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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money can buy happiness

Yesterday I treated myself with a thrift store visit.

Those who follows this blog know well that it is one of my most favorite past time activities. It is always exciting to go through the shelves finding treasures. I purchased a number of useful and lovely things over the last few years, and it helps me support not only others, but my own purse as well. It is wonderful in so many ways.

Yesterday I was not looking anything particularly, with the exception of a book or two. Well, I bought a book that inspires me to think positively – which is a real treasure. The positive and encouraging words are just what I needed in a state of “having fried nerves”. I feel hopeful, positive, and more welcoming whatever life throws in front of me after reading the pages of that book. It is amazing that 6 bucks can create such positive experiences. It was well worth the money.

I also purchased a new backpack that I have been looking for for some time. It has never been used (my guess based on a critical assessment), has a good size, and multiple pockets that will make its usage effective. I feel lucky to have found this back pack. No more the old, battered backpack that I have been feeling very conscious about. What a relief ๐Ÿ™‚

I also purchased a what appears to be a laptop case that I use to carry my documents and paperwork. It is brand new (again based on my critical assessment), has a great colour and shape, and takes up all my hundreds of pages of paperwork that I often carry with me between home and office. Just thinking about it making me excited – what a find – pretty and enriching/easing my life. I am lucky indeed.

I also got a sugar dispenser. For the past 3-5 years I have been using an old dispenser at the office. It was not in good shape and often spilled sugar whenever I handled it. Cleaning sugar granules after it was something that I dreaded, but despite for looking for a better dispenser for many months, it was not until yesterday that I was able to find one. Hello easy life – I like you! ๐Ÿ™‚ It is amazing how small things like the old dispenser was taking my energy away. Now, I fixed that problem and feel relieved, however small it can be.

Better yet, guess what?

It turned out that there was a sale on the items I purchased so I got all of these for a total of 20 bucks with 50% off. I did not even know that there was a sale yesterday and everything I purchased made a positive difference in my life. Wow…

I have been thinking; 20 bucks often may sound a lot. What is the worth of:

  • being able to get rid of the old problematic dispenser that needed me to clean after it every single time I used it;
  • feeling positive and hopeful after reading the book,
  • having the excitement and comfort the laptop case gives me, and
  • the relief coming with the backpack, which will help me get rid of the sub-conscious judgment I hold against myself (for having such an ugly and kind of cheap-looking backpack)

You got that right.

On top of that; think about this – my cab fare from the office to home is 10 bucks. There are times that these rides provide me with comfort, but when I think about all the other items that I can get with that money that will free my time, provide comfort to me, or make me feel better, I ask myself how to better use of my money.

That is why I also purchased a soap with a lovely scent yesterday (from another store). It is slightly expensive than my regular soap, but day after day, it will enrich my life experiences.

Verdict is clear and loud. Money can make one happy.

 

 

thrifting is addictive

I have decided that it was time that I take a break from the thrift stores – they are so addictive!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

I have been to one yesterday and another two today. It is just a great feeling to be able to see all the interesting items and purchase them for affordable prices.

I have purchased from thrift stores so many things over the years, including blouses/shirts, purses, cardigans, pots/planters, porcelain plates for planters, sewing materials, small furniture, frames, decorative items, and many more. I am in love with the idea of having great items and saving money while also helping others. I also love the fact that I do not (usually) buy things that I would not love, use, or need. Yet, I figured that it became my favorite past-time activity, and since the prices are so good and items are so nice, I keep buying.

I do not want to buy anymore. I have a great wardrobe supplemented by thrift purchases. I have around 30 pots/planters already. It is like I am hoarding them now.

I have everything I need right now.

I was once proud of re-purposing and re-using items that I had. Not anymore. I now keep buying from thrift stores.

Time for a decluttering activity, donating what I have extra, and focusing on re-purposing items.

Wish me luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

shopping ban week

Gotta curb this spending habit I have been having lately (mostly cab and junk food expenses… yes, again… time to fix this).

What is the plan?

Well – I budget only $60 to consume till the next pay-day (12 days), including grocery and others. Should I walk in the morning and save the bus fare, this amount may as well increase a little bit. Then I can go buy some more pots from thrift store for my plants.

My choice now ๐Ÿ™‚

I have everything I need; my fridge and pantry is full of food; and I have no urgent needs (except the physiotherapy and dental fees that I expect this week).

Let’s do it!

1st day of the holidays

It turns out today was a paid holiday for me ๐Ÿ™‚ Can I be more uninterested in my employee rights? ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyways; I went to office and worked with a team member of mine till noon. I then cleaned the office and looked out of the window to register the fact that I was now starting an off time without much of an obligation….. What a great opportunity to feel free… I just cannot feel it yet, though…. I hope it will occur soon.

