectively. After dealing with a couple of things in the evening that are urgent, I now feel much accomplished and less-stressed 🙂

  • taking time to reflect on all the positive things in my life and profession, and being content with them – check
  • opening a new box of a hand soap with a wonderful scent – check
  • drinking a tall glass of milk – check

it is good for my bone health and my doctor recommends taking the Calcium supplements and drinking milk interchangeably to help with my bone density. Will do! 🙂

  • accepting an invitation for a committee membership by a national organization – check

great for my development and to help demonstrate my organization my valuable contributions to other organizations 🙂 Score!

  • taking things easy generally – check

even for a short time, to be able to approach life and especially my work with such a mind-frame is a huge success and blessing! I will savor this feeling as much as I can 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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random thoughts

After a hiatus from blogging, here I am again 🙂

Goodness knows, I missed it!!

The last month has been good to me. I still struggle with frayed nerves and occasional elevated blood pressure; insomnia and stress; but things are looking a little bit better.

I enormously benefited from the worry journal practice and I would recommend it to anyone.

I also do not work all the time and try to take a rest during the weekends. This also includes visits to cafe houses and enjoying my time on Saturdays and Sundays. Life is good.

I reduced my baking bread saga to every two weeks, rather than every week. This gives me a chance to just have one less task to do at the weekends. I bake two loafs at the same time and freeze one of the loafs. When needed, this loaf is as good to go as a fresh one. It works wonderfully for me.

I make a good attempt to take the bus and save money from cab fare. This has had a positive impact on my chequing account. I am excited. This was also topped up with the tax return – I am happy to say that I do not need to use my line of credit anymore and my chequing account is lifting up nice and easy. I feel quite excited about this!

I walk more often now. We have beautiful weather that makes it possible. I feel like energized and the hibernation season has surely ended.

Work is going okay. I still feel strained sometime when faced with difficult decisions. But I move along anyway and guess what – nothing is as bad as it looks.

I relaxed the self-imposed obligations and do not attend the meetings at work unless they are really interesting or absolutely required. This feels good as well.

I say “no” more often as well. I kind of prioritize my time over others’ needs. What a change! What a progress! 🙂

I have taken a couple of days off in the last two weeks – only because I was not feeling well or enthusiastic about going to work. I was worried at first, thinking maybe I had lost my interest at work for good, but I rapidly realized it to be a wrong assumption. I love this – I love loving my job.

Spring is here, which signals a time to close the loose ends and start anew. Last year this feeling had resulted in me getting interested in plants – succulents and cacti to be exact. This year I am not sure what it is gonna be, but I wait life to direct me to my next exciting interest.

I have more positive relationships at work thanks to me getting some rest and things look brighter and more positive.

I have socialized with friends a couple of times and this also had a positive impact on me and how I feel.

My relationship with my family is also much better since new year and I am very grateful for this.

Pokemon Episode Spring GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/pokemon-adorable-spring-TcG7Tw3uq6tJS

 

 

 

 

 

time to really prioritize myself and my well-being

I have not written here for some time.

I took some kind of break from internet for a while so that I could rather read inspirational books and analyze my feelings by writing on my worry journal.

It all started with a two-days I took off work – my first time in my entire career that I used my vacation time to focus on myself and rest. This is 25 years of work, my friends. All other times I used my vacation time to visit family or friends (where are they now?)

In that two days, I wanted to do whatever I wanted to do – reading books, sitting at a cafe, ordering meal, shopping, reflecting.. Just about anything but working!  It was good. I did not check my emails during this time, which was a miracle, by the way.  I still try not to check the work emails in the evenings and at the weekend. I also try not to work at home and generally take things easy.

But I am also angry with anything that bothers me, and I think my blood pressure increases time to time in such a way that it is alarming me. Deep down I think I am also depressed. I do not know friends – I feel a lot of things nowadays and I think I should really prioritize myself and care about my body and mind, and I should let go off any past or current issues or negative feelings to feel okay.

Honestly, the other day while I was having elevated blood pressure (I think that is what it was)  I just felt that I could as well die at that moment and I would not even care.

This is scary.

On the good side, since I have started the worry journal practice, my anxiety is manageable.

This is priceless.

 

when enough is enough?

The question in the title of the post can mean many different things.

I have a tendency to revise my work heavily in a way that eventually I puke of it. For some reason, I cannot feel that it is enough until I reach to this state. Often times that means that I am working on the same documents over and over again. This also means it is improving, but it also means that my time is spent. I am increasingly getting aware of the fact that this is one of the things that makes me feel drained.

What is the right thing to do? I ask myself – to set myself a maximum number of revisions – which would help with focusing on each time. Or to heal that feeling that if I do not puke of it, then it is not good enough. I link this behavior to perfectionism and my interest in due diligence – I only feel good about something (and thus do not beat myself) when I convince myself that I have done what can possibly done and as such if there is a negative consequence (like a criticism), I do not blame myself much.

Sounds a little bit pathetic.

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I just had a conversation of a friend and she has had it and is planning to retire sooner than she has been planning to. She says she cannot take the anxiety and fear coming out of being in a work environment that threatens her well being and dignity (she has some managers that treats her like an outcast). She was upset that an early retirement means less money, but then she also questions whether her well being is less important than the money. I was very happy for her that she prioritized her well being and chose to end this toxic work-experience. I can easily see that she will be happier, free of the negative effects of her work, and start a new chapter in her life. She had enough.

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Today one of my team members and I finished a long, hard work…. It went so well so smoothly this week after a long battle that we both cannot feel the satisfaction coming out of this victory. It kinda feels like it was too good to be true. Looks like we are used to hardship, but not the relief coming out of overcoming it. We had more than enough hardship. It is time that we cherish the success. I will wait for this feeling to sink in….

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I continue to head-butt situations that scare me. Do not get me wrong, I am bone – chilled. I am that scared or do not know what to do. I feel beat and shaky. I feel like anxiety is all around me. I feel like I may be doing something wrong by taking the step or by not taking it. But I move on rather than caving. I feel like this is a learning opportunity. I may fail. I may make mistakes, but whatever I decide to do is the best at the time being and things will move into something better, one way or the other. Perhaps as a person – by walking through the fear. Perhaps as a professional – by taking steps that I am not sure where they will take me.

I gotta trust more. I gotta trust myself. I gotta trust life. I gotta trust other people (this one is hard, but not trusting myself or others is equally hard).

I gotta move on.

And I must take care of myself. The feeling I have nowadays – being cold, shaky, beaten  – makes me extra anxious. And when I am anxious, I cannot think straight and cannot make good decisions. The most important thing for me is to heal this feeling. Once my mind is clear, I can make decisions easier and I can take better steps.

I gotta care about myself and rest. Tonite. Tomorrow. This weekend. Sometime, somewhere I must let myself find my core strength.

 

 

facing the fear

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

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

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

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

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

When I think these, the fear becomes not important.

And fear becoming not important is HUGE.

all the good things – check

Do not get me wrong; it has not been bright lately, but I make an effort to recognize the good and positive in my life (this post is a good example).

  • I think I am going through a down episode and am highly suspicious of my mental health, but at least noticing this tells me there is still some logical side in me, which I would like to invest in more – check

I increasingly recognize that I have anger in me that waits to be released. If I am not pissed with a work that does not go well, then I am pissed by an encounter, and if not, then by my memories. I know that I must let go off the memories and emotions attached to them, but it is not easy or permanent.

Just yesterday I decided it was okay to have this state, which now is becoming my “normal”; “I cannot sleep well – so what? It has been like this for now and it is okay”. Or, “I cannot change myself or my life the way I ideally would like, and that is okay too as I have been trying to do this my entire life”. Or, “I do not eat well as well as I want to or exercise to give my tired body a chance to relax, but that is also okay”.

These are the thoughts that go through my mind. I think I am either accepting the conditions and make peace with them, or really started to quit my ideals, plans, or efforts. Hard too know for sure. But somethings are not working. They have not been working for a long time, and this may be a chance to actually let life fix what I could not.

  • meeting with a new staff at my work-place and clicking right away – check

what a positive person! one of those individuals whose eyes are radiant with joy and positivity. It was such a pleasure to meet and chat with her. We have some common interests and background, and today I just learn that she was into plants as well. So I gave her a couple of plants and cuttings, and she was excited about them. This feels great in so many different ways; sharing plants is always joyful. But seeing the joy of the person getting them is extra joyful. I made a great memory today, thanks to her. I also felt my energy lifted after interacting with her, as this person has the most positive and happy vibe I have ever seen in someone. I fell quite lucky and I thank life for this.

  • becoming a member of the library and having access to digital books and audiobooks – check

this is fascinating! why did I not try this before?? It is such a great service and I immensely enjoy reading the books by my favorite writer and having access to audiobooks, which I am highly curious about. Magnificent development in my life – that is for sure.

  • eating fruits and yogurt – check

it has been sometime that I enjoyed these. They are healthy, tasty, and make me feel better

  • realizing that nothing is written in stone and I too can let go off some of my beliefs and find a balance in life – check

I do not know why, but all of a sudden this past Saturday morning, I got stressful again and worked the whole weekend. It went well, only slower than I wanted to.  With my stress came my internal pressure and turmoil, and I became more and more aware of the fact that I must release this internal pressure somehow (see above the 1st point). How exactly?

I know what work:

  • walking everyday
  • not working every weekend
  • mingling with people and making better memories
  • doing new or spontaneous things
  • affirmations and being grateful
  • kindness – first to myself and then to others
  • eating well and healthy
  • taking time to release daily pressure
  • traveling
  • etc.

Questions is whether I can keep up with these…

I know that if I repeat them to myself, I will. As soon as I let the work to be the most important thing in my life, inevitably, my personal life and wellness become not important at all. I do not know why I cannot find a balance; one can work and then take care of themselves at the same time, right?

  • Being kinder to people around me today – check

This kind of experiences also humble me and make me more compassionate of others. Today I was extra kind to people around me, which felt wonderful.

 

 

 

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.

we are not alone in our struggles

An interesting thing happened today – one of my colleagues burst out her frustration in a meeting we have had. The frustration she had was unrelated to the meeting and the meeting attendees. But we all understood her and supported her. It was heart-breaking to see this otherwise highly cheerful and positive colleague displaying her frustration so rawly. The hurdles she mentioned were highly similar to what I have been experiencing. I felt an instant compassion and fully supported my colleague.

What has been happening to this work place?

Through my interactions with others, this week I heard about experiences of other colleagues as well. They all have the same base problem of being under too much pressure, expectations from them increasing day by day, and the increased workload mandating that we sacrifice from our personal time and mental health. While I do not enjoy finding many of us in this situation, I find it interesting that we hear more objections and voice related to the work environment compared to before. I think together we can form a stronger voice and hopefully get our voice and concerns heard by others, especially by the management. It is a hot pot now – not isolated cases. The future of such a toxic and unsupportive environment is not bright. They better fix it prior to a mass exodus of highly dedicated personnel. This is not the survival of the fittest kind of situation – if you cannot protect the mental health and intellectual capabilities of your people, you cannot really expect extraordinary work that they do, can you?

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This being said, I also mentioned my team members how tired and frustrated I was with some of the things not done or taken care of on time just a few days before. I feel like my endless support to my team has come to an end and is retracting now. I am surprised by this but it is what it is. I keep remembering what someone commented in one of my recent posts – if you are not full, you cannot pour. How true. I wonder about the demoralizing consequences of my frustration on my team members; did they feel the same way that I feel towards my managers? Did they think that I was not supportive enough towards them, or created a toxic environment with unrealistic expectations? I really do not know. But I am empathetic.

This change in my attitude towards my own team is concerning me. I feel like I am really on a dangerous line, which I hope not to cross and go all the way down from there. I want to take a rest, like I have done last weekend with less work and more self-care, but I have so much to do that I would rather work this week…

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The good thing is that I have progressed in making decisions quicker and not spending too much time on trivial points. I also let go of whatever task that does not serve me well. I do not aim for perfection anymore – just today I submitted a report to my colleagues asking them to chip in. Most importantly, the feeling I have got last week, that I was successful and better than what this environment offered to me has been permanent since then. This is amazing. I believe that this is because it is the truth, otherwise my usual skepticism would trash it the next day. I feel empowered by this. Very much indeed.

Nevertheless, I am still tired, stressed, and anxiety is growing in me. I feel like I need additional changes in my attitude towards the work. I will know it when its time comes.

Good night everyone.

 

 

Do we have the right to prioritize ourselves and our well being? Is it selfish?

These are honest questions:

Do we have the right to prioritize ourselves and our well being? Is it selfish?

I have been trying hard to feel good, especially about myself and my life. My last 20 years in North America and many years prior to that at home, I always worked towards ending this frequent feeling of “feeling like shit”, “fear/anxiety”, “financial and other insecurities”, and “low self-esteem”. I naturally kept studying and working to keep my mind occupied with these so that I would not think about the existential thoughts. I felt better as a result, however randomly. The trap is that studying and working, especially in my highly competitive field with high failure rate and with rapid deadlines, also mean stress and feeling like shit again, experiencing anxiety, insecurities, and low self-esteem due to high competition and failure rate.

So, what is this all about?

Entire story sounds like delusion to me.

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I have been in North America for nearly 20 years now. I left my home-country, my family, and my friends for work, and then stayed. I like the safe and relatively peaceful atmosphere of Canada particularly, even though the economic situations are straining me and my work place is getting more and more toxic especially lately, but it is alright here. And I know that despite occasional racist and discriminative treatment here and there (which really annoys and is so wrong), I believe I feel much better here in Canada than I would somewhere else.

Being away from home and family is never easy. Home is home and family is the most important thing in life. Yet, when being with family and your well-being do not go side-by-side, what do you do? Emotionally, I want to go back, but logically I know this is not the right decision, at least for now. So I stay and I refuse the demands from my family to go back.

I am not convinced that I can survive mentally there, not unless I changed the way I think and deal with things in a more healthy way. Otherwise, I see myself easily in more anxiety, stress, and depression. Who can benefit or be happy with this? Neither me nor my family. I cannot get my family understand this. They think that I can earn much more money, have less stress and issues that I experience or may experience, and feel better there with the support of my family. I do not buy this. I cannot buy this.

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So, my family needs me, yet by prioritizing myself and my well-being, I deny them the help (financial or emotional) they expect from me. This naturally creates conflicts and lots of negative emotions and encounters between me and my family.

