changing for a better me, for a better time

So this past year has been hard on me – it was highly stressful; I worked long hours; I was skeptical and suspicious of my professional future; I have got my blood pressure peaked a couple of times and almost got panic attacks; I have got my self-confidence shook very very strongly; and I have mostly ignored my daily, personal, simple, and frugal life so that I can channel my energy and time to my work-related efforts and use my money to comfort myself during this hard time.

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The hardship started last summer when I realized that our work-place was getting more and more toxic (mostly because of financial issues) and they were openly making comments about firing people. How demoralizing? Very indeed. I worked so hard and did so much for my work and this organization that after all of these, if we get this kind of treatments instead of appreciation, it was time to think about what to do with my future.

  • This was one of the nicest things I have got out of this experience – that I was better than this and I deserved recognition by my work-place, not depreciation like they tend to favor.
  • I also did not want to spend my time trying to prove myself over and over. All these years and after all I have done, what else do they want?? (they do want lots of thing, by the way. It is never enough for them).
  • Most importantly, I realized that I was better than my current work-environment let me be and I was longing for developing further and reaching my personal and professional potential.
  • I applied for a job, for which I did not receive any response back. But that is okay. The important thing was I had started to react to my work/position here and I was being detached from it. This was wonderful – I never thought that I would leave my current job. Great experience!
  • I worked harder and on different topics, which took time and required a lot of courage. I did these. They have not yielded outputs yet, but I am hopeful and determined that they will.
  • I took new roles. That meant lost of time and reading/discussions/practicing to learn new things and taking new risks. It has been tough, but I am moving on smoothly.
  • I exercise new leadership roles and I am developing and discovering about myself in such roles. While this is emotionally challenging (a lot is expected from leaders and knowledge and experience together are required for effective leadership), there is so much I learn about myself that it is amazing 🙂

I also aimed to change myself.

  • I realized I did not want to do what others were in fact supposed to do (my job requires a lot of this if we want things to move – sad truth is that as a project leader you shoulder a lot of the burden others should) and starting to say no. I first said no to reviewing a report, then another, and then another. I try to save my time for the things I want to deal with now.
  • I raised concerns and demanded better working conditions when my work place came to me with a silly tasks to be done (which can be done by someone else pretty easily).
  • I started to distance myself from the colleagues who ate up not only my time, but also my nerves with their negative, demanding, and belittling attitudes. This is one of my most significant victories….
  • I started raising my voice when my friends or colleagues unfairly criticized me – they think twice now I guess. I found that generalization is very easy and people tend to do this pretty frequently. However, seeing the view from the other side is necessary to understand things better. Many people miss that. I am vocal about this now when it comes to me or my work. I won’t take unnecessary and unfounded criticism that easily.
  • I say no to socials with people whom I do not wish to spend yet another minute. 
  • I started to value my time, energy, well-being, professional efforts, skills, and performance more than ever (talking about confidence that my work-place was trying to diminish with the talks of firing us.. What a nice turn of self-opinion? 🙂 )
  • I started to be a little bit more smart and took steps to strengthen my position in my work-place while also developing myself further. I have two positions at my union’s committees and I am not only learning about our rights as workers, but also how to support myself and other workers against any organizational or professional issues. I feel safer and well supported. And in many ways, also protected. I will continue to work in one of these committees in the coming years, which I know is very beneficial for me. It is like a shield that can defer many silly attempts on me and other vulnerable colleagues. I am loving this.
  • I recently realized that I was very content and pleased with my efforts, hard-work, development, and changes. With this comes confidence and shutting down any effort to belittle me or my work. This is, my friends, priceless.

After all, this hard time is turning into a better and more pleasing experience. Like winter ending and Spring flourishing.

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random thoughts

I have had a good weekend and I am very happy about this 🙂

I am back to my regular self after four months of rush-rush-stress-stress work marathon and two over-seas trips.

I am eating better and healthy, I walk whenever I can, and my budget is back to its wonderful self 🙂

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My hair is transitioning to gray alright and I have not lost my mind over the abundance of grays or the presence of many different colours in my hair, even though I know I HATE this hair, goodness knows I want to DYE it like right now, and I never knew I could be that BRAVE to carry this hair!!

