Happy Sunday

Happy Sunday everyone – wherever and whoever you are.

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We have a somewhat foggy day but that is okay. Summer is here and sometimes we can get tan 🙂 Not today, but that is fine.

I am enjoying my weekend. Last few weeks were too busy and stressful with deadlines, but the end of the tunnel is showing. So, on Friday evening I felt the right to simply enjoy my weekend. That means I will do whatever I want to do and I will not think about work. This works wonderfully.

You may ask what I am doing this weekend, then?

Well, first of all, some sort of more intense than usual cleaning ensured. I love my home when it is well ordered and clean 🙂 So, it works so well for my mood.

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Second of all, I just sit, browse the internet, and get bored of not doing anything particular 🙂 yes, indeed. This boredom is important because it makes me want to work, so I am certainly looking for a highly productive week 🙂

It is interesting that at my age (around mid century), I am still figuring out the best way to work. There is no limit to when and what we can learn, I guess. Also, sometimes we learn when we really need it – yes, I can be stubborn and may not learn what life offers me as a learning opportunity. Also, things change and adaptation requires noticing and fixing things. These are my justification for today 🙂

Do you also feel that as you age, you get better? There is so much to do and offer to others and work? Past generations would retire and perhaps die at around my age. What a waste of human potential. I am so full of energy and motivation to do more. I hope I will have the opportunity to live and make my contributions.

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I am saying this because I also see many people at my age or 5-10 years older passing away…. This is a real reminder that I cannot take any day guaranteed anymore. When my father had passed away 5 years ago, I had felt that reality for the first time. That one day I would pass away too and cannot enjoy my coffee (I was depressed at that time and coffee was something that has always given me some sort of pleasure). It was painful. I wanted to live and enjoy every minute. I just did not know how to do this.

I am still not good at that, but my anti-depressant work and gives me relief, at least. My foster cat Mona is pure love and makes me feel happy and loving. My latest promotion made me feel good and more motivated to do accomplish more. I have my first covid-19 shot and looking forward to getting the 2nd one soon. My family is safe from the pandemic so far and are vaccinated, too.

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That is pretty much it. Still many things are missing to reach a really joyful life where I enjoy it more (like music, art), but this is a progress. Right?

Right.

Today I am grateful for progressing in feeling better and having more positive experiences relative to my recent past, and for realizing that I can integrate more in my life to even enjoy it more.

Sunday morning musings

Happy Sunday everyone – wherever you are, I hope you all are safe, healthy, and comfortable.

I really appreciate today. Yesterday had elements of work (two remote meetings), one in the morning and one in the afternoon, which made me feel like unready to relax… So today is my good day to relax, do whatever I want, and get ready for yet another productive and intense work week tomorrow. I also made a mental note to not schedule work meetings at a weekend day anymore – except that I must go through a couple of them till April. Since it will end at a near future, I feel okay with this. But, not after that.

It is a bright day. While we have lots of snow banks on the side of the roads, at least we are still mobile and able to walk on the road. Our city needs to do better and clean the sidewalks. This has been an ongoing issue, mostly prevented by budget issues, but pedestrian as well as riders safety is at high stakes when we keep walking on the road, rather than on the side walk. I am sure we are not the only one who is experiencing this. Please watch yourself and the traffic.

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Mona, my foster cat, is good, but she is having some sort of health issues. She will be visiting a vet hopefully this week. A new vet. The rescue organization thought that getting a second opinion will be beneficial. I really loved this attitude. She has been given medications, possible diagnoses, and went through a couple of vet visits, but her main problem remains unsolved. I feel for this magical creature. Is she in pain? Is she comfortable? What does she need? How can I make her feel better and more comfortable? She means a lot to me.

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I recognize that each vet visit costs a lot of money to the rescue organization. I have been thinking about increasing my contributions and support to this organization, but I am not sure whether I should do it right now, or later. One thing I am scared of is that then each time there is a need for help, I may find myself, consciously, forcing myself to make a donation. I do not like the feeling of being forced, even by myself, so this is my dilemma right now. Wait, or do it now?

Perhaps I should do it now to help make sure that Mona will get adequate and complete care right now. I can handle my consciousness later. It would be great if I could create some sort of budget to help support this organization. Perhaps and annual cash donation amount. I can cut out some of my unnecessary expenses. Believe me, I can find expenses to cut. So what should it be?