Tell me; how selfish am I to do this? Keeping myself rather in a stable and peaceful place that I believe is better for my mental health at the expense of abandoning my family except seeing them annually for a month or so, calling them every off-day, and financially helping them when they need it most?

I believe it is selfish. That is why I feel like shit as well.

As I said, the entire story looks delusional.

 

 

 

Reflecting on 2018

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

Important things in my personal life were:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My professional life:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

totally random thoughts

It was another day with lots happening at work. I am not complaining. I realized that as long as I do my best, I am content with whatever is going on at work.

It was a fine day with blue sky and warm temperatures. Do you not love such Fall days? 🙂 It was a blessing and I took it up in my memory to remember later and be grateful now.

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I am not eating well and this shows on the scale. I have lost a few pounds lately and I am feeling cold today. Tomorrow night I have a meeting till 9 pm, so I cannot shop, but Thursday is the day to get some warming food. Raisins would be nice too – they are sweet and have iron, I heard.

When I am cold, I often suspect being scared. I do not know where this association comes from, but that is alright. I have my blanket on and feeling warmer each minute. I also thanked the thoughts going thru my mind a few minute back (all negative or worrisome), as I came to realize that they are there for a reason. My mind works on them so that I can be prepared for the worst. This habit creates anxiety but trusting the benefits of it also makes me take feelings generated much easier. Wisdom? Distorted thinking? Maybe.

I am feeling a little above the sea in terms of the things that I feel anxiety about. As I wrote yesterday, no matter how big or small the issues, I have a tendency to look for and dwell into issues. The more issues I have the more I prioritize and then dwell on the biggest. I really would like to believe that I have a limit to anxiety and once the roof is reached, it cannot get worse than it. Only go down from there. Either I manage to do so, or I get support.

Mental health is such an important issue. I am becoming more and more aware of its importance. I have been planning to go see my counselor again sometime, but I have not complied with their advise (e.g. eating better, walking and exercising to reduce my stress levels). So I feel like if I go see them now, I will start from the beginning. What is the point of, then? I must say talking about my stress was therapeutic, as facing an issue almost always reduces its power. Perhaps just for this reason only, I must go see them. Considering that I am not sure whether I am turning things around or approaching yet another crisis, making a new appointment looks like the best idea.

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The thing about my work is that it does not leave much time for anything else. I have so many other things to do. Do I have to wait for the retirement? Will it ever be able to retire? Will I be able to do the things I would like to do now then?

Why to postpone life?

This is a powerful question.

One benefit of the stress and pressure I experience at work is that I constantly question whether this whole thing is worth it. Why do I not spend time with my family instead?

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Truth is that I cannot be sure of I whether I will be at peace and anxiety-free then. Unless I change myself and manage the anxiety easier, no matter where I am, I am probably going to feel similarly.

I am determined to turn things around.

If I cannot, then I trust that life will show me the best way forward. Maybe it will be a good thing to quit this job when it comes to it.

We shall see.

 

 

 

 

 

all the good things – check

It has been a fine day, my friends 🙂

  • sleeping in till past 7 am this morning – check

this gave me much needed rest and a sense of un-urgency that I was missing lately

  • deciding to work and take care of a critical work first before anything else – check

this is a nice change in my attitude. I had planned to clean the home, but I let the idea wait. I rather focused on addressing this task while I had the time and an un-distracted mind. I am glad I have decided to do so, because I was able to get a sense of the problems associated with the task and identify solutions before noon. What a blessing 🙂

  • speaking with my family – check
  • baking two beautiful loafs of sourdough – check

always a pleasure 🙂 It has been almost 2.5 years that I have been baking bread and not have bought even a single loaf from the stores since then. I was also able to share my starter and loafs with my neighbours and friends. I love this 🙂

  • watering my plants – check
  • eating healthy with a large green/lentil salad – check
  • deciding to finish work before 4 pm and take a mini-rest this evening – check

this is again a deviation from my usual self. I would not feel good about myself unless I finish the things or work till midnight to finish things. I have been getting mini rests this past week where a mini rest would be allowing myself to get away from the stressful work or thoughts and rather dedicate my time to wind down. I think it is healthier, allowing me having a better mood and mental state. I know that my energy and time is limited. Instead of interpreting this as a stress trigger, I rather see the mini-rest as an opportunity to elevate my energy at the expense of time. The next day can evolve better and more productive this way. I hope I am not wrong 🙂

  • understanding the stress and how I manage to deal it better lately – check

I came to realize that there are good stress and negative stress. Good stress is when I feel extra motivated to address work-related issues, find solutions, and work under a time-crunch. While it does not feel great at that time and I sure would love to do other things with my time (shopping is one 🙂 ), it also helps me to move forward and faster. It also helps me to realize and tackle issues before they get bigger and more serious. Who wins at the end?? Me 🙂

Negative stress is when I feel rush, rush, rush, and panicked. It almost always create some physiological disturbance (increased heart beat being one) and overall make me feel “stressed”. It has been going on like this for the last few years; I have had many anxiety episodes, depressive mood, and lack of self-confidence and hope. It sure is toxic. While I could easily fall into such a negative stress period nowadays, I am trying new ways to handle it better and make it a “good stress”.

One trick I found is to limit the time I focus on a problem. One of my team members have a timer that we started to use (15 min episodes) while discussing and resolving the issues related to their projects. It works! It helps me to focus and take things easy and effective. I love it 🙂

  • understanding the importance of self-care, better diet, and better exercise once again – check

anything I can do to improve my well-being is good, however small they may be. Like flossing I have done or the healthy lunch I have had. I have seen my dentist and paid a visit to physiotherapy this past week, which feels like I am doing fine in taking care of my medical needs. Good job!

  • having hope and an optimistic outlook for tomorrow and the rest of the week – check

having a “to-do” list the night before helps me a lot. I am determined to use the early morning hours to address the most important things. These are the best time, free of destruction, that helps me keep moving. One caveat is that I need to pay taxi to drive me to office, as bus does not start at 5 am!! But right now, I am okay with this.

  • loving my plants and enjoying every minutes I keep seeing, caring, and thinking about them – check

plants are truly therapeutic. I have so many plants that I watch to make sure they are doing well. The succulent props and new cuttings I have acquired from someone two weeks ago are good examples. I also have plans to re-pot some of the plants so that I can save space and make use of what I have. Win-win 🙂

 

 

 

pretty random thoughts

Yes, thoughts can be quite pretty 🙂

I have been in a high-speed work period for some time. Somethings are going better and some others are still challenging me. But in the middle of everything, I keep going.

I have an internal compass that is quiet and when I find it, no matter how challenging is the situation, I for some reason know that I will solve it. Has this ever happened to you?

It is such a strange contrast to my regular self, who gets stressed and anxious at the face of adversity.

Just yesterday I have got a rejection for a project that I worked very hard for. They want me to revise and re-submit, which I will. They caught the part that was most under-developed and want it fixed. I knew that I must have worked on it, but did not, could not. Now is a good time, it seems. I know that I can handle this for some strange reason. I am not panicked.

I may of course be wrong and still get a rejection after my revision. It will be a blow to my now-confidence, but I think we will see. But what I understand most is how I approach to problems and what creates my anxiety; my lack of trust in own ability and confidence to take care of stuff. Otherwise, I would have been anxious about not getting this project accepted or not making a good revision next time and getting rejected again.

It is quite strange.

I always knew that I am a perfectionist and I would like to do better each time. That means I curb my confidence in myself. However, if I do feel confident in my abilities (mostly a learnt response from my past similar experiences), then  approach things with less anxiety and worry.

I think that it all ends in believing in myself and this is the most important type of validation for me, not the others’ evaluations on me.

Strange. Strange. Strange.

I knew I would beat myself over things, but realizing that a) I limit myself more than others, and b) I in fact have a sound confidence in my abilities in some cases was surprising.

This is a beautiful day my friends.

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This week I have learnt some other things about my work habits.

I noticed that early morning (6-9am) when there is not many people around are my most productive times in the office. I must use these times effectively.

I still struggle with prioritizing the most important tasks and working on them first, but I will continue to work on this.

I realized also that I can rather use the evenings and nights for works that do not require much of a focus; like emails, little reading material.

I also took the yesterday  night and tonite off from work, and am enjoying calming down, with the confidence that I will take care of things tomorrow morning.Rushing constantly does not make me justice.

Listing the things to do a night before helps me use the next morning better. I feel at more control of my stress this way and satisfied knowing that I do work, not waste time trying to decide to what to do.

I am looking at a busy weekend again, but I am not worried about this – I appreciate the availability of time at my disposal. This is very good.

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I mentioned at the beginning that somethings were going well. I am working on two new ideas (both are challenging as well). High risk-high reward kind of projects.

For someone who is usually cautious at work, this kind of brave attempts come every 10 years or so 🙂 It is tough times, but eventually will resolve (feeling this way again based on my past experience). There is some kind of accomplishment and adventurous sense that fills me with not only panicky feelings but also with joy, confidence, and determinism. I really love when I feel this way. Especially when I see that I have not chickened out. Voila! 🙂 Hard work and stress are worth it. I am growing mentally and professionally, and I have not given up knowing that eventually I will be better in two months than today.

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I have also learnt to trust more to my team members. They make all of these possible. They work hard just like me and with me on many details and their methodological expertise is making progress in these ideas possible. I must be more appreciative of this, which I am glad that I have seen.

It is a beautiful day indeed my friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday morning musings

It is quite early and enjoying coffee with a nice piece of music at the background is priceless. I hope you all are having a great Sunday and my fellow Canadians, I hope you are having a great Thanksgiving weekend!

I am going for a social/dinner tonite by good friends – I cannot wait. Until then, my aim is to move the work at hand. It has been another busy time period and I am possibly looking for extension of it to the next year. I am ready, though. Even though it is stressful and i need to figure out and work out a lot of things, this is not the first time I have had such a time. I can do this!

As a matter of fact, the first thing I have done this morning was finishing some lagging work instead of trying to fall back to sleep. I feel quite content right now that one thing is crossed off my to-do-list. I plan to continue like this the whole day and bake a wonderful sourdough loaf in the afternoon.

Have a great Sunday everyone and may you always be happy, healthy, and content with yourself, your work, and your life as a whole 🙂

 

crushing desktops and all

here I am again!! 🙂

I have been away for some time – almost two months.

I first went to a family visit, which was amazing. I did not use internet much at that time, which was amazing by the way (no more work-related stress while being with family and de-stressing).

Then my desktop died on me. Argh. The poor thing was only 3 years old, but just like that the entire thing just shut down. I went to a tech service. There was nothing to be done….. Okay. I said, I will order a new one. And I have and it is just installed and ready to use 🙂

I have missed blogging and being connected to all of you! I cannot wait to scroll down and read the posts. I must say the last few months have been interesting and having no computer at home was more interesting than ever, but I also need to say that I enjoyed it very much. I was able to watch TV and read books, and contemplate. It was peaceful and I think that is because I was forced to not work at home. I want to limit my computer use at home. We will see how that goes 🙂

Happy summer and August everyone! Hope everything is going well with you!

Sunday morning musings

Life is good, my friends – Sunday morning is here 🙂

I am feeling good this shinny morning with my coffee next to me. Sky is bright and coffee smells fantastic. I have a short business trip to make this afternoon – it always feels great to leave all the stress and current issues behind and focus on the moment while traveling.

Many years ago it suddenly occurred to me at an airport that all I was going through at that time was normal – I was living my share of life. It was my experience, the person next to me had their own experience – better or worse – but what matters was that all I was experiencing was a part of life. And it was my life. Acceptance is soothing. That gave me peace then and after that whenever I remembered it.

That does not mean that I could not or cannot change my life. I have made pretty good changes that worked towards my objectives since then. I also got lucky and found a great job that in many ways improved how I was feeling about my own capabilities and how I was doing financially.  In so many ways, my life was much better.

This work, of course, comes with stress. We are highly competitive and there are expectations from us. These grow each year, so do we. Many of the current hurdles I have at my professional life is a common experience by many of my colleagues. Should I feel relieved?

A little bit, sure.

We all have our share of professional life.

Soothing….

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I was talking to one of my friends and colleagues yesterday about my years-long, now in the past, weekend morning routine. This always consisted of going to a nearby cafe and enjoying coffee and some pastry. Then I would visit a book store and enjoy my time and return back to my home with a book or two. I would read those books during the weekend, which would take my mind away from the work and other issues I may have. This routine was me-time. Somehow along the way I lost it because I decided to save money. Hmmmm.

Was this a great decision? At that time, it was because I was able to get into a frugal and hence surprisingly abundant life-style. I may have thought 20-25 bucks a weekend is a good amount of money to save – and it is. I enjoyed while I did this. But just yesterday I realized that I have also lost an efficient me-time practice.

Since then I developed new interests and hobbies. Blogging, baking bread, gardening, having and propagating plants – especially succulents/cacti, painting pots, jamming/pickling, and slight sewing activities. I enjoyed all of these and I continue to do so. But, there is something exciting about new endavours. They intrigue me. They excite me. They increase my abilities. 

I am not sure what my next interests/hobbies will be, but I sure am looking forward to identifying them and working towards enjoying the products 🙂

Have a great Sunday everyone 🙂

change of plans and it was all for the happier :)

Just yesterday I had canceled a celebration event for a team member of mine. By giving me the extra time I needed during this stressful time, this cancellation was logically the right decision to help lower my stress.

Yet, it occurred to me later at night that my team member was quite saddened by this. So, I went to the event this morning and I am glad I did!

It did cost me around 3 hours away from office and work, yet the pride and excitement I felt was immerse. My team member was also extremely happy and I am glad I made this decision to attend the event.

I compensated for the lost time by getting up early with excitement and working for a full two hours without any distraction, and later in the evening continuing to work with a sense of happiness and positivity. Eventually, I did my work, and made myself happy and honoured my team member on this very important day.

It is a day turned wonderful.

Sometimes we may not remember that happy occasions are the true healers.

 

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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What a day….

I was emotionally quite drained yesterday and found myself sleeping at around 7 pm. I slept around 12 hours and in the morning, I felt quite better.

I had quite a dream yesterday night. One of those dreams where you want to move in a certain way but you cannot. Everything I hanged on to to get up from the floor turned to something else and absolutely useless, and I was making an extraordinary effort to even move my arm holding on to that something….I was so focused on moving my arm and getting up in my dream that I did not even notice, talk, or support the person (a family member so dear to my heart) who was next to me in my dream.