Peace… I need to make peace with this hair, but it is so challenging…

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Anyways; going back to positive experiences….I plucked out weeds and unnecessary plants from my yard, moved a nice flower somewhere else so that next year I can plant food at the back of the yard, enjoyed the mints and flowers still striving, and felt the satisfaction of knowing that now my yard is ready for winter. There is nothing much to be done. I have done good.

I am baking a great-looking sourdough loaf and I will be sharing my beet pickles and potato salad with my friends, who invited me over for a dinner tonite. I am so looking forward to their company and having great time.

Good people make all the difference 🙂

Have a great Sunday everyone! 🙂

 

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Summer heat

You know, being a Canadian is a unique experience;

“eh”,  “poutine”, “Canadian beer”, “Tims/timbits”, “Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)”, “Canadian kindness”, “universal healthcare”, “sorry – not sorry”, “snow/winter” and many more 🙂 

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The most important one, however, is that you may be bothered with heat and sun.

That is right!  🙂

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Yesterday was 22 C and I walked to a shopping mall at noon. I believe I have had sun stroke and had to take a long cool shower to cool my body and reduce my heart rate. The same thing today – it was 27 C, sunny, and hot, and here I am trying to cool my body..

Boy, no hesitation here. 

I am Canadian and I am loving it.

 

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random thoughts

It is quite cold, my friends. We are talking about below 0C. 

Air is fresh and crispy but honestly it just feels like when winter is just starting in December. Déjà vu….. Not so cool. We have had with winter already.

Since my morale is low in the last few days, I try hard to feel okay. I am kind of numb or absent-minded. I feel like if I do not keep busy, all the thoughts and emotions will rush towards me and I will collapse under their weights. I know this is irrational thinking. But it just feels so. So I keep busy – I work and work and work and that feels good.

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All my life I worked very hard, except may be a couple of times when I have had personal troubles that kept me from focusing and working a lot. Working seems to help keep my fears and emotions at check and for that I am grateful. It is just that I know that there is no running away from troubling thoughts or emotions, so one day I will have to face my sadness and worries. I hope to gracefully accept them when the time comes, rather than resisting and reacting. I found that not resisting makes it easier to cope with.

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So, am I kind of saying that I am grateful that I am not retired?

What would I do if I had no work to go to or focus in such a mood? Let me tell you – that would not be nice. So, yes I am so very grateful for my job and not being a retiree right now 🙂

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random thoughts

I always found March-May kind of tricky; they feel like spring but then they are not. As you can guess, yes we are expecting another snow storm tonite. I am sure it is not going to be a snow day, but boy, do I really want the freedom to walk without thinking about the snow banks or ice? Well, looks like I will wait for sometime for that.

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Nevertheless, I walked this morning and it was a pleasant walk. I had my dental cleaning appointment, which went well. Only that I have been cranky lately and that meant I was not complying with everything. For example, my dental hygienist suggested that I have an additional X-ray, which I refused. She might have had a good reason, but I am not getting an X-ray unless it is absolutely necessary or recommended by a dentist. I am proud of myself for saying NO, which is easier when I am not in the mood. Also, it helped that the hygienist made me extra annoyed by asking all bunch of personal questions, spending time like this, and making me pay for an extra time. Next time, I am making clear that I am keeping the time to make sure I will not be charged more than the required, especially while also being subject to a ridiculous conversation. So, that was how I started my day….

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Anyways; after that it was better. First, I felt hungry and bought some muffins/baked goods and ate them with great appetite and enjoyment 🙂 Since I usually do not have breakfast, this was a nice change that I appreciated very much – I can do this more often 🙂

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The rest of the day was not eventful, for which I am grateful. I walked back home and prepared myself a healthy meal. I still have 10 pounds to shed (that I gained lately), which bothers me. Yesterday, for example I was miserable thinking about it…. Yet, I want to feel positive, rather than negative, and believe in myself that I will take the necessary steps to start removing extra fat from my body… This evenings’ meal was a good example of healthy meal (cracked wheat salad with lots of onion, tomato, celery, pepper, and parsley 🙂
Hope I will keep this determination up 🙂

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random thoughts

I cannot believe we have reached to the end of February!

