Sunday morning musings

Hope you all are having a wonderful Sunday, folks! ๐Ÿ™‚

I have taken a couple of days off lately. This gave me a chance to reflect, stop, and do other stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

On top of that the Friday’s Rogers outage (that left me without internet, cable, or phone) gave me the a chance to realize that I had time to do anything. But during normal times, with work and daily routine of browsing the internet, social media, and Netflix, I had little time committed for anything else. It was a hugely interesting finding. So I have time. I just am too busy with certain things…

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Hmmm.

I have been thinking lately that maybe I would like the idea of retirement. It would mean a complete life change but that is okay (why not to get excited about yet another new chapter in life?). I am usually very energetic, works very hard, and I am highly functional as well. But this year I feel like I take bullshit less and rather spare my time on new things, so I keep thinking maybe I was getting lazy OR I was choosing what was important. Hard to know right now. But time can show. Throughout my career, there were times that I worked like hell and then slowed down prior to great changes. It can be just one of these episodes.

Or maybe getting older, I was getting wiser and interested in more enjoying life. Like this year I made a commitment to enjoy the summer more. In previous years, time just flew. What is the point? I am over half a century. My parents died. I too will die one day. So will the people I care about. So what is the point of all of these if we are not going to enjoy life, cherish family and friends, and be hopeful and rested?

So dear folks, I may be slowing down and enjoying my environment a little bit more. Maybe I am getting lazy at work, but I doubt it – I think I rather sort better and act on important things now, which saves me time and nerves. So life is good right now and I submit myself to its flow. Whatever it will bring, I hope to take with ease.

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Happy Sunday

Folks, it is yet another beautiful Sunday. Hope you all are having a peaceful, safe, and fun day.

We have a slightly rainy day. Like many Canadians, I had planned to work on my yard, and clean and tidy it up. Not been happening so far, but I hope to get to it this afternoon, if not, tomorrow the latest.

So far, I have mowed my yard only once two weeks ago. I am not an enthusiastic mower. But more importantly, I have seen posts about the need for dandelions and other wild plants with flowers, that feed our bees. So, Win-Win. I am keeping my dandelions as long as they are with flowers, and hope to clean the plants out after that. I am sure they will appear again next year.

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I have however mulch that I want to use to replenish some areas with heavy grass. Like the underneath of the trees. It was two years ago that I carried over – on a shopping card – 20+ bags of mulch to finally make my yard a little bit better. It was quite a success and thanks to staying at home during the pandemic that helped me save time and finally do something about it.

How is your pandemic life going like? We have a lot of cases here. And deaths. It is heart-breaking. So far I have avoided the virus – I think; unless I was one of the asymptomatic ones – and I feel like I am absolutely too lucky to be so. Is this what is called as Survivor Guilt? Boy, I do not wish to get this virus, at least repeatedly, so that it can wreak havoc on my systems. Nope. Long covid scares me and for the right reasons. Please take care of yourself and those around you.

On the positive side, I have taken Friday off and tomorrow is a paid holidays, too. So I have been enjoying my long weekend with minimal work. I have been studying information for an upcoming interview, a voluntary but very important position with a national organization in my field. I am excited about it and I feel confident with each information I gained. I passed the pre-interview processes and now will be interviewed by the CEO and that feels amazing to me ๐Ÿ™‚ Wish me luck, good folks. It is only every once a while that I get this much excited AND confident to make moves & applications. I am very excited about this opportunity and what I can do in that capacity. We shall see how that goes. but so far so good.

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Tonite, I had the most wonderful dream. My mom was with me and my sister and hugging us tightly. smiling, and speaking to us so vividly. It felt very alive and real to me and it makes me happy! My mom, my beautiful mom. I love you We love you. Rest in Peace and wait for us – we shall meet again.

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Happy Sunday

Folks, I hope you all are having a great Sunday.

We have an incredibly sunny and warm day that makes me feel so grateful. I may not realize deep down, but summer is here and it is time to enjoy it (I am advising to myself right now ๐Ÿ™‚ ..).

Last year, 2020, was interesting in so many ways. Being at home due to lock-down, I was able to walk every day, sometimes multiple times, feel the breeze on my face, enjoy the scenery, sweat and feel all good. This year, I have not done this much and I think that is a mistake. With walking and fresh air comes the serenity, dopamine, and feel good thoughts.

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These being said, in rare occasions that I found myself walking out, I noticed a lot more dandelions than before. They are everywhere and I think this year we are not so much into getting rid of this beautiful plant. I know, I know.. It is too invasive and if you let it grow and pollinate, we get more. But I kinda think that leaving a good portion of dandelions in the yards just makes them look great.

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I am enjoying my morning coffee. What would we do without this little treat that is mostly affordable and available?

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My foster cat Mona is well and we are doing just fine. My beautiful girl. I am still okay with cleaning her litter box and occasional drops on the floor without dislike, disgust, or annoyance. Somebody here said that she was sent to me to learn about love. I kinda think now that this is true. Is this how parents feel towards their kids? Unconditional love and care?