There are many messages in this dream, I found quite reflective of my mental state and life/work struggles. I neglect the people most important to me (family), I find myself in constant struggle to even go through the simplest tasks (but I keep going despite everything and persistently try, which makes me admire my energy and determinism), and I am disappointed by the resources or opportunities available to me (or, I feel like nothing or noone supports me or they are not what I think they are).

What a dream.

I know that this dream is a work of my subconsciousness that is in a healing process. I believe it made my mental state better.

The whole day, I felt remarkably calm.

I knew that I must have changed things.

I knew that I was resisting to many things or changes.

And now I know that sometimes failure, the one thing that I am so afraid of, is actually needed. Sometimes, my friends, things do not go the way we wish them and there must be a stop point in resisting to let go or change the directions of our lives. if we cannot make this decision, then the failure makes us realize that we came to an end. Failure, in such a case, is a blessing, as it stops you from moving in the wrong direction.

I think it is time that I gracefully accept the failure. This feels safe and surprisingly good.

This does not mean that I let go of my current efforts to produce ideas and hard work. It means that I am kind of unattached to all my plans and wishes right now, and I have stopped beating myself about the possibility of current or future issues, problems, or unsuccessful work.

This is a relief.

I am not naive enough to think that all my issues are resolved or this mental clarity is permanent. But I am not afraid at this moment of issues or their effects on me. I may get up tomorrow feeling anxious and extremely caring about every single plan or wish of mine, but right now, I will soak in this peaceful feeling.

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I made my appointment with a psychologist yesterday. I resisted this idea for a decade or two. Maybe this is what is giving me these feelings of letting go. I am not sure. But I want to feel good and gain my composition, strength, and happiness again. I want to see and think more clearly.

Life is interesting. It teaches you everything you need, whether or not you want it is not relevant. It fixes you.

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In the mean time, I started to eat better – I ate some carrots at noon and cooked a meal for dinner. I ate healthy stuff. I took my time to cook for myself. I walked a bit during the day. I considered cutting coffee a little bit – from 6 cups to 3 cups maybe. I did my back exercises – not fully, but at least I recognize that if I do them, my healing will be speedier. I made a conscious choice of not filling my mind with worry about a problematic report that I expect to get tomorrow. I decided to smile more today and being a more pleasant and positive person – and it went well. I decided to not listen to music or TV shows late at night and rather focus on reflecting on the moment.

I decided to write these here so that I can document the reality.

Which I hope will change in a better way starting soon.

what comes with a year

I do not know how I feel, but after eating some food, I must say I am feeling better 🙂

I think I have not eaten much in the last 24 hours. Yesterday evening was busy with a friend. I think we have had finger foods but then forgot to eat a decent dinner. This morning, as usual, I have not had a breakfast. And then, at noon, I managed to eat some left over food. But I guess that was it until 10 min ago, I remembered to eat a slice of sourdough and some yogurt.

Why am I telling you all of these?

I am very aware of the fact that I am highly stressed, somehow depressed and anxious. The last one year has been quite intense in terms of working, having all bunch of frustrations, and not taking a good care of myself. These were topped by the injuries, one to my elbow and the other to my lower back. I very well know that I must care for myself most during this time, and I am most resisting to the idea.

Why, I must ask.

Why would I resist to taking good care of myself?

I feel like every additional step I must take will stress me more. Like walking and other exercises my doctor has recommended to help with my sleep and stress problem. I used to walk every evening from my office to home, rain or shine did not matter much. Not anymore. I even cannot make to physiotherapy every week, even though it is probably a very important healing process for me. There is always something to do and something to take care of. Except my own well being.

I did, however, a good job today and started looking for a mental health counselor. My first shrink session to come 🙂 I cannot believe. Maybe I should have done this long time ago. I really do not know. Maybe I will find relief.

I hope so.

I realize that in order for things in my life to change, I must change myself. The way I think and approach things.

Wish me luck 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

all the good things – check

  • finally making it a part of my reality and consulting my doctor about my stress levels, anxiety, depressive mood, and sleep problems – check

it has been an interesting experience. I am not new to having stress, anxiety bouts here and then, depressive thoughts, and lately sleeping much less than usual. While I was feeling perfectly fine during the day, I thought I would consult my doctor. She suggested nicely to exercise 6 times a week; try melatonin for some time for my sleep – if it does not work out, I can get a pill later; and see a counselor to get a better idea about other ways to manage my stress and occasional anxiety I get. Perfect. I always thought that it would feel weird for me, but it did not. I said to my doctor and I believed in it completely when I said – that I want to feel good. well done, I would say 🙂

  • taking the bus this afternoon, rather than the cab – check
  • painting one of my old-looking pots with the new paints I have bought yesterday – check
  • eating a large bean salad with joy and appetite – check
  • working nice and easy – check
  • deciding not to work this evening – check
  • watering the radish and flower seeds in the yard – check

my radish seeds have done amazing! They appeared around a week after the sowing and I could not be more excited 🙂 There is something incredible about growing something from seeds 🙂 🙂

  • using my new watering can to water the yard – check

why did I not think about buying one before??? It is such a useful thing and only costed me 6 bucks this weekend! It takes a couple of times to fill and then water the seeds/seedlings, but without it I would not be able to do this, either, so I am so grateful that I have purchased it – there will be many flowers and seeds coming out in my yard this year and many years to come 🙂

  • growing cacti seeds – check, check, check!

I planted them 10 days ago and yesterday I have seen my first baby cactus, and then yet another one a few hours after that. This morning, an additional one appeared and this afternoon I noticed yet another one, too! What a joy, friends! I never thought that I could germinate them, but I did it!! Checking every morning and every once a while during the day and seeing new green tops showing up is an amazing feeling – I am so excited!

 

 

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.

all the good things – check

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

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I have almost lapsed into extra spending today :)

Almost….

I wanted too 🙂 I really did – I wanted to come home early and get that junk food again..

It was an internal struggle really. I thought “it would be such a shame if I lapse right now, after a great day of frugal and simple life yesterday“.

Thank goodness I remembered that my computer does not run well nowadays and if I had come home and worked here, it would be a disaster. So, I stayed and did some work in the office. My craving for the junk food got subsidized at the same time.

I know in a couple of days I will forget these and will not even think about the junk food or other additional expenses I make to feel good in the midst of all the stress and hard-work. I know if I can go through a couple of weeks frugal, it is gonna be just easy after that.

Really. 

 

 

what is it that I am supposed to become?

This is a crucial question.

What am I supposed to learn from all of these work-related failures and then shape my future accordingly?

Two important applications of mine have been rejected recently, one being today, making my hard-work in the last few months nill.

I think I am kind of catatonic because I am not even feeling the sting of this situation. 

Things are not going well, re: work and my career. I understand that I must learn something and move on, but what the hey is that? When will I know what it is?

I kinda believe that I must stop all my attachments to my current work and whatever I feel is necessary or important (except my family and my well being), so that I can open roads for wider opportunities. Maybe I am not supposed to continue here, but move somewhere.

Where is it?

Maybe the future is bright, but I realy do not know..

Will it reveal itself to me?

How many more times must I feel like I am making one last effort to turn things around?

I have not given up yet, but it would be nice if I could get something out of all of these hard times..

Please.

……………………..

 

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 🙂

 

 

 

it can only get better from here

Life is interesting.

I was talking to a cab driver this morning who told me for an unrelated (economy-related) issue that “it cannot go worse than this; I think we hit the bottom of the rock, it can only get better from here – up“.

I believe in this and had said a similar thing to a friend about my own recent stress and struggles. Together with my experience with my friends yesterday (which helped me to actually demonstrate myself that I have had the confidence to stand up for myself), hearing this from a stranger today has helped my mind to materialize this hopeful attitude.

With these positive experiences, as another step towards making myself less stressful, I decided on an important report that it did not have to be perfect. It was already in a good shape and as such, I submitted it today. Additionally, I finished another one tonite, which will be submitted tomorrow 🙂

Two big jobs that have been on my list for weeks are now done.

Wow.

I did it.

These are the second and third imperfect (but perfectly in good condition) work that I have submitted in the last two weeks or so. What a beautiful change in how I approach my work and personal wellness. I feel relieved and happier.

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I have been hard on myself for taking the cab (rather than the bus), but I guess life has had its own way of telling me that sometime what we think as bad can actually be pretty good for us.

 

 

a little rant

Ok. So you think you have friends and tell them that you are not feeling well. Two of them take you out for an afternoon coffee and they start lecturing you about how you should not feel this way or that way; how you should do this or that. And when you react to what they say (which is mostly not relevant to me or the situation I am in), they mention that your perception of things and their efforts are affected by you not feeling well, and as such, is distorted.

Well.. Well.. Well..

Excuse me!

In order to understand the person across from you, you must first listen to, rather than questioning or lecturing. Over-generalization of everybody and every situation is NOT a good practice. I understand that my friends were trying to be “friends” and “helping”, but this is not the best way to demonstrate these.

I rather wished my friends asked me how I think they could help or what I would need from them.

Let’s keep this in mind next time when we have a friend who is going through a stressful time.

On a separate note, I am glad that I stood up to my grounds and expressed myself.

 

Sunday morning musings

Yet another beautiful and quiet Sunday morning cherished with coffee and a lovely music at the background.

What is it about Sundays that makes us so hopeful and positive? Absence of work? Family/me time? Or just the feeling that like the rest of the (most of the world), we are too entitled to chill, wind down, rest, and do nothing on this day? Freedom to do anything we want or do nothing if that is what we want is a great feeling. Let’s immerse ourselves in this freedom today.

Being free of obligations and things that stress/strain us important. I increasingly have realized the importance of this lately. I like being free and not rushing from one job to other at work/home; I like being free from the stress and the need to think and find solutions. I like being free from the requirement of being at one place rather than the other; I like being free from negative thoughts and stress.

Is it easy to attain?

“ell no.

I was reading somewhere else that at this age, we are required to be competitive and put more strains on us than before to produce. Produce services, products, or ideas. I have such a job, which under different conditions (without the pressure) is highly satisfactory, valuable, and lets me get the best out of my skills and knowledge Yet, the pressure hurts my creativity, happiness and maybe health, and reduces my personal space and priorities to a minimum. Is this right?

I do not think so.

Without the personal wellness and satisfaction, how do we expect ourselves to function well in a competitive job/work environment?

It would be awesome if the organizations had flexibility in the expectations from their employees; some are hard-workers, some are creative, some are meticulous, some are visionary, and some are good managers. It is important to find such organizations and positions I guess. 

This being said, I kind of understand the pressure my organization is under. It is supposed to deliver what it promises, is supposed to do these with the right budget, set of employees, and expected outcomes. When I think from this point of view, my heart aches for my organization. This is economically difficult times and everything suffers as a result (well, maybe not too wealthy).

So, what shall we do?

I would love my organization and others to create a supportive environment and work through carrots, not the sticks. If we are together, we may function better and in unity. And in unity is the strength, understanding, and solutions. Working towards a common goal is a beautiful feeling.

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I was joking the other day to a colleague of mine that my last report before retirement would be about this kind of things; experience and understanding gained as a result of the work experiences and how it shapes our lives, profession, and future ideas. There is a growth alright – however difficult it could be – that makes my understanding better. I am hopeful that in the future I will come up with my best ideas, experiences, projects, and reports.

 

I hope I will continue to be that hopeful and positive.

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 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

 

less is more…

I have come across a horoscope on the internet today. I do not believe in horoscope or estimating future. So my relationship with horoscopes is quite rejecting. But I could not help but read this one, which ended with the phrase “less is more“.

It is talking about not only physical but also mental clutter. I am good at keeping my home minimally cluttered. But, how about my mental clutter?

I am guilty of mental clutter that often drags me down.

I tried many times in the past to effectively block this mental negativity. Exercise is good, reading an exciting book is good, making plans is good, working is good.

I work big time, especially nowadays, but it is actually a resource for the mental clutter. So what do I do?

While quitting my job crosses my mind, logically I do not want to do this. I have commitments for the next 3 years, so it is out of question. Plus, I have no better alternative right now, so it is not a feasible option.

Then, what is my solution?

I do not know but a break and de-stressing would be awesome. Timing could not be better – I am going away for a couple of days for a business trip. This will give me much needed break from office. But it will not be a permanent solution – as soon as I returned back, I will find myself in the same stressful and on-the-edge situation. 

Removing negative people from my life would be a good option to tackle. I have a friend and colleague who is quite negative and constantly complaining about the work and other colleagues. As a good friend and senior colleague, I listen. I have been listening to for years now, and I cannot take it anymore. Time to keep my distance….

Setting a time aside to meditate each day would be an amazing thing to do. If done properly, this “doing nothing” state always made me feel better and more optimistic.

And being grateful for my job. Just yesterday I realized that I had missed to be grateful for my job….. There are so many things to be grateful for it. I make a living thanks to my job. I am a part of a big organization and train young professionals thanks to it. I have benefits and vacation time thanks to it. I save and invest for my future thanks to it. I have a place in my community thanks to it. 

There are countless things to be grateful for my job.

I think remembering these will help make this difficult times turn around.

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reflections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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where is my resilience?

I feel on the edge the majority of the time. My nerves are firing and sometime for the little things. It is time that I take a break.

I have another 3 weeks of speedy work schedule after which I will have another business related trip followed by a couple of days for rest in Europe. I am really looking forward to this break. When I return I have another month to go with stress and high work volume, but I am assuming that the break will help heal my nerves. I keep telling myself I must find a way to manage my stress. The best way, in my experience, is cardio exercise, aka martial arts. At my age?? I am hesitant…

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My other alternative is to sooth my nerves with junk food.

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What is it gonna be?

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joy journal – September 11 2017

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and waking up early. I was at the office before 8 and it was a productive time of the day.

2. I am grateful for having the money to take the cab in such a heavily raining day. I may not like wasting money but today it was well needed. 

3. I am grateful for working fine and being satisfied with it. It is great to appreciate my own efforts.

4. I am grateful for doing the right things. I am known with my meticulous nature and always striving for doing the right thing. Many people may not find it pleasant but it is very important. That reminds me one of my previous mentors who was especially not happy about it. It is strange how different people have different work ethics. I thank myself for always trying to do the right thing in the right manner.

5. I am grateful for having laughter while watching a comedy movie 🙂

6. I am grateful for having a strong house that endures all the harsh winter and now the heavy rain. I appreciate this so much.

