random thoughts

It has been sometime, folks.

I have been busy preparing a dossier that took longer than I imagined. For a person who is well-organized and well-prepared for such tasks (often times way before), this was interesting. The good thing is that I have two more days after which I will be done with this blessed and important dossier, and I will move on πŸ™‚

Somethings are going well in my life. For example, since my vacation In Iune-July, I did not experience anxiety just yet. Thank goodness for this. I am not highly stressed and I continue to work well. I spend quite a lot of time at the office now, rather than home office. My love and interest for plants are continuing, so is my interest for thrifting πŸ™‚ I also walk everyday, in the afternoons. It is beautiful.

Some other things are going without much of a progress. I still have not lost weight. I am eating much less carb and more protein than before, yet I do not see much of a difference in the scale. My carb cravings get strong sometime, but other than this it seems to be manageable.

I look old, considerably older than a few months ago. And knowing that this may not be true; that is, one cannot age so fast in such a short time, I decided today that it must be the style, not the gray hair or aging. I am getting a hair cut, preferably on Friday when I will be done with my blessed and important dossier. What a nice finish to this weeks-long run that I have had while preparing this file πŸ™‚

My friends; I missed blogging. I am refraining from checking the date of my last post – was it longer than a month??? By the way, WordPress sent me notification congratulating my 5th year with them. What? 5 years ago I opened this blog, did I? Wow… I remember that I was not active at first, maybe months, maybe a year, but then I had picked up.

4-5 years is a long time. I am glad I am here, I am blogging, and I have blog connections that I cherish. Thank you all for being a part of this experience πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

random thoughts at a random moment of life

Are you one of those persons who would feel thrill and satisfaction by the number of work/tasks done?

I certainly am.

What a waste of precious moments of life…..

I try to remind myself that life is bigger than what I occupy myself with – work, work, work-related issues, stress, and success (eventually). It is such a high octave thing that takes almost all of my focus and leave almost nothing for the rest. Like myself, family, or friends.

Doing nothing seems like something that can connect me back to life.

Just for tonite, I stop listing all the work I have done or will do tomorrow. And focus on doing nothing – how about that?

Let’s see whether I can succeed in this as well.

 

 

random thoughts

After a hiatus from blogging, here I am again πŸ™‚

Goodness knows, I missed it!!

The last month has been good to me. I still struggle with frayed nerves and occasional elevated blood pressure; insomnia and stress; but things are looking a little bit better.

I enormously benefited from the worry journal practice and I would recommend it to anyone.

I also do not work all the time and try to take a rest during the weekends. This also includes visits to cafe houses and enjoying my time on Saturdays and Sundays. Life is good.

I reduced my baking bread saga to every two weeks, rather than every week. This gives me a chance to just have one less task to do at the weekends. I bake two loafs at the same time and freeze one of the loafs. When needed, this loaf is as good to go as a fresh one. It works wonderfully for me.

I make a good attempt to take the bus and save money from cab fare. This has had a positive impact on my chequing account. I am excited. This was also topped up with the tax return – I am happy to say that I do not need to use my line of credit anymore and my chequing account is lifting up nice and easy. I feel quite excited about this!

I walk more often now. We have beautiful weather that makes it possible. I feel like energized and the hibernation season has surely ended.

Work is going okay. I still feel strained sometime when faced with difficult decisions. But I move along anyway and guess what – nothing is as bad as it looks.

I relaxed the self-imposed obligations and do not attend the meetings at work unless they are really interesting or absolutely required. This feels good as well.

I say “no” more often as well. I kind of prioritize my time over others’ needs. What a change! What a progress! πŸ™‚

I have taken a couple of days off in the last two weeks – only because I was not feeling well or enthusiastic about going to work. I was worried at first, thinking maybe I had lost my interest at work for good, but I rapidly realized it to be a wrong assumption. I love this – I love loving my job.

Spring is here, which signals a time to close the loose ends and start anew. Last year this feeling had resulted in me getting interested in plants – succulents and cacti to be exact. This year I am not sure what it is gonna be, but I wait life to direct me to my next exciting interest.

I have more positive relationships at work thanks to me getting some rest and things look brighter and more positive.

I have socialized with friends a couple of times and this also had a positive impact on me and how I feel.

My relationship with my family is also much better since new year and I am very grateful for this.

Pokemon Episode Spring GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/pokemon-adorable-spring-TcG7Tw3uq6tJS

 

 

 

 

 

all the good things – check

In a long time, I have not felt as good as today πŸ™‚ This deserves a celebration and a lots of gratitude.

  • waking up early and hitting the office early – check

there is an incredible peace coming out of early mornings. It is quiet and gives me the much needed distraction-free time to do work. I enjoy these times enormously and am kind of grateful that my sleep pattern is not the greatest, but works like a charm for me by making me wake up early πŸ™‚

  • ending a time of project writing period till August- check

I have been designing, developing, and writing new projects very intensely in the last few years. This week I submitted another one, which for now let me be free of this enjoyable but stressful activity. I feel free to move on to new activities and I appreciate the sense of accomplishment as well as the reduced self-inflicted stress πŸ™‚

  • working nice and easy and moving a number of things today – check

this is always a great feeling! being happy with my own performance is so important – it limits my self-beating episodes that inevitably reduces my self-confidence. I am very grateful

  • eating healthy, home-cooked meal and a banana today – check

I make an attempt to eat better and it shows πŸ™‚ I feel more energetic and happier when I take care of myself

  • resolving a conflict with a colleague of mine – check

this has been going for a few weeks and I think we finally are okay. I affirmed prior to meeting that I would keep calm and be supportive. I also made an effort to speak less and listen more. It did not hurt, and also supported the work-relationship. Thus, what a great feeling – win-win-win!

  • helping a team member of mine by using large papers and drawing the concepts and our work details – check

this was much needed as my team member is working on a rather quite complicated work. Many times we felt lost among the details and eventually got demotivated. The drawing was a great idea, where each detail was shown and I also advised to keep it so that we both could refer to it to gather our thoughts. I like the idea and my team member was also pleased. We will also document more so that we can refer to when we need the details. This went well and I am grateful that we have had the materials (large colourful papers and markers) to do so

  • supporting a team member by attending to their fund rising event – check

this always feels great. They often do not let me know, but when I know I make an effort to support their causes. Today they raised money to help patients affected by a disorder – I am so proud of them

  • taking the bus in the afternoon – check

I have done well by taking the bus. I did not wait too long and it was an easy ride. I also saved around 8 bucks by not taking the cab. 8 bucks is 8 bucks. It may be small, but it is mighty πŸ™‚

  • enjoying the night with all the positive feelings the day has brought – check

I am simmering this feeling of all the good things that today has brought to me. I am not in rush, nor stressed, which are additionally great. I have time to think about the weekend and what I can do for myself. For example, I think it is time that I visit the thrift stores and may be get a pot or two. Or books. I will enjoy my time there – that is for sure.

  • tending to my plants at the office and sharing one of them with a team member of mine – check

I have had a small plant that I had grown from a small cutting. It really hit of in my office and has flowered! That little thing (7-8 cm tops) gave incredibly coloured flowers. In so many ways it is such a miracle plant. You may ask why I gave it away. My team member deserves the best as they have been doing incredible in the last few years and I thought that miraculous plant would just fit their character – resilient and mighty. I am very happy that they found each other.

IMG_5045
this is a different plant (a coleus) – the colours are amazing and this plant has been very sturdy and quick growing. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in a mesmerizing plant πŸ™‚ look at the structure of this leaf – what a wonderful creature. I am so lucky to have it (so can you – please adopt a plant and experience this joy)

 

 

 

 

all the good things – check

more or less a positive day, which made me appreciate it.

  • sleeping well and getting up only after 8 am – check

this is mostly because I am tired. So I let myself go back to sleep even though I woke up frequently at night. In the past few months, I did get up around 5 am and worked under much stress. I miss my early morning productive and distraction-free work time, but I am able to keep working during the day, so eventually all is well

  • working well during the day and surviving 3 separate meetings, all with positive ends and productivity – check

it is a rare opportunity to be able to say that the meetings were productive! It was my lucky day all 3 meetings went well and progressed the issues at hand – this is wonderful πŸ™‚

  • loving my all natural gray hair and being excited about it – check

it is amazing that after 1.5 years of letting my natural hair grow, I see it healthy, shinny, and just beautiful. If somebody had said I would feel this way, I would have started the gray hair saga much earlier! I do not know any other hair style that I cherished this much. It is also amplified by the fact that I do not have bangs now, as such, my hair has a distinct, mature, and very good looking style πŸ™‚

  • being excited about my laptop case that I thrifted this weekend for only 3 bucks and carrying it around like a jewel – check

honestly it has been sometime that I was so excited and happy to have a material being. The case is the right colour, right size, and very useful. The price I paid for it makes it extra sweet πŸ™‚

  • feeling better overall and with less stress – check

this is an amazing feeling and I could not be appreciative more!

  • asking for a discount and getting it for a service my organization needed – check

this is pretty awesome. I am not into asking discounts from companies for my work, but sometime it is worth it. I tried it this time and got over 1K (~20%) discount. My boss is happy, which makes me feel like positively contributing to the organization! Talking about confidence πŸ™‚

  • getting an email from a committee that I had dumped this year and learning that they desperately needed my knowledge and expertise – check

huh! how about this? πŸ™‚

last year the person who sent this email was criticizing and pressuring me for my work related to this committee. This lack of appreciation was one of the main reasons that I had decided to leave the committee, even though I had liked and enjoyed my role in it.

I do not know what to think about the invitation. I personally do not wish to be there anymore, yet I have a sense of duty that wants me to go and benefit that committee. I think I can still be there, yet I do not plan to undertake a lot of work or an active role. With this in my mind, I will know tomorrow morning how I feel and then will respond to this invitation.

This is the second example in the last 4-6 months where people who tried to trash and insult me came back and asked for my help later.Β 

Is life a master of correcting bad behavior and treatment?

I would like to think so.

 

 

random thoughts

Exhaustion and fried nerves – I know them very well.

I am very agitated nowadays. I know it from my reactions and how unwell I feel. This too will pass. When, however, I do not know.

Good news is that the weekend is here. I will make it a weekend of self-care and enjoyment. This means not working and not checking the emails – I hope I can achieve this.

Today our administrative staff suggested that I should reduce my work load and care about myself. How true. How do I do this?

Logically I know that if I feel better and energized, and have a clear mind, I can be more effective. Dragging my feet and combing heavily around my mind’s clouds to focus on work and do many things prior to their deadline is not helping my work or personal wellness. It actually drains me even further. I am at a point that I must take that break.

I do not know what I would do this weekend, but I will try to stay away from the computer and work-related thoughts. I want to collect myself and maybe cook healthy meals and think about new things. Maybe I will write a poem, a short story, or start reading about something new. Whatever it is gonna be, I want to remind myself that this is a break, a mini-vacation, and I deserve and in fact need it to keep going.

Change is easier when I feel but not when I think about it

I have been waiting for these feelings I experience for some time. I knew that one day I would detach from work and my current life plans, and move on. These days seem to have arrived.

The recent heart-opening experience with one of my family members having a near-death accident has changed me and gave me the much needed shake off. No matter how much I try to think logically to keep going here, I kind of know that I was born for something better and bigger. My work is satisfying but it comes with lots of stress and many little and big work left on my shoulders by either my employer or my team members. I like both of these, but I am resenting the fact that I am not allowed to use my time for things that I am most capable of and it is rather wasted with things that a young colleague with no or little experience can do.