I then went to visit two thrift stores. If I remember correctly this is what I had done last year as well – start the holidays with something exciting like thrifting! I found two shirts, a lovely long and soft cardigan, and a new backpack. Altogether they costed me around 28 bucks. One of my most expensive thrift store haul, but then the items are in great condition and the backpack is so cool that I cannot believe how lucky I have been to find it ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

Excellent start for holidays ๐Ÿ™‚

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™‚

 

 

 

 

sometimes the time just flies

Today was one of those days; time flied like nothing before. One moment I was eager to finish work and finally in the evening I realized I will not be able to do what I think I would do. That means this weekend will be a little bit busy with work.ย 

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My plans for the weekend are similar to before; clean the house, do the laundry, pick up milk from a store, prepare sourdough, and keep the yard tidy and free of weeds. And of course, some work…..It has been sometime that I have been to anywhere other than home, office, and a nearby store or two. It would be nice if I could visit the thrift stores or others, but I guess this will have to wait till next week.

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Why do I like thrift stores that much?

I shop there time to time. As a matter of fact some of my favorite blouses and fabrics are from thrift stores. It is affordable. More than that, however, I am interested in seeing different things. Thrift stores in my area are large and they contain more stuff and variety than the majority of the stores I know here. It is interesting to go through these diverse items. I particularly like the old stuff; like old metal objects or frames, which I would like to collect over time. I cannot wait till the next visit ๐Ÿ™‚

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By the way, I will be away for a couple of days in Europe. There is something great about the airports; they make me feel like I am leaving every issue behind and am ready for an adventure. This anticipation only should give me enough motivation to finish my work this weekend and the next week ๐Ÿ™‚

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I want to go back to my regular self

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

It is not good to eat junk.

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

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

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

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

I really do.

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

thrifting becoming a second nature

That is right.

Today at noon I found myself wanting to take a break. So I walked to two thrift stores nearby. This was mostly because of the great treasures I hunted this past weekend – i can see how easily it can become addictive ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I bought a couple of empty frames, a coffee press, two art work, and a blouse.

Both of the artwork are giving me delight and making me very excited and happy! They were the most expensive things I have ever bought from thrift stores (both over 25 bucks together), but I think this money is well spent.

I have lots of photos to post in the empty frames; I cannot wait to hang them on the wall ๐Ÿ™‚ Together with the art works, these frames will help me turn my house into a home. With character. And beauty.

And the coffee press was a great deal; I bet it is new and never been used (i could not detect even a light coffee stain on it or on the filter) and it had the best deal: it was only 2 bucks.ย 

And last but not the least; the blouse I have bought is so cute, so lovable that I am in love once again! This is the 5th blouse I have purchased from thrift stores this year and I could not be happier with my choices.

Life is good my friends ๐Ÿ™‚

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a good day today

It has been a fine day ๐Ÿ™‚

I got up early and that is why I did quite a bit today. For example, I deep cleaned the upstairs and I am now ready to clean downstairs and re-arrange the furniture. It is gonna be tough, but the end product will be awesome. I am hopeful ๐Ÿ™‚ ย And excited ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyways.. Most importantly, I have taken the clothes I sorted out while decluttering to a donation centre/thrift store. In turn, I grabbed a lovely mirror, two empty frames, and a great ancient Egyptian figurine. Friends, you would not believe how great I am feeling about all of these! All loved. All looking great. All excite me.

I have painted one of the empty frames. I want to frame a piece I have bought in Athens a couple of years ago. I always thought that I would have a green wood frame for it. I did not have it, so I painted one ๐Ÿ™‚ Now, I have it ๐Ÿ™‚

I display the dried flowers (those that were sent to me by my work place when my dad died, which I had dried) in the second empty frame. I used to have them in two small frames with white background. But this frame is large enough to have all of them inside. And it has a black background which beautifully contrasts the flowers. It looks so great. It looks so great… As my dad would have deserved. May he rest in peace.

I think this has been a day that I really found awesome pieces by luck. I think it is true what they say that you gotta keep checking them. Many days one may not find exciting stuff, but someday, you get what you ask for ๐Ÿ™‚ ย Like Hugh dancing like noone is watching. See, what I say?

๐Ÿ™‚

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PS: this movie was really great ๐Ÿ™‚

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end of long weekend and thoughts on thrifting

The 3rd and the last day of the long weekend. It was so welcome and so refreshing – I am grateful for this long weekend.