7. I am grateful for having a nice and positive conversation with the cab driver this afternoon. He was very positive and it was infectious – I felt lucky to have exposure to his positivity 🙂

8. I am grateful for resting in the evening and feeling energized and well.

9. I am grateful for eating a nice potato salad with lots of great raw veggies – very healthy and yummy 🙂

10. I am grateful for making a mortgage pre-payment this evening 🙂

11. I am grateful for the cool temperature at home; last week it was very humid but in the last few days it is plain cool and it is the most magnificent temperature ever 🙂 

12. I am grateful for realizing that I have had an extra week of work before a significant deadline! I was a week ahead of real time! This illusion has happened once again a couple of weeks ago. When I realize that I have more time than I thought I have had is an amazing relief. I do not know why I am feeling a week ahead of time.. I think it is because I am stressed and hyper because of the work-load. 

13. I am grateful for developing as a professional. I have been challenged quite a bit by some bossy and manipulating colleagues lately. It is a sensitive balance to keep a good work relationship and being assertive at the same time. I swallowed things a few times and I was assertive a couple of times. But the journey has not ended yet. The future possibility of dealing with such situations stresses me, but I try to talk myself out of this. “Learning and developing, and I will know better to handle such situations in the future“. Thus is what I keep telling myself. Experience… It is an hurtful experience but will help with next ones, right? They always do.

14. I am grateful for being healthy and energetic. 

15. I am grateful for the night being peaceful and lovely. Nights have always pacified me – what is it about them, I wonder? Is it the darkness? Lack of the daily rush? Tiredness? Closure of the day? Silence?

16. I am grateful for my computer, internet access, and TV/cable that make my life easy and entertaining.

17. I am grateful for my new trousers that fit me well and keep me warm. they are more suitable for winter but they look so good that I am happy to wear them.

18. I am grateful for yogurt. It is one of my most favorite foods. I eat too much though; sometimes around 750 ml per day… Too much of nothing can be good, so I would like to take a break from it for some time.

19. I am grateful for my moisturizers that keep my hands and face moist and healthy.

20. I am grateful for my floss! I love flossing. The trick is to have the most suitable floss for your needs. I use a three-liner that works wonders for me. 

21. I am grateful for my perfume. I do not wear it often, but yesterday I wanted to and it was a delight.

22. I am grateful for realizing, after all the stress and issues with collaborators, that inner peace is an important thing. It may have been stretched a bit nowadays but it will heal and be fine once this is over. I wonder why I cannot take things easy and be relax at the face of this kind of adversities. I need to focus more on seeing the big picture and caring for my inner self. This journal entry is serving just this purpose.

23. I am grateful for my flexible work hours that allow me to work at home when I need it.

24. I am grateful for needing this journal, remembering things, events, people, and experiences to be grateful for, and making a conscious attempt to feel good about myself and my life.

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Added after the post:

I forgot – as of Jan 2017, I aim to note at least 3 things that I appreciate about myself.

Here is today’s list:

  • I appreciate myself for resisting the bad and negative
  • I appreciate myself for working hard
  • I appreciate myself for eating better today
  • I appreciate myself for being healthy
  • I appreciate myself for taking time to rest
  • I appreciate myself for contemplating and learning about myself and others
  • I appreciate myself for soothing myself by self-care
  • I appreciate myself for taking steps and starting/continuing with the plans that are important for me
  • I appreciate myself for loving the nature
  • I appreciate myself for enjoying the sound of rain
  • I appreciate myself for finding joy in writing and reading this journal

 

 

 

 

 

what would I do when I retire?

I want to retire in 8-11 years only to get rid of the stress and ridiculous issues that I deal with everyday at the office.

A few minutes ago I thought about this: what would be my retired life like?

It would be free of work related things, I would have some kind of financial stability/security, but then how would I fill my life? What would it be like?

This is an unknown situation. As someone living alone, I probably would need some human interactions. I think I would have a part-time job. That would also give me some pocket money. I can switch jobs easily too if I do not like the environment. That is a relief.

What else?

I think I would travel a little bit with tours. I have no interest in going around the world by myself at that age. Too much stress. Tours, on the other hand, would make this experience easier. I would love to go see the South America and Europe.

What else?

Would I write a novel? Poems? Where would I publish them? Would they be good? If not, why to write at all?

What would I do really??

Would I be free of stress? I think not, but at least I would not have the stress of work. I think I would be stressed about other things.

My health for one. I would probably stressed about health problems. Right now I am free of chronic diseases, but heck, anytime something may show up. So..

Life does not wait and time flies. I think I should stop thinking about retirement and rather focus on how to have a better and more fulfilling life.

What would make me more joyful and fulfilled now, I wonder?

Spending good time with my family. Having laughter. Feeling energized and hopeful for the future. Being more in the moment. Caring less about work and more about my life experiences. Being more positive. Seeing opportunities more. Taking opportunities more. Changing things that do not work. Removing toxic experiences and people from my life. Caring less about money and having less anxiety about future financial well-being. Being more spontaneous. Joking with life. Dancing with life.

Do I want too much?

 

 

Wednesday morning musings

I got up very early this morning, partly because it was cold. I am glad I have done this, though, considering how peaceful, stress-free, and enjoyable the morning is.

I have been feeling quite well since yesterday evening; a big work is almost done and it feels good.

I have been on and off on work staycation in the last 6 weeks. It has been stressful to do all the work that dragged me down during this time and I was hurt along the way and exhausted, but now things are getting and looking better.

I still have lots of stuff to do but I have a list that shows which works are done in the last 6 weeks and I am glad that I went thru this time; lots of work is done! In my profession 6 weeks is a short time, and all the things I have done are great things. It was a great decision to do this this year. I am very satisfied with my decision and performance.

At what cost, you may ask? And you are right, stress and exhaustion are not worth it within the big picture of life. But I know if I had not done what I had done, things would have been worse for me and I would be looking for a much longer period of agonizing time to finish everything. Finding this positivity and being satisfied with everything are priceless. And feeling well is above all of these; I am very grateful.

This week is the last time that I am able to take vacation time off this year. That means until the holidays in December I will have occasional flexibility to work from home. I should be okay with this, but somehow reacting to it. It tells me that I enjoyed or benefited from working at home. Another positive thing  to be grateful for!

On my personal life side, this intense work period was also good; I socialized a couple of times and hosted friends at home. More importantly, I broke my routine, even though I longed for my routine life during the last 6 hectic weeks. Life is interesting. Everything has its own proper time I guess…

I have great plans for today! I will complete some more tasks that have been dragging me down. I am looking forward to finishing them and adding them to my tasks-done-list! What a treasure 🙂

I hope you all will have a gorgeous day filled with positivity, satisfaction, great opportunities and solutions 🙂

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pretending

Ok – I cannot tell lies as a brutally honest person, but sometimes I feel like I must pretend in order to prevent a huge negative consequence.

I have had a very stressful 6 weeks and mentally I am very, very close to exhaustion. My body was exhausted 2 weeks go and 3 days of rest had mended it. But mental exhaustion is something else; you must recharge and cool down and excite with other matters. Or, burnt out is inevitable. It certainly is not an easy deal. I was burnt out once quite badly. It took me almost 3 years to fully recover. This is a very long for a professional with a highly demanding job. I cannot be there again.

Today I emailed two colleagues about a work we are supposedly doing where I am the only one shouldering 95% of the things. I said I am almost exhausted and cannot do more now; would they do their part?

We will see how it goes.

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slowly slowing down

I have been slowing down the work, and stress as a result, in the last two days. I am feeling good and ready to come back to my regular self. Not yet, but soon.

I developed this fear that the moment I will relax, something else will happen. So I am keeping my guard up for any new events to show up. A tiring feeling.

Next week will be busy with drafting and finalizing a project that I have been working on for some time. Including many people in it is an opportunity for a better project, but managing conflicts and everybody’s interest is not something I am looking forward to. I try to convince myself that this is neither the first nor the last time that I will have to handle such a complex team dynamic, so eventually things will be better. Eventually I will forget or move on with a valuable experience. This is good 🙂

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While I am officially off today, I went to office and had two meetings with my team  members. Since these meetings move our own work, I am happy to show up at the office. However, I realized once more how much I resent doing little work that others can do. What a waste of time for me while more important issues wait my attention/time and my team members can take care of the little points themselves with a little bit effort. That is a dilemma… I guess if I was not such a control freak and aim to do high quality work, I would eagerly let my team members to take care of the fine points. Yet the past experience says that they are still young and not highly experienced, so to ensure that we will have a good product, I feel like there is no other option, but me being directly doing the work… Tiring… But the reward is well worth it… Still resenting it, though…

I finished working at home in the afternoon and was ready to do something different. Honest to goodness, nothing came to my mind.. Shopping? Walking? Seeing a movie? Watching TV? None…. I could not even think about reading a book. I understood that my transition from fast and high-volume work to my regular work load (and mental relaxation) has not finalized yet. Give me a couple of more days…

Yesterday I made a list of things that I have done in the last 5 weeks (the start of my work staycation period). I liked what I have seen :)))) There are so much done in that period of time. Yes, it was hard on me, very stressful and threw me off my routine, but eventually I have done what I meant to do. New issues are emerging and some of my tasks are not done yet, but I keep this list somewhere close to me so that I can look at it and find motivation and satisfaction. That was one great idea that I am glad I have come up with 🙂

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I remember seeing a profile of a surgeon somewhere in Canada. He was just appointed as a director of a large unit. In that news, he mentioned something like “I am looking forward to challenges this position may/will bring and resolving them“. I always thought that this was odd, as I take challenges quite serious and it takes extraordinary mental energy to resolve some of the issues. So, I do not know whether he just said that, as it was expected from a director/leader, or has indeed a personality that can look at challenges without getting emotionally and energy-wise drained. I know some people are better in handling challenges and I want to believe that that person in fact stated the truth. This would mean that there is still room for me to develop and achieve that mental attitude.

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Tomorrow is another day. I will see what the day will bring. Until then, I am off to preparing a nice dinner and watching the X-Files 🙂

 

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I want to go back to my regular self

It is not good to work under stress and undertake too much.

It is not good to eat junk.

It is not good to drink so much soft drink per day.

It is not good to spend money on cab while I can take the bus or walk.

It is not good to feel like nothing I work on moving while they actually do.

I want to be fine again, like prior to 5 weeks ago when I was walking, eating healthy, visiting thrift stores, saving money, and feeling great about myself.

I really do.

I think it is time that I take a couple of days really off and slowly start doing what I used to enjoy; thrift stores will be a good start. Hopefully sometime soon.

Life has shown goodness to me nowadays

You know that I am going through and stressful patch in relation to my work in the last one month. There is too much to be done and too much emotions and exhaustion to deal with. But there has been great things as well, which I should acknowledge.

One of the things about my profession is to be recognized by others in my field as an expert. I have had three invitations in the last one month as an expert. One of them from a national organization that I have not worked with in the past. Another one is an international organization that I had interacted with last year. And the third one I have just got an invitation from is the biggest organization of its kind in Canada. All of these organizations coming up with my name and their trust in my professional abilities made me feel really good about myself; I have national and international recognition after all 🙂

These invitations not only strengthen my own confidence and self-appreciation, but also help me show my own organization that I am a recognized expert. This increase my chances of being respected here.

It is funny that I have had many such recognition in the past and my organization never made a good remark about these. This is strange, but as day goes on, my list is increasing and so does my case to present myself to my own organization. Lovely 🙂

These invitations require me to set up time and evaluate important reports. I am usually good about this and am looking forward to doing good job and writing great evaluation reports. At a time that I have been looking for ways to expand my credentials and move into the directions that will be good to me and where I would perform my best, these additional work only makes me happy and trusting the magical way of life in helping me move forward.

As a high level administrator told me a couple of days ago “when there is a challenge, there is the opportunity“.

I know that well now.

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your body let you know when you need to slow down

My tummy was aching yesterday and this morning, and I have a terrible headache since morning. I have eaten lots of carbs and drank too much soft drinks, and my face is puffy and I feel lethargic. I believe my blood tension is also high. 

Where am I going like this?

I may not have managed my work-related stress effectively so far, but I think it is time that I start doing this.

Action item 1. Stop thinking work at nights. Watch the X-files instead. Give my mind a break.

Action item 2: Breathe. Deep breaths. Continuously. For 5 minutes or longer. Try time to time.

Action item 3: Stop drinking soft drinks. Replace it with water. Drink milk.

Action item 4: Get out of the house.

Action item 5: Eat better. No carbs for some time. Eat delicious veggies and fruits for a change. They energize me.

Action item 6: Do not work this weekend, if I can.

Action item 7: Work at the office tomorrow, not at home. Get some human interaction. Get away from isolation.

Action item 8: Write down the things that go well.

Action item 9: Cuddle with a nice book.

Action item 10: Watch these lovely creatures and put on a smile 🙂

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random thoughts

The day has been good and I like being able to say this 🙂

My hair is doing fine. It has been almost 3 weeks since I have had highlights. I have washed my hair a little bit more frequently than usual, and as such it grew faster relatively to past. In the past, 2 weeks after dyeing my hair my roots would start showing up and I would get depressed over the grays showing. This time, grays are showing but it is not that bad. As a matter of fact, I must very carefully look for them to see them. So I would say despite my epic tantrum at the hair saloon 3 weeks ago, my hair dresser was right – the highlights have lightened up and for now the roots are somehow blending in.

Of course it is quite early to have a final conclusion; I noticed that my hair dresser have done a much better job dyeing my hair than myself, and as such the roots are only coming out to visibility. If I have the same good feeling in the next two weeks, I will conclude that whatever she did, she did it right. Time to make the next appointment! 🙂

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Works is stressful, but at least there are nice people who are helping. One of my collaborators and I have good conversations and we are both humbled by our work experiences. It is time to move up and we will be doing this. Good to have support and empathy, even though time to time we have our own clashes with this collaborator. I come to my senses, she does the same, by comparing our relationships with others (which are much more complex, pressing, and sometime even down right problematic). Among all these turbulent work relationships, the one between us at least work and move both of us up.

Also a staff from another unit has helped me clarify somethings; it was needed and solved a couple of issues. This staff and I have had some turbulent moments in the past, a few years back, on similar issues. I was resentful at that time, but today everything was positive and I could not help but think how well and naturally some relationships heal over time, or after a while.

Both of these recent experience say me that not everything is as bad as I expect them to be, and some work relationships are quite dynamic and require a new look and attitude time to time.

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My potatoes potated! Yes, they have!

I have checked one of the plants out of curiosity and there were around 10 mini potatoes at the root 🙂 I am filled with love and awe…. I planted them back, hoping that maybe they will potate later, or could be food for soil animals 🙂

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a relief after all

I have just completed a critical task and I feel the freedom coming out of letting it go. It is not over yet, but knowing that this one step is done gives me an unexpected relief. I will take it.