Stress. No or little appreciation. A lot of little work eating up my time. Resentment. Toxic and highly pressuring work environment. Working close to 14 hours everyday, including weekends and holidays. Having financial and employment insecurity. Sleep problems. Lack of time to care for myself, mentally and physically. Lack of assurance.

What was I thinking in keep going with this job?

I know what I was thinking.

I had low self-esteem to find a similar position somewhere else and the job position was something that I have always dreamt of. I was not able to deal with my fears and as such did not want to change my environment, either.

Well.

I may change this environment quite easily. As a matter of fact I feel like I will do this soon. More and more roles that I once dreamt of have been offered to me this week by my organization and more and more I think about not accepting them. I want to commit less to anything or anyone other than myself and my family. I want to make sure that when I decide to leave, I will have freedom to do so, fewer team members to place in a new unit, less furniture to sell/give away, and less responsibility to complete. This is great to feel.

I still have commitments that I must honour. I am doing my best to help move them, but goodness knows if I do get others involved not doing their part and leaving things on my shoulder again, I may as well just quit it there. I know this is a scary thought and I should not feed it, but when one asks themselves constantly “how long more to do these and at what expense?” there comes a moment that the last chain in the link is broken quite easily and it feels right and whatever mattered prior to that moment does not anymore.

I am not asking or planning for this, yet if it is its time, it will happen.

In the mean time, I will enjoy my detachment to my past plans/work and freedom to dream the bigger and better life conditions and job that I know I deserve and I will attain.

 

freedom

Great things are happening in my inner sphere tonite.

Being aware of the self-imposed restrictions and stress, I have been feeling less and less attached to the life conditions and future plans I have created, and more and more free as a result.

I believe I deserve much better than my current life conditions

I believe very strongly I can do 100x better in another job with another role

I believe I can be happy

I can earn more money

I believe I can do well no matter what

I believe there are thousands of opportunities, great people, and great experiences out there that I can accept, meet, and have now that the self-built wall around my life has been shattered

I believe a great opportunity, a miracle if you will, will happen pretty soon and I have the perfect receptive attitude right now to embrace it

I believe that my future is bright and I believe I am walking around the sunny side of the road now

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When over 2 years ago when the work place toxicity hit the roof and I started to feel dispensable and insecure, I used to walk around a small forest close to my office place. One day it occurred to me that “future was bright”. I printed these words in big fonts and pasted the paper on a place that I can see every work day. That feeling had come from nowhere but I felt it very deeply. It was not a wish, it was not a fantasy. It was belief, a sincere, heart-felt, solid belief.

Since then, the toxicity increased in dose, I worked much harder than any other time (even though I am usually very hard-working), failed many times in my plans and initiatives, experienced low self-esteem and loss of hope frequently, but I kept going despite everything. The last 6 months things have been turning around, one step at a time. I am getting projects, creating new project ideas, forming teams, taking new roles, and dumping with ease the old cranky roles that do not serve me anymore.

I may have hurt myself with stress, but one thing I proved myself. That I can be better, I have perseverance, I can pull things around, I am better than I think, and I have the energy and skills to do much more.

Much more.

I can do much more.

if there was a good time to quit this job, it would be now. Why now you may ask?

Because if I had quit before I came to this point, I would always feel unsuccessful and like a failure. Now, however, I demonstrated that I survived yet another hard time with success.Β  This is confidence.

Feeling that great things are coming and I am welcoming them to my life. This is believing and having faith.

Loving and appreciating myself for what I have become. Well, this is as they say priceless.

Great things will happen. I will be happier. I will have a great life. I will make bigger impact with my work. I no longer be chained to whatever ideals that I once thought were good for me, but not enough any more.

I believe in all of these.

 

 

 

it turns out that tomorrow is Friday

What a surprise! πŸ™‚

I just realized tomorrow was Friday and as such there was one more reason to be joyful today πŸ™‚

I have had an easy-going day at the office today and this makes me feel good πŸ™‚

Friends, I may try to be joyful yet, it does not change the fact that we have an incredibly cold and snowy weather here. This morning I waited for the bus for maybe 4 minutes and my fingers were almost frozen. I have gloves but I guess I must wear woolly gloves rather than leather/synthetic ones.

The scenery in such a snowy day is amazing and very enjoyable. I think we expect more snow early next week; are we looking for a snow day? Goodness, I hope so πŸ™‚ You may think that I would rather be asking for the opposite and be at the office more so that I can finish work. I do want to finish work, but honestly I have enjoyed being away from the office in the last two weeks, so I wish for this to continue a little bit more now. Can you blame me? πŸ™‚

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I could not work as much as I planned today, but I did what I could. There is an important document that I must send tomorrow, for which I have been waiting the input of a colleague of mine. He is away and I have not received his version of the document yet, so I am feeling on the edge. While by working together we all can do much better and bigger work, when not everybody works and does their parts at the same time, it does not move much. I will have to find a way to fix this tomorrow. Now I rather make a conscious decision to enjoy my time.

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According to my calculations, I have saved around 350 bucks from my salary since my last pay cheque. This looks less that what I wanted to, but it is better than nothing. I have no planned expenses coming this week (other than grocery and regular bills), and for grocery I only have a few items to pick this week. This may mean that I can save a few more bucks.

I know that if I do reach the $500 savings level once, I will be more motivated to keep saving after that. I really am focused on not making any unnecessary expenses within the next two weeks (that means no thrift store visits), no socials, no gifts/donations (I can do these later), no hair cut (my hair cut is long due, but..), no cabs (please no!), no books or any other items. I just need to pick laundry detergent this weekend – that will be the only non-grocery item I am planning to purchase.

Saving money, finding ways to maximize the value of the money (sales, use of points, etc.), and feeling fully abundant are empowering. I know there are a number fellow bloggers out there who are on the same journey as I am. Off to reading their post to get inspired now.

Have a great night everyone. I hope 2019 is treating you with Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation πŸ™‚

 

holidays diary – Day 5

Hard to believe it has been 5 days already and I have not left the home other than for one or two convenience store visits.

Tsk…

Argh…

I fell like this holidays time-off is wasted. By myself of course.

I must work the next two days.

Can I at least visit the mall or something?

This is one of my weirdest holidays vacation ever…

It is not too late, however! I can turn it around.

Let’s remember – the new year is the year or Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation.

 

 

 

holidays diary – Day 4

Cannot believe it has been 4 days already – where does the time go?

Yesterday night I let myself to enjoy the quite and peaceful night, went to bed around 11pm, and got up at around 8 am this morning. Yuppie! It was not 5 or 6 am. It was 8 am. It felt good πŸ™‚

Since I finished my house cleaning chore, and everywhere is closed, I decided to do some work today. It went well in the morning, kind of slow and reluctant at around noon, and then quite productive in the afternoon. This latter part was exciting -when I explore new things that increase my professional skills, I love it πŸ™‚

I must say that today was a day of healthy diet. My breakfast/lunch consisted of sourdough, tomatoes, and coffee, and my dinner consisted of a cauliflower dish I love so much. I even drank two cups of green tea this afternoon. Healthy day indeed πŸ™‚

I have work to do tomorrow, and then I must be at work Thursday and Friday. After that though, for 5 days I want to take a break and see some of my friends. I really would like this. I found that a way to ensure timely progress of work is giving short deadlines for myself; short deadlines, like 15 min, work wonders if I am stuck at something. So, let’s hope they will help me out this week.

With this good wished, I end today’s account.

Let’s remember that the new year is the year or Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation!

 

holidays diary – Day 3

The day was kind of wasted, or this is how I feel about it.

I meant to finish cleaning home (which I have, YAY!), get the cable technician fix my cable issues (got the appointment a few weeks back), and the go for a little shopping.

So, I waited, waited, and waited, and called the company twice, only to be told that he would show up. Well, he is 6.5 hours over due, so I do not think he is showing up. This also means that sadly I missed my opportunity to get out of home and do some shopping for my own enjoyment…. I am not only frustrated, but also fed up with that company. In a year that I want to take things easy, that may mean I am looking for a new company soon, for which I am not sorry.

The same for my VISA card – I want to change it. The hefty annual fee is not making me happy. The points I get in turn are not worth it. This bank is the only one I work with and I have been paying all the interest and shoot (intentionally changed the word here – I am a kind person and for a bank, I will not change this quality in me). Plus, this year the bank rep refused to waive my annual fee twice. Twice! He offered me another credit card from their bank, which I will gladly refuse. I will be shopping for a credit card soon and I deserve this. Thank you very much both of you the companies – you clearly sock (again, intentionally changing the word here).

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Since this is the 3rd day of the holidays already and I have not done much for myself, like reflecting or reading, my feelings are exaggerated towards emptiness. I have the entire night in front of me, which I can use to my advantage. The truth is reflecting the year without reflecting about the work is not possible, and I do not wish to think about work just yet. So, for tonite, I am putting this aside as well.

I can watch a movie, I can browse the internet, I can read about plants. The usual stuff that I always do anyhow. What however interest me is to find a new topic to explore an learn. Something I have not tried before; not sewing (I shave sewn some place mats and washing clothes today, by the way – YAY again!); not plants; not books or poetry; not jamming, pickling, or baking.

Something new!

What is gonna be?

I have the entire night to figure out.

Let’s remember that the new year is the year of Ease, Comfort, and Appreciation.

Happy nights everyone πŸ™‚

 

 

 

holiday plans

I may keep writing with the same topic for weeks! πŸ™‚

I am excited, my friends. A 10 days of off work. Time to chill out. Reflect. Recuperate. Be cozy and be happy. And shut that work emails for a few days. Yes… Wonderful.

Like many of us, I am tired and in need of getting out of my stressful work. I want to see life and see beyond what I can see in front of me – work. Life is bigger than this. It certainly is.Β 

 

holidays plans

It is mid December already πŸ™‚

I must be excited about the holiday time-off, but I am not there yet. I have some work to complete before the holidays so that I can take a rest and then start the new year with a fresh feeling. I have 9 more days before the holidays, so I feel like I must speed up. Yet, Murphy’s law – while some stuff are doing well, others are not. So here is to a roller-coaster type of day πŸ™‚

But, I take it easy. This is my new approach to life’s hurdles. There is a lesson to be learnt from everything. Perhaps this year’s lesson to me is to accept the hurdles and delays, and try anyhow. Ok.


These being said, I am looking forward to having some “me time” during the holidays. I just declined a social and I am likely gonna decline some others too. I remember last years that when I attended the socials, I had hardly any time left for myself. This year more than ever, I want to slow down and I want to reflect and decide on new aims.

Some of my plans are the usual:

I will clean the house really well and declutter! It is gonna be awesome.

I may shop, trousers particularly, by taking advantage of the sales.

I may finally finish the place mat I started to sew 3 months ago.

I may reflect on life, my wishes, and needs, and the future.

Most importantly, I want to evaluate the past year (this blog is a good resource to see what I have experienced or thought). I always liked this exercise! How did I develop, personally and professionally? What did I accomplish and what did I fail? What did I learn? What can I do differently? How did I take the change (e.g. changes in my sleep pattern) and how did this change me?

All very exciting questions! πŸ™‚

 

 

 

where does the time go?

I have no idea why everything takes more time than I can plan for nowadays?

Am I tired?

No.

Am I undertaking too much?

Yes.

I just accepted two small but additional tasks today, considering that they will strengthen my professional skills. I was happy in the morning to have them. Yet, I turned resentful in the evening – only because I could not finish what I was planning to do today. Today, rather than my own work, for 6 hours I helped a team member of mine do and finish their work…. As a result, I am late to take care of some critical jobs of mine and opportunities.

There are lessons to be learnt for me from this (recurring) experience. I kinda know what I must do (say “no” and let others be responsible for their work), but am hesitant to do it knowing that if they cannot do it right or on time today, I will have to fix a bigger problem in the future.

