Random thoughts

I hope you all have a great Holiday Season and a happy New Year’s Eve!

First, a note on New Year’s Resolution. I have been seeing on social media people mocking others for having New Year Resolutions. I do not understand this – resolutions are hopes and objectives for many people, and some actually can reach their objectives. Many cannot keep up with their resolutions, so what? Let people hope and plan. Whether it is time for them to reach their destination is none of our business.

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Second, I wanted to think about what I would like to change in New Year myself. I noticed that there were two things that have been in my list, like for ever. One, to lose weight. Two, to exercise more. Should I focus on these two? Absolutely. Even, for a short time if I eat reasonably (I am old enough to know what my body likes and what makes it lose fat…) and take my time and creativity to exercise, it will help me. I do not plan to become a model or an athlete. So, keeping my plans light and my expectations small helps, even if I fail to keep my resolutions.

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Third, I realized I had less to change this year compared to previous years. Why was that?

I thought maybe I already reached or integrated the necessary changes in my life permanently (like, being fugal, making good savings and investments every year, making pre-payments, and so on), or I trust myself that when a change is needed, it finds a way to get in my life anyways. These thoughts actually made me happier and gave me a sense of freedom that I had not felt at around other New Years. Liked it – I think aging with wisdom has been happening with me. Cool 🙂

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My 13 days of Holidays break is ending tomorrow. I managed to work only a few hours during this break and enormously liked it. Having time myself helped me clean and declutter my home; donate what I had but did not use; shop and purchase great food and other necessities; and change the face of a couple of corners in my home.

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For example, I never knew how larger was my entrance deck than I thought until this Holidays. It is because I keep my coats and shoes out, rather than hanging them in the cabinet, and sometimes the recycling bags, too. I thought enough was enough, and found one of my racks and placed in on the wall. Now, my scarf, hat, and coat are nicely hanging there, right behind the door, without the need to use the cabinets (I am too lazy to open the cabinet doors to take my coat out each time I am out – simple truth…). Also, I placed all of shoes in the cabinet, and left two boots that I use during the winter out in the deck area. The space I have and the welcoming feeling this gives me is truly astonishing 🙂

More over, I put three of my favorite plants to the entrance deck. It could not be more beautiful than this. For a person who is into plants so much, the fact that I just now could think about this baffles me. As, I said above, finding time for myself during the break has been an amazing experience for me. It also made me get excited about retirement – imagine all the new great things I can integrate into my life? 🙂

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Overall, I truly enjoyed my break and am ready to start the work tomorrow. I am grateful for everything I could do and the rest I have taken during the last 2 weeks.

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I believe one of the reasons that many cannot follow their New Year’s Resolutions is that we are simply too busy in the rest of the year….. To integrate things, like eating better or exercising, we need to find “time”.

One may say that we make our time, but if you are like me and have a highly competitive and high-energy job, then you will also understand that focus on work always takes over focus on myself. Time cannot be generated or saved. Not in such a society where the demands on ourselves increase constantly. So if there was one thing that the pandemic and lock-down did teach to many of us is that status quo of hard-work and not having a true, healthy life-work balance are not good for us, but are the norm.

I hope we will change this, though, I am less than hopeful, knowing there are always overly ambitious people and profit-oriented companies that will drive the glamor of over-work in the future as well.

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choices, children, and the desire for a time-travel machine

I worked a lot this evening and as a result I am feeling hyper now 🙂 Does that happen to you, too?

I am used to work till late, especially lately. It makes me tired and less thinking the itsy bitsy stuff, so actually I love sleeping well and not over-thinking during these intense work periods. Nevertheless, I am kind of annoyed tonite and am looking forward to winding down and relaxing.

While I sleep longer and deeper lately, interestingly I also dream more. Last night I have had two dreams, one about a little child that I met last weekend. He was one of these really kind and lovely kids. I felt quite an affection and protective feelings toward him.

Meeting with him made me think – should I have had kids?

Having a child has never been a real wish for me; it was partly because i was not married and was very busy with my work/career/life struggles. When I met this child, I kind of felt like I should have had kids. The love and affection I felt was awesome really. 

Then I remembered what an anxious type of a person I was and what a control freak of a mom I would turn into should I have a child. I know from a friend of mine that when you become a parent, anxiety related to the kids’ welfare, wellness, and happiness become the most important thing for you. It would not be something I could easily master or move on. That is a sad truth.