Work continues to be hectic and stress levels are still high. But at least I am preparing myself dinner this evening. This is a nice change and makes me feel better about everything.

The work will continue, I will fail, and I will go up. Somewhere, somehow. I wish there were no pressure as we have been under that restricts our minds and negatively affects our quality of life. This is one of the worst summers of my life, all because of work stress. Imagine….

The irony is that it has also been the warmest and brightest here where I live.

How do we enjoy what we are given and how we waste our times thinking, worrying, stressing

C’est la vie?

start of the “work staycation”

I am taking the next week off to work. Am I funny or what?? 🙂 

I have a number of things to finish and I am looking forward to this break. I have another 1-2 weeks to take off before the end of August, which is a relief. Maybe I will stop for a couple of days and focus on myself a little bit.

My plans are as follows for the next 9 days:

Work:

3 documents to develop and/or finalize

2 speeches to finalize

Email correspondences and other emergency stuff that will occur within the week (that is correct; I wrote “will” rather than may” because the past years have taught me that emergencies are a normal part of our work Yuppi! More stress hormone! )

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Personal life and home:

Two dinner parties with friends; meaning lots of shopping, cooking, and cleaning. We will see how this will go. Two dinners in a week seem too excessive for me. It is like a marathon! It is great that my friends are understanding. The worst we can do is to take out.

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Staining and painting the patio and the wooden parts of the outside doors and windows; I resent this task, but it must be done so that I can protect my property better.

Reading a book…… It has been almost 2 years that I have not read a full book, from start to end…. I have the Game of Thrones series at my hand, which are so interesting. yet, where is my book love? How did I lose it? How can I get it back?

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Taking more pictures of the natural beauties. The photos I posted in the last few weeks, the photos of the plants and flowers in my yard made me realize what a great yard I actually have. Many of these appeared in the last year or two, and when I first purchased my home, the yard looked incredibly bad. I digged and almost leveled the back of the yard, planted a little maple tree, trimmed some unwanted ones, planted a number of seeds, some of which germinated (let’s see how they will survive), planted potato, onions, and garlic. The potato plants are doing great, onion has almost seeded, but the garlic does not seem to be producing anything (I checked one of them). I had heard about sterile garlics, which I seem to have planted. In the fall, I will plant again, potato as well, to see whether the time of planting makes a positive difference (they say these plants should be planted in fall before the frost).

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I also plan to print some of the photos and hang them on my walls. This is a massive undertaking for me because I want to hang around 15-20 frames…. Since I cannot do this myself, that also means that I will hire someone to put the nails on the walls. Fun stuff…i repeat that we need a “handyman/woman” registry or company that can do this kind of little work for people like myself.

And, I must do some back/ab exercises to keep my back strong. I have neglected these exercises for some time now and I feel like I must prioritize them again. Since at home I sit mostly (rather than using my standing desk at the office), my chances of hurting my back increase. I do not need that type of “emergency” situations, do I? 🙂

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Have a great Friday night everyone!

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what the days bring, you take it

While I have had a relaxing weekend, the stress of work has already caught up with me. Since yesterday I have been running, running, running again. I can feel all the stress hormones rushing in my veins and my emotions fluctuating. I feel like emotionally unstable, and sometimes, just sometimes, I realize that I must do things differently.

When you work with others and dependent on their commitment, time, and efforts, you know that this kind of work takes more time and there are times that you need to “trust” that the other party will do their absolute best to finish the work with a level of quality required from you. You also know that this is not an optimistic expectation, because in reality a lot of things can go wrong. So, how do we get the best of the other parties? How do we involve them more, and make them do the things on time? Especially if they are your colleagues, or even worse, your superiors? 

I do not have the answer to this. If you have any opinions, please leave me a comment. I will seriously consider it.

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I continue to work mostly at home this week, even though I am back to work (i.e. not vacation time). I do not know whether this is good or bad, but it seems to be working for me. I just wished I could do better. But then, who would not?

One of my colleagues could not believe today that I took vacation time to actually work. Is that so weird? I concur that it is weird, but at least please respect my wishes – I too know to just do things out of work and enjoy my life. But with the work-related congestion I have at my hand, finishing the work is going to give me peace of mind. I am so looking forward to the mornings when I wake up feeling good about life, not stressed by the work I must do. My quality of life is important.

Carbs too.

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Among all of these chaotic circumstances, there has been good things as well. First of, I managed to revive my sourdough from its dried flakes. Objectively though it is questionable that whatever is growing in the starter has come from my original starter (I have been feeding it the last four days); it is quite possible that this is in fact a new culture that I captured from flour, water, or air. It is so hard to know. I want to believe, though it is the original one so that I can brag about my sourdough starter lasting for years and years…What a childish but important wish for me. Unfortunately none of us will know the truth. I wish I could do DNA test or something to figure out :)))

Another good news is that with each wash, my highlights are getting more lighter and I am capable of seeing some light patches in my hair here and there. I am still pissed about the highlights not being strong enough, but considering it has been only 5 days since I have got my hair done, I am hopeful that in two weeks or so, I may get better-looking and stronger highlights. I want to believe…..

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Also, I finally chopped down the little trees shooting out of the trim of my house. Somebody told me that they can grow and start damaging the house/foundation. What!! I do not need that. I feel weird cutting little trees, one because they are little, and second, they are trees. Trees are magical and absolutely wonderful. Why do they show up where they do not belong? I made a mental note to plant one to my yard to ask forgiveness from nature.

Last, since I am not eating well during this stressful time, I seem to be losing weight. I am okay with that as long as I eat at least a vegetable and fruit at least once during the day.  However, it is strange that even planning for one of my weekly pleasures, grocery shopping, is not making me excited.

The situation, my friends, is that dire.

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Sunday morning musings

It is a bright and warm summer day; who can complain about these? Certainly not me 🙂

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It is a routine Sunday morning, which is good. It feels great to be back to my routine after a couple of agitated days.

There are things that I realize after the recent ordeal:

a) I feel better within my own so called “highly structured daily life”, where every action and activity has a time and meaning. I do grocery shopping on Thursdays, purchase milk on Saturdays, clean the house and do the laundry on Saturdays, read, write, and watch movies/TV series during the evenings, and work during the weekdays between regular hours. I miss spontaneity time to time, but losing my routine when I most need it (i.e. when I am agitated and stressed) is worse than the boredom that I feel when not having spontaneous activities. You may call me old, hey, I may call myself old, but honestly I like the way my now middle-age mentality works for me, and knowing what works and what does not work for me. One can call this wisdom that comes with age….

b) I may need to reduce the amount of distractions I have at the office so that I can focus on what is important for my work. I lead a small team of talented individuals, some of which requires more supervision that the others. I also have collaborations with other groups and roles in committees in my organization. Late Spring, I started to aim for having at least 2 work day with no meeting, which turned out to be quite beneficial for me. I would love to keep doing this with some luck, by saying “no” more often, and by organizing my time a little bit better. I contemplate on increasing the work hours, either during the week or assigning a week night for work. Fridays can be a good option, but I will have to see that. While I am aware of the fact that I must work harder or longer, I also would love to keep my “me” time that relaxes me and lets me engage in learning, writing, and fun activities. I am a strong proponent of having “me” time. I do not wish to let go off this now.

c) The recent agitation was triggered by me being not prepared well in advance. When I realized that the work I was working on was, although bright, not feasible, I felt anger. Towards myself, towards everything and everyone that kept me away from having more time. This is not right and this is not healthy; others have nothing to do with this. It is my own responsibility to protect my own time and manage it better. I should take full responsibility for my own actions, or inactions, and stop being a drama queen. I cannot keep failing myself. This gotta stop.

d) These being said, I must also say that stress sometimes makes me work way productive than the rest of the time. Like the rest 3 days, when I actually fumed a lot but also did a lot. Stress is counter-productive when it is too much, but as the others would also say, it also facilitates some action. Thus, as long as I remind this myself during high stress times, perhaps I could go through those times smoother.

Lessons learnt… Sometimes over and over… But, hey I am a human being with all the fails and limitations. 

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I am looking forward to today; there will be a thrift store visit (I hope), conversations with my family, a sourdough to bake and give to my good neighbours next door, and some X-File episodes to watch at night! Boy, the later parts of the Season 2 was just heart-pumping and the first episode of Season 3 is making me jump in excitement! Thank goodness that we have such joys and excitements in life! 

I believe it is gonna be a fantastic day!

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Have a great Sunday everyone 🙂

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The third day of the “work” staycation

Today went really well in terms of the work I have been trying to fix. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! 🙂

Honestly the stress levels I have right now is huge. I want to take things one thing at a time, but how do we achieve that when there are multiple things at hand? Challenge… I need more than ever my logical self and sound mental state.

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Overall, though I am feeling calmer and more optimistic after finding solutions to the work at my hand. Until next time…..

I have not dwelled on my Saturday routine today, except I prepared sourdough to bake tomorrow. For some reason I do think that my home is clean enough and the laundry can wait till I run out of clean items (boy, did that ever happen to me? Never…). I did not go pick up milk, either. Luckily I have some at home and my kefir granules are all fed and happy. 

Tomorrow is another day and another work marathon, but I must take it as it is. While work-list is stressing me too much, I also find the satisfaction in taking care of them. Those times require complete focus and I do have it for now. But i am feeling like having no human contact and confined to home for extended periods of time will take its toll on me. So I am likely to go to office and do some work there on Monday. Talking about “work” staycation.

I wonder why I always loved my line of work but could not handle stress very well. I know my remedy is cardio exercise. It clears up the fogs and illusions in my mind like a wizard’s rod. Terrific and electrifying truth. So electrifying that I cannot get myself up and do some hiking. How great I would feel! So why is this laziness and reluctance? 

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Am I funny or what?

🙂

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Making fun of myself always feels great 🙂

Have a great Saturday everyone!

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the start of the 11 days staycation and the chicken noodle soup

I am starting my 11 days staycation as of this evening. I am not overly enthusiastic, but grateful for this nevertheless. You know I chose to take these days off to actually focus on my own work (not on others’ like my team members) and to do some work needed at home, such as decluttering, too. Everybody needs a break every once a while.

Interestingly I am feeling kinda sick as of this afternoon. I am not sure what triggered this but I was attending two meetings/presentations this afternoon back to back, and I realized my heart was kind of racing (or the feeling I have had was that, because the physical heart was working just fine – I checked my heart rate), I was feeling down, tired, and worn and torn all of a sudden….

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I felt like something really bad happened to a loved one of mine (my mom came to me my mind; since I did not get any bad news yet I am assuming this feeling was not real….how could it be real, by the way? Am I  psychic now?? That being said I had felt something at around the time that my dad had passed away.. it is scary.. anyways).

It was like I was having a heavy anxious state or depressive mood. I could not solve it, but I did not like it either. But then years of life experience taught me not to resist but take it as it is and go home and make yourself chicken noodle soup. That is exactly what I have done. I believe in its healing properties – there is something unknown and great about the smell and taste of chicken noodle soup….

When I came to my senses, I thought that perhaps I am feeling down because I have been feeling kind of excited lately. The facts that I have re-arranged the furniture and created a much better living space and found some great stuff at the thrift stores that excited me, I wonder whether this is a way of my mind and body saying “enough is enough, let’s go back to regular”. Maybe subconsciously I realize that my joy and happiness is not hidden in these material things, but is rather internal and this is what I must be looking for. And I think the timing supports this idea because now I actually have time to “reflect” on my life. What are the things that I want? How do I attain them? What is important for me? Is my life really working for me? Do I work well for my life in turn? When and how will I fall in love? Will I leave here? And if so, when?

These are serious questions I must address. No wonder that I have had a little anxiety today..

These experiences reminded me two things:

1) I am scared of being bipolar because sometime after being excited about some good stuff going on in my life, I lose my interest in them (or the excitement they give me). I know that clinically this does not make me affected by bipolar disease, but I cannot not keep thinking about this elation followed by so-felt down experiences.

2) I knew someone that I cared a lot about who had a heart condition. He would go extra miles, 1,000 of miles, to not get excited… he would say the racing heart symptoms that he was experiencing at those times were too painful, too scary.. Poor guy. Like myself, he could not live his life to its full potential. I at least have a chance still… I want to take advantage of this and find my true call. What is it? Where is it? How am I gonna identify and reach it?

Important questions for me to deal with…

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random thoughts

We have a summer alright… A nice warm summer with heat and clear, blue sky. Like I have never seen here kind of sky. What a blessing we have had this year! I am grateful 🙂

The week has ended and I feel like time is flying and that is why I am not feeling overly enthusiastic. I have had a look at the important things I must do in three months: three projects to be written and submitted; one report to be finalized and submitted; two business trips to Europe; a short vacation in Europe; a new team member to hire among many others. And I am thinking about taking some days off to work comfortably at home or at the office, while also relaxing somehow, cleaning and decluttering my home, and having some free time to contemplate. How are all these gonna happen? I am feeling stressed rather than joyful, and that is not right.

Thankfully it is true that if I am not distracted and have no meeting during the day, usually I do generate a great amount of work. Like today. This pleases me a lot and gives me hope. I can do all of these if I can be smart enough to keep the distraction by others to minimum. Yep.

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I have had a nice sleep yesterday and as a result in the morning I woke up feeling positive. I wanted to wear something different and eventually tried a white cotton shirt that I had bought years ago. I was surprised when I looked at the mirror that it actually looked pretty good on me and I was lucky to have it! Considering that I was contemplating about donating it soon, this is quite a surprise, do you not think? I wonder what other treasures I will find while going through my stuff during the decluttering activity and what items I will dump/get rid of? I really cannot wait to start this tomorrow 🙂

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My grey roots are showing and seeing them like 50 times a day annoys me big time. I am feeling like I am getting close to visiting a hair saloon and starting the process of grey hair.

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I am conflicted because I want to visit a number of people in a couple of months and I wonder how they will react to me transitioning to grey hair. Perhaps I should leave it to after that time? I really do not know. I think everybody would be okay with me being happy with my new hair.

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I am assuming I will be happy with it, by the way.. Is this a big assumption? Perhaps I should really let this annoyance of grey roots sink so that I can be happy when I no longer have that issue with even a larger patch of gray showing on my head… Who knows?

I was not sarcastic here… No, really.

Anyways…

Talk to you next time 🙂

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work and summer

Life continues, and time flies; this is how it feels this week.