Goodness help me.

all the good things – check

  • having a deep sleep for around 6 hours – check
  • getting up early and going to office early – check
  • working on a lagging project – check

this has been one of these projects that keep lagging because there are other, more important things to do. Since I am rather satisfied when things are completed, this project has been bugging me. I still have lots to do but I believe I have made a good progress today. I will keep working on it this weekend πŸ™‚

  • eating two apples today – check

I keep apples in the office. They are great snacks and make me feel good instantly. I am lucky! πŸ™‚

  • talking with a colleague and having some laughter – check

it felt great to have time to chat without being rushed by work and also to have good feelings by laughing πŸ™‚ I feel positive πŸ™‚

  • walking back from office to home – check, check, check!

I walked twice this week. Honestly my legs are feeling the need to walk. It was an easy and wonderfully relaxing walk, for which I am grateful

  • grocery shopping – check

I have not had a regular grocery shopping in the last 3-4 weeks. I was happy to go through the produce and shelves. I was craving for some chicken soup and bought a whole chicken, even though it was not on sale. This felt good – I am not ignoring my health and body after all

  • having the night to myself – check

It always feels great to be able to take such mini-breaks without thinking too much. This weekend is a long-weekend, meaning I have 3 days off. My plan is to be working and studying, and getting back on track with my work obligations. I am looking forward to this πŸ™‚

  • having a frugal day – check

I took the cab in the morning, but other than this, my day was quite frugal. I even resisted the temptation to go to thrift stores, even though one of them was having a sale πŸ™‚ Did I mention that I am on shopping ban till the holidays and I aim to limit my grocery expenses to 40 bucks a week. This is not a realistic budget but at least it keeps me on track

 

 

 

all the good things – check

It has been a fine day, my friends. Not spectacular but just fine – I am grateful.

  • sleeping an hour longer than usual and resting with ease – check

this has been a welcome change in my early bird/short sleep habit. I woke up at around 4-5 am, but was able to go back to sleep or just lie there without feeling stress or dealing with negative thoughts. I have had some peace at last πŸ™‚

  • treating myself to some baked goods from the coffee shop – check

I usually do not do this, but today was the day that I in fact craved for some comfort food. I am glad I treated myself

  • engaging in a meeting with an important focus and doing my job – check

don’t we all love meetings where we just sit and are expected to nod heads or something? I am not interested in sitting in an environment unless I engage my head and contribute to discussions. This means sometime finding myself in trouble πŸ™‚ but this is okay. I am getting increasingly aware, thanks to this kind of meetings, that I am methodological and would like to see/know the facts before I can make a decision. This is in contrast to many people who I would label as kind of conformist as they just sat there and vote for what the majority or the leader does. Do you see why I said earlier that I sometime find myself in trouble? πŸ™‚

  • finding out that I had a supporter in that committee – check

one of my colleagues approached me after the meeting and we talked about the dynamics of the meetings, sub-groups that support each other, and how we both fit in it. It was great to have this conversation, as I found myself think more about my own behavior and realize a thing or two. I realized I did not care about the opinions of the other members who would dislike my questioning or comments. I realized also what a positive effect I have had on my colleague now that they felt supported as well. How fresh and how lovely….

  • gifting a friend of mine with some pots and other stuff – check

my friend has been very generous with me and she gifts me all the time with new plants or with food. Last week she brought me some food, which I enjoyed very much. I thought that I could get her something she was likely to need or use, and I ended up with purchasing a number of lovely pots for her a few days back. She was excited and happy to receive them and seeing this was awesome. Generous people like this person deserves every kindness

  • getting a ride from another colleague of mine – check

I was so exhausted at noon that I jumped into this opportunity – it was lovely of her to do this. Yet another generous person πŸ™‚

  • forcing myself to work at home, but finding myself quite un-enthusiastic – check

why would I be ever grateful for this kind of negative experience???

I can tell.

I noticed once again that I was the boss of myself and if I did not work I would not feel good. I consider doing grocery shopping and then ruled it out. Since I was determined to use my time well so that I can catch up with the mounting work, but also I was not really into work that requires high level of focus, I decided rather to clean and organize my home. I had not had a chance to do so last week. My friends – it felt great to be seeing my home clean, my floors, shinny, and my desk decluttered! I felt an immediate relief and a sense of peace and harmony πŸ™‚

  • completing and online learning module with ease – check

while I was not into work, I wanted to at least take care of minor things that I was supposed to do in a week or two, so that later I could have time for much important things. This module did not take much of my time, but learning the main points made me feel satisfied with myself. I used my time effectively and opened some space for later. So I am very pleased with my decision πŸ™‚

  • cooking not one but two dishes and eating them with a great appetite – check!

I have not cooked in the last 2-3 weeks. This felt very nourishing and pleasing. I am very happy with this!

  • feeling all energized and positive after these experiences today – check!

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all the good things – check

It has been a fine day, my friends πŸ™‚

  • sleeping in till past 7 am this morning – check

this gave me much needed rest and a sense of un-urgency that I was missing lately

  • deciding to work and take care of a critical work first before anything else – check

this is a nice change in my attitude. I had planned to clean the home, but I let the idea wait. I rather focused on addressing this task while I had the time and an un-distracted mind. I am glad I have decided to do so, because I was able to get a sense of the problems associated with the task and identify solutions before noon. What a blessing πŸ™‚

  • speaking with my family – check
  • baking two beautiful loafs of sourdough – check

always a pleasure πŸ™‚ It has been almost 2.5 years that I have been baking bread and not have bought even a single loaf from the stores since then. I was also able to share my starter and loafs with my neighbours and friends. I love this πŸ™‚

  • watering my plants – check
  • eating healthy with a large green/lentil salad – check
  • deciding to finish work before 4 pm and take a mini-rest this evening – check

this is again a deviation from my usual self. I would not feel good about myself unless I finish the things or work till midnight to finish things. I have been getting mini rests this past week where a mini rest would be allowing myself to get away from the stressful work or thoughts and rather dedicate my time to wind down. I think it is healthier, allowing me having a better mood and mental state. I know that my energy and time is limited. Instead of interpreting this as a stress trigger, I rather see the mini-rest as an opportunity to elevate my energy at the expense of time. The next day can evolve better and more productive this way. I hope I am not wrong πŸ™‚

  • understanding the stress and how I manage to deal it better lately – check

I came to realize that there are good stress and negative stress. Good stress is when I feel extra motivated to address work-related issues, find solutions, and work under a time-crunch. While it does not feel great at that time and I sure would love to do other things with my time (shopping is one πŸ™‚ ), it also helps me to move forward and faster. It also helps me to realize and tackle issues before they get bigger and more serious. Who wins at the end?? Me πŸ™‚

Negative stress is when I feel rush, rush, rush, and panicked. It almost always create some physiological disturbance (increased heart beat being one) and overall make me feel “stressed”. It has been going on like this for the last few years; I have had many anxiety episodes, depressive mood, and lack of self-confidence and hope. It sure is toxic. While I could easily fall into such a negative stress period nowadays, I am trying new ways to handle it better and make it a “good stress”.

One trick I found is to limit the time I focus on a problem. One of my team members have a timer that we started to use (15 min episodes) while discussing and resolving the issues related to their projects. It works! It helps me to focus and take things easy and effective. I love it πŸ™‚

  • understanding the importance of self-care, better diet, and better exercise once again – check

anything I can do to improve my well-being is good, however small they may be. Like flossing I have done or the healthy lunch I have had. I have seen my dentist and paid a visit to physiotherapy this past week, which feels like I am doing fine in taking care of my medical needs. Good job!

  • having hope and an optimistic outlook for tomorrow and the rest of the week – check

having a “to-do” list the night before helps me a lot. I am determined to use the early morning hours to address the most important things. These are the best time, free of destruction, that helps me keep moving. One caveat is that I need to pay taxi to drive me to office, as bus does not start at 5 am!! But right now, I am okay with this.

  • loving my plants and enjoying every minutes I keep seeing, caring, and thinking about them – check

plants are truly therapeutic. I have so many plants that I watch to make sure they are doing well. The succulent props and new cuttings I have acquired from someone two weeks ago are good examples. I also have plans to re-pot some of the plants so that I can save space and make use of what I have. Win-win πŸ™‚

 

 

 

pretty random thoughts

Yes, thoughts can be quite pretty πŸ™‚

I have been in a high-speed work period for some time. Somethings are going better and some others are still challenging me. But in the middle of everything, I keep going.

I have an internal compass that is quiet and when I find it, no matter how challenging is the situation, I for some reason know that I will solve it. Has this ever happened to you?

It is such a strange contrast to my regular self, who gets stressed and anxious at the face of adversity.

Just yesterday I have got a rejection for a project that I worked very hard for. They want me to revise and re-submit, which I will. They caught the part that was most under-developed and want it fixed. I knew that I must have worked on it, but did not, could not. Now is a good time, it seems. I know that I can handle this for some strange reason. I am not panicked.

I may of course be wrong and still get a rejection after my revision. It will be a blow to my now-confidence, but I think we will see. But what I understand most is how I approach to problems and what creates my anxiety; my lack of trust in own ability and confidence to take care of stuff. Otherwise, I would have been anxious about not getting this project accepted or not making a good revision next time and getting rejected again.

It is quite strange.

I always knew that I am a perfectionist and I would like to do better each time. That means I curb my confidence in myself. However, if I do feel confident in my abilities (mostly a learnt response from my past similar experiences), thenΒ  approach things with less anxiety and worry.

I think that it all ends in believing in myself and this is the most important type of validation for me, not the others’ evaluations on me.

Strange. Strange. Strange.

I knew I would beat myself over things, but realizing that a) I limit myself more than others, and b) I in fact have a sound confidence in my abilities in some cases was surprising.

This is a beautiful day my friends.

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This week I have learnt some other things about my work habits.

I noticed that early morning (6-9am) when there is not many people around are my most productive times in the office. I must use these times effectively.

I still struggle with prioritizing the most important tasks and working on them first, but I will continue to work on this.

I realized also that I can rather use the evenings and nights for works that do not require much of a focus; like emails, little reading material.

I also took the yesterdayΒ  night and tonite off from work, and am enjoying calming down, with the confidence that I will take care of things tomorrow morning.Rushing constantly does not make me justice.

Listing the things to do a night before helps me use the next morning better. I feel at more control of my stress this way and satisfied knowing that I do work, not waste time trying to decide to what to do.

I am looking at a busy weekend again, but I am not worried about this – I appreciate the availability of time at my disposal. This is very good.

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I mentioned at the beginning that somethings were going well. I am working on two new ideas (both are challenging as well). High risk-high reward kind of projects.

For someone who is usually cautious at work, this kind of brave attempts come every 10 years or so πŸ™‚ It is tough times, but eventually will resolve (feeling this way again based on my past experience). There is some kind of accomplishment and adventurous sense that fills me with not only panicky feelings but also with joy, confidence, and determinism. I really love when I feel this way. Especially when I see that I have not chickened out. Voila! πŸ™‚ Hard work and stress are worth it. I am growing mentally and professionally, and I have not given up knowing that eventually I will be better in two months than today.

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I have also learnt to trust more to my team members. They make all of these possible. They work hard just like me and with me on many details and their methodological expertise is making progress in these ideas possible. I must be more appreciative of this, which I am glad that I have seen.

It is a beautiful day indeed my friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday morning musings

It is quite early and enjoying coffee with a nice piece of music at the background is priceless. I hope you all are having a great Sunday and my fellow Canadians, I hope you are having a great Thanksgiving weekend!