This year has been passing quite fast. It is hard for me to believe that it has been two months since the holidays when I had 2 weeks off.. Wow! Two months…. It feels like yesterday!

The nice thing is that the three months of our winter has passed. The Spring will be here in May – that feels good 🙂

We will also have the daylight saving times reversed sometime in March – that means we are looking for lighter and brighter days ahead. That also feels good 🙂

This winter has been harsh here in Canada, my friends. We have had a lot of snow days 🙂 It has also been interesting: for the first time in my life here (around 8-9 years), I have walked in the morning to the office from home in winter. I think I have done that in January first and, now, whenever I can, I am aiming to do so (like today)…

What a sense of freedom it gives me and what a great way to relax my mind and work my body. I am awed that I am not afraid of ice or falling this winter (which was the reason that stopped me from walking in winter at the first place).. Change is always possible I guess….

That experience also tells me to question our assumptions and decisions, even though they are comfortable. Perhaps they can be re-assessed and reversed, and the new normal would turn out to be exciting as my winter walking adventure 🙂

Nowadays I particularly feel like walking. I blame partly boredom and partly the fact that I get up early, and as such, end up with having lots of time at my hand 🙂 I walked last Saturday and Sunday around 2 hours each day. And I am planning to walk similarly this weekend. I hope I can make this. My plan is to walk to the shopping mall on Saturday, just to grab a couple of tubes of yogurt 🙂 Let’s see whether the weather will be permissive (if it is raining or heavily snowing, I will not certainly do this 🙂 ) 

Since I walked this morning and did not take the bus, today was also a day that I spent nothing! 🙂

Is that not awesome 🙂

I never thought that that would be possible, but now I can see that I was not thinking careful enough – it certainly is possible. Anyone can do this “no spending days”. Give it a try, my friends, and let us know how you feel. It certainly feels weird and sweet at the same time 🙂 🙂 

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another snow day

The snow day! 

Had we not have another one just last week??

We had….

This winter has been kind of strange – the one with the most snow days and the earliest (we have had one or two snow days in December). While my street is not in bad condition yet (total snow around 30 cm), we expect this to continue till tomorrow morning, so who knows how many times I will get out and shovel to keep my tiny “tunnel” connecting my home to the street?

 

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snow storm and neighbours

Snow storm has passed leaving around 2 meters of snow bank in front of my house and making me anxious about whether this snow bank would hurt my house, especially the window facing it…..

It is strange that my neighbors, even the ones across from my house, would shovel their snows towards my house. Where does this come from? Please keep it in your own area. I had to step out a number of times and kindly ask my neighbors to keep the snow on and around their sides… Sigh… One thing that really ticked me off today… Kind of inconsiderate…

I continue to feel agitated mostly because of work-related issues and the snow bank-neighbour issues. Yet, I am supposed to feel good about my life and myself. So how do I find this balance?

I guess it is time that I focus on the big picture, relax, and find the confidence in me that I can handle everything well 🙂

 

 

random thoughts

It was a kind of “oh well, I think I am getting down with something” day…

I think the windy weather is making me kind of sick; it is quite strong and when it hits, it hits.. Time for the hot chocolate 🙂 Lots of it 🙂 🙂

The wind outside is quite concerning; I am so grateful for my house standing tall in this weather. We have had a strangely cold, snowy, and windy week. Two days were snow days and this evening was certainly not great. I managed to go to grocery store nice and easy, but when I had left, the snow and wind were just beating us. It is great that my house is very close to the store 🙂

I have socials to attend this weekend and I am hoping (yes, I am..) that we will cancel them. I am supposed to have a hair cut; clean the house; do the laundry; shop at a mall for my needs; and then attend an early dinner tomorrow – how am I supposed to do all of these, while I also feel kind of sick and cranky and the weather is crazy?

Nevertheless, I am hoping that at least the weather will be better, I will feel a lot like my regular self and enjoy my time as it develops tomorrow.

Have a great Friday night everyone! 🙂

 

 

random thoughts

File:Forget me not.jpg

photo credit: Rude (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Forget_me_not.jpg)

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Today is off, but I went to the office nevertheless. It was magical – it reminded me how well I can do without distractions of emails, phones, meetings, and just people around. In 4 hours I have done days of work… I am very grateful.