Right after writing the paragraph above, I made a donation to the rescue organization. I know it will help and I know I could make this donation, It felt right. The great thing is that until I wrote my words and thoughts in this blog, I was not sure at all…

Thank you for listening.

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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.  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 🙂

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, viens… Come, come………

Sunday morning musings

Good morning everyone.

🙂

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 🙂

A day to be excited about. Normally! 🙂

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 🙂

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 🙂

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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 🙂

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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 🙂

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 Morning Musings

A beautiful, sunny and warm day!

The day started with thanking all the nice things in my life and enjoying the nature from the back yard. Trees are tall and healthy; bees (or wasps) are around; flowers are dancing with the breeze; sourdough loaf is shaping in the bowl; coffee is brewing in the french press….

Happiness 🙂

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Life-related objectives following a vacation

I just returned back from a family visit – it was great!

I found a chance to see my family and friends, and I have had a great time. Food, conversations, and visited places were all awesome. I am glad I have done this trip!

I also found a chance to stay away from work, especially in the last half of the vacation. I did not access and respond to emails, which was a blessing! I like this improvement in my approach to work.

My work-induced stress levels were down to zero as soon as I stepped on the plane. I still feel positive and relax. I hope to be able to respond to work related feelings and pressures better. I want to convince myself that I can do this.

One of the best things about having a break from the routine and engage in activities and thoughts that are different than what I usually have (mostly work related issues) is that it is a good opportunity to formulate new plans to remove the negativity of the past activities and have a chance to improve things that do not go so well. Today is a good day to do these:

Aims related to personal life:

1. Going back to frugal and abundant life-style.

I have been quite successful with this a couple of years back and then I broke it with junk food and can-fare expenses… I want to go back to that as of today.

My specific aims are:

  • to spend no more than 100 bucks a week on grocery and other needs (cleaning products, personal care products, etc.). This does not include medication and health-care related expenses (e.g. physiotherapy)
  • to utilize what I already have (dried food, frozen food, etc) to reduce my food cost, while not sacrificing from healthy and diverse food
  • to have another shopping freeze for flower pots, shoes/clothes, books (occasional ones are okay) and furniture
  • to keep all other frugal activities I already have (e.g. use of coupons/discounts, points, etc.) to maximize the value of my money
  • not to make any pre-payments unless an unexpected sum of money finds my way. This is to ensure that my chequing account will remain at a healthy level. I feel quite strongly about this because when it dips, first I pay extra money to the bank each month, and second, it makes me feel like I am in a financial crisis – not a great feeling
  • to eat the food that I have in the freezer and pantry (I have a lot of dried legumes/beans/rice that are waiting to be enjoyed)
  • to save around 7K bucks till December
  • to make a prepayment in December with the money I will save till then while also keeping around 5K in my chequeing account. This is an ambitious but doable aim. I feel like this will give me the best motivation to move forward and keep my frugal spending habits.

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2. Having a healthier body and weight

I have gained quite a bit of weight this year and its negative effects on my health were noticeable during my vacation: my feet ached a lot, my back gave me trouble (twice I have had my back pain/sciatica – they were minor compared to last year, but still I did not like having two episodes in a short time…).

I am aware of two reasons as to why I have gained weight this year: I did not walk as much as I did in the past years (I used to walk from office everyday – rain or shine) and I ate quite unhealthy food (pizzas and prepared food…). I still have two boxes of frozen pizza and some frozen, pre-made dinners in my freezer. I will consume them as well but with the understanding that my priority will be not to purchase them anymore so that I can eat better.

Thus, my specific aims are:

  • not to buy any pizzas or other prepared meals
  • to eat at least 6 different food (veggies, fruits, or dried food) every week
  • to cook meals at least 3 nights a week (I often consume them in two-three days)
  • to eat apples everyday at the office and to continue to eat carrots and radishes that I love so much (for some reason, these veggies made me feel much better and help me lose weight at the same time)
  • whenever feasible, to walk in the morning to office and in the afternoon from the office (this will help me feel great, lose weight, and also save from the transportation – win-win situation!)
  • to shop at the farmers’ market to have fresh local and affordable food
  • to keep take my calcium supplements and drink milk to keep my bones healthy
  • to re-start doing my back exercises to help strengthen my abs and my back muscles
  • to do light weight-lifting at home to keep my muscles and my bones healthy and strong

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3. Heaving a healthier mind and higher quality of life

I wish not to have stress and anxiety to my best anymore…. Work-related stress, sleep problems, and problems related to relations with the colleagues have hit the ceiling last couple of years… I am better at managing my anxiety by means of the worry journal exercise. But in terms of stress management I have not been much successful.