Notable activities include the trips to the thrift stores and getting two blouses, a little and lovely decorative porcelain shoe, and some sewing thread ๐Ÿ™‚ needless to say, they are all loved and the prices are incredibly good.

This being said, at one of the trips I have noticed the fiancee of a colleague of mine at another cashier. I did not know what to do first. I thought “this is what I always wondered – how would I take it to be known that I shop at thrift stores? I tried to convince myself that shopping at thrift stores is not only good for me, but for the thrift stores/charities, people work there, people benefiting from the charities, and the environment. Yet, I could not manage to not feel “cheap” and thus I left the cashier after 2-3 minutes and went around the store again to give this individual time to pay and leave the store so that the chances of them seeing me and them spreading the word to my colleagues first and then to others would reduce. I hope I could achieve this…

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It turns out interestingly that I am ashamed with shopping or being seen at thrift stores. That is very strange. It is also strange that I found shopping at thrift stores synonymous with “being cheap”. I should stop doing that, but….I cannot help it ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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I read in a blog yesterday that the lady explained using thrift stores and purchasing second hand items actually quite similar to staying at hotels and using their bed sheets, coffee mugs, and anything else they do offer you. Goodness know what happened in those hotel rooms and around those items…… That was the best explanation of why the second hand clothing or items are not worse than many other things we do at life. I even told my best friend about this and she too agreed.ย 

My best friend and I agree on a number of things; she like myself would not buy pants/shorts/pajamas, undies/socks/foot wear/shoes and anything else that might have a risk of risking hygiene. But we both are okay with shirts/jackets/blouses, purses, kitchen items, books, sewing notions, fabric, stationary items, and decorative stuff that can be cleaned/sterilized pretty easily.ย 

For me visits to thrift stores is a nice and exciting activity during the weekends. I happen to love old stuff and I like saving money – so it is a win-win situation. I read some inspiring blogs that find really unique and valuable items, like metallic vases and items, which I would like too. I wish I had discovered thrifting long time ago, but there is always a start ๐Ÿ™‚ I know I need to work on this feeling of “being cheap” by being there and shopping there. Maybe I will never get over it, maybe I will over time – who knows? – but I am not giving up on this exciting activity yet.

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joy journal – May 6, 2017

1. I am grateful for sleeping in today. I woke up at around 7 am again but decided to sleep some more. It was past 9.30 am that I finally got up. It made my day short but I appreciated having a lazy and cozy morning.

2. I am grateful for the breakfast I have had at home. It was healthy and filling. And, coffee was awesome! (as usual ๐Ÿ™‚ )

3. I am grateful for wanting to walk and walking to a shopping mall. I walked around 2 hours today. Weather was awesome and I felt quite light. Walking was easy and very enjoyable. I have done very well for my health by walking ๐Ÿ™‚

4. I am grateful for going around the thrift stores. I found nothing to buy but i am getting used to this. It is still quite exciting to check the items and hope that one or two will turn out to be mine. In the future. Eventually ๐Ÿ™‚

5. I am grateful for my back pack. It is such a sturdy and useful thing. I always grab it whenever I go for shopping. It takes up a lot of things and make carrying items easy.

6. I am grateful for talking to my family; sister, mom, and brother todayย ๐Ÿ™‚ My brother is visiting my sister and mom and it was a fun and delightful talk today.

7. I am grateful for all the healthy food I have consumed today and the milk I have drunk. All of them are helping my body keeping healthy and strong.ย 

8. I am grateful for enjoying the bright day with blue skies.ย 

9. I am grateful for the things I bought today; milk which is good for my bones; eggs which are awesome, tasty, and packed with nutrients; coffee that will last forย 3-4 months; and the chocolate that felt like from heaven ๐Ÿ™‚

10. I am grateful for taking a rest and relaxing into my Saturday night. I need to spend time alone so that I can fully relax. It is strange that when I spend time with others in the evenings, I feel like I miss something…. It is awesome to be spending time with myself ๐Ÿ™‚

11. I am grateful for the moisturizers I have! They make my skin feel better. And they smell so good too! ๐Ÿ™‚

12. I am grateful for dreaming yesterday. I have a new recurrent theme in my dreams. Wonder what it signifies… Life is so mysterious sometime ๐Ÿ™‚

13. I am grateful for being grateful and taking my time to note these beautiful things, people, and experiences.

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What do I appreciate myself for today?

1. I thank myself for pampering myself with sleeping in and treating myself with chocolate! ๐Ÿ™‚

2. I thank myself for walking and enjoying it. I nowย consider myself a regular walker.

3. I thank myself for making a continuous effort to eat healthy and drink milk.

4. I thank myself for being frugal and not buying things just because they are on sale or pretty.

5. I thank myself for having a routine and not getting bored of it all the time.

6. I thank myself for enjoying the Kung Fu Panda! Have you seen that animation movieย series? please do!

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random thoughts

So they say Puerto Rico has declared bankruptcy.