The day is warm and shinny with a blue sky. I could see all my neighbours out working in their yards, chatting with other neighbours, and having barbecue parties 🙂 It is as if not only the nature has awaken by Spring, but people too.

Honestly we deserved that after our long winter. This winter was not harsh as it was the last two years. But nonetheless, I am sure all residents are cherishing its end 🙂

I am spending the afternoon at home with listening to calming music and reflecting on  the productive work today and the beauty of Spring. My lilacs are blooming and so are the forget-me-nots. Forget-me-not flower has rapidly become my favorite a couple of years ago when I purchased my home. These little blue  flowers are so elegant, so cheerful, and so beautiful. I feel lucky to have them right in my yard.

Wishing everyone a great Spring day 🙂

random thoughts

A cold and snowy day!

April and Spring…Yeah right 🙂

The scenery from my office window was amazing with snow covering the trees and roofs of the houses. I must say I will miss snow. The truth is the winters here are so long that after a while it kinda becomes the “normal” weather. It is enjoyable. It is beautiful. It does not bother anymore. Spring and summer become distant realities, if not dreams…. And with June, we kind of notice the change, the warm temperatures, and maybe more than that, the awakening of the nature. Spring, after all the snow and dark days, really surprises me every year. Very interesting experience indeed…..

When I was in Toronto, winters were colder, but the sky was always blue and clear. It did make a huge positive difference in my mood. So when I moved here, more than the huge amount of snow dumped every winter, it was the lack of sunlight that bothered me. After all these years, I might have just adapted to the lack of sunlight. Or, it may be the vitamin D supplements I started to take in the last 6-7 months that makes me not requiring sunlight as before… Hard to know.

I worked long hours today, mostly at home. Until 8 pm I was busy with documents. I feel good working and taking care of stuff, especially if they are going well. Today was just one of these days. Now I will focus on relaxing my mind by watching TV shows or reading blogs. I gotta slow down my mind to go to sleep.

I noticed that in the last few years, I do not require 9 hours of sleep anymore. It is maybe more like 7 hours. I had read somewhere that as we age, we would need less sleep (since our physical activity levels would reduce over time). I do not want to believe in it as I am reacting to aging 🙂 but, no – seriously – my activity levels did not change in the last few years, so I am not sure whether it is the reason behind my reduced sleep needs. But I must say this gives me more time and an opportunity to go to sleep late. So, I cannot complain 🙂

Have a great night everyone 🙂

random thoughts

A warm April day; it made my sweated while walking 30 min to a nearby store. My windows are open right now, too. It has been like this in the last few hours. Letting fresh air in is a great feeling. I almost feel like we are about to welcome Spring. If not that, then we should be certainly saying goodbye to old man winter.

Where I am April and May are usually tricky months, as their features are right in between Winter and Spring. One moment it is warm and you kind of think that you will not see snow till the next November or something, and 5 min later, it can be a freezing rain. Rain is a big thing, too as it can start showering anytime. Day or night. You may see the bright and blue sky and feel like walking outdoors, only to find yourself needing your winter coat and scarf because it turns being windy all of a sudden.

I have noticed this pattern a while ago. Prior to that I always got psychologically annoyed by the loss of my Spring hopes during March and April. Now, I am more knowledgeable; I do not get excited until after May. The last weekend of May is when we all start to work on our yards and plant flowers and bushes. Until then, we do not even cut the grass. So you have got the idea – I have two more months to feel the Spring 🙂

It is a usual Sunday for me with little chores and lots of time for myself. I am hoping I would read a book. It has been a while… Time to continue that “A Clash of Kings” book by GRRM. Man, that book needs to be dealt with as soon as possible so that I can move on to the others in the series. The new season of the HBO’s Game of Thrones show  is set to start at the end of April – while like many of you I may not be able to watch it, you know I will read the comments and reviews on the net. It would be nice to progress with the book somehow until then.

Anyways, these are my random thoughts that occurred to me while writing this post. I hope you all are having a nice, warm Sunday full of lovely activities 🙂

season winter

poem

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many springs passed since last time

green and alive

and many thoughts and tears

without care

hard to imagine when this will end

this winter.. this foggy air..