Hence, my specific aims are:

  • to walk everyday, to eat a healthier diet, and to exercise whenever I can find a chance to provide myself a healthier, nourishing way of life
  • to rest everyday. This I noticed is quite important for my stress levels. Whenever I am tired, I noticed I feel more pressurized and over-react as a result
  • to not access the emails in the evenings and the weekends, unless I have a good reason to do so
  • to take things a little bit lighter and not to react to problems when I am anxious or panicky
  • to trust the life and people around me a little bit more
  • to stop thinking that I am the only person who can do things well and on time. This is one of the main reasons that I feel resentment towards people I work with. Often times I have a good reason to think that the work is not done well and corrections/my involvement is needed. However, this also makes me over-work and over-stressed… Perhaps it is time to lower my standards without harming the quality of the work. I can also take it easy with relations. I can be more tolerant and less assuming… (wish me luck with this one. It is hard…. but I must do this)
  • to make it priority to feel calm at the office
  • to feel confident that I have solved many issues in the past and I can do so now and in the future as well. I must remind myself this everyday, especially when I face of an issue
  • to integrate a new walking route or an activity in my life over time – whether this would be going to theaters/shows, visiting a cafe on a Saturday morning, or reading about an entirely new topic does not matter. Something useful and enjoyable!
  • to continue to read my daily affirmations first thing in the morning to set my intentions for the day for the better

For example:

I am calm and can take care of any of the work-related issues easily

I am confident and successful

I have great work-relationships with everyone I see today

I am known by my high quality and meticulous work and I am respected for these

I am kind to everyone I meet today, especially, myself

I have time to do my work

Today has all the opportunities and beauties I may need

I welcome and appreciate the opportunities life can offer me

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Have a great Sunday everyone!

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Sunday morning musings

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

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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 🙂

 

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.

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. 

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 🙂

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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 🙂

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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 🙂

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 🙂

Now somebody give me a hug because my body is aching from all the carrying and lifting boxes and stuff ! 🙂 

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Have a great Sunday everyone!


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Sunday morning musings

This Sunday morning too I am plain lazy on purpose and focused on lovely activities.

For example, my usual and long (3-4 cups long) rendezvous with coffee is going well and very enjoyable.

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I have already walked around my small yard with my coffee mug in my hand to see how the seeds and flowers were coming out after the long rain yesterday (and they are all good).

I have had a light breakfast with the beet sourdough loaf I had baked last week and strained yogurt, which makes me feel quite light (not bloated).

Weather is great outside, warm and inviting and there is sunlight everywhere which opens my spirit and joy box.

And I am listening to some songs that I have not for years, which makes me nostalgic and wanting to do more of enjoyable things today and the days to come.

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I have little plans shaped for today. I think I will talk to my family first thing first and then go out for a walk and to buy some sewing stuff. I am really excited about this opportunity – hopefully what I need are all available in the stores that are open today (not too many choices, but we will see). As usual, I will bake my weekly sourdough loaf (with kefir – the first ever trial of mine – we all will see how that will turn out tonite). I will also cook a nice dish with minced beef and eggplant. It is great that summer is here and reminded me about this dish. I am guilty of not cooking great recipes that take time and require care, but yield the best taste ever. This one I am really looking forward to.

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Now let’s go find something to do that comes spontaneously and makes me feel like on top of the world! 🙂

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Sunday morning musings

Happy Sunday everyone 🙂 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 🙂

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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 🙂 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. 