I cannot believe that it is Wednesday! I feel like I have so much to do and not done much. Three office days passed already…

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On Monday afternoon I was at a professional event where one of the speakers said something like that “you gotta make sure you work for yourself, but not for others by doing their work“.

How true… I am so involved in other peoples’/trainees’ work that when I need to take care of my own work, I feel stressed because I either run out of time or the energy. I want to claim my own time at the office. Even though I like having trainees under my supervision, I must admit they are too much of a work sometime. It is interesting that not only my colleagues, but also my trainees feel the need to ask me even the smallest thing that they are capable of figuring out themselves. I do not know why I have this effect on everyone, but this gotta change.

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I kind of started doing  that recently; I aim for having at least 2 days/week without any meetings or commitment to others. I found that when I have such schedules, I am most relax, unstressed, and productive. I like my freedom in those days and the peaceful mindset. I love those “free” days 🙂 They make me happier.

Summer is almost here and I have great plans in terms of work. I have a couple of reports to be finished, new collaborative work to be done, at least one project application to make, while also relaxing during the warm, sunny days. This year is unique in the sense that I am not going to visit my family during the summer. That means I have time for myself. I would love to take 2 weeks off during summer. I am not sure when I would like that and what to do during that time, but I am hoping I will at least make it a priority to enjoy the warm outdoors, whether this means hiking, working in the yard, or sitting at a park. 

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I let myself enjoy my day

After the emotionally turbulent week (due to work issues), I am finally calm and can see the light ahead.

The weekend routine helped me to relax. Honestly I never thought that I would love my routine this much 🙂 But cleaning the house, grocery shopping, and doing laundry all helped me to focus on different things and gave my negative mind a break. I am grateful.

I have a trip to make in the coming days to Europe for business. I know I will be tired, but i am so looking forward to this change. I completely let myself to enjoy these precious time away from my current work place.

I realize I must do this more.

breaking the routine -Sept 30, 2016

I sure did break my routine in multiple ways this week. Thanks to the stress and many things going wrong at work 🙂

The majority of the changes are because of the lack of energy or patience (such as taking the cab in the morning and the afternoon) as well as of the need to pamper myself; I bought myself dinner for four consecutive nights and while I am not very impressed with the quality of the food, I sure am impressed with my effort to keep my head over the water and not being bothered by the money I paid for the meals.

I am coming back to my routine – the worst part is over and I also have a newly found appreciation for my routine now 🙂 I have been reading posts and it is always a valuable activity; I like learning, thinking, and relating to fellow bloggers. This re-focus and positive experience sure helped.

One’s mind may be the worst enemy sometime – have you felt this way before? I am overly critical and detail-oriented. Thus, it is tough to re-focus my attention from problematic experiences to other areas in life until some time. It is as if I must swim in the turbulent water first for a long time until either the effect of the storm subsidizes (even if that means to almost drown myself along the way), or when I look up to sky and suddenly realize that the storm has already passed and the sun is shining, so the need for my erratic swimming efforts had already diminished. This time lag in seeing the reality is quite interesting.

My mind and life… always interesting 🙂

wish for a better future

I wake up early this morning with lots of thoughts an annoyance in my mind. As being a regular night bird, the early morning hours of course are interesting for me. There is little sound, it is peaceful, but I just do not know what to do as it does not fit my routine. Maybe I will go out to get a cup of coffee.

Since I do not like how I feel (e.g. pressure, not feeling good about myself or others, stress, etc.) I am looking for the causes of these feelings and then to remove them from my life. I decided that perhaps I was too ambitious. perhaps my comfort zone was better for me; where daily life goes on good and without event, I have a routine and it works, and work goes satisfactory.

This kind of a life and serenity leave room for energy and efforts to do better in all aspects of life. I realized I have been pushing my efforts towards the work, but not necessarily my personal life.

I imagined this morning how my future would be and I kind of get scared.

Honestly I have no idea how my future looks. It is blank.

It is likely that I will end up being alone in my old age, possibly need social and medical care, and will need financial security to help being cared.

I am doing my best to ensure my financial future – as long as I keep my work, I am okay.

I should, however, get a healthier life-style; from diet to exercise to better everything. That is a must.

Seeing the future as blank….This was a scary thought at the beginning but then blank can be actually good. Why do I not try to make it better then? Fill with a better life, emotions, memories, joy, and health?

Work is one part of my life and it is time that it takes a much less space in my mind and leaves more room for my own well being and function as a human.

random thoughts (and a lot of rant)

Friends;

I have had another challenging day. I am happy that it is over but it was hard. Very hard. I am writing to face my short-comings and rant about myself. So if you are interested in feeling better, I am afraid this is not a post you would be pleased to read.

That being said; yes I have short comings. We have had this 4.30 pm meeting arranged maybe 4 months ago. It involved a lot of people and those that we have not met face to face. Making a good impression and exploring collaborative ideas while also making everyone on our side look good and feel happy was a challenging task.

I failed.

It looks like I was not updated well enough, the idea I was proposing was not well developed, and I did not form critical connections and involve necessary people before. I should have done these prior to this meeting.

I feel like a failure. I feel naive and not suitable for my position. I feel like I would have controlled everything better but could not.

I am trying to mend the things on our side, and I hope acknowledging my own contribution to this experience involving others will ease some sour feelings between me and my colleagues.

I left the meeting feeling stupid. I am now kind of back to my senses and writing helps a lot too. They say after every fail is a great lesson to be learnt. This experience should not be about me being an inadequate person at work, but about discovering the things I should be learning. So I write them as they appear in my mind right now:

lesson 1: be kind to yourself

lesson 2: nobody is perfect, so am I. So what?

lesson 3: next day these feelings will pass – nothing is permanent

lesson 4: when compared to very important things in life, this failure is nothing.

lesson 5: I have short-comings and I know next time how to be better

lesson 6: it is okay to acknowledge my short-comings., especially towards others that pointed out my short-comings

lesson 7: if I find myself fail in one part of life over and over, maybe it is a sign that I must move into another part and try my performance there. Perhaps there is something that I can do a lot better

lesson 8: not all reactions I have got was negative – some things are working.

lesson 9: after all, I may feel like failure but looking at the reactions (that what I was proposing was not well developed), that is also opportunity to get others involved and perhaps contribute to the case more. That is actually pretty good considering that getting my team’s attention to the problem was the biggest challenge for me at the first place.

lesson 10: tomorrow is another day and next year nobody will remember this.

lesson 11: my feelings are exaggerated by the fact that I have had another very ridiculous meeting yesterday. One person that I was interested in working together and I had a phone conference. That person only talked and talked and never let me talk and express my ideas or opinions. At one point, I raised my voice, stated that the person was not listening! (i am sorry I have done that) and cut his words. He then listened to me and understood the issues I have had at my hand related to the work. I dislike being mean to others, but I sure dislike being not considered or constantly being interrupted. I hope I never do that to others…

This and today’s meeting; they helped accumulate my internal pressure.

I will make things better. I promise.

Feeling better already 🙂 thanks for listening!

random thoughts

In between unproductive but critical meetings, fire-fighting all bunch of operational issues, dealing with difficult people often with little energy, feeling hyper-active and at the same time on the edge, and looking forward to 5 days trip to Europe next week as if it is my only way to relax (even though it too is a business related trip).

This pretty much summarizes the current situation of mine. I am so looking forward to reading the posts, yet I have so little time and mental clarity. It gotta wait till I find some kind of peace away from work.

Until then my friends.

on life and death; and then life again

A couple of days ago in a morning, I had woken up early in the morning and then tried to get back to sleep. This happens to me almost every morning. In those times my head fills with thoughts, which often times stress me. This time, one of the thoughts was that this would end one day and that I would die.

This was a very scary thought…This is not the first time that I faced the future event of my death. After my dad passed away last winter, it had occurred to me that one day I too would perish.

They say it is an instinct to survive. It probably is. We, as humans, have unfortunately consciousness as well and are maybe the only species on earth that is aware of their future death. Painful truth.

While I do get depressed time to time and there were moments in my life that I sincerely preferred to be dead than being alive (how silly I was…), since my dad’s death, I actively wish to be alive. I wish to be alive and enjoy/be okay with even its hurdles, the stress it gives me sometime, and the depressive mood or other problems.

While life is complicated and can get pretty seriously wrong (think about all the people in war-thorn countries, for example), it is also precious. After all, a life is better than no life….. Since it will end one day, what is all these fuss about the little issues in our lives, like missing the bus; an argument with a family member or friend; a lost item; a lost opportunity; or work-related issues?

I am middle aged now and can see that the majority of my life I spent with school/career and little family/financial problems. There are only a small portion of my life that I remember with joy and happiness. There are only a few people who are important for me; only a few hobbies/out of office activities that gave me joy and excitement; and only a handful of memories that I cherish. The rest is full of failure/struggle/arguments/lost hopes/identifiable or unidentifiable causes of unhappiness and anxiety.

I am guilty of dwelling into the little problems in life; particularly work-related ones, that makes me unhappy, depressed, stressed, or mad. Yet, at the end will they matter? Probably not.

Life is what we make out of it, they say. I cannot control the life as it develops fully, but I am more and more contemplating about finding a right mental state to explore and integrate new faces of life in my life. I may not know what they may be, but, hey I am at least more open to what is going on in life.

If you follow my blog, you know that I care about my profession and the work I do very much. I feel not truly successful and am constantly striving to do better. The atmosphere and the events occurring or not occurring in my work-place have the heaviest weight in my life and emotional world. I even contemplate about resigning time to time, even though I do not know how I would provide for myself or what I would do as work (again a very silly idea; what was I thinking?) only because either I feel inadequate or am fed up of the stress I create over work.

It is time that I either accept or deny fully that I am inadequate and remove this unnecessary stress from my life with a more relax and positive outlook. Whatever the pressure I may be imposed by my line of work or by my colleagues, I must keep going. I should also reduce the expectations from me; I can make mistakes (which I do), I can be late in completing tasks (so what? they eventually are done); I may not be the star-professional in my work-place (there will be always someone better than me anyhow); I may be classified as successful by somebody’s criteria, but do I not do high-quality and creative work, even with limited resources? I do. And eventually when I get old or sick, would that be what I will think about anyhow? Nope.

Hug a tree. Watch a movie. Host good friends. Start writing that book that I always wanted to. Visit more countries/cities. Laugh more. Pay more attention to family and friends. Forget work-related issues upon leaving the office. Find out more about life. Find about more about love, understanding, and forgiveness. Care less about money and care more about people. Create new memories that I will cherish.

Yes; let’s create new memories that I will cherish.

How will I do that?

I guess I will figure out one day.

seeing glass half-empty

Argh… What a mess.

I am tired.

Almost exhausted.

One thing over the other.

It is all work-related of course…

You know I really believe in the fact that I usually have a tendency to see the glass half-empty. If it was not for my joy journal, I would probably keep dwelling on the negative, issues, and the feelings I experience because of them. And I would miss all the beautiful things happening in addition to them.

I, however, work well.

I, however, take care of stuff to my best.

I, however, witness beautiful things around me.

I, however, cannot accept well the things that I cannot change.

I also do not forgive myself easily.

Argh…

here I am miserable within my own world that I shaped for myself.

I know I am not the only one that goes thru this. I know many people work and face with hurdles as much as I do, even more and bigger. yet, they keep smiling and not exhausting as much as I am.

The reasons I am feeling miserable, stressed, exhausted, and inadequate are because of my own choices towards work – it needs to be high quality, finish as soon as possible, and I should dwell into new fields all the time.

Well, I cannot have a work of poor quality, so I applaud myself for insisting on it. Yet, I can relax the need to finish things in limited periods of time. And I do not have to fly in the new fields, new questions, new projects all the time. Maybe it is time that I realize I have a limited capacity, too. Perhaps instead of challenging myself and others around me, I should focus on what I do best. Maybe I should choose comfort over challenge more often.

Lesson of the day 🙂

what a day…

After the exhaustion I felt yesterday, I am feeling better today. I attribute it to eating relatively better today; I have got breakfast and lunch. Also prepared myself dinner. I did not eat veggies or fruits today, but I am hoping at least what I have got provides my body some energy.

I have had meetings in the morning and then in the evening. The evening one was a mistake – I should not have arranged that meeting. I was not prepared well, but more than that the person I had the meeting was not someone I trust or like working with. I remembered why I had turned down his offer to collaborate many years ago. I have done well then. I just messed up today by looking for ways to work with him. It is not gonna happen. And I do not care. Lesson re-learnt.

Since I have been struggling to finish everything I assigned myself prior to my vacation, I re-addressed this intention today. There is a limit to what I can do in a limited time. I like the fact that I am motivated to do things, but then it is not realistic to expect so much from myself under so much stress. Work is not the most important thing in the world and it would not worth to harm myself like this. I better stop expecting that much from myself and getting uptight. Some relaxation would prove to be beneficial. Maybe I would be able to handle things better after my vacation. Maybe things would develop in a different way while I was away and some of these things would not even be needed or important then. Maybe I was supposed to rather enjoy my life for once.

Today is one of those days that I am seriously considering resigning from my otherwise wonderful job. It is generally meaningful, pays a decent salary, and it took me decades to get such a position. Yet, I am missing life big time as it fills almost the entire world of mine. I do not like that…..

I know that I have not decided to resign yet, but I have been coming to this point time to time over the last year or so. This is a phase that maybe preparing me towards the resignation. I am still resisting because I need the salary and I am not sure what else I could do. Do I have alternative ways to make money? Nope, unless I take risks and start a cafe or something like that… It is not going to be all joy and positive developments, either. So, why to leave this job then?

I wish I had less concerns for my future retirement and financial health and more dreams and plans for enjoying the life. I wish I had planned a trip to Caribbeans, for example. I wished I had taken a temporary leave from my work and gather my strength back. I wish I had spent more time with my family. I wished I had just enjoyed one day without thinking about stuff, issues to resolve, plans to make.

I wish I was a little bit smarter 🙂

 

here I am working and thinking, and probably missing life…

I have just taken care of an urgent matter related to work and risked along the way to clash with a colleague of mine (since I am correcting their stuff…). I am interested in preventing this kind of personal or professional conflicts but sometime it just cannot be possible. I am more of a conservative person who would not confidently conclude about something without solid evidence, yet this does not look like applicable to everyone I work with. So, what do we do when find ourselves in that intersection with a colleague? Do the right thing but risk sore feelings by the colleague, or comply, be in good relationships with the colleague, but risk self-respect and reliability?