Or maybe I could. There are millions of parents on earth and some of them must have  personality like me. So, if others can manage it, so can I. why not? Right?

Adoption is always a choice. In the past, once or twice I have had considered it and eventually ruled out. Not that I would not like it. But because as a single person I did see it as a difficult task to take. I know from years back a single woman who adopted a lovely girl. She had a busy career as well, but did excellent with motherhood. I wish I had kept contact with her so that I could get an insider’s opinion/experience on adoption and child care.

Sometimes life is brutal I guess. I know what I have become has been shaped by my past choices. if only I was 20 years younger, perhaps I could make different choices.

That reminded me a new year eve 7-8 years back. I had that very strong wish to actually go back in time and re-start my life 10 years earlier. I had a lot of regrets and naiveness around me then. What if stories were true and one could move back in time?

I have a similar, albeit not as strong, wish today to go back and re-start my adult life. I wish we had not lost certain things in life, like our youth. I wish we could have better choices. I wish we lived our lives differently…

Logically I know whatever life I have right now is the best. There is no going back to certain things, abilities, experiences. I am old enough to know that whatever happens, it must be better than a less desirable outcome.

Today, I want to believe in this more than most other times.

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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magic time

Have that ever happened to you?

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

That is what is happening to me today. 

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

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

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

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

………………..

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

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

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

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

I m ready to do better, though.

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

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

I do not know what it would be.

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

getting back to aims and plans

I love to have aims and plans to tackle them. There is something exciting and energizing about this.

I am not always successful in my aims or plans, but, hey, I will try as many times as it takes and as much as I can enjoy.

The majority of my aims are around similar themes; having a financial plan; having a simple yet non-routine life; and having a healthier life-style.

I will focus on details later but the particular areas of my life that I would love to work on real soon are:

  1. getting a much leaner budget and getting rid of the extra expenses for good
  2. making an extra payment to mortgage till new year and increasing my payment after that sometime. My very ambitious plan is to drop it to 100K in 3 years. Likely not gonna happen but whatever I can do is good
  3. eating healthier and losing 25 pounds and keeping it off
  4. having a vacation somewhere this year only for my own enjoyment
  5. having a less stressful work life and dealing with work and emotions better
  6. being more social
  7. baking the perfect loaf
  8. decluttering the house and the office again and possibly again
  9. buying a new set of plates
  10. being more aware and appreciative of my surroundings, life experiences, and everything else in life 🙂

wish for a better future

I wake up early this morning with lots of thoughts an annoyance in my mind. As being a regular night bird, the early morning hours of course are interesting for me. There is little sound, it is peaceful, but I just do not know what to do as it does not fit my routine. Maybe I will go out to get a cup of coffee.

Since I do not like how I feel (e.g. pressure, not feeling good about myself or others, stress, etc.) I am looking for the causes of these feelings and then to remove them from my life. I decided that perhaps I was too ambitious. perhaps my comfort zone was better for me; where daily life goes on good and without event, I have a routine and it works, and work goes satisfactory.

This kind of a life and serenity leave room for energy and efforts to do better in all aspects of life. I realized I have been pushing my efforts towards the work, but not necessarily my personal life.

I imagined this morning how my future would be and I kind of get scared.

Honestly I have no idea how my future looks. It is blank.

It is likely that I will end up being alone in my old age, possibly need social and medical care, and will need financial security to help being cared.

I am doing my best to ensure my financial future – as long as I keep my work, I am okay.

I should, however, get a healthier life-style; from diet to exercise to better everything. That is a must.

Seeing the future as blank….This was a scary thought at the beginning but then blank can be actually good. Why do I not try to make it better then? Fill with a better life, emotions, memories, joy, and health?

Work is one part of my life and it is time that it takes a much less space in my mind and leaves more room for my own well being and function as a human.

Birthdays, middle age, and reflections

It will be my birthday soon.

As usual I do not plan to have something special that day. I used to have birthday parties with family and friends when I was young. Since I am away from my family, that tradition has long gone. One of my friends insists that i do something, even a little cake for myself, to take note of my birthday. Maybe I will..

When I was young, the age I am becoming now would terrify me. I would say it was too old and I could never imagine myself reaching that age. I hope I did not give the message of “please die prior to that age” message to my subconsciousness; I have no interest in dying now. As a matter of fact I just feel like I started living.