Hmm…. I understand individuals but a state/country? No idea how that would be feeling for its residents. I am selfishly grateful for one thing – I had looked for jobs at Puerto Rico over a decade or two, and if I had found one, I would have moved there. Now I realize that I am in a much better place – this province did not declare a bankruptcy. At least, not yet…Until then I will keep working, soothing myย anxiety over losing my job/pension, looking for alternative income resources or jobs, and saving as much as I can.

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I wore one of the thrifted blouses today and I felt lucky again; I have got that beauty for such an affordable price. I plan to go to thrift stores again this Saturday. I thought today; would I ever buy new blouses or shirts (these are the primary clothes I am okay for buying at thrift stores) from other stores? I have a shirt that I have hardly worn that I bought for over 50 bucks 4-5 years ago. What a waste…. I do not think I would do that again, as long as my experience with the thrift stores continues to be positive. There isย something very satisfying and exciting about finding a beautiful blouse or item at a low cost, feeling lucky about this, and havingย savings building up for my future ๐Ÿ™‚

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I happen to get my weekly shopping done today. I could not help and bought more stuff than I would usually consume. The difference this week is that I will start bringing food to office…. I so far consumed usually canned foods and fruits, but this had to change; I do not think canned food is very healthy. Not 5 days a week. So I have been meaning to transition into bringing in real food everyday.ย 

This, I suspect, will be a challenge for me. My primary concern is that I may forget to pick up the food in the morning, or get too lazy to even bother preparing food everyday….. One strategy will be to bring a week’s worth of food on Mondays – we have fridge on the floor so it should not be a problem to store them. Since I plan to walk in the mornings, this also means carrying them in my back pack on Mondays… I need a new habit, see? I gotta say that I am pretty sure this will be a struggle for some time, but we will see how itย will go.ย The worst thing I will do is to eat nuts and trail mix at the office, in addition to fruit. At least they are easy to carry and always tasty.

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Tomorrow is Friday. This week has passed quite fast. This weekend I plan to continue fixing my yard, shop at thrift stores, clean my house, and walk to a park or something. I may as well start reading a book, who knows? It has been sometime that Iย read a book, so this may be actually a great activity to do.ย 

These are what crossed my mind tonite, friends. Hope you are having a great night and have wonderful plans for theย coming weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

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thrift store treasures

ย I have not written in a while, haveย I? I feel like I must write, write, write ๐Ÿ™‚

A couple of things;

1) I continue to get up at around 7 am… Never in my life have I done this consistently. and with no good reason, like a flight or something.

Is it the end of winter? Daylight? Or plain old age?

Huh… My friends, they say as we age we need less sleep. I guess I am experiencing this. It is a fact! ๐Ÿ™‚

2) I made an effort to take the bus this week, rather than the cab. It is working. I still do not feel like walking because of low morale, but I will re-start this sometime in the future.ย It is gonna feel great – I know it ๐Ÿ™‚

3) I have walked two hours again today to a shopping mall. This is, I believe, the 3rd Saturday straight that I have done this. I checked two thrift stores and found myself a nice blouse – just for 4 bucks ๐Ÿ™‚ this is the 3rd blouse I have got in the last three weeks from thrift stores that excites me like this ๐Ÿ™‚ It is a beautiful thing and I love it ๐Ÿ™‚ I tried around 15 other blouses – one of them was really awesome! I wish it was a little bit larger ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh, well. next time ๐Ÿ™‚

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I found it very interesting today that I am getting more and more comfortableย with the idea of buying clothes from thrift stores. I previously had bought books, sewing notions/fabric, purses, a jacket or two, and one or two shirts over many years. What can I say? Sometimes Iย can find really amazing stuff and they are very affordable. I also help others by shopping at these stores, I would like to think. So I should feel okay. But, see there is something still bothering me about shopping there. I guess I am worried about people recognizing me and then talking behind me. After all I am not poor,ย and I can afford new clothes, and I would not like to be called “cheap”. But I must admit it is so much fun to go around the thrift stores, look at all the interesting stuff (they have more diverse items than regular store, don’t they?), and find a lovely piece that I can love and use ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

On a separate note, walking was very easy and fun today. I am really grateful for doing this. It is an healthy activity and it makes me realize how fineย my body and stamina is. Especially when I compare this ability to before when I had low energy for years and would not want to walk even 5 minutes… To be able to do this now feels awesome ๐Ÿ™‚

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