I am stuck with hunger;

dreams give temporary relief

telling the regular lie

we are together like a lovely couple

I look at your eyes and see the inner boy

a 10 years old with hope and joyful

no age matters, no gray, no hair

giggling and humming the tunes

we are walking down the harbour

like no one else exists, none matters

the sky is blue and it is warm

I see the river and the city behind

it is one dream I love

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today’s bits

We ended up having 20-30 cms of snow overnight. While the street was very quiet in the morning and the cars were remaining where they were, to my surprise it was not a snow day, and off to work I went 🙂

It was a good day, full of nice coffee, conversations, productive meeting, and some work done. I left the office afternoon for an off-site meeting and I managed to walk in the streets. I could not help bu notice the snow banks along the streets. The height of the snow banks time to time gets quite high and I keep wonder why the city does not try to find a way to remove the banks… For us, it is a regular sight in winter; they are white and fluffy at the beginning and after a while get harder and turn their colour to gray… Stuck with all the dirt they can get in the streets – this is when it becomes a particularly annoying sight.

My prediction is that these snow banks will remain until the end of march, refreshed by new snow that we expect in the coming weeks. Unless we are hit by extensive rain of course.

Nevertheless, it is good that we passed mid January now. While our winter well spreads across April and sometime May as well, I know over time its effects will lessen. In April we should get more sunlight and in May the nature starts to bloom…. what an exciting feeling it is to see that – cannot wait 🙂

I am re-starting my yoga classes this evening; I hope to relax both my mind and my body. Especially my back, which has been aching in the last one week. I will take it easy for a couple of sessions and after that I hope to have a stronger feeling back. I am looking forward to that. I am also supposed to start physiotherapy sometime; it should also help me to prevent further damage to my lower back.

One thing I have not developed a solution for is the way I sit at home. Since I love to sit on my couch, I hardly have a straight posture. I may want to move on the recliner again, which has a stronger support for my back and shoulders. Without this kind of improvements, I cannot expect to help my own back by attending yoga or physiotherapy sessions. That would be silly really. So I better start being wise about my posture and give it a priority.

That is what it is so far. I wish everyone a great, relaxing, and lovely evening and night 🙂

random thoughts

It is a chilly day today; I had to increase the temperature at home. Quite a difference from yesterday when it was warmer. Well, the old man winter wants us to remember him I guess. So be it.

I have cleaned by email account completely yesterday, which felt amazing! I deleted all the unnecessary files from my desktop as well – that also feels awesome 🙂 I have not deleted or cleaned any work related folders; they better remain as they are. They are all very well organized anyhow; each distinct topic/work is under separate and clearly labeled folder. I am not worried about these.

Work is continuing and I am happy with my progress. I am just a little bit jumpy nowadays; in other words I am quick to react… I do not like this, as often times the reactions are either automatic or without thinking. This tells me that it is time for me to vent the pressure out a little bit; I do not want to negatively affect anyone around me.

On the positive side, I replaced my mouse and everything is fine right now! My mouse connection has not been working in the last few days and I was miserable trying to work with the touch pad – if you are not familiar with the touch pad, it is kind of difficult and less practical than the mouse. So, I could not be happier that now with the new mouse, everything is well and I can work as efficiently as before 🙂

We have two more days to go to work and after that 12 days off. I am kind of looking forward to this. Two more days, my friends 🙂

Have a great night everyone.

 

random thoughts

Welcome to the chilly fall day 🙂

My home is really chilly; I upted the thermometer last week to keep it around 18 Cs. Tonite it is particularly chilly; my knees are feeling it. Thankfully I have my blanket 🙂 What would I do without it?

This slush blanket has been with me for 4-5 years. I bought it with love and since then there has never been a chilly day that I have not used it over my lap and legs. A perfect companion.

Chilly weather reminds me the Games of Throne’s famous sentence; “Winter is coming”. I do not like our long winters that much. Hopefully it will be a reasonable winter this year.

I love walking on chilly weather though – with my scarfs and the gloves on. I am fond of both of them. They make me feel pampered. Hot chocolate and all bunch of other warming beverages also have a role in this feeling.

Autumns are somehow romantic 🙂

walking is a joy!