I am going for a social/dinner tonite by good friends – I cannot wait. Until then, my aim is to move the work at hand. It has been another busy time period and I am possibly looking for extension of it to the next year. I am ready, though. Even though it is stressful and i need to figure out and work out a lot of things, this is not the first time I have had such a time. I can do this!

As a matter of fact, the first thing I have done this morning was finishing some lagging work instead of trying to fall back to sleep. I feel quite content right now that one thing is crossed off my to-do-list. I plan to continue like this the whole day and bake a wonderful sourdough loaf in the afternoon.

Have a great Sunday everyone and may you always be happy, healthy, and content with yourself, your work, and your life as a whole πŸ™‚

 

random thoughts

It has been a fine day πŸ™‚

The morning was peaceful and warm enough. I have had a pleasant bus ride to office, enjoyed my coffee, took care of urgent matters, socialized with a colleague during lunch time, bought two lovely pots for my succulents (they are amazing – originally tea cups with beautiful colours and shape) from a thrift store, by the way (double amazing!), came home kind of late from the office, did grocery shopping and bought myself nourishing food, all for a small amount of money.

After the careless spending that took place between the summer of 2017 and this year, I am back to my sensible, frugal self. I gotta! My chequing account was at the minus side at the beginning of this month and I knew I could not keep doing what I was doing. Right after the beautiful family visit, here I am at a kind of stricker but nevertheless abundant frugal life. I must say I have saved quite a chunk of my salary this month and I am moving the chequing account to the positive side. It feels great πŸ™‚

Originally I had an extensive shopping ban till new year, but after 3 weeks I realized such a regime was making me quite unhappy. So last week and today I made visits to thrift stores and bought myself some nice blouses and pots. I am very excited about all of the purchases, which costed me around 30 bucks. What did I buy? 4 blouses all in great condition and loveable; one new plastic pot, one ceramic pot just right for my beautiful succulent props, two other pots I mentioned above (the tea cups),and a large sturdy ceramic plate to be used as a tray for a large terra cotta pot of mine πŸ™‚ Just remembering these makes me joyful and excited πŸ™‚

Life is good, my friends.

I have other good news. I have been wishing for an additional position within my organization in the last 1.5 years. It is something I would absolutely enjoy (it is related to training new project managers like myself), which would also strengthen my place in my work-place. Luckily, this year the colleague who has been undertaking this position had to have a leave and I was offered the position as a replacement! This is on top of what I am already doing, so it is extra work, but I am up for it. My boss wants to see how this one year will go and after that we will see whether my colleague or I would stay in the position. Even for one year I am grateful for this opportunity and yesterday, when I get the appointment formal, I was hyper the whole night with excitement and could hardly sleep at night πŸ™‚ I believe that life is supporting me well and my hard work to keep my job and become more successful is paying off πŸ™‚ I am grateful!

Super duper πŸ™‚

Have a great Friday night everyone πŸ™‚

 

 

 

when the good news comes

Well, my friends, looks like my hard work in the last one year has paid of a part of it – one of the projects I applied for is approved and for the second project I was able to gather some initial funds to help ask another organization to provide the remaining project resources.

Aaah. The sweet taste of being grateful, extra motivated, hopeful, and joyful πŸ™‚

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change of plans and it was all for the happier :)

Just yesterday I had canceled a celebration event for a team member of mine. By giving me the extra time I needed during this stressful time, this cancellation was logically the right decision to help lower my stress.

Yet, it occurred to me later at night that my team member was quite saddened by this. So, I went to the event this morning and I am glad I did!

It did cost me around 3 hours away from office and work, yet the pride and excitement I felt was immerse. My team member was also extremely happy and I am glad I made this decision to attend the event.

I compensated for the lost time by getting up early with excitement and working for a full two hours without any distraction, and later in the evening continuing to work with a sense of happiness and positivity. Eventually, I did my work, and made myself happy and honoured my team member on this very important day.

It is a day turned wonderful.

Sometimes we may not remember that happy occasions are the true healers.

 

all the good things – check

  • having a relatively positive day – check a millions of times!

thanks goodness for this!!

  • getting new plants from friends – check

always a pleasure to get new life forms from people around me. I think we are forming a plant share community, which is great πŸ™‚

  • seeing my cacti seedlings were thriving in their container in my office – check

they look really healthy – all green and slightly grown πŸ™‚ one of my colleagues offered to take care of them while I am away, which is a blessing πŸ™‚ They no longer have the mold problem, which makes me suspicious – did I mistake an hairy seedling for mold? Poor thing. Or, it may be that 5% hydrogen peroxide solution that I have been using since last week may be doing its work just right.

  • facing a report that I was dreading and anxious about and seeing that it can be handled – check

my fear about this report was not necessary. I feared quite a bit, though (anxiety does this unfortunately). Yet, I did face it and it is manageable. I will remember this next time I have an anxiety bout πŸ™‚

  • having a meeting and making my points contrary to the majority – check

this kind of things risk my place in committees. Yet, i cannot help expressing my values and the information I have. It is always tricky – to make the points without alienating others. I usually suck in this, like today, but eventually the points were taken and I am very pleased. This being said, I have a huge difference with a senior member, which I know will cost me later πŸ™‚ Smile! πŸ™‚

  • protecting the members of the sub-committee and thanking them for their hard work when nobody does – check

this sub-committee reports to the committee I talked this morning. They have done extremely well and are supportive of my points. I felt like I needed to appreciate their contributions so that we all can go ahead in the future. It was well received and I am glad I took my time to thank them.

  • working nice and easy and taking care of little things I needed to do – check

I will be on vacation this summer for a few weeks and it is important that I complete the many things lagging right now. I want to feel great before I leave for my vacation and truly enjoy my time. I am looking forward to it! This means the next few weeks I will be working really hard, but this is not something new to me. One last push πŸ™‚

all the good things – check

  • feeling better overall – check

yesterday I was feeling uneasy again, but today has been a relatively better day – I will appreciate this!

  • eating a home made dish with lots of healthy veggies, yogurt, and garlic – check
  • meeting with an ex-team member of mine and having a great chat and doing some work together – check!

this gave me extra boost! She is a very intelligent and genuine person and talking to her again and learning about her wellness and successful endeavors were a bliss! It made me literally happy πŸ™‚

  • taking the bus on the way back from the office – check

I was lucky – the bus was waiting right in front of the building and I catched it – that saved me around 8 bucks from cab fare today πŸ™‚

  • feeling bored and then doing some work after 5pm – check

I have a busy next week and I just got an additional tasks right this evening. I decided to start it so that I can make my weekend and next week a little bit easier. I am glad I have. I feel good and less stressed and time-crunched now πŸ™‚

  • eating two juicy clementines that were delicious – check
  • drinking fresh kefir – check

I feel so much better when I drink kefir. I feel lucky to have these grains. They work so consistently!

  • seeing two seeds germinating in the yard – check

I planted them last weekend. It was a slightly rainy week, which I guess helped. I am looking forward to seeing more coming up.

Plants are my new hobby! I shared three succulents with my friends and everyday coming home and checking how they are doing is an incredibly exciting experience. The cacti seeds I planted last weekend do not have much of an activity. sadly sun is low this week, which may be affecting their germination. I will see how this saga will go on – let’s cross the finger πŸ™‚

  • having plans for the weekend – check

I need to work, but this is okay. I also would like to go for shopping and get new pots for succulents. I also would like to get additional pots for my yard to plant seeds. I have herb as well as flower seeds to grow and I am very excited about these πŸ™‚ I bought two big bags of soil a few days back, which was easy to do with the help of my shopping cart. I can go get two more this weekend. I want to plant potato in totes!! I have seen it in the internet and I am curious πŸ™‚ I will try 3-4 bags of them and see how this goes πŸ™‚

  • walking in the morning for 10-15 minutes – check

I am not walking lately. knowing what a healthy activity it is, I welcome this opportunity

  • enjoying the show I am watching – check
  • doing my back exercises – check
  • realizing that I have around 300 bucks accumulated for my next mortgage pre-payment – multi check!

I may not be able to save my money as much as I wish, but I keep saving from here and there a little sum that will help improve reducing my mortgage on the long run. I am excited about these and now I am motivated again to stop taking the cab and use that money to increase my pre-payment. I hope to catch the bus tomorrow morning – wish me luck!

 

 

 

 

Plan A and B

I came to realize that my emotions are quite strong.

Sometimes even stronger than my thoughts. They say our emotions are created by our thoughts. These thoughts must be quite silent or subtle for me – maybe my inner voice? – which make it quite difficult to identify them. In the absence of knowledge of my thoughts I am bound to feel the emotions as they come and go. The only ways I found that work are a) to force myself to remember for the good things that happened, and b) no resisting the emotions and rather let them be. They leave after a while.

Many years ago when I feel this way I wold read books. Reading and writing, as I do right now, seem to alleviate a significant part of these emotional burden. I must confess it has been quite some time that I read a book. Maybe tonite is the night.

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I have been to a meeting today. I have been serving in it for a year. Today after 2 hours (it usually lasts 3-4 hours), I could not take it anymore and left. I usually would stick to my commitments but I did not feel like it was going interesting. And by the look of how it moved, it possibly would take longer than 4 hours today. I threw myself out and bought myself a chocolate bar or two and arrived home.

I like this – I cared about myself and prioritized my own well-being and comfort over my commitments, this time an unfruitful one. It does not happen frequently and I have just realized what a great change it is!! One of the positive outcomes of this otherwise highly stressful and hard work year.

I could be getting ready to prioritize myself over the work issues or tasks. I know this would take quite a long time – I am not naive enough to think that just like that in an hour I completely dropped the long habit of living for work and started to live my life out of work… But this is a start and I appreciate the opportunity to experience and realize it.

I could be ready. For a better personal life and self-care.

During these times I appreciate the comfort my money provides me with. I am not sorry that I spent money on cab or chocolate or some extra food to enjoy today. While I recognize the need to use my money better and save for my future, I also recognize the fact that treating myself sometimes is necessary and even better.

We all have some coping skills at the face of stress or adversity. No sure what mine are; food, cardio exercise, books, writing, or plain going through it. I miss my stretching classes but cannot attend them now because of my lower back issue I experienced few weeks before. These classes give me some kind of peace, some kind of joy. It is hard to beat, but when I start them, after a few weeks I pull a muscle and end up popping muscle relaxants and pain killers for a few days. It is strange – but there is a 100% connection between the two. Is it something I do at these classes that triggers it? I am not a superstitious person, but it crossed my mind a couple of times that maybe I am not supposed to have this relaxation and joy I experienced at these classes. This should not be interpreted as I feel like I do not deserve to feel joyful or relaxed. Rather I think whatever makes me tense serves for a purpose.

What is it?

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One of my bosses described me as “intense” may years ago. I remember it very well. I know that I can be quite reactive and say whatever comes to my mind, without being political, and can fiercely object if it is not fair, clear, or right. To me, this is a good characteristics – do you want what I really think, or do you want me to say what you want to hear? I have never been good at being political. Always objective, just, and authentic.

In many ways, I can see why people would have a problem with this. Diversity of opinions and democracy and free speech has little place in teams that are focused on certain tasks, want to get things done, or find strength in their togetherness. The committee I served today is a good example of it. Listening to diverse points of view and having discussions around topics require time. When you have around 50 discussion points on the table, naturally nobody wants to hear different opinions or discussions lasting longer than a minute or two. People want to move on and finish on time.

Maybe if I stay in this committee long enough, I would also assume a similar priority and practice – just vote what the majority votes for, keep silent, and move on. Maybe everybody else thinks that this is not the best we can do, but the best we can have. Like Churchill said about democracy. Maybe all hard-working committees are operating under a similar modus operandi – executing a plan B successfully is better than struggling for a hard-to-get plan A.