Of course, I cannot one-to-one compare parenthood to being a foster carer of pets, but honestly this is the closest I can get. If I can do this, anybody can do it too. Friends, please foster a pet in need or donate/volunteer at an animal shelter. They need our support, and most importantly, we owe their comfort, safety, and wellness to them. We shamelessly occupied their environment and manipulate them and their living conditions based on our needs or wants. Time to fix things a little bit. Please support animals and shelters/rescue organizations. THANK YOU ๐Ÿ™‚

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I have no plans and pressing work timelines today, so I am looking at a day that I can do whatever I want to and enjoy. Perhaps a walk, light cleaning, cooking a nice meal, and reading a book. Aaaaah.. How long has it been that I actually sit down and read a book? Maybe a year or so. Time to fix that too ๐Ÿ™‚

Enjoy your day. I wish you all a great day and week ahead.

Sunday morning musings

I came to realize that;

  1. I am tired and need a break
  2. I have filled my plate with more things than I can handle – again
  3. I secretly wish that this pandemic and social isolation continue like this for at least a year so that I can take my break, make my mind, and finally start doing things differently

 

I have been longing for changes or so long – this pandemic may be my opportunity to do so.ย  This being said, I have been on this quest for so long and it is strange that I have not moved up a bit (okay, maybe a little bit). Why all this waiting?

Sometimes a drastic step taken in a new direction without much thinking and saying good bye to status quo is the way to go. I want that. I just do not know how to do it…….

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With my summer vacation went out of the window, now is the time to plan a home-vacation……… The predicament is that – what different things can I do to make it a vacation? Challenge?

Oh, on a second thought, I like it ๐Ÿ™‚

Just like the song below – isn’t it wonderful everyone?

There are things that energize me. Like Freedom. Freedom to sleep, freedom to watch Netflix, freedom to speak, freedom to get up late, freedom to walk, freedom to not do what I do not really want to. Like walking – honestly it is one the best things that I can do to my body and mind. Like eating healthy food and keeping a healthy body. I am good at cooking and eating generally speaking healthy food, but not necessarily keeping my body fat down. Like journalling and blogging that help me vent out, realize, and reflect. Like doing exciting work and completing important tasks.

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At work, I am completing some things, some others are still hanging out, and new tasks keep appearing (mostly generated by myself). I have been kind of slow in the last two weeks. It felt needed and okay, but I think it is time that I speed up now. I know that every once a while I slow down, and when I come back, things go very efficiently. So, I take this as one of such mini breaks. Tomorrow, I can start again and move fast and high. This feels great, my friends.

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Do you think we can continue with this altered life style for another year or so, until we have a vaccine that works? Assuming that we will survive this time period, of course (I really hope so!). Or, do you think the negative effects will accumulate and come to a point that it will become quite a strain on systems, governments, and businesses that we will see an incredibly drastic changes and hardship?

This last hypothesis is kind of cruel, and also not so much realistic – I would say. The world has seen worse things, like the 1918 flu, conflicts, two world wars and countless of other wars, famine, lack of services, diseases, injustice, shit and bit – we always found a way to come back and stand up.

Have we not?

Viens, viensโ€ฆ Come, come………

Sunday morning musings

Good morning everyone.

๐Ÿ™‚

It is Sunday.

Does it make a difference that it is being a Sunday in an epidemic when we self-isolate?

It seems it makes a difference in me. I just slept in a little bit longer today after I remembered that it was a weekend. No matter what, the work continues to rule our lives, it seems.

I am one of these individuals whose work-related stress went down with the self-isolation. I was speaking to a long-term friend yesterday. She said that it has been good to people like me who were always rushing, rushing, rushing. Now we all have to sit back a little bit. She is so right. Do you feel the same way?

Do you feel you have slowed down and had the chance to notice other things about life? Yourself? What is and who is important?

There are unexpected gains due to this COVID-19 pandemic.

This is of course quite insensitive to say when there are thousands of people who have lost their lives to this disease. Or, lost their wages and jobs……

They say that our lives will not be the same even if survive this disease/pandemic. I would like to believe in this. In a good way.

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Sunday morning musings

Good morning everyone – hope you are all safe, healthy, and free of COVID-19 related anxiety.

I know, I know….

It is hard not to feel anxiety about the situation; about ourselves, our and other loved ones’ well-being, and the current and future financial outlook.

….

Like any of you, I am getting more and more aware of the global and national situation, issues, and future predictions on a daily basis. The fact that I have been stocking up essential items and food in the last 3 weeks or so states this very well. I sometimes think quite drastically and assume that we will be only dependent on the food that we can grow in our yard and homes. Funny I know, but I cannot help but think about this. We will not have that panic-situation, will we?

