random thoughts at a random moment of life

Are you one of those persons who would feel thrill and satisfaction by the number of work/tasks done?

I certainly am.

What a waste of precious moments of life…..

I try to remind myself that life is bigger than what I occupy myself with – work, work, work-related issues, stress, and success (eventually). It is such a high octave thing that takes almost all of my focus and leave almost nothing for the rest. Like myself, family, or friends.

Doing nothing seems like something that can connect me back to life.

Just for tonite, I stop listing all the work I have done or will do tomorrow. And focus on doing nothing – how about that?

Let’s see whether I can succeed in this as well.

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

all the good things – check

Friends – life has been up and down, but at least some things are going well. I must cherish and celebrate 🙂

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  • sleeping longer than the usual 6 hours and feeling good in the morning – check

this has been the 3rd morning in the last week, which really amazes me. It has been sometime that I could feel relax and comfortable enough to sleep in (rather than rushing to work). If you can sleep well, please give your thanks – it is a beautiful feeling

  • working without stress – check
  • witnessing a wonderful work of a staff member of mine – check

this team member did beyond my imagination!! we have been working very intensely about their project in the last two months or so (it did not go well for a year or so…), and today we have had significant progress. All the hard-work and stress pays off! This progress means;

a) I have a great staff that I must elevate even higher;

b) our overall performance is much higher that we or others thought;

c) we are confident and ready to show-case this work and get recognition;

d) the confidence that we have now is amazing (the next time something this big does not work, we will put our 150% into it again and solve it);and

e) we know that we can deliver this project, and as such, a significant load is off my shoulder right now :))))

  • loving my plants dearly – check

what a beautiful and glorious feeling! Looking at them, seeing them grown and thrive makes me feel happy and genuinely excited 🙂 I am so lucky!

  • getting a new succulent prop from a colleague and giving away props to three other colleagues – check

I am lucky in the sense that people gift me with plants and props (young plants) and I in turn lovingly gift them my own plants 🙂 Today I was able to get one new species and give away three others. It feels great to be sharing my plants/props with others, knowing that I have more than I can handle and others will love and cherish them as much as I am

  • buying a nice spider plant, which was on sale – check

yesterday I had seen some green/purple spider-plant like plant in the grocery store. They were on sale (3.5 bucks each) but also not in great shape. I had decided not to buy them, now that I had been also in a shopping ban period.

However, this morning I made a pact with myself and decided that if I took the bus but not the cab in the afternoon, I could rather use the money to purchase the plant! So, I went there and found that there were new and healthy-looking ones, still on sale and grabbed one right away 🙂 I came home admiring its leaves and giving it a good soak of water. I placed it on a window sil for now, but am planning to re-pot sometime soon and separate. Colors are amazing, green on top but purple at the back, which is great for the eye. I plan to combine a part of it with my coffee plant (which has been doing amazingly well) in a new pot, and place in my office. I cannot wait! 🙂

  • planning to go to thrift stores tomorrow and purchase new pots – check

I know, I know.. how is it that I am on a shopping ban and then planning to spend money…?. I have no excuse other than the fact that I want this.. I want to see whether I can get 4-5 other pots and place my rapidly growing plants in them this week. They are my joy and pride, and I love to be able to shop (rather than working) tomorrow afternoon

  • eating two apples in the afternoon – check

it has been sometime that I munched on apples and the ones I have had today were particularly tasty and sweet. I am doing good 🙂

  • having the night to myself – check
  • feeling good – check

going back to a previous point, knowing that I have turned things around with a team member of mine has been very elating and motivating. I know once again that stress that I had to take lately has been for something to come. Efforts pay off and things turn around. I will let this feeling sink in for a moment or two, so that next time I can remember it easily and find serenity…..

🙂

 

 

little miracles found their way to me

My friends!

Among the hectic work schedule, issues, and struggles, a lot of great things have been happening. I am very grateful, excited, and appreciative of these. I want to believe that miracles can happen!