I just realized that so far in my own personal life, I settled with plan B. I did not have time or energy left, after spending most of them on work and career most of my adult life.

Perhaps this can change.

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pretty random thoughts

Is change possible?

Improvement is, but change – I am not sure.

Technically an improvement would also mean a change in something. But changing directions into an entirely different area requires more courage or some enforcement, do you not think?

After the nerve-frying episode yesterday, I am looking for job opportunities. Not that I am very interested in leaving my post right now (I have commitments for another 2 years), but I like having the option and seeing what is available out there. It gives me some kind of hope, some kind of fresh look at my life. Most importantly, it tells me that I am free.

Freedom and freedom of choice are so important. After all, if we cannot have some freedom or control over the manageable/changeable aspects of our lives, what is it about? Tell me.

Some may argue that we have limitless capacity and opportunities. I would like to think so too, but it is hard to make it an objective reality for me.

Middle age crisis may be a real thing. I have always loved what I have done until I the last few years when it started to become more toxic – obligations, responsibility, and demoralization are all too much, too burdening. I am capable of doing a lot of things, but the constant criticism and disapproval of our work or ideas make it hard to keep going. Appreciation is a great motivator and a great keeper of self-confidence. I like it here. I try to perk myself up by looking at the work I have done – it is a beautiful experience and I can objectively see that I have done a lot. This gives me at least a momentarily satisfaction and joy. But the weight of the negativity is always heavier than the positive sides.

At one hand, I fell like a failure, and on the other hand, I know that I am better than this and with the same effort, care, and energy, in a different setting I can do much more. I am thorn between accepting the status quo and changing in a way to find myself again….

Finding myself.. What a beautiful thing.. Also sad – why did I lose myself at the first place? How did I end up in this situation?

Is it a risk or an adventure to change my current work place and career? Will I have similar problems in my next place and position? Is there something wrong with me? If so, I am pretty much guaranteed to have similar experiences in the next phases of my life.

This might be one of the reasons that I still am not writing my resignation letter. I am in the process of understanding myself and figuring out whether I can do better in another place? Sometimes, some cuts are deep and the callus is hard to remove. I am looking at my inner callus and seeing what it is like. I may not like, but every experience, good or bad, help me figure it out. This is one of the silent inner wisdom I know is there. It helps me keep going.

I also know rationally that the future is brighter than this. I know everything, whatever is happening at my work place, is making me one step closer to my future self. I am very hopeful about my future and my future self. Maybe all of these are the signs that tells me this status quo is not the best for me and there is a much better future for me. However burdening these days may be, maybe these burdens are actually telling me that it is time to leave this and open a new route in my life. A new route which will be brighter, healthier, and full of opportunities and joy that I have forgotten I am entitled too.

It is strange that I am actually hopeful about the future….. But I am. I am not happy here but I fully trust the future. I may not know what to do so and how, but I know I will figure out.

Future days will tell.

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random thoughts

Interesting times.

I am working like h..l again, but at least I can get motivated about it. I have two project applications to make in two weeks and it makes me excited only because I am almost done with one of them, and another one is nearly 50% done. I feel that one of them will get acceptance – is this realistic?

No.

But hope is a beautiful thing.

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It is my conclusion that only 10% of my efforts are to move forward…. This is a very conservative estimation, but it does not hurt. As a matter of fact, accepting the fact that many of my efforts will not be fruitful is somehow healthy; it helps me with dealing with the rejection.

There is a strange relationship between anticipation and hope and reality and feeling insensitive.

One or the other; hope versus insensitivity. Anticipation versus reality.

Which one do we want to have?

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all the good things – check

  • sleeping well, dreaming long and vividly, and getting up early – check

I remember the dream, a part of it particularly. I jumped into a sea with someone I know and started to swim away. I was fearless, but then I came to my senses and I said “I do not want to do this, let’s go back”. And we did. I was not fearful (as I would be in reality), but the idea was certainly not a good one. Where were we going? Would we be able to make it to the land across from us (a mile or so)? Why this adventure? Why this risk? Was it peer-pressure or the need to comply with just because we tend to prefer being nice than being chicken? Was it something I really wanted to do?

This was a very realistic dream and I do not know how to interpret it (not that I am interested in interpreting it unscientifically). But the wishes of ourselves as an individual and all the sacrifices or bad decisions we have made in order to comply or “fit in” the social/professional circles is real.

I have been thinking about this for some time. At work, we experience this a lot; at committees we serve or with partnerships we have, we often are not vocal about our own needs or preferences in order to make collective efforts work. One committee I serve is particularly resistant to not comply with the majority of the members with seniority. I started to make my own points and vote against things that do not make sense to me lately. It does not serve me well in terms of fitting in, being liked/approved, or considered as being pleasant.

But, what shall I do? Do what feels right, or the opposite? At what expense? Self-respect versus acceptance.

You tell me.

  • being confused and feeling down again by a recent rejection of one of my work proposals, and not knowing what to do or how to start feeling confident again, starting to focus on what actually I have accomplished in the last one year – check

work-related rejection is killing my morale and taking a significant energy out of my mental wellness. This has been happening for some time and I should be immune to it for now. But, I am not. So I started listing all the efforts I have put in and slowly I started to see how much I have accomplished. Yes, not everything I tried and put enormous energy and effort in worked out, but the rest did. This “rest” was important to remember.

The period of extraordinary work and struggle to keep doing well has not ended, I see. I will continue, it seems. It is hard and demoralizing but I can keep going till I cannot go any further. I think that is the major point f all of these experiences. Change.

Change the way I think and work

or

Change the direction of my work

We will see how this story ends.

  • seeing what a wonderful sourdough I have risen over night and getting excited about it whole day – check!

I baked two loaves, my best so far. I think the warming temperature helps the starter and it shows on the dough. I will give one of the loaves to a friend – I am sure she will be delighted πŸ™‚

  • working shaky at first but then pulling it around for around 5 hours and starting a new proposal – check, check, check!

I actually worked quite efficiently and drafted around 8 pages long draft. This is a significant progress. I feel like I may be able to pull this around and make an application by deadline (which turned out to be just 2 weeks ahead). What a magnificent turn of mental clarity for me today – in the morning I was all lost and in the afternoon I had mental zone that let me generate and find some kind of relief and motivation to do more πŸ™‚

  • sending an email to someone to fix a problem with a scheduling of a meeting – check

this is my second email to this person, who had disregard the initial one and circulated with others the schedule that was not suitable for me and possibly the majority of the other members. I am chairing this committee and I fell that I should ensure the participation by making sure that the time is good for everyone. I feel like I am constantly putting effort and it is side-tracked. How am I supposed to deliver if I cannot make sure participation by others to contribute?

Team work is great but not when one cannot make it work as the chair. There are lots of lessons learnt for me this year….

  • remembering that I have a morning appointment – thanks to my email calendar – check!

I had completely forgotten! How great is technology? πŸ™‚

  • enjoying a comedy show – check
  • being excited about my succulents – check

this is a new interest for me! I have three of them (one haworthia and two jade plants). I cut out some stems and pulled leaves from my jade. They are drying up for now and will be planted this week in new containers. I hope to get more of these beauties over time – what a joy!

Garden Plants GIF by Sharpie - Find & Share on GIPHY

  • having new interests, like sewing, gardening, bread-making, jamming, and succulents, developing over time and making me excited and happy about life – check!

Not everything in life is unpleasant. Finding those that give us joy is priceless πŸ™‚

Happy Very Funny GIF by Disney Zootopia - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gifs by:https://giphy.com/gifs/sharpie-garden-plants-CopnJzvz3G9tm;https://giphy.com/gifs/3NtY188QaxDdC

 

all the good things – check

  • deciding to feel good as nothing much in our daily/work life matters that much – check

I have had a kind of relaxing but also somehow nerve-pitching week. All work related issues of course. On the other hand, weather has been incredibly nice and Spring is really here. I have been feeling awesome about this – there is a real feeling of “hope” and “new beginnings” induced by the arrival of Spring. Should I be wasting these great feelings with focusing on shitty things and behaviors?

No.

Right. πŸ™‚

  • walking to the office in the morning – check

I have been walking in the last few days from home to office in the mornings. This feels great really πŸ™‚ Last year was the first time I had made it a routine activity to walk in the mornings (weather permitting). It makes me feel calmer, energetic, happier, and healthier πŸ™‚

  • working without much of stress and taking care of a tricky document – check

I knew that it was gonna be tough but I also told myself repeatedly that I would do overcome this too. The last year has been particularly very challenging in terms of work, stress, agitation, changing myself and my work attitude, growing my gray hair (I did not update you on this, did I? Man, I have gray hair alright – looks better somedays than the others, but I am still resisting the idea of dyeing it πŸ™‚ ), and undertaking new professional roles. One of the benefits of it has been to go through really tough time and tough decisions, so no new challenge is a big deal (at least so far) – great! πŸ™‚

  • taking my time to enjoy the plants on my floor – check

it has been a pleasure really, looking at all the beautiful plants and flowers that have been around me for so long but have never been cherished or recognized by myself. I feel awesome now that I know each one of them. Plants are amazing, friends. There are so many different types of them, they do survive with little help, and they make one feel great emotions and joy…. Go hug a plant πŸ™‚

  • walking to a nearby store and buying groceries – check

there have been many food that I needed and were on sale this week – I feel lucky πŸ™‚ I want to get some succulents nowadays. There were some aleo vera that were on sale in this store, but I did not want to buy them this time. There is a store 30 min away on foot that I can go check sometime to see whether they carry succulents. Even reading about the succulent made me feel excited and happy yesterday πŸ™‚

  • drinking fresh kefir – check
  • eating good home-made food – check
  • making a conscious effort to not dwell on negativity – check
  • enjoying a comedy show – check
  • having a simple life with minimal expenses today – check, check, check! πŸ™‚

Daisy GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/flowers-TFA5yuQIIoVUc

all the good things – check

  • sleeping well and long, and seeing my dad in one of my dreams – may he rest in peace – check
  • having my favorite breakfast with tomato, sourdough bread, and coffee – check
  • walking in the yard and seeing a number of bulbs I planted in the Fall sprouting – check πŸ™‚
  • working on a new report and almost finishing it – check
  • pulling a muscle or somehow aggravating my sciatica – not check! But it has been a much manageable episode so far, and my pain and muscle relaxants were around and effective – so let’s check this one too πŸ™‚
  • baking a meat pie and enjoying it – check
  • drinking fresh, frothy, and tasty kefir – check
  • watching a series that makes me laugh – check
  • having the day off – check
  • realizing that my sciatica is turning into a chronic problem, unless I take better care of my back and strengthen my core with the exercises given to me. I should also be careful in my movements. This one came without any warning, like the previous ones. It starts usually when I try to pick something from the floor. This must be something I must particularly be careful about. Also, no matter what I must keep having medications available so that I can manage this better. Being aware – check!
  • having almost no work-related stress – check πŸ™‚
  • having a good weather and feeling the Spring – check
  • being excited about the lives in my yard and planing to plant more flowers and bulbs next year – check

Spring 2009 GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/spring-2009-1Zxx18lm3dqlW

 

 

 

 

 

 

all the good things – check

  • sleeping well and dreaming…. a lot – check πŸ™‚

Only sometimes I remember my dreams and remembering three dreams in the morning was absolutely interesting!

  • waiting at home for the bus so that I could continue my frugal, simple, and responsible life style I missed so much – check
  • feeling happy when the bus comes – check!