I am quite aware of the importance of the cash right now and keeping my job. Goodness…

I wished somebody deferred the mortgage payments for 6 months or so – without interest – so that we all could save some cash and feel more secure…

I do not know what to do with my RRSP and TFSA contributions, either. I keep going as before. Since the market is down, it seems like the perfect time to invest. Yet, I cannot think about yet another blow to the market and the value of the investments getting even smaller. Since I used a portion of my RRSP to pay my down payment, I must continue with my RRSP contributions, but what about TFSA? Shall I rather stop my contributions and keep the cash in my chequing account?

I took so many things granted…Like many of us I guess.

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It is a beautiful, shinny, and peaceful morning out there. Perfect time to walk without even thinking about where to go.

I checked on a couple of people who I worked with in the past. I hope they are doing well. It will be awesome to hear from them. It also feels great to reach out to people I care about.

These being said, it is sad that I am away from my family and who knows when I will be able to visit them. I had purchased a ticket for this summer, which I am sure will have to be canceled. Next year? Will this be over next year? if so, how expensive will be the tickets? Will I be able to make it home then? I must confessed that this year I did not want to go visit my family – I have posts about it. I never thought that it would become a necessity like this. Life is so strange.

Over and over, I come to realize that while my mind is busy getting stuck at little pains of the past, it misses the chance of living what is important.

Here is to a painless past and vivid present:

Sunday morning musings

If it is anything, it is Sunday ๐Ÿ™‚

A day to be excited about. Normally! ๐Ÿ™‚

I woke up early, spending the next 1 hour drinking coffee and browsing the news. It is like I expect some miracle good news to show up and tell us that the pandemic is over.

Not gonna happen anytime, soon. Logically, I know. But, hope is a good thing ๐Ÿ™‚

It has been two weeks that I have been away from the office (went there only once). I keep myself busy with work and, on the average, 7 remote meetings every week. I kinda feel like I am not feeling the heat of this pandemic yet…For example, I or my family members can contract this virus. They may have medical hardship to deal with it. Heck, we may die.

Sh.t.

I know deep down that I must do whatever I can to limit my exposure to outside world. My family is better than me and thanks to them I implemented some measures, like changing the clothes right away upon returning from outside; aiming to shop only every two weeks or so; wearing masks and using vinyl gloves (yes I have started doing this. Whether they protect me at all is questionable. Whether I protect my mental health and reduce my anxiety; without question the answer is yes. So I do put them on when I go to stores, for example. Then I discard the gloves and refresh the mask.). I wash my hands frequently and clean the fresh product that I purchased, and leave those in cans and bottles three days in a room. After that, they go right into the pantry.

Shopping was once a delight. A pleasure.

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Perhaps it is a good thing that I still have my job and we still work remotely. Another fear I am developing is losing my job or significantly reduced salaries and benefits because of this crisis. A lot of people have been laid off their work. Considering the economic hardship the pandemic is adding up to, I would think – similar to politicians and other authorities who are hinting this – that we may be looking at a financially very insecure and tough times. I must do whatever in my power to keep my job and make the best out of my salary and benefits. Will there be a retirement for any of us, I wonder.

Anyways. At least we all will be in the same boat.

I bought a large amount of food and other essential items yesterday. The first time I ever spend more than $200 in a grocery store….I think as the pandemic spreads, and as we hear more of the stores closing due to staff being diagnosed with COVID-19, the more I realize that there may be food shortages as well. I believe I have a good amount of food right now and will not need to shop the next two weeks.

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Using food wisely is becoming a reality. Can I dry them up? Can I freeze them? Can I grow my own? Can I can food/meals?

Well.

To some extend I can do any of these, but none will be a permanent solution. My freezer has a limit; my yard is still under snow; I do not have a dehydrater or a sunny climate but certainly I can try to dry up some veggies at home; and I can pickle a couple of more jars.

See; self-sustaining communities become more and more relevant and important.

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if anything friends, grab a cup of coffee or tea.

Have a great Sunday.

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Sunday musings

Hello everyone,

We have a gray and rainy Sunday today. I am nevertheless grateful that I have that day to myself.

I needed to work whole day yesterday at a work-place function. It was exciting at first but got tiring in the afternoon. I decided that I could take Friday off, in lieu of the Saturday. It immediately relieved some of my frustration and tiredness associated with working on a Saturday and limiting my time to recuperate.

I also noticed that this was unexpectedly good of me – to be taking care of myself in this way, by taking time off work. I am proud of myself. Looks like my work is not the most precious or prioritized part of my life anymore, and I care about my health!

Lovely indeed ๐Ÿ™‚

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The gray weather somehow combined with the clocks being taken 1 hour back today, makes it an extra gray day… Do you feel the same way?

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I am not a huge fan of early set evenings, but I must say that I am looking forward to having some early sun rise in the morning. This is because I mostly take the bus now and before 7 am or so, it is dark and it makes waiting in an open bus stop as a single female difficult and annoying; each car honking, each car slowing down while coming on my way, or each person walking on the street makes me quite aware of the possibility that an unwanted approach may happen much easier in the dark than in the light. It is not fun. But now that the daylight savings started, I may get to take even 6.30 am bus should I want it. This feels good ๐Ÿ™‚

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Have I mentioned that I have been back to my frugal self in the last three months, and I have saved quite a bit of money as a result? What a fantastic experience ๐Ÿ™‚

I cut my cab and junk food expenses, and voila – it shows very nicely in my purse and chequing account. It feels amazing to have a positive chequing account and not worried about loaning money to pay the credit card balance. I also feel like I will be able to make a pre-payment in late December – I am really am looking forward to this. I know that it will make me feel great about myself.