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 🙂

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Have a great Sunday friends 🙂

 

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what is a Sunday without a sourdough bread?

img_9763
does it not look awesome 🙂 I LOVE oven-spring 🙂 since I started using a roaster to bake my loafs in, the majority of the time I was able to observe a significant level of rising. I get excited each time I see it 🙂

I tried one sourdough recipe with semolina flour this time. I was worried because it did not rise as much, but the oven spring was there as well as the air bubbles in the loaf 🙂

It contained 1 cup of levain prepared from my Monster sourdough starter, 1 cup of semolina flour, 1.5 cup of bread flour, and 1 cup of water and salt as desired. Minimal kneading at first; 6 stretch and fold every 30 min or so; and resting at the fridge overnight. The next day, I left it at room temperature for 2 hours; shaped, and proofed for 1 hour 15 min; baked at a preheated oven (at 400F) in a roaster (25 min closed lid and 25 min open lid).

Taste is somehow unusual, but the crust was rich and crumb was soft and quite palatable.

As usual, immediately enjoyed with the butter 🙂

random thoughts (mostly on metastatic cancer)

1. It is kind of boring today – otherwise a very fine day. I checked on the net and it looks like I am not the only one; a significant portion of the people think that Sunday is the most boring day of the week. Nothing compares to Friday or Saturday, eh? Nothing prepares some to Monday, either 🙂

2. There are group of people who are really pushing for the metastatic cancer research. I am fully supportive of them. My thought on metastatic cancer (cancer that spreads to other parts of the body)? It is mostly ignored. I do not know why. It is ironic as this is where most urgently we need science and medicine to work for our patients. Why are we okay with letting people die of metastatic disease?

Shame. Huge shame.

On the other hand, there is quite an interest, funding, and many organizations about cancer prevention. Prevention is also important – I believe in reducing our risk of cancer by increasing our awareness and hopefully modifying our exposures and life-style factors (such as smoking, viruses, radiation, etc.) and implementation of screening and early detection programmes. But, these are not the only way to help control cancer. We must treat this disease better, too (i.e. whatever we do, we are not able to prevent or early detect/cure all cancers; at least for now).

Please do not ignore metastatic cancer.

I knew from before that there is quite a (negative) reaction towards one of the well publicized breast cancer organizations, Susan G. Komen organization in the USA, for their sole focus on prevention. It seems like we have another winner in this category, The Breast Cancer Deadline 2020, which would focus on prevention but not metastatic breast cancer.

Luckily, there are many advocates, like Robin @Majormac1 below in addition to many others, raising their voice to draw attention to metastatic breast cancer (as well as male breast cancer) and lack of interest by the “prevention” organizations on Twitter.

The more we advocate for it, the more attention it gets. Advocates rock – I appreciate their work so much.

 

And the tweet below from a metastatic breast cancer patients tells everything out:

The research into metastatic cancers, whether it is breast cancer or other cancers, is very limited. If we do not have funding, then we do not have much research. If we do not have research, then we do not understand it. And if we do not understand it, we can neither prevent or treat cancer. As simple as this. @LuluChange’s tweet is the heart of the dilemma; we cannot pretend to prevent cancer with limited research and lack of understanding about all aspects of cancer.

Please take a moment today and reflect on the effects of cancer on us as individuals, families, and societies. We must way ways to better control this disease, hopefully without leaving any patient (such as metastatic cancer patients) out.

 

3. The cancer language is so wrong sometimes. And the tweet below broke my heart. I too believe that no patient fails the treatment, but medicine and treatments fail them. Shame.

 

random thoughts

What a beautiful Sunday; it is warm and relaxing, and the snow melted.

One thing about intensely working for a period of time (like my last 2-3 weeks) is that once you realize you have a whole day in front of you, you do not know what to do. There is no document to review, no correspondences to make, no work-related issues to figure out. All of a sudden, you end up with this one full day that you need to fill in. So what do you do?

That is an intriguing question for me as I seem to forget what I used to do when I had less work load. It prompts me to find out again.

Like today, I was not sure how to spend the day, so by taking advantage of the good weather, I decided to walk. I was not sure I would go at the beginning, but I ended up in one of my favorite streets. The houses on both sides are nice to look at, and although there is quite a bit of traffic and traffic lights for that matter, it is a relatively quiet area. I walked up till a Shoppers and lazily went around the shelves. I did not want to buy anything, which is interesting. I remembered years ago, shopping at that store was one of my most fun pass-time activities; I would mostly buy nice smelling candles or health products that would make me fell good.