First; a collaborative project had gone very sour around 4 years ago. One of the ideas I had proposed were dismissed; the other party saying that it was what they wanted to do anyhow. Together with some insulting correspondences, I had limited my interactions with these people, always feeling sorrow over not only the project but the unfair and un-professional (insulting and belittling) behaviour I had to endure along the way. Last week I was contacted by these people asking me to lead that project! Wow!! It looks like they were not able to bring it to completion. I am cautious, knowing that the way they may approach to me can go un-professional again and I may find myself in a hard position, but I think I will say yes to this opportunity. It is a way to do the project that I wanted so much once upon a time, which may also strengthen my organizational position. Miracle #1 🙂

I have been eyeing an outdoor succulent in a yard reaching towards the road on my way to office. Every time I walk along the way, I would look at it and say “hi” to it and hope for a fallen piece that I could pick up and pot. I never found a piece of it on the road, but I kept hoping to find one. This has been going on for the last 2 – 2.5 months. Guess what? This afternoon I was walking and I saw the owner of the house/yard cutting the grass and trimming the succulents! I asked for a piece or two and he gladly allowed me to take as many cuttings as I wished! I am so thankful to that gentleman that with great interest and love gave me the cuttings. I took two pieces in my hand and kept them there till I came home, caressing with love and gratitude. This is a miracle I had asked for!  Miracle #2 🙂

And when I came home, I found an email in my inbox, from a publisher that I do volunteer work as part of my position in my organization. They are asking for an interview to showcase in their website! It is a work that I would like to try one day professionally, and knowing that they are already recognizing the importance of my contributions and would like to tell more about me on their website are just fantastic! I am filled with motivation and confidence. Also excitement!  Can it get any better than this? Miracle #3 🙂

Life, my friends, corrects itself. When the right time comes, things that I worked so hard for and that passed through my heart with desire and interest are revealed to me.

That I would call miraculous! 🙂

 

 

random thoughts

Interesting times.

I am working like h..l again, but at least I can get motivated about it. I have two project applications to make in two weeks and it makes me excited only because I am almost done with one of them, and another one is nearly 50% done. I feel that one of them will get acceptance – is this realistic?

No.

But hope is a beautiful thing.

Hope Please GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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It is my conclusion that only 10% of my efforts are to move forward…. This is a very conservative estimation, but it does not hurt. As a matter of fact, accepting the fact that many of my efforts will not be fruitful is somehow healthy; it helps me with dealing with the rejection.

There is a strange relationship between anticipation and hope and reality and feeling insensitive.

One or the other; hope versus insensitivity. Anticipation versus reality.

Which one do we want to have?

Hurt GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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an appreciation of the last 4 months

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Life is good my friends 🙂

 

 

the sixth day of “work” staycation

The morning went well, but I lost my hope for success in the afternoon again. Being a naturally skeptical and highly critical person, especially towards her own, I am not surprised with this.

I work, work, and work, and only a small fraction of it goes into “recognize me” bin. All these efforts, careful and meticulous work, time, energy, and deals with stress I put into this work seem to wash away and bring me from all the way bottom to all the way top, the feeling of being inadequate. Its pain and heaviness are inescapable.

I wish I could retire. I do not want to say that I wish I was old enough to retire – I have a life to enjoy and explore still. I want to fully immerse in it before it becomes too late to do whatever I can do with my healthy and able body and mind. But nothing makes me feel more remorseful of having only a little amount of money saved, which prevents me from even thinking about retirement.

They say education is great and a must, and what an education I have had. I have got a PhD degree, worked in four different countries, did countless of interesting work. Yet it was not only after 36 that I could get a job with benefits (including pension plan) and only after 38 that I have got a job with a decent salary. I want to ask; where is all my knowledge, skills, and experience now? Obviously while my efforts, tears and sweat have benefited many organizations, countries, and people (for which I am actually happy), here I am at mid-40s struggling with the idea of leaving a job that constantly makes me feel low, stressed, and unappreciated. Where are the benefits of all my education and capabilities when it comes to me?

Low self-esteem should be broken by all means; nobody is as “low” as one can think. I cannot do this in my case, however. This has been like this for years, fueled by my current position. I competed with many talented individuals to come all the way here and here at this position I am not capable of going any further. I cannot blame others or the conditions, but I cannot blame myself, either. I gave my best and countless numbers of hours and brain cells to this work over the many years. I cannot take this feeling anymore.

I want to believe that even without attaining the level of success I wish for myself, I still can and do great work. I know many people at my position going through the same struggle, and even performing less than me. Yet, they are good at standing, talking, and walking tall, in contrast to me. My own hardship on myself, my own expectations from myself, and my own frustration are the ones that drag me down in my own eyes and then in others’. I sometimes think that this job is more about mental stamina and confidence, however false it can be, than having the capabilities, skills, and excitement for creativity, quality, and effective work. I lack that stamina. 