These being said, some weeks are better than others in terms of savings. Like this week. I have had unexpected expenses this week. A friend saw me walking on the road, picked me up, and offered to have dinner together. We enjoyed it very much but the money I needed to use to pay the bill – which was luckily divided into two – was something that I could rather spend on some necessary expenses, such as a hair cut. Also, I needed to shop and get some coffee and canned food this weekend. While on it, I also bought other items – of course – such as notebooks, stationary items, and whatever else I feel like I would need or enjoy. So, it is true that once you open the purse, it stays open!! For sure.

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Thus, the best to keep saving money is to keep the purse closed, except for those expenses that you know you will and budget for.

I hope to be able to do better in the coming weeks.

Have a great Sunday everyone!

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Sunday musings

Happy Sunday everyone!

With the sourdough loaf being in the oven and giving all the beautiful scents and feelings, I am ready to enjoy my day.

Today, I am not working. The weird thing about this is that I am bored. I have alternatives, of course – such as, visiting a cafe and enjoying a nice cup of tea and a pastry, or visiting a bookstore and browsing the shelves. Yet, these are not appealing to me right now. So, I stay in.

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My TV is on. There is a movie with Meghan Markle in one of the leading roles. It feels weird and somehow exciting as well that her life is completely changed lately. The love she has found, the changes in her social status and obligations, and motherhood. She is a good example of how our lives can change from one moment to other. I wonder when the last time my life has had such an interesting twist…..

There is something boring about doing the same thing over and over – working hard and long, taking the same bus everyday, dealing with varying but constant issues and stress at work, shopping from the same grocery store week after week, and eating the same food. It is equally boring to find no new activity or experience to enrich my life experiences.

I have no solution to this. Simple and smoothly running life at one hand, and lack of stimulus and excitement at the other hand. We all have similar choices in life I guess.

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The little things in life that gives me joy are there. I still enjoy my plants, the awakening in nature with the arrival of Spring, and having a safe and comfortable life. Asking for more may sound like being ignorant to the realities of life and being ungrateful. Where do we draw this line and when do we need to jump over the line to the other side? Million dollar question.

I have read many times in the past about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Simply put, it says that in order to move up our activities and priorities, we must first satisfy the basic needs (such as shelter, food, etc.). I think this applies to my life and I am intrigued to see what my next level of needs will be. But first I must stabilize my mental health.

I am happy to say that my anxiety levels are very manageable and even sometimes non-existent. Yet time to time I experience it nevertheless, which makes me feel like my efforts in this area should continue. With this in my mind, I am cautious to move up along my priorities, but I am also continuing to develop into new areas at work. I just wished that I had showed the same interest in my daily personal life and make it a priority to develop my inner world and experiences. Once I have started this, I know that I will have a much satisfying and exciting life, yet its time has not arrived yet. I dislike the fact that my work takes up the majority of my efforts and thoughts. I wonder why I care about it that much?

Mostly because of the stress it gives me and the feeling I have that I can do much better, bigger impacts should I have had a different work environment or position, I long for my retirement. The earliest I can get entitled to retirement is 6 years later. It will not be a great income at that time and later, but at least I will have the freedom to leave this position and explore other things in life. I also will have to keep working to get income. But I do not really worry about it. I hope that life will be on my side and give me a peaceful and comfortable retirement, where I will also have a chance to reach the highest level in Maslow’s hierarchy – Self-actualization.

 

 

 

Sunday morning musings

Peaceful morning with the coffee on the table and music at the background – what else do I need right now? ๐Ÿ™‚

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Appreciating the beauty of the moment put aside, I feel like my anxiety is checking on me, and as a result, I feel like I must convince myself that there are remedies.

I increasingly recognize that there are two types of anxiety creating situations:

  1. one; when there is a real issue which if left unattended may create bigger issues, and;
  2. second; those that exist as possibilities which upon becoming reality can create a real issue and if left unattended may create bigger issues.

I deal with both of these the majority of the time.

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I am pretty good at managing the 1st type of anxiety creating situations (mostly work-related). I still time to time struggle with them as well, especially when there are too many of them all at the same time, which stresses me.

The best remedy I have found so far?

Reminding myself my past experience:

  • I will not be scared for no good reason
  • I am able to handle anxiety and issues – so far I have. It may take some time and can down me a good chunk of the time, but I have seen that I am strong and resilient
  • Challenges grow me and I have solved many of them in the last few years especially. I can feel confident
  • I will continue to be okay with those thoughts that will benefit me, move me, and motivate me so that I can move on

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The second type is the one that comes from nowhere. It kind of places itself in my mind when I have no or little type 1 anxiety creating situations.