This need or feeling now seems to have gone. I attribute it to my frugal life I have embraced in the last 6 months.

I, however, bought four boxes of facial tissue; they were on sale and honestly the best price I have seen in the last couple of years. My decision to buy them made me happy and excited.

Tomorrow a new week is starting. Considering the nice weather, I am planning to walk to the office tomorrow morning. If I can make it multiple times this week, I will be very happy.

have a great Sunday evening everyone.

random thoughts

What a beautiful day – it is Friday, a little bit cool but okay, and the beginning of the long weekend 🙂

When I was young, I used to dread Sundays, as it would be full of activities to get prepared for school (homework, laundry and ironing, etc.). Usually the TV would not be cheerful, either (i.e. did not stream nice movies or series). Also the streets would be quite for some reason (everybody was busy at home preparing for the week?).

Maybe 10-12 years ago, I decided to enjoy my Friday nights and Sundays, in addition to Saturdays. That meant that the “enjoyable” weekend consisted of 2 days and 3 nights (Friday-Saturday-Sunday), not only Saturdays. That felt good 🙂

And now that we have Monday off, that means I have 4 nights and 3 days for the weekend. I will continue to declutter my living room (sorted out around 200 books to give away; I expect another 100 when I am finished), I will meet with my friends, do the house chores and possibly clean and declutter my entrance deck, read books (going thru my books was amazing – I have so many interesting books to read), and just relax and enjoy my time.

Wishing everyone a great Friday and long-weekend 🙂

breaking the routine – August 22-23, 2015

what a beautiful, peaceful Sunday – hope everyone is having a similar experience.

While I like the time spend out of office, I also get bored of doing the same things with the same routine at the weekends; clean the house, do the laundry, get breakfast at the same cafe, shop at the same grocery store, walk on the same streets. These are the times I really would like to move to a bigger city where there are more streets, more attractions, more stores, and more opportunities to experience difference in the daily life.

Anyways, I have broken my routine twice this weekend; first I went to shopping yesterday after cleaning the house. I needed to buy a couple of stuff for home maintenance that I kept delaying. It is done now. And as per today, I happened to notice a second-hand item market available on sunday one street below. I checked it out and bought a second hand purse, which I started using right away. It cost me 2 bucks but is in good quality. I made a mental note to check it every weekend.

Now back to my routine. hey, maybe reading some of the blogs will lift my boredom 🙂

cheers everyone

random thoughts

I am so far having a good weekend. This morning I spend some time at home prior to getting out to the cafe and doing some work. Sundays are great, yet since the stores/cafes usually open later than usual, it kind of limits the daily activities.

It is nice outside. I had that wish to walk a little bit. So after I returned back from the cafe, I went down to the bookstore. I took a relatively longer path to go there; benefits are two-fold: walking longer is healthy and I gotta see different houses and scenery. I am happy with my decision to do so.

I have not been to this bookstore for sometime. I have chosen 4 books initially. I know myself; if it is 4 books, then I will not even read all of them before I buy new ones possibly next week. So, after some thinking, I left one of them and purchased 3. Funny thing that one of the books turned out to be the exact same book I have bought earlier :). I am still reading it, but that tells me that I better examine the books in more detail to make sure I am not duplicating my books.

I admit that for some books I intentionally get the 2nd book. In these cases, it is only because I love the first copy so much I would like to keep a second copy. You may think this is awkward and I agree with you 🙂 The reason is that I have an habit of underlying sentences/parts of books and also write notes on pages. As you can imagine, that causes the the book to get a little bit cluttered after a while, which makes the second reading attempt a little bit difficult for me. Thus, comes the need for the 2nd copy for those books I really like and would like to read again.

When I bought my house, I had that plan to get 3 nice-looking bookshelves to keep my books in. They would be brownish colour, not light but a little bit dark, and the same size and height. They could be placed on one of the walls in my living room close to my desk and computer. That would be my study center. A good dream that I still cherish, yet it has to wait till my financial situation gets a little bit better.

Working at the yard yesterday and all made me think; if money was not an issue, I would turn this place (house and the yard) in such as nice place. I am not complaining; only knowing that in time I am capable of doing all of these. I just need time and the continuity of my interests.

have a great Sunday everyone.

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