Our buses runs every 30 min – give me some credit for taking them, please :)))

  • working nice and easy during the day without much of a stress – check
  • giving a small loaf of sourdough to one of my friends and seeing her joy and excitement – check, check, check πŸ™‚

I am grateful for this feeling of happiness coming from sharing my bread, marmalade, or pickles – looks like my friends really like and appreciate them, and this just makes me hugely grateful! How did I come up with the idea of baking bread? making marmalade or pickle? Boredom, which motivated me to try these endeavors, has been good to me indeed πŸ™‚

  • coming home early and taking a new yoga/stretching class – check

I dedicated this session to appreciating myself more (wow – I am really getting healed here πŸ™‚ ) and I spent the entire one hour by focusing on all the good things and appreciating my ability to do so. One of the best 12 bucks spent ever πŸ™‚

  • eating home-made food and a large salad – check
  • having a no-spending day – check!

I am excited about this. I think I am slowly coming back to my frugal self. Today is the second day of being frugal in a very long time and it feels fantastic. If only they did not expect a snow storm soon – that may mean that I may need to take a cab to or from work. We will see how weather will develop.

I plan to do some sort of pantry challenge next week so that I can consume what I already have. This will help me with saving some money and also enable myself to consume what I already have and replace them with fresh ones. I really need this so that I can get my chequing account back to a healthy level, which always feels good. Time to do this!! πŸ™‚

  • Being calm and relaxing this evening – check

I am not working tonite and it feels good to me. I know time to time it gets really heavy but nowadays I feel like I deserve a break and I aim to cherish it while it lasts

  • interacting with only lovely friends and colleagues today – check
  • eating yogurt – check
  • being excited about all the good things and people in my life -multi-check!

πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

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.

Got GIF by Game of Thrones: #PrepareForWinter - Find & Share on GIPHY

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 πŸ™‚

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.Β 
  • 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? πŸ™‚ )
  • 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.

Across The Universe Spring GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gifs by:https://giphy.com/gifs/across-the-universe-6g9fN5IYV9Oc8;https://giphy.com/gifs/prepareforwinter-game-of-thrones-snow-3ohzdUi5U8LBb4GD4s;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

all the good things – check

 

1. sleeping well and calm – check

2. getting up at a time good enough to catch the bus on time – check

3. working well in the morning, getting stressed at noon, but keeping the work till evening – check

4. almost being finished with some work that has been on my list for so long that its heaviness has been extreme – I want it to be done. Hopefully soon πŸ™‚ – check

5. enjoying the warm and bright day and getting a feeling of Spring – check

6. walking back to home in the afternoon – check

7. saving around 20 bucks from cab fare by taking the bus or walking today – check

8. doing grocery shopping and appreciating everything I purchased – check.

I have got a big bag of potatoes and lemons. I consume lemon quite a bit, potato – not so much. But it is more or less durable and potato meals, soup, and salad are all very enjoyable food. I am feeling good about having food the next few weeks and I feel quite abundant πŸ™‚

9. eating fish and a big healthy saladΒ  – check.

Lately I have been trying to award myself by eating fish or any other fried food (before someone starts about the unhealthy habit of fried food; for some reason they make me feel good the next day. once a week should be okay, right?)

10. Keeping calm – check.

It is strange to remember that in January I have had almost panic attacks. A very stressful time it was. I have come so far, slowly but steadily. I am very gratefulΒ  – check!

11. Finishing the lose ends of many small tasks and reports, and feeling energized about thisΒ  – check.

I have a number of small things to finish this weekend. Once they are done, I hope I will start bigger and newer projects. It is so exciting!Β  – check

12. Did I mention that I said “no” again yesterday? Face-to-face this time.

A colleague of mine thinks that she can interrupt me anytime while working alone orΒ  with others to ask or talk about what she needs or wants. How is this acceptable? yesterday I was working in my office with a team member of mine and that person just stepped in my office and start talking and asking me things, with no acknowledgment of my team member or us being working on something. Very rude, self-centered, and selfish. I decided it was the time that I take control and indicate need to respect my team member, and I asked the person to talk later. Can you imagine? I did it! And I did not even feel bad after that!! I am on the right track, my friends πŸ™‚ -check, check, check!

all the good things – check

1. not working like crazy and taking my time and phasing out for an hour or so at the office – check

2. sleeping well and waking up with not so many negative thoughts – check

3. delivering a very interactive presentation, connecting with the audience who was hesitant and passive at the beginning but became cozy and excited about the presentation later, and making it a memorable experience for everyone – check

4. taking a cab and making it an easy and comfy experience to pick a card for my team member who will leave soon for another job – check. I have been meaning to do this for sometime. It is strange that when we look for a nice card they are nowhere to be found. I picked a nice one that I am very happy with and wrote a nice thank you and appreciation note for her. I hope she will like it!

5. eating grapes – check

6. eating a previously frozen home-made soup – check

7. attending an odd yoga class that aims to release muscle tension and finding it one of this interesting life experiences – check. My goodness; it was a crowded class, there were a lot of people shaking, making noise, breathing aloud, and making sure that we the rest of the pack laugh uncontrollably as a result :)))))

8. looking good with a new hair cut today – check. it is strange that a hair cut can make such a positive change in our outlook and how we feel. I will remember this and will use it as a means of therapy in the future πŸ™‚

9. Being hungry and planning to eat something in a bit. It is getting late but I appreciate having appetite – check

10. watching an old movie that I always loved and enjoying my night – check πŸ™‚Β 

 

 

one of these awesome days

One of these days that I am calm and feeling good about myself and the work.

One of my team members and I finished a big project today, which was on the go for 3.5 years. I cannot believe. She made that happen and she is leaving soon to move on with a better career. I could not be happier and more proud of her. May she always find success, happiness, and support in life. She has got my full blessing.

I feel like accomplished now a little bit and am feeling hopeful and excited about my work again. Results of this project will be used in many other projects and noone in the world has ever produced such results. The more I think about it, the more I am realizing what a unique and exciting project this was. I must be happy and proud of myself as well!

This realization brings me some sort of confidence and excitement – I have done very well indeed. There is hope that I will sign under the many more difficult and exciting projects. This is such a much needed feeling for me. I would not be surprised if I shed some tears out of joy πŸ™‚

Now I have space for future projects and my calendar is more permissive to move on with others that I have been planning. Happiness! πŸ™‚

I have four presentations to do withing the next four weeks – two of them being this week. I am ready for them. The other two, on the other hand, needs work. Ok – I can do this! After that my next biggest task will be writing a new type of report, which I am looking forward to. It will be challenging at the beginning, we have been keeping it under the radar for some time, and now I will have time to work on it. Something fresh, interesting, and developing me further as a professional. Excitement!

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I was telling one of my friends today that I wonder how I and my life will develop in the next three years. I know that I have been changing my approach to others at work, becoming a little bit more focused on my own interests and reducing my commitment to others’ work, being interested in challenging and developing myself by taking new roles and responsibilities, becoming more assertive, and most importantly, questioning my own look at my life. I told my friend today that I sometimes think about resignment. Not that I want to but I guess it is one way to free myself from all the little issues and attitudes that bother me. Thinking about resignment gives me some kind of relief from the current issues. It also helps me with un-attaching myself from work. I was always overly committed to work and as such have ignored the other important things in life.

What are the important things in life?

Certainly my family is important.

I am important.

It is time that I let these realizations sink into my mind…

It is exciting that I am curious about my future, don’t you think? πŸ™‚ This is certainly becoming an exciting anticipation for me – I want my future to be better, happier, healthier, and more meaningful. I want to have dreams and plans. I want to do different things. I want to feel good about myself and my frequent efforts to do so!

May the next days bring joy, success, happiness, health, and good people, experiences, memories, and opportunities to all of us πŸ™‚

 

time to slow down

I have been sleeping much less lately.

Last week I woke up around 5-6 am each morning and went to bed at my regular time (around 11 pm). This is like 6-7 hours of sleep per night. Today I woke up at 4 pm after 5 hours of sleep and worked a full 12 hours at the office. Surprisingly I am not even feeling tired.

This is not normal.

I think I am at a heightened state. I knew that I was stressed and working very hard since last July. But I did not think that I would adapt to this prolonged stress situation and perform high. I realize it now that I may be close to a burn out, and thus, I should slow down to prevent it.

I have an important submission to make tomorrow. After that I will have to take care of many things but I will take it easy. I plan to take the Friday afternoon off and have a kind of long weekend. I want to sleep, eat better, and just wind down.

I can do it.

With this, I am not saying that I am capable of doing it.

I am saying that I allow myself to do it.

last week: What do you do in such a situation?

Last week was interesting.

My computer crashed.

What do you do in such a situation?

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Well.

First; keep calm.Β 

Two; get a new computer after making your homework and selecting one suitable for your needs.

Since it takes some time to do #2 above, I spend 3 days without computer at home.

Three days!!!!

What do you do without a computer at home?

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First; keep calm.

Second; see whether the radio-clock works and you can listen to music/news. It did work, which was a huge blessing. May I say that this was the first time I listened to the radio in the last one decade or so? Well done.

Third: get bored and read a work-related book (that I have been meaning to do since last summer and feel good about this). Score!

Fourth; get bored. And, boy, what a boredom it was. So go to sleep early.

Fifth: since you are going to bed early, be prepared to get up early. 5 am to be exact!

What do you do with all the time at your hand?

————————————

First; you (I) take a cab just because buses do not work at that hour, and work, which is awesome. It gives much needed time to finish a couple of things.

Second; since home is not attractive anymore, you also spend more time at the office, which is great. This way you continue to work and finish tasks.

Third – among all of these catastrophic(!) mis-order of daily life, you kind of realize what an important role computer has in your life. It is the window to the outside world and number one channel to interact with others. It is one tool that helps you relax, read, write, listen to music, and watch TV. It is one thing that keeps your life in order with the planning sheets and record documents. It is one thing other than a human that can make your life easy, comfortable, cherishable, and fun.

Go hug your computer – it deserves it.

 

all the good things – check

  • getting up early and going to work before 8 am – check
  • working with a team member very effectively and finishing a project of 3.5 years – check, check, check! πŸ™‚
  • remembering to celebrate the end of project – check!
  • walking in the evening – check
  • working at home for 3 hours on a report and thinking “what do I do wrong to have this hectic year full of work and stress?” I must change things again – it is the time. I should say no more often. I should write my reports better so that I will not have to revise and change them significantly – this is causing me to work on them more than required. I must look for opportunities to lessen my paperwork.Β  I can set aside time each day for little work that would not require full focus or energy; these could be taken care of really fast and would give me acceleration. I notice that I work incredibly efficient in the morning – so I can aim to get up earlier and do the important work first. From tomorrow on I aim to get up around 7.30. check
  • getting no discount from an international meeting. I did not really want to attend this meeting this year. I asked for a discount in attendance fees and I was not awarded it this year. I feel relieved, even though this is a rejection! πŸ™‚ There will be other opportunities – a new city, a new type of meeting. I am looking forward to the opportunity to find it out!Β  – check
  • being ready for important work tomorrow and having good plans for tomorrow and the weekend – check
  • securing a seat at a committee of my union for another year. This is important for my professional development and feeling more supported and secureΒ – check

Happy Cardcaptor Sakura GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/kawaii-flowers-INlJUYclnafdu

 

all the good things – check

  • missing the bus and walking in the morning to office – check
  • treating myself with a muffin – check
  • working long hours without losing focus or energy – check
  • having a lunch with a friend, a very rare treat for me during the week days – check
  • getting a ride back home by a colleague in the afternoon while it heavily snowed – check
  • drinking kefir and loving every drop – check
  • keeping calm the whole day – check
  • realizing despite feeling largely like a failure, how well my projects created unique outcomes in the last one year and will continue to do so in at least the next two years – check
  • feeling sleepy and getting ready for a resting night sleep – check

what is it that I am supposed to become?