The best remedy I have found so far?

Reminding myself;

  • I will not be scared for no good reason
  • I will think about what to do when my fears become a reality – until then it is a waste of my emotional stability, time, and energy to try to find solutions to non-existing fear-creating situations. Over and over I have seen that I can make (more) rational/logical decisions at the face of adversity
  • I will not resist to anxiety creating thoughts; no matter how many times I come across anxiety

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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.ย 

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.

Sunday morning musings

There is another quiet and relax Sunday morning!

Weather is chilly, sidewalks and yards are covered by snow, there is a cup of coffee next to my computer, and I keep thinking how well I have started the day.

For the first time in a while, I woke up appreciating, supporting, and loving myself. The thoughts that raced through my mind were counter-acted by the positive and kind thoughts about myself, telling awesome things like “you will take care of these; you have time to take care of these; and you do and must continue to take better care of yourself“.

Very nourishing ๐Ÿ™‚

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Sunday night musings

Lots of great things happened this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

First of all; I have not worked this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚ A first in the last 6 months or so. I am still tired but my spirit is high, so all is well ๐Ÿ™‚

Second of all;ย I baked my first corn bread and it was delicious – that is so exciting! I can bake it of my guest as well ๐Ÿ™‚ I feel like my baking and cooking skills are significantly improved by this dish… I love this feeling ๐Ÿ™‚

Third of all; I thrifted today after a long time. I spent hours going through everything with excitement. I tried on maybe 30 pieces and bought three; one blouse that I was hoping to find (I have its exact same copy, which I love, love, love! I was hoping that I could find a similar one so that I could wear it for a longer time. Today my dreams came true ๐Ÿ™‚ ). I also bought two good-looking cardigans that i am sure I will wear with love. A very good day indeed ๐Ÿ™‚ I plan to thrift next weekend too.

Fourth of all; I cooked multiple meals for me this weekend, which is awesome. I usually would refrain from cooking or cook one meal to last 2-3 days, but not this weekend. How lovely is this? ๐Ÿ™‚

Fifth of all; I found a great deal on my favorite french press and ordered it ๐Ÿ™‚ It is expected within a week or so and I could not be happier ๐Ÿ™‚ I literally got it 75% off.. WOW! It is good that I have waited so long. Jack pot!

Sixth of all; I re-started push ups and back exercises to help ease my back problems and strengthen my arms, chest, and abs. My muscles are aching – that means my exercises are effective. I am happy with this!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Seventh of all; yesterday I used loyalty points for a large amount of shopping (like a hundred bucks) to purchase personal care and cleaning products. I found all items I was looking for and I only bought things that I will use or need. So every point/dime was used for a good purpose and no waste! ๐Ÿ™‚

Eighth of all; I am feeling good and lucky with all these positive experiences and this makes me relaxed and happier ๐Ÿ™‚

I could not ask for a better weekend!

Have a great Sunday night everyone ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

Sunday morning musings

First thing first, I am enjoying my coffee – what else ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

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It is a beautiful morning, quiet and with an open sky. Traditionally we expect our first snow sometime this month. I actually love seeing snow. It is the ice and snow banks on the side walks that prevent me and others from safely walking during winter. Other than that, there is something nice and innocent about this fluffy white substance called snow…

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Anyways, did I mention that yesterday I participated in a community event where I and 5 other colleagues/trainees had a booth and distributed information and implemented games/puzzles to draw attention to our work? It was the best thing I have done lately, with lots of small kids visiting us. We have had lots of fun and laughter together. Knowledge exchange and dissemination directly with the public puts a significant meaning to our work and it is highly motivating. We must be doing more of these events!

Since this event took almost the whole day before 5 pm, now I must take care of the weekend chores including doing the laundry. My regular Sunday activity of baking a sourdough is on the list as well. And, today my friends I will try dry fig jam for the first time ๐Ÿ™‚ Let’s see how this will turn out. A portion of the jam will go to my colleague who gave us a ride to yesterday’s event (together with the sourdough), to my friend who gave me the figs, and another colleague/friend of mine who has treated me to a dinner last week. I hope that I will be able to get a good jam. I have never tried that before but in my experience the recipes online are good enough and my first trials are always better than second trials! ๐Ÿ™‚

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And the daylight saving adjustment is in effect as of today and we have one hour longer to enjoy in this beautiful Sunday. I wish all of you are going to have great time and make beautiful memories today ๐Ÿ™‚

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Sunday morning musings

It has been a while that I poured my heart out here; am I busy? Tired? Temporarily not interested in?

I do not know the answer to this, but I know blogging always made me feel good.ย 

I will start with “fuming”; I am still upset about the corruption and hatred I observed in Greece towards some other nations. Shame. If that was yet another developing country people would be more than ready to shame such behavior. We have double standards and we better recognize this and start treating the same behavior with same reaction. Hatred, a wide-spread hatred, towards nationalities of a person is not right. Whether this is done by a so-called developed country or developing country does not matter. Wrong is wrong.