I am middle aged now and probably missed a couple of life’s opportunities, like having a kid. I am not sorry for this. For some reason, I was never interested in that. Maybe I never realized how fast the life goes on. This is a possibility. But other than that I feel like I have become more experienced with dealing life’s ups and downs and this gives me some kind of peace.

I have been reflecting for some time about my life so far, how I feel about the age, and my future plans and wishes. I continue to have no long – term plans, interestingly. I have some wishes, of course, like to live a long life safe and without chronic or serious diseases. The only thing that terrifies me about aging is getting incapacitated or suffering from a serious disease. After all, I live alone and it looks like I will keep it this way till the end.

I am not bragging about living alone. It may be hard to keep up with work and life and all the responsibilities by myself, but I guess I proved it long time ago that more or less I handle it. Of course there are hard, trying times, I make mistakes or fail. But then who does not?

I also wish to visit South America one day. This has been a recurring wish for me for quite some time. I had written about this and other wishes here. I have no idea why so far I have not taken steps to do so.

There are other things in that list, which I still keep being interested in. My wish to have a cat continues, even after I had to return back the lovely cat I adopted; I will try fostering cats for short times. Less responsibility for me and possibly a good chance for these lovely creatures.

I continue to work on my financial health and plans, including paying off my mortgage.

I may as well get that black dress sometime soon, if I continue to lose weight. I have lost my appetite for the last 6 months or so, and I have been losing weight slowly. I am kind of anxious that this may as well be a sign of a disease, but I sure hope I am wrong.

Overall, I have had an interesting life, not necessarily a happy life, but a very interesting one. It is my sincere wish that life will continue to amaze me, drive me to new and exciting territories, make me a better and wiser person, and bring me more joy and happiness 🙂

 

 

 

 

daydreaming another life full of love, only love

Being true to myself, I find, is difficult.

Why?

Because it requires accepting my own limitations, short-comings, weaknesses, biases, or any other adjective that is the enemy of my ego.

Life would have been much better if we could all be true to ourselves and everyone, without any effort or sacrifice, enjoys that. That would mean having no ego. That would mean a life somewhere else.

I envisioned this life today and I saw myself fully relaxed, stripped of all the bad memories, emotions, thoughts, and ego. I saw myself only as love.

And all my interactions in that world was love.

It was all love, happiness, and joy…..

I loved that life.

post-vacation resolutions

Well.. It is kind of a tradition with me that whenever I am away from my routine life I almost always make some resolutions to work on. Never mind the success rate (ahem… very similar to new year’s resolutions..), but it is nevertheless exciting to come up with plans. They are focused around “cleaning”, “clearing”, and “change” this time. Interesting….

Here are my current resolutions:

1. Losing weight. This has been on my list for ever…

I want to do this because of health reasons as well as to feel good about myself. This time surprisingly I have not gained weight while I was vacationing at home, even though I literally munched on everything I could get my hands on, especially my mom’s food! 🙂 Very surprising but also highly welcomed fact 🙂

I am very happy about this and motivated to lose some more (I had lost 10 pounds prior to my vacation only because I was working like a worker ant for 6 weeks or so). Good job me!

My aim is to keep doing whatever I am doing (it is mostly not eating at nights – I stopped seeing it as a way of rewarding myself) and to lose an additional 15 more pounds. This will put me back at my weight 8 years ago, which is really cool 🙂 I have so many nice clothes from those times (yep – I kept them and did not give away/donate… shame… 🙂 )

2. Decluttering and getting rid of everything that I react negatively to. While I was on vacation I have realized why I do not enjoy buying gifts for people and rather prefer to give them what they may like (if they are open about it) or the gift cards. The problem with gifts is that when I am given gifts, I cherish and appreciate them so much (the sentimental value is really high) that I keep keeping them with me forever! this is not a problem if the gifted item was something I needed or something I really loved, but honestly there are things that do not satisfy either of these requirements. Plus, some of the gifts are from people whom I really do not like much, so seeing their gifts reminds me them, and as such I get agitated once again for no good reason.

I want to have only those things around that I need or want. Thus, together with the fact that it has been sometime that I have decluttered my home, I have decided to start a new haul pretty soon.

I will  find a way to re-use things, like old shirts can be used as cleaning clothes.

Or they can be modified in way that makes them usable. For example, I have a nice shirt which has a somehow wide neck. I am planning to work on it  (i.e. tighten it a little bit) so that I can comfortably wear, rather than checking and correcting the neck part every single minute.