I once had told another colleagues of mine at administrative level that I was more of a manager than a leader; I get things done. He was understanding and said that “….a leader is great, but a manager is even greater. Leaders open the way and develop the ideas, vision. Managers are the ones that make it reality….” How great is that?

I am affected by the lack of effective leaders at my organization as well as the lack of transparency, trust, and presence of lots and lots of silos. I need a leader that can open the way for me and provide me with better resources so that I can soar. Yet, nauseating truth is that I am supposed to be a leader of myself and do all of these. Nobody is going to care about my conditions, needs, or improving my morale. It is all on me.

I wish I could just stop resisting this frustration and accept myself as a failure to find some kind of peace and perhaps identify new paths to explore and move forward, but I am not capable of doing this. I have either a competitive nature that I am not consciously aware of, some kind of hope that does not go away and keep pulsing in my mind, or I am in fact better than I think I am. Not necessarily awesome, but just better. Whatever the reason for not accepting myself as a failure is, I am not sure whether I am grateful or not. What I know is that my time did not arrive yet, so I will keep going, even under harsher conditions. Eventually I will figure out how to make “lemonade”.

Lemonade GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/lemonade-5iwNC4HSKztfy

 

 

 

The second day of the “work” staycation

Today went well too; worked more or less without much of a distraction and it felt good to be able to do this.

My anxiety levels are still high, though, and unless I find a way to reduce it, I am afraid it may escalate. So I will be making a good effort to go back to my routine tomorrow; thank goodness it is Saturday tomorrow and I will fill it up with my regular activities, such as cleaning the house, picking up milk from a store, doing laundry, preparing my sourdough for over night rise, and speaking with my family. I must also clean up the yard and pick the weeds and other unnecessary life forms. I never knew how much I would appreciate my daily (and often times boring) highly structured life-style.

I am familiar with anxiety accompanied with shallow breathing and the feeling of being scared of something, someone, a thought. I try to not resist but rather relax into it and mediate the situation with some meditative music and focusing on the positives; I have a great family who supports me; I am doing great work; my home and yard are at a much better shape than last year; I keep budgeting and living frugally; I try to find joy and happiness in little things; there is a wonderful weather outside; I was able to keep my window open the whole day and have fresh air inside; I have good friends who are happy to socialize with me and help me if needed; I have usually a great job that provides me with more than enough money (even though it also makes me feel inadequate – the main reason of my latest anxiety boot).

Happy GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I feel angry at the conditions that limits me at work and my performance; i am angry at the funding situation for our projects; I am angry at the endless competition we undergo to achieve something; I am angry at the economy; I am angry at myself for not saying “no” more often and often ending up doing other peoples’ works. I am angry at myself for not focusing on the positive and the big picture we call life, rather than all the little antsy bitsy things that I let to annoy me.

I want to feel good and I know that as long as I have this wish, this anxiety will not go anywhere. Wishing to feel good by running away from what I am experiencing is a form of resistance that makes things worse. It is so counter intuitive. I know there are things that I will change and improve as a result of this experience. I just do not know what they are.

The best remedy for anxiety is to trust the unknown. I need to trust to life, the universe if you will, people around me, and more importantly, myself. I may fail at work according to my own or others’ criteria, I know I will get up being better and stronger out of this hurdle. Maybe I will turn things around by being a little bit more smart in protecting my own time and energy, a little bit more lucky, or by changing my own attitude towards myself, my life, my work, my colleagues, my hopes, and my failures. 

I know all of these. 

Now it is time to believe in them.

Love GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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magic time

Have that ever happened to you?

That you have worked very hard and for very long to remove something from your life that has been bothering you like a bad habit or a very hard/challenging work project, finally it is done, and all of a sudden you feel like you are floating, lifted up, and you need sometime to just savor the time, stay put, cherish the accomplishment, and perhaps start welcoming the wishes and plans for the future?

That is what is happening to me today. 

I realize that I am at an excellent time of my life and career. 

I realize that I now am free of hurdles and things that have been dragging me down, and naturally I am lifted up. That I lifted myself up.

I realize that I am free to go even higher and accomplish way harder, more challenging aims, make my life and career much better.