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As per my schedule; this week is quite important. I have been working very hard since July but after this week, it will only get better. Goodness knows that I am just hanging in there, slowly working out tasks that would normally take 1/5th of the time… I feel like I am just crawling and keeping going. This one I should give myself a huge credit for: no matter what I have not quit. Until the last minute of my deadline, I will work to get it done. Well done.

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This year has passed quite fast, I would say. I cannot believe it is October already and we have only 2 more months till the holidays. I am so looking forward to this time. I will have around 11 days off and I want to use this time to take a rest and contemplate. I want to know what I want from life and how to get it.

When we are busy or when our minds are busy with things, it is so easy to forget the time and reflecting…. I am a true believer of reflections making a positive change and improvement in one’s life. I just need to sit, relax, remember and synthesize what happened and how I reacted, and think about what I would like to change or get in the future and how to do this… I have two more months to do this and it is exciting ๐Ÿ™‚

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My final thought for this morning would be about October. We are having a great October/Fall with trees turning colours. It is a magical scenery…. I always found fall consistently good for me and for my psyche. It is the perfect time to slow down, enjoy the time being, and getting ready to shed the outer layers during the great hibernation season of winter. I cannot wait ๐Ÿ™‚

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Have a great Sunday everyone!

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Sunday morning musings

A quiet and rainy Sunday morning that gives a feeling of solitude and healing.ย 

Coffee with its unique smell and taste is also very helpful.

I usually do not enjoy rain, but sometimes it helps you to stay in and recuperate with warm drinks and slightly dark day. ย Sometimes it is depressing, sometimes healing. You choose.

We are looking for a week full of rain according to the forecast. It will be too much but we will survive. Heck we survive 6 months of winter here, what is a couple of cups of rain, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

Weather with its unpredictable and uncontrollable character is something that teaches us to accept life as it is. We often adapt it to well. Except that the hurricanes going on in the South, damages they make, and the fear they create are alarming. I wish everyone a safe evacuation or a strong shelter during these hurricanes. When I was in the USA I never have experienced an evacuation and I keep wondering whether I could ever make it as I do not drive. I kindly ask everyone who is able to do so to pick up people that are not capable of evacuating themselves.

Wishing everyone a safe and joyful Sunday! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Sunday morning musings

It is a bright and warm summer day; who can complain about these? Certainly not me ๐Ÿ™‚

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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.ย 

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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!ย 

I believe it is gonna be a fantastic day!

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Have a great Sunday everyone ๐Ÿ™‚

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Sunday morning musings

Another lovely summer morning – hope everyone is gonna have a great day!

I am enjoying my coffee and the bright day outside. Already walked in the yard to see how the plants/seeds were doing. Some of the seeds germinated alright and my potato and onion plants are growing. It seems like a spider formed his net where my potato plants are. Yesterday there was no such thing. Nature is an amazing thing. Perhaps I should start studying zoology ๐Ÿ™‚ The yeast and lacto bacilli bacteria in the sourdough starter, yeast and all bunch of bacteria in kefir, and all the lives in the yard….. I have a little piece of nature here ๐Ÿ™‚

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My plans for today is to start re-arrange the furniture in the living room, while also decluttering that area. This is gonna take a number of days as the arrangement in my mind is something new and I do not even know that in reality it will work. So I will take it easy and will come up with alternative plans if needed. But I am determined to change the current face of the room. The items that I bought yesterday from the thrift store are making this room look quite better already. I am so excited about this ๐Ÿ™‚ One of the best times of my weekend time spent ๐Ÿ™‚

I also am trying a vegetable sourdough today. It smells gorgeous but not sure how I would like it in a bread. We all will see this this afternoon.

And in the evening, of course I will keep watching the X-files! Friends; when I was young I knew about this show but was never mesmerized by it. Now, I am hooked! I started from season 1. Mulder and Scully are so young, so different from each other, but also so sweet and innocent. These actors should have had lots of fun and development during this series.

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When I retire (!), one of the plans I should have is to have a fan review of these and other series and characters (like Game of Thrones). So mesmerizing is this thing between Scully and Mulder, and Brienne and Jaime. Damn!

 

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And, I have reached 1,000 followers today… I never thought that I would have such a large number of bloggers finding something in my blog. What a significant milestone. Thank you each one of you….

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When I started this blog in Nov 2014, I did not know what I wanted to do with it. But I had things to say and boy, did I say them. This is one of the 1225 posts that exist in more than 15 different categories.

Notable categories include:

baking bread: which has been an intense interest since May 2016. I failed quite a bit but after a year or so now I have generally nice quality of loaves. Every weekend is an excitement because every weekend is an opportunity to try a new recipe, a new sourdough loaf. Could not ask for a more exciting hobby.

joy Journal: where I write the things that I am grateful for. The most healing experience that I have had for years. There is something exciting and surprising about finding the so called little things and experiences that fill your heart with joy, excitement, and happiness ๐Ÿ™‚

Conscious spending: is where I documented my financial hardship, plans, failures, and achievements. It has been 2 years now that I have a budget that ever evolves and bring me not only savings, but also gratitude and joy.