Unwanted items that are in good shape can be donated.

And those that I have been keeping for years because I was thinking that I would need them, like some of my shoes and boots, that just take up space without providing anything back, can be dumped (finally….). So can be all the stuff that are given to my by toxic people or those that remind me toxic experiences – they all will go.

Yuppi!!!

Exciting 🙂

3. Change the living environment. I think it is time that I re-arrange the furniture, especially at the bedroom so that it can feel “different”. I also have got new couch covers, which will help me to change the look of the living room. The table clothe will change as well with a new and lovely one. The towels gotta go as they they have been incredibly sturdy and of good quality but that meant that I have had to use them for years!!!! It would be lovely to have new ones, at least for some time.

4. Paying attention to my attire. I have a tendency to not care what I wear. This does not mean that I wear old or bad stuff. But honestly I can look better and feel better too. Today, I wore a new shirt I bought last week and I felt really good in that shirt. I also noticed how different I felt…. I have no logical explanation why this effect has occurred, but I decided I did not need to know everything and I could continue to wear things that I love and feel good. Whether they are shoes or clothes, does not matter.

So be it 🙂

I will be checking all my clothes soon and use those that I like but did not use for sometime, or go for a shopping spree (no worries – I will be frugal) 🙂

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Clean, clear, and change. I guess this is a good plan.

I hope to be successful with this plan! Wish me luck 🙂

 

what a day…

After the exhaustion I felt yesterday, I am feeling better today. I attribute it to eating relatively better today; I have got breakfast and lunch. Also prepared myself dinner. I did not eat veggies or fruits today, but I am hoping at least what I have got provides my body some energy.

I have had meetings in the morning and then in the evening. The evening one was a mistake – I should not have arranged that meeting. I was not prepared well, but more than that the person I had the meeting was not someone I trust or like working with. I remembered why I had turned down his offer to collaborate many years ago. I have done well then. I just messed up today by looking for ways to work with him. It is not gonna happen. And I do not care. Lesson re-learnt.

Since I have been struggling to finish everything I assigned myself prior to my vacation, I re-addressed this intention today. There is a limit to what I can do in a limited time. I like the fact that I am motivated to do things, but then it is not realistic to expect so much from myself under so much stress. Work is not the most important thing in the world and it would not worth to harm myself like this. I better stop expecting that much from myself and getting uptight. Some relaxation would prove to be beneficial. Maybe I would be able to handle things better after my vacation. Maybe things would develop in a different way while I was away and some of these things would not even be needed or important then. Maybe I was supposed to rather enjoy my life for once.

Today is one of those days that I am seriously considering resigning from my otherwise wonderful job. It is generally meaningful, pays a decent salary, and it took me decades to get such a position. Yet, I am missing life big time as it fills almost the entire world of mine. I do not like that…..

I know that I have not decided to resign yet, but I have been coming to this point time to time over the last year or so. This is a phase that maybe preparing me towards the resignation. I am still resisting because I need the salary and I am not sure what else I could do. Do I have alternative ways to make money? Nope, unless I take risks and start a cafe or something like that… It is not going to be all joy and positive developments, either. So, why to leave this job then?

I wish I had less concerns for my future retirement and financial health and more dreams and plans for enjoying the life. I wish I had planned a trip to Caribbeans, for example. I wished I had taken a temporary leave from my work and gather my strength back. I wish I had spent more time with my family. I wished I had just enjoyed one day without thinking about stuff, issues to resolve, plans to make.

I wish I was a little bit smarter 🙂

 

the dream

I had a terrifying dream this morning.

I was in another city, another place, and another workplace (different building). My boss was the same and she told me that I was let go….. I could not understand this for a moment and after the initial shock, I felt so horrible. There were more junior people in my work place who did not perform as well as me. I had international recognition and often get invited to give talks. My team members were doing great too with their own and somehow unique and extraordinary activities and performances. So why was I let go? Because they preferred to keep people from this city?

It was so real, this dream. I felt insecure (I should have been a poor member of the organization otherwise I would not be asked to leave), angry (because it was not true that I was bad – I am not well known where I am but other places do know me), and mine and my team’s performances metrics are so good.

See, I woke up angry, confused, and feeling horrible, and after realizing it was a dream, I immediately felt grateful that it was just a dream..