Walking is the best exercise that I can integrate into my life; it is free, it has no time limit, it does not require gym membership or special clothes, it is relatively safe, and very enjoyable if you can also take time to look around, especially in these beautiful Spring days.

I was an avid walker, until I moved to my current city. Day or night whenever I felt like bored or down, I walked. I walked for hours, sometime more than once a day. I walked to the work, I walked to the shopping centres, and I walked to everywhere I can think about. That is the nice thing about living in downtown, which makes it safe and also practical during winter (snow clearance is usually a lot better).

At my current city, the situation is a little bit different. Walking during winter is usually is not fun but I try; during the winter months, I am keen about walking in the afternoons, rain, snow, or shine from work to home. Unless it gets icy or if there is a storm outside. This year I have done it really well and I am very pleased with myself. It is not easy to walk whenever I would like to though due to the ice and snow banks that stay on the ground/street for quite sometime. A nice pair of water and skid-resistant boots made my life easy during the winter.

But I must says it is the Spring that brings the joy of walking. The heavy winter coats are gone, it is warm and dry, and there is so many nice houses, yards, and gardens to see along the way. The energy is amazing and makes me want to walk more. I would like to walk in the afternoons and the weekends as much as I can. There are I am sure nice paths, nice streets that I can explore to make this an unboring activity- walking along the same way and seeing the same things over and over again is not very interesting to me. So, let’s start exploring. Maybe I can also take my camera with me to make it a more interesting experience.

I am excited for ending the season of hibernation soon

The idea of spring excites me.

No doubt.

I can wear different, lighter coats. I love my winter coat- I bought it 7 years ago and since then it has been the only one I have been wearing. It is not particularly good looking, but it is water-proof, has a hood, inside is covered with feather-like stuff so it keeps warm, and it is long enough to keep my knees protected.

I think the winter is so long here, I kinda get used to wear the same stuff over and over. Then, when the weather warms up a little bit, I realize I have other clothes/coats/shoes that I can wear… Change excites me.

Clothes and shoes are not the only ones that I can change. I am feeing like I can walk for longer hours, maybe even in the morning (from home to the office). I think that is a great idea, considering that it takes around 30 min to do so. The health benefits (for my mind and for my body) are considerable. Plus, I get to save money. Why not to give this a try?

I may as well walk at the weekends. There are really nice neighbourhoods in the close vicinity and shopping centers. It will feel awesome to walk and break some sweat.

I am excited for ending the season of hibernation soon.

Hope, I find, is the best remedy for the long winters.

today felt like spring

Today felt like spring – it was warm (around 10 0C), bright, and shiny.

The first thing a lot of people I talked to today mentioned was what a lovely day it was; people are happier, positive, and more hopeful. Well deserved!

In the afternoon, I changed my winter coat with the spring coat while going out. I have also changed my winter boots with my walking shoes. it is a great feeling 🙂 More and more changes for me, how nice!

They expect some rain tonite or tomorrow, which we all hope will wash away the snow banks that now turned into grey colour due to dirt that kept sticking to them over the months. On Friday we will be back to chilly weather (around – 10 0C)….

I have been here for 6-7 years now and I know April and May are usually tricky months. You kinda see the nice weather one minute and then fall into thinking that the winter is over and it is all gonna be spring, warm and shiny. Then the next moment, the winter is back, and this continues almost till the end of May.

At first I was very frustrated by this ever-changing climate during so-called spring months. Now, I am more knowledgeable and do not hope that winter is over yet. I found that this is the best way to protect my sanity 🙂

the cold weather and appreciation

The winter shows itself today – it was -20 C with wind shield during the day and I am assuming it is less right now. Quite unusual for where I live; usually in winter the temperature would not go below 0C.

There is something nice about the cold weather, though. It made me appreciate the warmth of my home and my office. It makes me want to find ways to make insulation better at my home. I notice for example the weather strip of the back door is not large enough and the cold weather pours in through between the door and the wall. Would a nice, long, thick curtain help stop the cold air move in? Perhaps. It is worth giving it a try.

I love having my throw on my lap, too. It is the source of an effortless warmth. How about soup and tea? Warmth, warmth, more warmth 🙂 It is awesome to have all of these, a safe and sound house to stay, heating and power, clothes and throws, and the hot drinks. I am grateful for all that make the winter manageable.

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