This is a crucial question.

What am I supposed to learn from all of these work-related failures and then shape my future accordingly?

Two important applications of mine have been rejected recently, one being today, making my hard-work in the last few months nill.

I think I am kind of catatonic because I am not even feeling the sting of this situation.Β 

Things are not going well, re: work and my career. I understand that I must learn something and move on, but what the hey is that? When will I know what it is?

I kinda believe that I must stop all my attachments to my current work and whatever I feel is necessary or important (except my family and my well being), so that I can open roads for wider opportunities. Maybe I am not supposed to continue here, but move somewhere.

Where is it?

Maybe the future is bright, but I realy do not know..

Will it reveal itself to me?

How many more times must I feel like I am making one last effort to turn things around?

I have not given up yet, but it would be nice if I could get something out of all of these hard times..

Please.

……………………..

 

joy journal – Feb 4, 2018

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and peacefully. I had no dreams and my morning was easy and without negative thoughts crossing my mind.Β 

2. I am grateful for working till noon and learning some important and complex information that will be very useful tomorrow in a meeting and three other meetings the next week.

3. I am grateful for baking my sourdough and eating it warm with butter πŸ™‚

4. I am grateful for eating fruits today.

5. I am grateful for chatting with one of my neighbours.

6. I am grateful for not working a lot in the afternoon and enjoying this freedom

7. I am grateful for listing the work I must do for each of the day of the week. I have important deadlines this week and I cannot miss any of them. This kind of lists help me a lot keeping track of things.

8. I am grateful for speaking with my family today; it was a nice and lovely talk that brought laughter to my life πŸ™‚

9. I am grateful for getting interested in affirmations. I know that my mind listens to itself a lot and my mind usually focus on negative issues or problems. Why not the opposite? I am making an effort to read some lovely affirmations and reflect on them.

10. I am grateful for one of my colleagues not sending me their comments this morning. I feel free to move on without the need to integrate their comments in my report and the need to deal with the frustration and negative feelings their words would bring. I really dislike this person. I must exercise forgiveness to remove these feelings from my life. Or, remove this person from my life. Which one is easier?

11. I am grateful for having a safe and sound home; power to heat my home; clothes, furniture, and all other things that make my life safe ad comfortable. I surrounded myself with great items that I like or use. All is welcome in my life.

12. I am grateful for listening to the fearful voice in me during my anxious moments. Although it is hard to listen to it, it helps with extracting information that will be useful for me to prevent future events. That can be the main benefit of anxious thoughts…. So be it.

13. I am grateful for feeling free and knowing that I can do whatever I want to do!

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate myself for easily having a mixture of both positive and down moments during the day. I survive it and I do not resist it
  2. I appreciate myself for eating better today
  3. I appreciate myself for being kind to myself
  4. I appreciate myself for changing and implementing new ways to enhance my life. For example; I decided social media and news was giving me depressive thoughts – so I will limit my exposure. I will continue to say “no” to unnecessary tasks; I will continue to turn my email off at the office while working; and I will continue to let my perfectionist habit to ease while doing un-critical work. I will handle my interactions with my colleagues better too; I will keep it to professional topics while interacting with them; I will not help or listen to those negative people that drain my time and energy. I will keep thinking about how to do this better. Things will get better. This new chapter of my life, leaving things behind, and being excited about a new life experience is exciting!

 

wish for a new chapter in my life

Today was an interesting mix of feelings: I have been feeling kind of better one moment, and the next moment, feeling the same as in the last months when I was quite stressed and anxious.

In the middle of all of these “transitional” feelings, I felt like it would be so nice if I had closed this chapter in my life and open a new one; after all, thinking about what happened or did not happen would only make me feel frustrated, resentful, or anxious while thinking about how I changed and what I learnt along the process would only make me energized, freed, and hopeful.

Choice is quite clear.

Somethings will likely continue: I will still have to work hard and long hours; deal with issues and find solutions; deal with people; and deal with stress.

But I will also keep saying no to extra work; lose my perfectionist attitude on un-critical tasks; turn off my email when I need to focus; delegate some of the tasks to others; pamper myself with little indulgences (such as chocolate); be kind and supportive to myself; read inspirational or positive news and stories; and spare time for myself and my daily routine. I would also not dwell on the past issues or experiences and make my mental space less toxic and foggy.

How does this sound?

It sounds and feels great to me. I am ready to forget past feelings and replace them with a clean sheet of mental and emotional space.

I am releasing the negative thoughts about the people who gave me hardship; I am releasing the negative thoughts about myself; I am releasing the negative thoughts about life.

I am welcoming the opportunities; lovely people; success; calmness; peace; hope; and self-appreciation.

I feel like I must write these last sentences over and over to make my stubborn mind digest them πŸ™‚ I may or may not be able to do these right away, but I know that I am moving away from negativity towards a new chapter in my life, and away from feeling like s.it to feeling stronger, determined, and hopeful πŸ™‚

 

 

 

it can only get better from here

Life is interesting.

I was talking to a cab driver this morning who told me for an unrelated (economy-related) issue that “it cannot go worse than this; I think we hit the bottom of the rock, it can only get better from here – up“.

I believe in this and had said a similar thing to a friend about my own recent stress and struggles. Together with my experience with my friends yesterday (which helped me to actually demonstrate myself that I have had the confidence to stand up for myself), hearing this from a stranger today has helped my mind to materialize this hopeful attitude.

With these positive experiences, as another step towards making myself less stressful, I decided on an important report that it did not have to be perfect. It was already in a good shape and as such, I submitted it today. Additionally, I finished another one tonite, which will be submitted tomorrow πŸ™‚

Two big jobs that have been on my list for weeks are now done.

Wow.

I did it.

These are the second and third imperfect (but perfectly in good condition) work that I have submitted in the last two weeks or so. What a beautiful change in how I approach my work and personal wellness. I feel relieved and happier.

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I have been hard on myself for taking the cab (rather than the bus), but I guess life has had its own way of telling me that sometime what we think as bad can actually be pretty good for us.

 

 

random thoughts

A very busy day, it is well worth it. This week seems like a highly productive week with many long term tasks/projects being coming to an end, as such, is highly charged and satisfactory – I could not be more stressed and excited at the same time! πŸ™‚

We woke up to 15 cm of snow dumped during the night. The roads were in bad shape, but the cabbie made it to my building safe and sound. It was quiet around the building, which I assume is because of the many people not showing up to work. I do not blame them – I hope they have had a lovely day away from work.

My anxiety levels are down, but I keep feeling overwhelmed. I feel the need of winding down and showing compassion to myself. That means no work for the next few hours. I plan to reflect on the positive things that has happened lately and realize how I fit in the center of all of these. Hard work pays off eventually; my efforts are met with results; I turn the work around to my best; and I feel less stressed as a result. At least, I must πŸ™‚

I had read many years ago on a newspaper of a newly appointed manager of a unit. He had expressed that “he was looking forward to the challenges everyday may bring“. I never understood this, as challenges do not sound pleasant or easy to deal with.Β One of the constraining issues for me was a new addition to my team, which requires a lot of attention to help them keep moving. In some ways I feel pressured to spend time and train personally, because the skills this staff wants to develop requires my direct involvement. How do I deal with this “challenge” in these time-pressuring times? By further stressing and feeling inadequate, of course.

The last few days I was trying to think differently and open myself to “opportunities” out there. I did not necessarily think about the new staff, but I think this case is developing into an opportunity; she sent me some information (which she developed herself) that solves some of the problems and also demonstrates that they can develop these skills without much involvement by myself!! Is that not wonderful? πŸ™‚Β 

When the mind is strained, it is so easy to close ourselves and turn blind to the opportunities and rather move towards challenges, I guess.

By the way, last night two of my previous staff emailed me; one became a mom and her baby girl is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen πŸ™‚ The other one wants to see me sometime, just to catch up and I could not be happier to do so πŸ™‚

These are the moments that make this job something I thank for.

 

joy journal – Jan 29, 2018

It has been a good day.

1. I am grateful for sleeping late but waking up early. I woke up with things to do in my mind, which was overwhelming. Yesterday night I decided not to resist to this idea – after all if I resist something, the annoyance increases. I will see how well this will progress in the coming days.

2. I am grateful for taking the bus – my hero! Right on time πŸ™‚

3. I am grateful for working with a team member of mine the whole day; we are finalizing a project of 3.5 years and she has done an amazing job. Understandably we are very excited about this. We will continue on Wednesday again, but what we have done today was a wonderful work πŸ™‚

4. I am grateful for treating my team member to tea/coffee and snacks. These absolutely help us to have a more cozy work environment and provide some comfort while doing a serious job.

5. I am grateful for walking back to my home this evening; a first in a while. I am coming back to my routine slowly… I feel accomplished with each of these small steps; re; taking he bus, walking, not taking the cab, eating better, etc. Yay! πŸ™‚

6. I m grateful for working at home in the evening of another report due next week. I am kind of late but have moved it very well. While walking to home I was thinking that I did not know how to fix it, but as soon as I sit in front of the computer and opened the document, it just moved on.

7. I am grateful for working at the office till 6pm, not coming home early to work, and hence stress myself further at home. Not leaving the office early to come home to work is one of these small steps that makes me feel good and makes me feel like I am back to my routine.

8. I am grateful for eating a large potato salad filled with green beauties. Very healthy and it was yummy πŸ™‚

9. I am grateful for turning my email off while we worked at the office today. This is my second or third time doing this. I did not even missed it. What a distraction it seems… I am very proud of myself for doing this change as well.

There are a number of changes I have implemented lately and I will be happy to state them here again:

  • turning off the email while working on important things
  • leaving my “perfectionists attitude” on un-critical tasks
  • saying “no” more oftenΒ 
  • motivating my team more
  • eating better and healthier
  • treating myself with weekly chocolates and little pastries time to time
  • making an effort to work at the office, rather than at home
  • supporting myself during these stressful times and showing compassion
  • making an effort with positive affirmations
  • making an effort to stop resisting the thoughts that annoy me
  • taking the bus or walking, and protesting the cab company
  • making Fridays “eat fish/meat” day – this has been going on for the last three weeks and I noticed that I feel good about this. Whether it is fish or red meat (which I rarely eat) – I am not sure. In all cases I eat a large green salad, which I suspect is helping a lot too
  • believing that I have time, which reduces my stress, even though that usually means working at nights at home
  • understanding myself, my needs, my priorities, and hurdles – particularly my own criticism towards myself and my work
  • realizing that my daily home routine is important and without it I feel over-whelmed, stressed, and somehow absent…. It is important to spend time without thinking about work and making my mind work on rather other things to give it a break

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  • I appreciate myself for making an effort to feel good
  • I appreciate myself for eating better, pampering myself, and caring for myself
  • I appreciate myself for keeping calm and focused today
  • I appreciate myself for changing and improving my quality of life, especially at work
  • I appreciate myself for taking time to write these, which help materialize them

 

Β 

Sunday morning musings

Yet another beautiful and quiet Sunday morning cherished with coffee and a lovely music at the background.

What is it about Sundays that makes us so hopeful and positive? Absence of work? Family/me time? Or just the feeling that like the rest of the (most of the world), we are too entitled to chill, wind down, rest, and do nothing on this day? Freedom to do anything we want or do nothing if that is what we want is a great feeling. Let’s immerse ourselves in this freedom today.

Being free of obligations and things that stress/strain us important. I increasingly have realized the importance of this lately. I like being free and not rushing from one job to other at work/home; I like being free from the stress and the need to think and find solutions. I like being free from the requirement of being at one place rather than the other; I like being free from negative thoughts and stress.