This is so ironic in some ways, but then also such an eye opener. Reason? Only last week or so, I wrote a post about how I would not mind being let go if my workplace gives me a nice sum of severance package…

Man… No, I do not want to be fired. I do not wish to lose my job. I do not wish to be without my job. No matter how much I do not appreciate/like where I am.

As horrifying as it was, this dream was the one that cured my dull thoughts at least for now. Grateful.

 

economy, job security, and life choices

The economy does not look good where I am and there are talks about cuts coming quite soon so that our province can start paying our huge debt down. Of course as one of the government-backed institutions, my workplace is at risk too and things, to tell you the truth, do not look good for us, my colleagues, or my institution.

When there is little money/resources, the demand is higher. And money is so essential for everyone that it just makes the cuts and the fierce demands to relocate the cuts from one place to other, escalating quite fast. I was looking at the news and looks like my institution in so many ways seems like the one that will get some cuts. The end results will not be nice.

The fact that we are working in a small place and trying to reach and deliver a national or worldwide standard in our workplace does not come easy. We are often understaffed, our resources are limited, and these mean there is quite a pressure to overwork to get to the expected results/deliverables. Our salaries are also less than our peers in many other provinces. But when you look at the numbers and compare our salaries with other workers in the province, many people think that we are over-paid and that is unfair. As a result, many people now demand for cuts.

I do not blame people for wanting to cut unnecessary expenses (which I believe should BE done), but I really do not understand why it is the salaries (unless unjustifiably high) that gets the most reaction. I am making a decent salary but have been working very hard to do what I am doing. I know when compared to other institutions, our salary and benefits are not as good. Yet, here I am trying to make the best out of my capabilities, skills, and the limited resources I have access to. I try hard and I work hard. But then many people do these, too….

Honestly, I am scared of the cuts and the future of the economy. I am scared of having less and less in the future while the demand and pressure for work increases. I am scared that they will start laying off people, who were hard to get here at the first place. I am scared that the quality of work done will reduce substantially. But I am not that scared if they lay me off with a big fat cheque or severance pay (lets say a net pay of my 10 years of salary or something. Right – I am dreaming). As a matter of fact, if my institution agrees to give me a nice sum of money and possibly a small pension plan at my retirement age, I thought for a minute that I would be the first one to volunteer for it.

Why?

I am already fed up with the lack of opportunities and excitement here, presence of discriminatory behavior, and naturally I am longing for a better life. I am not sure whether I can make it better in my next city/work place, but honestly that could be an opportunity to have a new, better life nevertheless. I so far remained because of the job stability I have had and the pleasure I got out of my job. Overall, things have been fine, not great, but fine.

I do not wish hardship for anyone with their life, especially with their finances. It is not my fault that the economy is unstable and all of a sudden my province accumulated a lot of debt. It is also not my fault that I have not completely loved where I am. but if there will be a hardship on me because of the budget cuts and increased pressure, I would rather see it as an opportunity if I can also get something nice out of it, like a financial compensation. Without the compensation, though, it would significantly derail my life, especially financially.

So I better be careful with what I wish for. I would and do prefer financial and job security over excitement in the future. Just like what I have done so far in the last 6-7 years. So, I wish the cuts will not lead to lay offs and significant cuts in our salaries and benefits. I wish we all can pull this off somehow. I wish a better judgment could be made as what was unnecessary or necessary and the budget cuts could be placed fairly and appropriately. I wish nobody would lose their ability to put a shelter over their head, meal on their tables, food in their stomach, and most importantly their hope for their lives and future.

I had not realized how important the economy was until today.

 

made a decision

I had made this decision many times before but I guess lately I had become okay with the status quo because of the stability of my job here.

My decision is to leave here and move somewhere else.

I am tired of rowing against the current, which is ignorant and insensitive to the efforts I put in.

This current would be my job environment.

I have a great job but I also time to time talk about the stress it creates on me and its challenges. I also rant about lack of diversity and not being from here (thus being stereotyped or discriminated) time to time.

Hence, 2 + 2 and I decided it is not right to continue a life somewhere that does not excite me.

More importantly, it is not right to not put an effort to enrich and make my life better.

It is not right to live and work somewhere where people still think less of me because I am not from here. Even though I do so well. But who cares about the quality and quantity of the work I do while I am (according to them) less worthy?