I do the right thing. Over the years, after many conflicts and clashes and negative consequences, I just am more careful and more constructive in doing so. That seems to be working well. Have I matured? 🙂 Boy, it looks so 🙂 Or get mellow, I do not know. Less ego and more wisdom would still be desired on my side, though (I have an ego, too) :).

Because of the critical consequences of clashes on collaborations (that also were supposed to benefit me or solve my own work-related questions), while I get furious sometime, I can calmly decide to be political, too. Once the storm has passed and once I am done, I can quietly move away. Until my work is done, too; that is my motto now.

Why do I tell all of these to you?

Because swallowing the screams of my own ego, finding courage to take responsibility and mellow things that I did not even create at the first place, and making the moves to do so takes energy, character, and determination. Additionally, during the constructive “handling and mending stage” knowing how critical every step I take and every word I say will be, I am naturally stressed. Those times can be quite dark sometimes…. Lately I have had such occurrences, and felt bad.

But must I?

I should not be losing the big picture along the way. There is life out of work. There are other ways to do things at work. Yes, there can be challenges, there can be significant drawbacks, new ideas and relationships to develop, and there may be delays along the way, but eventually nothing is that important.

I lost my dad and my world crashed. I have other people whom I love more than anything else and I can lose them, too. As a matter of fact, I may die anytime myself. So what is all these fuss about work?

What is it that makes work so important for us? I know many people who can make the decision to leave a career that does not serve them well. I have not done that yet. Honestly, I do not know what else to do and I need the income. It is the greatest job in the world (for me), yet my life is almost entirely filled with stress and issues related to my work. That is not good, not fair, not healthy. I take responsibility for this, of course. While I am aware of this, will I take steps to change the things as well?

I do not know, but I do sure wish so.

I have not lost my hope yet. I know, based on my past experience, that when it is over, I will know, and it will be over. Whether it is professional collaborations, job, or living conditions itself. I trust that and that is why I am okay to go, till the end of these fuss. Then, there will be a new start.

This always feels good, does it not?

random thoughts

It was another high-effort day where many things were taken care of.

I cannot complain as long as things are moving. They are; I am just in the constant rush and stressed as a result. My neck is tight and I am longing for some kind of relaxation. While I am watching a TV series right now, I realize that my mind is busy and chatty. The best way to relieve this is to write about it. So here I am 🙂

When I make a conscious decision to leave things behind and enjoy the moment (just like right now) it miraculously works. I can start thinking about the work tomorrow. But right now is mine. Let me be in the moment….

This last sentence made me remember my yoga/stretching classes. How lovely, relaxing, and joyful they were. It is so unfortunate that they were not good to my back, or I could not know how to protect my back. The joy I have got out of these classes will always be cherished. At least I know that there are things in life that made me feel good.

I walked this morning too. The route from home to office does not look too long anymore. I am so grateful for my elevated energy levels – thanks to them I am feeling energetic and can walk without complaining or feeling strained. I feel like I have got my youth back 🙂 And that feels pretty amazing!

Today was a little bit chilly than yesterday, but the sky was blue and clear and I am certain that the spring is here 🙂 There is something magical about Spring; it is the time of renewal, hope, energy, nature, and joy….. I would love to plant plants in my yard but I am not sure whether I can find time to do so before my vacation this summer. It would be great if I had committed to it – my lilacs will blossom soon and the grass will shoot up, too. I must confess I am not looking forward to cutting the grass. It takes time and tires my arms quite a bit. Its scent also makes my stomach turn a little bit. too. But it at least give me a chance to be outside with nature and feeling “talked to and understood” by my trees.

We have a social at the work place this friday and I was wondering whether I could bake something for it (rather than buying). I found a couple of “tea biscuit” recipes that I thought were just perfect; it looks easy and simple to make the biscuits. I would like to try them on thursday night. Let’s hope I will be successful 🙂

 

 

random thoughs

Yesterday I missed the bus again. If only I had 30 more seconds, I could catch it! Alas… I decided to walk to the office and to my surprise it was not difficult and I did not complain about walking!

It was a great idea to remove the extra items from my purse on Sunday. Together with switching to walking shoes (from heavy winter boots), it felt very easy to walk. This feeling has contributed largely to my non-complaining mood 🙂

I walked this morning, too.

So, together with my afternoon walks, this means I am physically active around 1 hour each day – this is fantastic!

I hope to continue like this; only that we expect some rain tonite and tomorrow. I will see how it goes.

It was a quiet and an easy day today; the only stressful thing was a three hours meeting in the afternoon. We assessed a project together with two other colleagues of mine. I am very happy with the professional and smooth discussions we have had. One of the colleagues and I have had frictions in the past, the recent one was last week, which kind of stressed me. But we all behaved and the meeting went without an adverse event or comment, which is very pleasing.

I continue to eat better. Yesterday I have had salad and fish for dinner and today a hearty potato salad. I feel better when I eat veggies. I decided to buy apples and other fruits this week; crunchy and raw food is good for me. Now that I also walk in the morning, together with a better diet, I hope to lose one or two pounds here or there.

I have completed a number of lagging tasks lately and now moving towards new work. I need to come up with new ideas; honestly I feel stuck but I know myself; when I relax and trust myself, then I can come up with great ideas. I have been trying to think in the last few days and I have taken some new steps to initiate a few ideas I have been thinking about. This is good as once I start making connections or talk about new projects, the rest usually follows. This is too pleasing. Nevertheless, I am not done yet and would like to come up with better, bigger ideas.

When I started my job here years ago, I was almost burnt out. I was tired and also everything was new to me. I also was recovering from a serious issue. I was scared that I could not perform and deliver. But to my surprise I have. I took chances and risks and I delivered. It was hard though, usually meaning me working around 14 hours a day. In the few last year, I have been slowing down; working less and paying more attention to my life, which is also great. But this also meant that I am delayed a little bit. I also feel inefficient or unsuccessful. This is silly I know but I also know that I can do much better. I guess I am in a phase that I am motivated to start working really hard again. And hard work I will get.

Anyways, life is good and full of opportunities. Let’s go get them! 🙂

random thoughts

Outside looks a lot better compared to the morning. The frozen rain has stopped and the sky is not gray. This is always a much better, more welcomed scenery at this time of the year.

It has been a little bit of a boring day, when I have had all the time at my disposal but not knowing what to do with it. I did not want to shop, I did not want to walk, I did not want to get a hair cut. What did I want?

I am still not sure. I have read a page of my “A Clash of Kings” book. For some reason, I have lost my interest in this book a while ago, as it is a slow going book. The preceding book in the series, “A Game of Thrones” was more fluid, more interesting. Well, the general opinion is that this second book of the series “A Song of Ice and Fire” makes this kind of impression on the reader. OK.

On the positive side I talked with my family and also cooked a nice chicken broth-soup. Chicken broth has a healing power somehow – its smell makes me feel like all will be fine now. Weird. But I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way towards it.

I have another day to fill with activities tomorrow. I may go shopping tomorrow, but it will all be dependent on my mood and the weather. I have a busy week ahead and I am trying to take care of minor stuff as a preparation for the week; this feels good. This always feels good as the lagging tasks always make me stressed. And the best way to reduce the stress is to do something about the stressor. I have got this lesson learnt long time ago.

I was browsing the net yesterday night and I came across the TV series from 1980’s called Remington Steele with Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan at the leading roles. Did you know that there are videos (not the best quality but they make it) of the series on youtube? When I was younger, I had really enjoyed watching this series. I may as well binge watch it today and tomorrow.

have a great weekend everyone 🙂

 

what to do today?

Argh…

I am bored. Tomorrow is the work day and work day means I must make important decisions, particularly an unpleasant one. The right decision is the best one, yet what do we do when the right decision pisses other people and this may return back to me as an issue in future?

Stress is not something I like. But I do not like being wrong, either. All of us must have been at this corner time to time. So you understand me.

I know I have a great day in front me yet I do not know how to spend it. I have been watching a TV series; I guess it is time that I give it a break and try something else.

I considered buying myself a lunch, but decided against it. I may try reading a book, but it is not very appealing right now, either. I am in the mood of exploring things, whether it is the merchandise on the shelves of a store or an unknown part of the city. Honestly I have no interest in going somewhere just to explore this city (the curse of a small and unappealing city), so it looks like it is a store.

I need some excitement, something interesting to do this afternoon and it is a pity that one thing I can come up with is to possibly shop. So be it, but that also tells me how pathetic my daily routine may get.

Enjoy your Sunday and may you all find something nice, exciting, or lovely in this beautiful day.

#BreakingTheRoutine

 

random thoughts

I have had a stressful day. Not by work but by cooking 🙂

I do not like cooking – there is always someone that complains about something. After spending that much time hearing people stating such criticism is not cool.

Luckily today all went well – I had great guests who never complained about my food; in contrast I think they actually liked it. The plates were full one minute and empty the next moment. I loved it! These people are always welcome at my place 🙂

The day was very stressful; some of the dishes I tried takes hours to prepare. Consider cooking 4 dishes all at the same time… Mess around the kitchen.. The sweat…. The stress of delivering a good dinner. The stress again… Oh boy 🙂

Eventually I made it! My guests were really nice and kind people. One of them even helped me do the salad and then the coffee. How nice of her 🙂

I must be happy that all went well and we all had great time together.

Company makes all the difference 🙂

random thoughts

I am okay with admitting that I was wrong. Humility and setting the record right feels a lot better than ego playing tricks. Plus, I do not like negative feelings; it is a lot better when all sides are content.

Today after a couple of heated conversations (because of months of delay – almost a year now), with someone who was supposed to do some work for me, I realized I made him responsible for also the things he was not directly responsible for (he was partially only). I realized this only after he made his points. The end result was we both were aggravated and it did not help either of us. As a jerk-knee reaction, I have got defensive for a second or so, but later saw what he meant. And I acknowledged this. Sometimes, we forget the details, the whole picture I guess.

I have been stressed for the work that remained undone for so long now that this experience was good at reminding me once again what was important. Peace is better than having arguments. Mental clarity is a lot better than a cluttered mind. Keeping a good relationship is better than hurting it first and then trying to mend later.

I keep asking myself though: how do we find the balance between protecting our rights and interests while also controlling our frustration and still being constructive and kind?

In my experience, it is possible when we are relaxed. When we think that all will eventually be fine.

Off to stretching and listening to relaxing music now. Time for some inner work…

joy journal – Oct 15, 2015

joy 🙂

happiness 🙂

joy 🙂

here is today’s list (try your list; trust me it does not come easy at first, but then one starts to realize how many joyful, happy, or positive experiences we actually have every single day. You may as well surprise yourself 🙂 ).

1. I am grateful for getting up early; before 8 am. This is early for me 🙂 I was not sure whether my favorite coffee was open, but decided to try my chances.

2. I am grateful for finding the cafe open, ordering and having my bagel and coffee, while also working on my laptop. I also found a chance to chat with the lovely manager I know there. She is always smiling and always so positive; It is a blessing to be around her and feel the positivity 🙂

3. I am grateful for working at home, efficiently I must say. It is one of these days that I worked really well. Because of the multiple work-related trips I must make this month, I have been time-wise constrained for some time now. I feel the stress but then I take care of the stuff, too. yesterday I finished something important and submitted it to the department. And this morning, I worked on an atypical presentation and got feedback from one of my colleagues; it looks good 🙂

4. I am grateful for today being the day I have the new cable plan that saves me around $40/month. How great is that! 🙂

5. I am grateful for getting my blood test results; everything is fine, even the blood sugar levels (yay!), but I seem to have iron-deficiency. I am really happy about the blood sugar results. I was so scared of it since the last test when it was alarmingly borderline. Now it is not and I know with my exercise and healthy diet strategy, I can even make it better. I am so grateful and excited that I promised myself to look after my body even much better. I hope to start stretching sometime as well as weight-lifting. I will also look for additional ways to nourish my body.

6. I am grateful for my body that keeps up with everything so well, so healthy 🙂

7. I am grateful for walking quite a bit this afternoon. I have had a couple of errands to take care of. All went well and I walked around 1.5 hours 🙂 I sometime try to notice how fast I can walk and I am glad to see I can walk quite fast. For my age, that is pretty good. I am not that old yet! 🙂

8. I am grateful that I did not go and eat at a Mexican restaurant on the way, even though I was a little bit hungry. Do not get me wrong; its food is awesome! But I saw myself all stuffed, not wanting to walk, and calling for a cab for a ride back to home if I had dined there…. Too much of a hassle…. I decided I could as well go home and eat as I please there. Well done 🙂

9. I am grateful for shopping this afternoon. I did not need a lot of stuff, as my fridge is still full. But I needed my fruits. I also bought a number of items on sale (yogurt is being one of them; I love yogurt) that I can preserve in my fridge for sometime for future consumption.

10. I am grateful for buying and eating carrots. I have not had them for a long time, even though they are supposedly very healthy. One of the reasons was their low glycemic index (GI) score. I am still not interested in eating them too much, but every once a while or in small quantities they are okay.

11. I am grateful for not cooking today; the left overs form yesterday were enough as the meal.

12. I am grateful for my couch, pillows, and the blanket that make me feel pampered and comfy. They make me feel like “Life is good; why should it not? I have food in my stomach, a roof above my head, health, a beautiful job, plans and hope for the future.”. I am so glad I have many pampering stuff in my life 🙂

13. I am grateful that even though I have cold, I am okay – no fatigue or low energy levels. Runny nose and sneezing are a little bit annoying, but they will go away in a couple of days. So, no worries.

14. I am grateful for tomorrow being a friday. I have a 3pm meeting that I know will last at least 1.5 hours. I do not wish to attend this meeting, at least entirely. I guess I will come home early and take a rest, or work. Friday late afternoon meetings are never a good idea.

15. I am grateful for listening to the “do you love me” by The Contours; such a cheerful song 🙂

16. I am grateful for bread not being an important food in my life anymore. I still like it and it is very nutritious, yet you know my story; I love it and would eat a lot of it every day. Now, this love has subsidized, together with my love for the bagels. I am not threatened by their availability or by eating a small amount.

17. I am grateful for the milk I am drinking right now. I know it is good for my bones and immune system.

18. I am grateful for the doctors and the field of medicine.

19. I am grateful for being grateful 🙂

random thoughts

Is this just Tuesday today?

Hmmm.