I realize that I am free, accomplished, and I am confident that I will do better and much better, both on my life and at my work 🙂

………………..

It is strange how strongly accomplishing a long-term aim affects and changes you….

I have been looking at my life and I have seen what a nice, efficient, abundant, comfortably frugal and waste-free, and simple life I have built for myself over the last few years. I should be proud of myself – quite an accomplishment.

I have been looking at my life-style and I see how healthy my life is when compared to 2 years ago: I walk more, exercise sometime, and eat much better. I am also quite energetic – thanks to my vitamin D supplement 🙂

I am middle aged but free of chronic conditions (thank goodness), able, independent, and working. I love my job the majority of the time. I have lost a part of my interest I have had in the past, but I still am doing quite good and I am productive. 

I m ready to do better, though.

Now is a good time; I want new and energizing things integrated in my life and my work.

I have little idea what these would be: personally that would mean maybe developing a new interest, or risking for something quite big (like developing a company or an organization – wohoooo 🙂 )  Professionally, that would mean developing new areas to work on, or new much bigger roles.

I do not know what it would be.

But I know that I will be ready when an opportunity appears in my life 🙂

new year resolutions

I have been thinking, and I have been thinking really hard, and I came to the conclusion that I have no particular resolution for 2017.

The past year I have made some significant changes in my life; such as an effective budget; doing light stretches and weight training to strengthen my lower back, arms, shoulders, and abs; walking whenever I can;  losing weight slowly without a hard diet or heavy exercise regimen; feeling generally better, more energetic, and sometimes even happy; having a low waste life-style and decluttering my home regularly (though it was one thing in my list that I could not find time to do this holiday season yet), etc.

Overall, I seem to be doing what matters to me as a person. I think the majority of these have mattered to me for a very long time, so I am happy with 2016 🙂

But, I have feelings… I miss my family. Just this afternoon it hit me hard once again that I am not sure whether being away from them, being here where I am, and doing the work I do are all worth it.

Honestly I do not think it does. But I am also hesitant to return back – I feel okay where I am. Not overly happy or content, but okay. I have a life here.

Yet, I keep missing them.. This is a wonderful thing actually – it does hurt, but I am happy I have these feelings toward my family.

Just yesterday I was thinking maybe this year too I will not try to structure my life by resolutions, but rather take the new year as it develops. Maybe I should even let it surprise me (and, hopefully in a positive way).

Maybe not looking for only a pre-determined wish is a good thing. Maybe this way I can see the opportunities as they arise, rather than seeing what I make my mind to focus and see (a.k.a. resolutions).

I will let 2017 be a spontaneous year full of unexpected opportunities, love, peace, success, happiness, family time, and health.

May your new year too be filled with beauty and with people and experiences that will give a meaning to your life and tremendous joy to you 🙂

Happy new year everyone! 🙂

on death and life

Prince has died a couple of days ago. May he rest in peace.

I have been thinking about death and life again since then. I was not a remarkable fan of Prince, not because I did not think he was an influential or great musician, but because I was more interested in other genres. Yet, his sudden death as someone I knew hurt.

Death is a reality. And it is scary. And only at my middle age, I am getting to realize this.

I too can die and will die. We just do not know when. Because I am a middle aged person and because I faced death in reality when my dad died, almost everyday I think that I am getting close to my own death every passing day. I feel a rush, almost an anxiety about this.

Because of this (or, maybe I should say “thanks to this”) I do not want to miss life. I do not want to die just yet. I do not want my mom and my siblings to feel the pain of my death. I do not want to die before I understand what it is the life that I was supposed to have but missed so far, and before I realize what is important in life. Before I relax, enjoy, and get happy with my life.

I am dealing with many little issues, mostly related to work. I am not happy with this. Why would anyone have a life mostly oriented around, shaped by, and focused on work? Where are the life  experiences other than work?  Why do I care about my work that much? Why can I not re-focus my mind?

I do not want to live and die like this.

I must either quit my job and face financial hardship, or change my mind, remain in my position, but reduce my expectations from myself.

There are books to be read, people to be met, places to be visited, words to be said, happiness to be generated, and peace to be made.

I should deal with my insecurities. So what, if people would not think that I was not overly successful? So what, if others would do better than me? So what, if my performance was less bright than others?

None should matter when it is a matter of life and death.

I should matter. Not others.

 

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