F. that.

Of course I have triggers. My dad’s death two weeks ago (sometimes, I cannot believe in this…) and how he would like me to be happy. How I resented about focusing so much of work and neglecting my family and myself. And an event here today about work which told me once more how superficial a lot of things here are and no matter what I am capable of or proposing, it would not go thru and make a positive difference in people’s life. So what is all of these struggle, boredom, hard-work, and efforts are for?

Time for me to care about myself and make myself a priority. Not the job. Not this place and this job, no matter how much I love working.

Gotta start looking for jobs somewhere.

I am kind of thinking that it would be better for me if I just give a resignation notice. I believe I can give a notice upto a year before. I am crazy (or fed up) enough to do this, yet I should not do this before I find another job. After all, I have a good salary here…

Boy, I so hope that I will not chicken out and over turn this decision once more. I must put the effort to move somewhere else, hopefully a much better, warmer, diverse, and reasonable place.

Wish me luck

 

 

“Enjoy the delicious part of life as well”

I got up this morning with the thoughts of “What do I want for my life? How can I get them?

This is a recurring question in my mind over many years, even decades. With the recent death of my dad and head-on clash with the concept of death in reality, I am not surprised that these questions arise again.

When I look at my life, I do see that I pacified myself with my education and training in the past and do the same my work now. It is like shutting the emotions down and focusing on problem solving. They say it is the rational side of the brain (the left side) that works while working on a problem, not the right side, which is more concerned about emotional aspect (whether or not that is true I do not know; but I know that when I focus on work, I am overall feeling better)….

I also know that a number of times I have attempted to make my life better as I wished it to be. Moving to a city or country that I love, or marrying a man whom I would see myself excited and happy with. Many times these did not happen. Many people know that I am kind of stuck at my present city, which is not bad but not great or exciting either (small, isolated city with less attraction and diversity). Yet the work is amazing and I live comfortably in terms of finances, safety (very safe city, which is awesome), and life is overall very simple and easy (which helps me have lots of time for work and myself). So there are so many positives of being here, yet there are also so many other great cities out there. My thoughts always linger towards them…

After I moved here, i have applied to only one job which I thought was better than what I have right now. It did not happen. The small number of job applications tell me that after all I should be content with where I am or my life is. I think in a lot of ways I am content. But then, why do I have this feeling of “I am wasting my life”?

The fact that I live away from my family and home always feels bad…. I should have been with my family. I should have been with my dad more. I should be spending more time with the rest of my family. yet, here I am….

I over and over contemplate about why I prefer a life here than at home and I always decide that this is better for me, even though I am away from home. This is strange and somehow hard to understand. Of course when I get close to retirement, i will reconsider this and the chances that I will go back home. But, is there a guarantee that I will live that long or find my loved ones well and alive then? I can not know.

But I know one thing; after the death of my dad, I am feeling resentment against my interest in work. I, by liking it so much, neglected a lot of things; myself and my family. This gotta change. I also realized, as my dad said a couple of years ago, “life is really short and before it ends and when you still have time, do things that will give you more joy, happiness, and excitement. Enjoy the delicious part of life as well, not always see and engulf yourself in the hard part“.

I had taken notice of this wise and somehow unexpectedly understanding advise from my dad, but I did not overly improve the quality of my life, or make changes that will give me more joy, excitement, or happiness (except that a couple of years back I had almost fallen in love, which had felt exactly like what my dad had described).

I have dreams of course. I would like to move to a South American country for example. I can still work and would be very happy to contribute to a developing country with my skills and experience. I would love the better climate and genuine people. I would love to learn the culture, history, and the language of the country. I would love to sing songs with the elderly and have laughters with the youngster. I can always do that, yet two things bother me; a) I may not be financially as good as I am now, and b) South America is even farther away from my home. So, I will not work towards this dream.

On the other hand, I can focus on my current life, which is already abundant, comfortable, and safe. There must be things that I can do now, on top of what I already have, to enrich it. That sounds like a doable plan. My only problem is; what can I change or do new that can give me this excitement that I am missing in my life?

I guess now it is a good time to read a couple of my books that tackle exactly this question. Good to know that I am not the only one and, hey, who knows, perhaps this time I can see something….

After all, there is nothing more insensible than wasting my life. I am determined to make it more meaningful and work for me. Hopefully this time, I will start enjoying the delicious part of life.

middle age awakening

As a middle aged person (mid 40’s now) and familiar with life and death, and change in the body and age, I have started to have different feelings, different thoughts for some time now.