It felt like a Wednesday; I am not sure why. I think I have a weekly stress level that reaches to its maximum on Fridays. Since yesterday (and this afternoon) was stressful, this may be the reason why I feel closer to Friday 🙂

It has been a warm and shiny day today, for which I am very grateful. I came home early today too after writing a last minute letter that my boss requested. She is very nice and I cannot possibly say no to her without any good reason. So I kicked a little bit and wrote the letter, which turned out to be not so bad 🙂 I often need time to revise and make a letter/document shinny – I did not have this chance today, but hey, I did it without sweating like a river or looking at the sky like a gerbil facing a threat, all motionless and catatonic 🙂

The walk in the morning was awesome. I can get up anytime I want (i.e. no need to adjust my time according to the bus’ schedule, which is quite a freedom) and enjoy the scenery along the way. I must admit many thoughts race thru my mind while walking, but maybe I need that too?

The walk is easy now as the route is usually down hill or flat (in contrast, in winter the downhill walk will be almost impossible due to ice on the sidewalks/road). I am hoping we will not see the winter till January so that I can keep doing this.

I do not forget to pat my back after each time I walk and arrive my office feeling accomplished, relaxed, and warmed up quite a bit – just enough to feel like I have worked my body; that it is in great condition, and that I found the joy of walking once again in my life time. A simple act of walking in the mornings creating that many positive emotions is amazing.

Maybe I should look deep in my memory to identify other things that I used to do with great enjoyment. I know weight lifting was one of them and as soon as my back feels alright, I am keen on starting that again. What else?

I will figure them out soon. Life is too short, too valuable to not enjoy.

I hope you will take this opportunity to identify yours.

work, Murphy’s Law, and stress management

Today was a stressful work day – but now all is great 🙂

It is like Murphy’s law that whenever I came home early to keep working in the comfort my home offers, I am required to be at the office. Or, that is how I feel.

For one, I had one document review waiting for me, which I had postponed, not realizing it was due today. After reminder emails and voice messages, I came home to focus on it and start reviewing it.

I could not start it right away though; I have got three other emails, all time sensitive and asking for my immediate response. One of them quite serious as it required me revising some documents in my office computer. It is awesome that I can connect to my office computer from home and revise or create documents right on it. But, in the middle of my work, my office computer stopped working and eventually I lost my connection, only to be able to connect it hours later. Arghh :))

One by one I took care of the remaining stuff, but I gotta tell you the stress I experienced was something.

And, as if these were not enough, I also wanted to finish staining my deck. I did that, too.

Why do I do that? I can just relax and take care of stuff on time, without creating more jobs for myself. I could for example delay staining my deck. But no, I had to do it as I had decided today was the day…

I like planning and following my plans, but I guess I need to be spontaneous sometime and implement better prioritization strategy as well.

Or better yet, I may just convince myself that I can take care of stuff without stressing myself. The first part is true; I do take care of stuff. Big time. Managing stress? That is what I need to work on 🙂

have a great Monday evening everyone 🙂

random thoughts

A misty morning turned into a warm and bright September day; could not be better 🙂

I broke my routine today bu doing the grocery shopping first thing in the morning. well, well, well.. It turns out there are many buy one get one free deals. Got extra apples, cucumber, and yogurt thanks to this deal. The receipt now shows how much I have saved in each transaction. It feels great to know that I saved around $25 today 🙂

I wonder why I have not noticed such deals previously. I do not thing it is the first ever one buy get one free deal at the store. I guess the more I am conscious about my spending and savings, the more I notice and take advantage of them. Good to know 🙂

I have a busy weekend and week ahead. Trying not to get stressed. I keep telling myself “I am doing it”. I did shopping, cleaned the house, doing the laundry, will work on my computer, and hopefully will also relax this evening. Tomorrow me and my colleagues are walking for the Terry Fox Run event, which aims to raise funds for cancer research. I am excited to be doing this and very proud of the people who sponsored our walk and made donations to the Terry Fox Foundation.

Although I did not think I would this week (due to enormous amount of stuff I need to do), I started staining the patches on my deck. Not sure why, by some regions of the stain has lifted. I am not finished yet, but I have done 2/3 of the work. I love myself when I do the things that I procrastinate about 🙂 In a couple of weeks, I am planning to finish the rest. Not bad for a non-handy person 🙂 This is however just a temporary solution; I think the stain will protect the wood, but the stain colorwise looks quite patchy. I guess in a couple of years I will have to strip off the stain and re-stain the deck. That is okay. I will take care of this later.

Have a great Saturday 🙂

15 random facts about me :)

By the encouragement of thesmallc, here I am writing some facts about myself. Thesmallc is a great writer (with no reservation I say this); she has a very powerful and genuine pen and incredible insight into life and cancer. Absolutely one of my favorite bloggers (among many others).

Anyways, here are 15 facts about me; surprise, surprise 🙂

  1. Until I started blogging, my primary hobby was to read books. Books are still my favorite items around the house, but blogging has changed me somehow. In a positive way I hope 🙂
  2. I happen to be a bad cook – no question about that. I am not proud of it but that is what it is 🙂
  3. I have a great job that pays a decent salary, yet since I have spent the majority of my life at schools and with training, I have little accumulated for my retirement, which I regret real good. Be smart and start saving early! Whatever you make, save a portion of it for your retirement. And start doing this early.
  4. I have got a PhD.
  5. English is not my native language (some of you already sensed that, did you not?) 🙂
  6. Even though I dislike it very much, I keep cleaning my home and doing laundry every weekend 98% of the time. I admire my consistency in this regard.
  7. The first story I wrote was named “Joe and his dog”. I was 7 years old, penned it down on a small blue covered pocket notebook that I still remember…. The story, as you can guess, remained unfinished.
  8. I have a very serious look; scary if you will. Not that I mean to. Unless I smile, a lot of people think that I am angry or pissed off. I am not angry or pissed off. Well, at least the majority of the time 🙂
  9. When I was a child, music was my greatest interest. Till now, I tried to learn how to play the following instruments: mandolin, flute, and violin. I must say violin is the most elegant, most challenging, and the most admirable one for me. Of course I have not excelled at any of these instruments 🙂
  10. I am a very practical person – can find a temporary fix for almost anything in a split second (unless I am stressed; then the opposite occurs) 🙂
  11. My stress levels can get real high. I do not like that at all. I found exercise is the best remedy, yet I have been too lazy too tired in the last few years to exercise.
  12. I started martial arts at the age of 35; like many other things in my life I was not good at it but it was very good for me! I would recommend everyone, regardless of their age, to give it a try (should they be interested in) at a safe and serious school (i.e. dedicated to the art but not to giving belts, earning money, or kicking the sh.t out of someone else).
  13. I loved opera, not listening to or watching it, but singing it. I was not good at singing opera either (like many of the things in my life I never perfected this skill), but giving it a try has always made me excited and happy 🙂
  14. I have read a lot about leadership and management; I am more suitable for management positions than for the leadership positions (who would follow me??) 🙂
  15. I think my job is the best thing that ever happened to me (other than my family). It keeps my mind working, I like what I do, and it excites me (yet I still dream about retirement; sigh… 🙂 )

And as I already said this in a comment at thesmallc’s blog, I have to make an effort to know which direction is right or left 🙂 All the cab drivers I put into wrong roads/streets, please forgive me! 🙂

cheers everyone

random thoughts

A relaxing Friday evening.

I made myself tired cleaning the house; I left the office early and decided to do the cleaning today rather than tomorrow. And I felt like I could do a more detailed, better job today, which I did. And the end result is good yet I find myself tired.

Am I getting old? Is that it? My tiredness is not physical I can tell you that. More of mental. Only because I do not like house chores, especially deep cleaning that we all gotta do time to time. On the positive side, even though I feel tired, I am glad that this is done and over. Until next  time 🙂

So tomorrow is a Saturday – what shall I do? How should I enjoy it? I know I still have some house chores to do tomorrow, but at least I can start the day with shopping. I thought today that shopping is useful mentally as it helps me to focus on the store items rather than the usual chatter going on in my mind; work, projects, etc. A nice mental break.

I gotta mow the yard but it is rainy. Hoping it will be dry this weekend so that I can clear the yard a little bit. With all the rain, the life forms just bloom. It is actually amazing; it is just the longer I wait to mow, the harder it gets to do so. Nature versus myself – we will see how it goes.

But for now, I will take it easy. Listening to classical music, sitting comfortably on the couch, and just relaxing. Old age, the weight of the house chores, or stress; it does not matter.

Tonite I am relaxing.

random thoughts

It is Murphy’s law that right before I go for my vacation, urgent matters appear that require me to work harder and more. Sigh..

I am 10 days away from my vacation and in addition to what I already knew that I have to take care of, I have got today a) an error in an important data to fix; b) an important but delayed document to correct and edit; and c) an important project and report by another colleagues of mine (whom I have great respect for) to do work for and edit. All of these are time-sensitive.

I am stressed.

I am really looking forward to a relaxing stress-free vacation.

But, of course I am not going to end this post with a negative tone! Positivity is way better: so here is the positive things about all these: once I took care of them, and I can, even though it is going to be hard on me a little bit, I will fly away leaving everything behind. I know this feeling very well – happened each time I took a plane to leave where I am and all the worries and stress associated with it.

time to fly! 🙂

random thoughts

The day was alright, but the afternoon I stressed myself because I could not find an important information I was looking for! It took me sometime to figure out where it could be and finally I made it 🙂 Yay!

I happen to think that I am quite organized and I can find the documents and information right away. The lesson I have got from today’s stress was that it is important to organize better and maybe do mental exercises to remember where everything is. Now I know very well where this info is as I had a stressful experience looking for it. This impact enforces the memory.

Well, even though I still have stress hormone rushing in my veins, I think I will choose to be grateful for this experience that made more careful…

This kind of experiences are what make me take care of or look for stuff earlier than the last minute. Imagine what would happen if I had left it to the next week when I actually need the info – a mini-disaster 🙂 Some people I know can function well (even better) under stress, yet I am one of those who under stress just stop thinking and taking actions…..

It is good to know myself so well so that I can be pro-active.

cheers everyone 🙂

breaking the routine – March 30, 2015

well; my list seems to be long today 🙂

1. I did walk from office to home (after a few weeks of taking the bus).

2. I woke up easily and almost joyful; not grumpy as I almost always am.

3. I did not stress myself over work and all worked very smoothly today.

4. I made a concious choice of not drinking the 3rd cup of coffee.

tomorrow can be a better day

I am not sure what should be the title of this post: “joy journal” or “random thoughts”.

I will let you decide.

1. It is a sunday night 🙂 The day has been okay; I had breakfast at a cafe, spent time reading and writing, prepared a healthy meal and enjoyed it, and I am into this peaceful night a lot.. Maybe I will go to bed late, till I really relax browsing/reading. I have no interest in going to work tomorrow – I have been feeling so in the last few weeks. For some reason, I am feeling overwhelmed when I think about work. But then when I go to work and work efficiently, I feel great about myself, great about my work, and great about my day.

I can feel the stress on my body, though – my shoulders are tight and achy; I hope this feeling will be gone quite soon.

2) I have been reading quite a bit about the posts written on cancer. It occurs to me how different people go through it differently. And there is so much courage and effort there; important decisions, overwhelming feelings, obstacles that do not exist anywhere else but the reality of cancer to be overcome. Cancer is such as personal experience and such a demanding disease – physically, psychologically, emotionally, financially, and socially. Why do we have this disease? Why did it evolve and make itself an integral part of our lives?

Stories I have read as well as the writings by the patients reminded me that I have not been to my physician for some time and it is time to get my blood test done; running away from the medical care is not the solution – in contrast it can create problems. Cancer for one if diagnosed early can be treated more effectively. It saves lives.

I thank all who shared their stories and increased awareness about this disease. Very well done.

3) This morning there was high winds around here – before that though, it rained… The problem with rain immediately after a lot of snow is that it melts snow… And the snow we have had last week was too much and the city did not remove them from the fronts of our houses. So in the morning while going to the cafe, I noticed that there was an accumulation of rain on around my house, around the snow banks. It alarmed me; I tried to open a passage for this water to run down the street (I am on a street with a slight hill) so that instead of accumulating around my house, the rain would drain down to the street. I have checked it a couple of times, seems to work rather inefficiently. I hope tomorrow will be a better day..

Yes, tomorrow can be a better day 🙂 for everyone I hope 🙂

joy journal – March 18, 2015

Here is today’s joy list 🙂

1. I am feeling alright today; I have been feeling better nowadays, which is great. Not sure whether I have a relax schedule this week and I can focus on work and take care of stuff without much stress, or was it the long-weekend that helped me relax. I am not sure, yet whatever it was, I am very much grateful for this feeling.

2. I am grateful for being well and sound, warm and sheltered. My thoughts are with those who lack these basic needs.

3. I am grateful for not getting a lot of snow today; we had flurries in the afternoon, but it did not continue after that. Everywhere is full of snow – there is no sidewalks visible. This was the heaviest dump of snow this year, which I hope will wash away soon by the help of rain (hope no ice will form after the rain though..)

4. I am grateful for my morning coffee! Always a delight 🙂

5. I am grateful for working fine today; I left the office late again. I had a trouble with one of the statistical programs we have been using. It seems the new version installed in the last few weeks has some problems. I called the company and they showed quite an interest to the problem and phoned/email me back several times to resolve. That feels good.

6. I am grateful for taking the bus this evening; despite the snow.

7. I am grateful for eating healthy. As a matter of fact, I think it was the healthiest meal I had in the last few months. Good job! 🙂

8. I am grateful for noticing once more that sometimes it is best I take a break prior to making a decision for a new issue. I gotta give my mind some room to evaluate things, to see the picture wholly…I am so fed up with fire-fighting with issues everyday that I just do not want to spend time with anything, just make a decision. Sometimes, though later I come up with better decisions. Mental note to self….

9. I am grateful for waking up on time this morning.

10. I am grateful for not having an early morning meeting tomorrow; I can go to bed late tonite and enjoy my time until then reading and watching TV.

11. I am grateful for the kindness I have seen from a stranger today. I may as well create similar experiences for others.

12. I am grateful for shovelling the front of my house a little bit this evening. I predict there will be more snow coming possibly tomorrow, and the already high snow banks around my door is not going to help at all. I actually suspect that these snow banks are getting harder to shovel, so when new snow dumps, it is not gonna be fun.. But I will see how it goes.

13. I am grateful that in two weeks, we will have another long-weekend. Great, great, great!!!

14. I am grateful that I am not sickened by stress, at least do not show some symptoms…. One of my colleagues had some health problems lately which she purely says because of stress… everybody I guess responds to stress differently. I am grateful that despite my stress, my system works just fine..

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