Random thoughts: is where I write about no particular theme, but whatever comes to my mind, often unrelated things and events. It is one of my busiest categories of mine. Truly loved.

Kate’s short story, poems, The life in the diary, Sasha’s story, fiction bits: are my literary trials. I started this blog mostly focused on these, especially Kate’s short story and poems. i am not a professional, but i love writing free style and putting those words that come to my mind without much of a revision. Every once a while something, a sentence, a paragraph, a poem comes along that surprise me. These are precious…

Sunday morning musings: is a new one that I started lately to write solely on the joy, relaxation, and beauty of this wonderful weekend time. It is the most optimistic of all my writings and I really love this. So for so great ๐Ÿ™‚

Now I am gonna go there and start my day. But, first let me get another cup of coffee.

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Have a great Sunday everyone!

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Sunday morning musings

It is Sunday! Hope every one of you will have a lovely and relaxing Sunday ๐Ÿ™‚

We have had a great day yesterday. Two friends of mine, a couple, have just moved in my neighbourhood yesterday. We met in the morning, went to their house, moved their boxes and furniture, and them brought back to their new house. We were around 7-8 people and I cannot believe how smoothly and easy it all went! We had a lot of laughs and excellent meals too. Even though it rained whole day I guess nobody could ask for a better moving day.

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It is great that we can have friends to help us move, friends. I guess it makes it not only an affordable thing, but also memorable and personal with all the interactions, laughter, and efforts done together. Well done ๐Ÿ™‚

Now somebody give me a hug because my body is aching from all the carrying and lifting boxes and stuff ! ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

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Have a great Sunday everyone!


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Sunday morning musings

Happy Sunday everyone ๐Ÿ™‚ Wherever you are, I hope you are having a great day, joy, hope, safety, and anything else your heart may desire.

Happy father`s day too! Those fathers who have been great to their kids and families – you should be proud of yourself. Hope you are having a great day too.

I am having a rather quiet Sunday.

When compared to yesterday this is an excellent change I must say. So how was my Saturday? First of all, I prepared my first sourdough with beet and we shall see how that will develop this afternoon when I bake it (proving now). I also did quite a bit of shopping yesterday: as usual I went to a store 10 min away to purchase milk. And then to another one 25 min away (on foot) to purchase yogurt that was on sale; I consume them quite frequently so I was happy to get them yesterday. Also, weather was so nice (around 20C, which is Summer! for us here) that walking and being outside felt like I was on vacation somewhere exotic or something ๐Ÿ™‚

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Then, as if all these walking was not enough, I decided to walk (~1 hour each way) to a shopping mall, having a hair cut along the way and checking two thrift stores for pitchers. Well, at the end I did not find anything I really needed, so I also checked a department store. I found a pitcher but honestly it did not give me any joy, so I decided to leave it there (even thought it was affordable and do the job). I am glad I have done this because I checked another nearby store and guess what? I found the loveliest pitcher just like I wanted: affordable (and on sale), large enough to take all the kefir I produce (around 3 liters – I plan to collect a couple of days’ produce and store in the fridge), with a large neck/lid (so that cleaning inside is easy – kefir usually leaves it fat marks on glass quite easily), and the lid is adjustable so that you can tighten it up or loose as you wish (which is critical while dealing with kefir, because grains produce gas which needs to escape the container otherwise it can explode)! How happy I was with that purchase? Very ๐Ÿ™‚ That is a great feeling.

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When I reached back home it was already past 7 pm and my legs were just aching. I think I walked around 3 hours yesterday. I know I could stretch and relieve some of the muscle tension in my legs yesterday but I was too lazy to do this and rather I slept over it and now I am feeling much better.ย 

So, what are my plans for today? I am taking it light today. I have an interesting sourdough loaf to bake, family to talk to, some laundry to do, and some work to seriously think about. I can also work on the yard and clean the weed up.

And, I can always enjoy my coffee and reading ๐Ÿ™‚

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Have a great Sunday friends ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Sunday afternoon musings

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It has been a good day; I have planted a number of seeds and I hope that at least one or two of them will germinate and grow! Please! ๐Ÿ™‚

Since my arm is still acting, I take it really easy with the yard. I still have some digging to do, but I guess it will be spread over the summer. I think the main problem is resolved, or almost resolved (which was an uneven surface at the back). I bought some flower seeds today and together with my mom’s seeds I have planted them in the yard. I also planted mint, basil, and parsley seeds today. It was fun to give them water this afternoon, thinking that water will help these little seeds start their lives.