Death is a subject that I, like many people, would like to ignore. I am lucky in the sense that none of my family members and dear friends have yet passed away. But I am at an age that makes me realize that this may change soon, starting maybe with my parents. Not that this means that young people in my family or friends cannot die; they may. It is just that the increasing age makes it more likely. And all is scary…

I do not think I will ever come to terms with death or understand it fully for that matter. But I am glad I at least started to realize how real it is.

A couple of days ago, I thought about my own death as well; it scared me as it felt lonely. This thought, the thought of my own death, was something new to me. I did not want to die. This somehow helped me to notice my love for life.

I decided to do and prioritize things differently to have a life that I will love and has no or little regrets.

Regrets are hard and like anyone else I too have regrets; I wished I was happier for example. I wish I had handled things better and made my well being a priority. I wish I had spent more time with my family and I did not love my job that much. My job probably has a bigger role in my life than others, as I not only earn a living with it, but also changed the countries and cities I have lived in,  hardly got settled in anywhere, and with it and because of it I have got to get many difficult life and work experiences.

Eventually, I am grateful for what I have become and for my life as a whole. But it is time to re-think, re-assess, and re-decide what is important, what is not. What deserves my time and energy? How do I find more meaning in it? How do I help others better? How do I stop beating myself and relax? How do I take better care of myself? What are my needs that I neglected? What can I dump along the way to release myself from stress, sadness, and hopelessness? What excites me and how do I get them?

I feel like I will revisit this topic time to time. I am not interested in having a bucket list of 50 things to do before 50, but hey, maybe I should. Maybe they will help me discover my needs and wishes. This is gonna be challenging as I am someone who does not have long term plans, but maybe that also should change.

Now that is what I call the middle age awakening, rather than a middle age crisis 🙂

random thoughts (on my spending habits)

I would like to reduce my spending and I know I can up to 8-10K per annum; I have two major expenses that I am aware of and have been struggling to switch to better, more affordable alternatives.

One of these expenses is the cab I take every morning from home to office. I did well last week taking the bus, but not this week. The reasons? I feel overwhelmed by all the issues in my life, small or not, and I would like to pamper myself. An additional one is the relatively low levels of energy in the mornings. And also, I do not like to wait for the bus, so the timing of waking up is really critical for me.

I know that I feel a lot better when I take the bus. There is nothing much I can do for my  energy levels. I can use the extra time to walk (rather than to wait) a couple of bus stops prior to taking the bus. But how do I pass the need to pamper myself?

The second expense I can cut is related to healthy life style. Eating better food for example. Or having breakfast during the week days. Not eating bagels at the weekends. Not eating out. Almost all of them are again related to my need to feel good and pamper myself.

Yesterday I felt like drastic changes may be more effective than the “transitional ones”. Once and for all, I can remove all these from my life and start a new chapter. I may pamper myself by other means; walking and exercise always worked with me. Yoga class close to my home, which I had attended for a month in the winter, has been incredibly relaxing and pampering (the only thing is the monthly fee, which is around $100). I can keep myself busy for a while while I adjust to the new life-style. Most importantly though I need to convince my mind that pampering myself (my mind) does not mean that it should be at the expense of my body (e.g. unhealthy food).

Yesterday I was frustrated with myself and felt like I could lock myself in the house and mentally work on this last point. It ends in my mind and maybe I will start brain-washing myself right now.

Hope that will work.

joy journal – April 26, 2015

I am literally pushing myself to write this journal today. While writing I am sure I will feel better remembering things that I am grateful for – that is my greatest motivation to write now.

1. I am grateful for going through ups and downs, positive and negative in life, which so far all are deal-able things. It does not mean that I am having a great time; I feel like acknowledging things helps with reducing their effect and seeing them within the larger picture helps me to downgrade their importance and thus their effects.

2. I am grateful for having breakfast this morning. Not necessarily enjoyed it as I was not hungry, but that is okay.

3. I am grateful for the throws one of my friends gave me a while ago. I use them to cover the couch while I am sitting on it. They help it from being getting dirty as I am known to have ink stains all around where I am 🙂 At first I did not like them, but now I can see how useful they are.

4. I am grateful for its being Sunday and still afternoon. I am seeing today as a great opportunity to feel my emotions, rather than suppressing them. It is not pleasant but I think healthy.