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Did I mention that my potatoes indeed potated!!? Ahem – yes! I think I have 3-4 potato plants growing in the yard ๐Ÿ™‚ Also two onions and 6-7 garlic sprung. These are so exciting for me ๐Ÿ™‚ ย I read somewhere that the best time to plant the garlic is fall. I will do that this year. I also would like to plant tulips and other bulb flowers. Next year I hope to have a much decent looking and pretty yard. What an excitement ๐Ÿ™‚

Other exciting activities of the day included baking sourdough bread, walking around 1 hour to a shopping mall, and shopping some canned food and other needs. I had not done this kind of shopping in the last 8 weeks or so, so it was the right time. And I was lucky and could catch the bus right on time on the way back, which is always pleasing (who wants to wait 30-40 min for the bus? No one ๐Ÿ™‚

I have been eating better lately, which always pleases me. I can see that it has an effect on my scale so I would love to keep eating better (e.g. no peanut or peanut butter, or refined carbs like pasta). i do not know why I feel the need to share this info here – I guess it is just a mental note – so bear with me!

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Have a great Sunday evening and night everyone! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Sunday morning musings

It is a quiet morning.

I am sipping my coffee with gratitude and listening to a great song by Sia:

 

As usual, morning routine consisted of shaping my sourdough loaf, brewing myself coffee, checking the news, and planning the day ahead. Needless to say, newsย are depressing. Almost everyday something insensible or violent happens – the humanity better shakes itself up. Why can’t we just love all? I know love is complicated, one can prefer love for one over the other, and it is not always shaped by our feelings but by our thoughts, but I keep wonder anyhow. Choices, my friends, are interesting. All these choices we have made in our lives.ย 

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I have had another dream that I remember. I interpret this dream as being adaptableย to the unforeseen changes in life and distinguishing between the fears in our lives and the fears in our minds: we just had a conversation about this topic a couple of days ago. Or, it can be interpreted like this: sometimes it is okay to take time and not rush at the face of an adversity to resolve it that can create more problems; this pretty much sounds like what was going in my mind lately about my work situation; it is not the best time to aggressively look for jobs right now. Things will change for the better – so stay put for some more time.

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My plans for today is to bake my Sunday sourdough loaf, plant seeds in the yard, bring forward the summer clothes and hang into the wardrobe, speak with family, cook a cauliflower dish, and walk. Not overly exciting, but so far looks really good.

Have a great Sunday everyone! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Sunday morning musings

It is a great day with the freedom to do nothing and everything ๐Ÿ™‚

I used this sentence first yesterday and I kinda liked it – so please ignore it if it bothers you. It just reminds me my ownย freedom. For a control freak and someone like myself who has a lot of things on her to-do-list, that is a great feeling:)

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I am drinking the first cups of my morning coffee and looking ahead the day: ย I have a bean meal to cook (started already); a sourdough loaf to bake (proving right now); a yard to dig and fix somehow; loved ones to speak to; and mentally work on the problem of “what is best for my future self“:

 

1)ย is it staying atย my current job and job environment, and aiming to change my mind set so that I can feel good about myself no matter how negative or problematic the work is?

Can I really relax, lower my expectations from myself, adapt a new attitude, care less, and become more self-confident and just make things happen – if they can happen?ย 

Not sure, but I sure can try….I am quite aware that my self-confidence is quite low. This is mostly because of myself and the expectations I have from myself. Certainly, it does not help when you self-critique yourself all the time…. Please do not do that, friends; it is good to be aware of yourself, but please be not rigid in your thinking about yourself and others. You change; people change. I too can change. I just do not know howย to handle that…

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2) is it taking the risk or opportunity (depends on where you are looking from), and looking for jobs aggressively?

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Assuming that I find a new job that I am content with;ย 

Am I ready to make this change mentally and physically? Yes, I am. I have done this before – I can do it gain.

Can I move to another city? Yes I can – I have done this many times in the past. packing and getting rid of stuff is a head ache, but it happens eventually. The worst thing would be to ask a couple of friends or contract persons to rent a truck and deliver the stuff to a donation centre.

Can I sell my house? hey, yes I guess so. Also, keeping it and renting is another option, is it not?

Can I leave my team at work? That is gonna be tough….. They trust me that I look after them and advance their work and careers. They trusted me and relocated here….. So it is really tough. I am kind of thinking that we can find better jobs for them; at least we can try. And if not, look for alternative ways. I am sure it is gonna be just fine….

Can I leave my position, salary, benefits, office?ย Yes, if I can get a comparable one somewhere else.

Will I change? the way I look at my work, performance, and my expectations from myself; will I find myself in a similar situation in the new job too?ย ย This is even a tougher situation for me…… I am not confident that I can be fully happy with my new job, either. I feel like I may end upย feeling a similar way; lack of self-esteem may take over again. what will I do then? Start looking for another job? How will it affect me now that I am middle aged?

How will it feel to start a new chapter in my life?ย Energizing and exciting! It will be great to get rid of the garbage off my shoulders and put my chin up with positivity, fresh air, and hope!

But, if I do not make this change, do I have a chance to change? Do I haveย to get a new job for these:

  • toย have a better look at lifeย 
  • toย have better interests and better value to my work?
  • toย make positive changes for myself and others
  • to feel good about myself

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And, most importantly; what is it that I really want? To change myself or to change my work?

Is it about changing what I see or how I see what I see?

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