5. I am grateful for tomorrow being a work day, which will help me to start dealing and moving with the work-related issues. I hope to get positive progress.

6. I am grateful for my TV and cable. I am watching a movie; the sound track for a few seconds made me felt good.

7. I am grateful for all the food and clothes I have, my home, my furniture and all I can get for myself to provide myself with a comfortable life.

8. I am grateful for my job that keeps my mind busy and helps me with my life.

9. I am grateful for family and friends who support me, listen to me, make me laugh, and enable me to share.

10. I am grateful for the grey day that makes me feel like I am having a long evening and night, which are the most peaceful times of the day for me.

11. I am grateful for chatting with one of my colleagues at the breakfast cafe in the morning. What a nice feeling to be around nice and positive persons.

12. I am grateful for watering my plants yesterday. I sometimes forget to do this. The effect of water is immediately observable. I like plants; one of my plants has been with me for 5-6 years. Quite a resilient plant that does not require much of a care but still keeps green and leafy through winter and summer.

13. I am grateful for being lazy today; not doing much other than watching TV, occasionally writing and reading.

14. I am grateful for getting increasingly aware of the life-style changes that I need to make. I cannot say that I have taken firm steps to do the changes, but they keep showing up on my mind and keep bugging me. I wonder when I will make the changes. I kind of feel like when the right time comes, they will happen. But if I keep having my excuses (i.e. lack of time or energy,, stress levels, need to pamper myself), I am not sure whether it will become reality. I can only hope.

15. I am grateful for not being crashed under the weight of my issues.

16. I am grateful that I know I have options to change my life for better. I can start exercise programs, I can shop better and spend time at the kitchen to prepare healthier food, I can cut out unhealthy food from my life and actually save some pennies, I can start walking in the morning to increase my daily exercise, I can take a break during lunch to walk around a near-by pond and park, I can start doing exercise by watching exercise programs at home, I can motivate myself to lose weight… The problem with weight lose is that it is hard to keep off the pounds coming back and different programs seem to work with different individuals. I know exercise helps me to keep it on track (but not necessarily helping me to lose weight but sure helps me to feel good and maybe eat less), so what is the best way? what is the best continuous way to lose weight for myself? Gotta figure that out. Bread comes to my mind first. Leave the bread out and then see.

17. I am grateful for having some left over meal today. I am not feeling like cooking; so the left-over is quite helpful.

ready to go back to office

Today is the last day before the new work year starts. I admit on Friday I was reluctant to go back to work after 9 days off; I had stayed away from office (mostly but not entirely, and that felt good); I had met with my friends and had great time; I went to bed late and got up late; shopped and bought stuff both I need and I like; and had my favourite breakfast almost every single morning. It was a great mini home vacation I have had.

Since yesterday, I am feeling differently; I now cannot wait to go back to office and start taking care of stuff. I had a chance to evaluate how my 2014 was; both career and personal life and I am content with it. 2014 was a great year.

Now that I am content and energetic, I am hopeful about 2015 as well – with each year, with each experience (failure and success does not matter), a year ahead seems better. The only thing of course is that as the time progress, so does the likelihood of losing someone I care. There is no cure to that. The best remedy is to enjoy each day, be grateful for my own and my loved ones safety, wellness, and health.

This mini vacation is also helping me to break some patterns. I am keen to get a healthier life-style. Exercise/walk more, explore hobbies more, and eat better. Sometimes we need to be reminded of these. So it is a good idea to browse through websites, read books, and get daily reminders through subscriptions/following.

I hope these wishes will not remain as new year resolutions that lose their appeal quite soon, but will stay with me throughout the year.

Let me make it worth living

There is a serenity in starting a new year – facing a new date to write on paper.

Being aware of an upcoming new period has been my favourite in the last few years during holiday season- it does give me a chance to reflect, notice, and note the past events, developments, things to finally change, and to hope and plan for the better days in near future. I also realize how much time has elapsed since last time whatever has happened or has not happened – that is quite powerful;  I kinda understand, crystal clear, that it is time to let go.

So let me let go – worries, loves, interests, and anything else that does not serve me good. Let me create the mind-set to make new habits, new beginnings, new excitements, and new approaches to myself, others, my work, and my life. I have one life half-lived; let me make the rest of it content, happy, healthy, and interesting. Let me make it worth living.

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