Is it easy to attain?

“ell no.

I was reading somewhere else that at this age, we are required to be competitive and put more strains on us than before to produce. Produce services, products, or ideas. I have such a job, which under different conditions (without the pressure) is highly satisfactory, valuable, and lets me get the best out of my skills and knowledge Yet, the pressure hurts my creativity, happiness and maybe health, and reduces my personal space and priorities to a minimum. Is this right?

I do not think so.

Without the personal wellness and satisfaction, how do we expect ourselves to function well in a competitive job/work environment?

It would be awesome if the organizations had flexibility in the expectations from their employees; some are hard-workers, some are creative, some are meticulous, some are visionary, and some are good managers. It is important to find such organizations and positions I guess.Β 

This being said, I kind of understand the pressure my organization is under. It is supposed to deliver what it promises, is supposed to do these with the right budget, set of employees, and expected outcomes. When I think from this point of view, my heart aches for my organization. This is economically difficult times and everything suffers as a result (well, maybe not too wealthy).

So, what shall we do?

I would love my organization and others to create a supportive environment and work through carrots, not the sticks. If we are together, we may function better and in unity. And in unity is the strength, understanding, and solutions. Working towards a common goal is a beautiful feeling.

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I was joking the other day to a colleague of mine that my last report before retirement would be about this kind of things; experience and understanding gained as a result of the work experiences and how it shapes our lives, profession, and future ideas. There is a growth alright – however difficult it could be – that makes my understanding better. I am hopeful that in the future I will come up with my best ideas, experiences, projects, and reports.

 

I hope I will continue to be that hopeful and positive.

joy journal – Jan 26, 2018

I have had ups and downs today, but I know that writing here will make me focus on the positive and I feel better good after that! πŸ™‚

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and waking up on time. I have not used an alarm clock for so many years that come to think about it, it is amazing that I wake up when I need it ! πŸ™‚

2. I am grateful for taking the bus; good for my pocket, good for environment, good for the community. yay! πŸ™‚

3. I am grateful for encouraging a team member of mine who feels over-whelmed by a new task he needs to do. I am frustrated myself that it is not done yet, but sometimes a little bit encouragement can go way above and beyond. I shall see.

4. I am grateful for coming to home in the early evening to work and getting stressed. Honestly it makes me more stressed than being at the office. So I must stop this and embrace my office full time…

5. I am grateful for starting reading and revising a long report. I have been dreading this, but I have started and it will go on. My plan is to fix it hopefully tomorrow and move on. It is a report written by three of us, two of us being seniors. The other senior and I have different approaches and different levels of meticulousness. It creates and has created problems for both of us. I want this to be over before we get more annoyed with each other and hurt our relationship further. I ask myself; why is it me who is taking it low and still do her part? Is it because I walk what I talk, or because I am silly? Do not answer that :)))

6. I am grateful for doing grocery shopping in the evening. I bought all bunch of fresh produce and also fish. I love fish nowadays πŸ™‚ I am feeling better after eating it with a large bowl of green salad. I cannot thank enough for these food.

7. I am grateful for feeling excited about tomorrow. Tomorrow is Saturday; I will first drink my coffee and browse internet for emails and news, and then clean the house. At noon I want to go shopping and take advantage of some sales in a nearby store; I would love to get some eggs, butter, and paper towel.

8. I am grateful for feeling a little bit angry about my efforts and being appreciated by others. As such, I have got more confident (or pissed off and does not care anymore). next time somebody tries to walk over me, I sure will stand taller.

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate myself for working – no matter what I keep going
  2. I appreciate myself for getting more confident, knowing that I deserve a much higher level of appreciation
  3. I appreciate myself for keeping my grounds – I will do that increasingly
  4. I appreciate myself for being excited about shopping and the weekend
  5. I appreciate myself for not getting anxious nowadays and feeling relatively better
  6. I appreciate myself for eating fish and salad
  7. I appreciate myself for helping others

joy journal, Jan 25, 2018

A relatively good day and I am happy to share these with you:

1. I am grateful for getting up a little bit earlier and catching an earlier bus this morning πŸ™‚ It was a chilly morning but I just made it to the bus stop. A minute later my hero bus showed up and it really made me feel lucky and happy πŸ™‚

2. I am grateful for having a very quiet time in the office before anyone showed up. It was beautiful and gave me much needed stress-free time πŸ™‚

3. I am grateful for keeping calm the entire day, decluttering my office and opening space for new paperwork, relieving myself from stress induced by lots of things around.

4. I am grateful for sitting at a meeting that lasted 4 hours this evening πŸ™‚ It is not bad for a person who has got a lower back problem πŸ™‚ What helps in this situation is that whether it is an effective meeting with opportunities to learn something new and contribute. I have got these today so I am satisfied.

5. I am grateful for eating lots of healthy food in the office; apple and baby carrots being my favorites πŸ™‚

6. I am grateful for changing my cab company today; yesterday one of the cabbies made me think very hard about taking the cab at all – mean people have no place in my life. While one bad apple should not make the entire batch of nice and kind cabbies bad, I felt like I must preserve my self respect. So I decided I did not want to pay another dime to this cabbie and one way to achieve this was to change the cab company. Over.

This will also give me much needed chance to stop taking cab, unless really needed, and rather focus on taking the bus or walk.

7. I am grateful for not working tonite

8. I am grateful for sitting in the dark, listening to a nice music, and writing my journal. It is “me” time, alright πŸ™‚

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Things that I appreciate myself about today:

  1. I appreciate myself for focusing on work and feeling logical and calm
  2. I appreciate myself for making my self-respect a priority
  3. I appreciate myself for not working tonite
  4. I appreciate myself for learningΒ 
  5. I appreciate myself for keeping up with the ever changing priorities and work dynamic
  6. I appreciate myself for being genuinely happy for a colleague of mine who will take a leave to recuperate after a highly exhausting and stressful work conditions – she deserves this. I wish her well.

 

 

joy journal – Jan 24, 2018

I am calm but not necessarily in the mood. I do not even now what to write here, but I trust that as soon as I start writing it, I will find things to be grateful for.Β 

1. I am grateful for starting this entry for today.

2. I am grateful for feeling calm, although I have things to be angry and pissed off about.Β 

3. I am grateful for submitting a big report today without making it “perfect”. Under normal conditions I would have spent many more hours trying to improve it. I read my report and while I could maybe do a little bit more meticulous work, it was a very well drafted and comprehensive report. So why to stress myself more? This is such a deviation from my regular perfectionist attitude. Because of the stress of heavy work load and frustration at work, I was contemplating about leaving my perfectionist practice and taking things easier. I did it today. A new path is opening in front of me. I am proud of myself.

4. I am grateful for helping my team members by giving them a ride with cab this evening – it was a miserable weather outside and we all appreciated not walking in the rain and on the ice.

5. I am grateful for enjoying coffee and muffins with a colleague this morning and having a nice chat in between.

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate myself for trusting life and still standing tall
  2. I appreciate myself for working till late hours – it is counter-intuitive, but when I have too many things to do I appreciate the opportunity to have time to work on them
  3. I appreciate the fact that I have left my perfectionist work attitude behind – things can get only better from here. I am changing. I have changed. I will continue to change

 

joy journal – Jan 23, 2018

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and getting up with relatively mild thoughts in my mind.Β 

2. I am grateful for taking the bus this morning even though it was really cold and windy. Sometimes I love my persistence πŸ™‚

3. I am grateful for having three meetings today all with some kind of progress. This feels good. I have a new team member who is visiting our organization for a couple of months. She is nice and intelligent. I hope to be able to make this an enjoyable and beneficial visit for both sides. We immediately identified a technical skill for her to develop, which is one of our strength. This feels awesome. We then have a small project to develop together, which again feels good. If we can work well and if we are lucky somehow, we can make this πŸ™‚

4. I am grateful for working till 3.30pm at the office, which is pretty good for me. I took the cab and ate junk food in the evening, but hey, at least some small goals I have had for myself are done today: sleeping well, taking the bus in theΒ morningΒ (despite theΒ cold), eating better (lots of carrots today), working mostly at the office (till 3.30 pm), not having anxiety was a huge plus, working (albeit at home till late) but nevertheless finishing some work. I now have a “me” time for another 1-2 hours before I go to sleep. That should be okay – at least for today.

5. I am grateful for not beating me up for taking the cab in the afternoon and eating junk food. I came to realize that in order for me to have a life just the way I want it, I must fix the work situation first. It is sad that the stress and time-commitments of the work takes priority over my own personal life. It is really sad…. I keep going in this difficult time; poor budgets, poor conditions, and poor recognition. I have not given up yet but I keep wonder when or if that would happen…..

I will know when it is over. It is not over yet.

6. I am grateful for working; I may be stressed. I may be anxious. I may be depressed (time to time). But I am functional and am giving my 100% to this toxic work-place. I have been working in this field for 24 years now. This is a long time; I studied, I worked, I moved up, and now I am no sure where my career is. Frustration is a common experience with everyone I guess. After all these years and dedication, do you not expect recognition? respect? Some kind of satisfaction and ease?

I do.

Maybe that is what exactly I should be grateful for.

7. I am grateful for being safe, healthy, warm, and sane today. It could have been much worse – I could have lost my mind :))))))

Joking.

But it is a possibility, you know πŸ™‚

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate myself for making an effort to feel good by taking small and simple steps
  2. I appreciate myself for bringing carrot to office – they make wonderful food, especially when I have no time to have lunch
  3. I appreciate myself for working…… At least things are moving
  4. I appreciate myself for being calmer and more confident re; finishing work and figuring out things
  5. I appreciate myself for knowing – knowing myself, my feelings, my abilities, my limitations, and my wishes

 

 

 

 

 

 

joy journal – Jan 22, 2018

1. I am grateful for sleeping well. My mind got full of work-related issues and stress right away, but I made a mental note (again) to monitor what I think and let them stop if they are negative. One day I will do this!

2. I am grateful for taking the bus in the morning. What a chilly day it was today… I have not chickened out and taken the cab. Good job!Β 

3. I am grateful for enjoying my coffee at the office and eating two apples. Apples are good for me and they are also very delicious πŸ™‚

4. I am grateful for working really well in the morning without much of a stress. I had a meeting in the afternoon, which went really well and gave me much needed mental break from my own work and issues (would you believe that I am grateful for a meeting? hah ha πŸ™‚ )Β 

5. I am grateful for the bus being at the bus-stop right after I left the meeting and went out of the building. It was great to take the bus in such a windy and cold evening. I am lucky πŸ™‚

6. I am grateful for cooking for myself and eating well.

7. I am grateful for realizing that if I do work well in the office, then I do not have, to or want, to think about the work at home. This is pretty interesting. I remembered that before I started to work hard and for long hours last summer, this is what I used to do; I usually enjoyed my evenings and nights by focusing on my relaxation, reading, writing, or watching movies. I was quite content with my life at that time. Home was home. Life was good. I ate less junk food and I felt better about myself.

I contemplated on this quite a bit this evening. Since the work load is still high, I still need to work at home. I did it today and I will have to do this in the coming days and weeks (if not months). I wonder whether getting up earlier would help with this? maybe instead of 8.30 I can be at the office at 8 and use that extra time to do work? I wake up at around that time anyhow; why not to use this for my advantage? Then in the evening maybe I would have more time for myself?

I hope so πŸ™‚

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate myself for enjoying this moment; it is quiet, I feel good, and I still have time to enjoy the rest of the night
  2. I appreciate myself for making an effort to turn things around. Even I relapse, I try again. I respect that.
  3. I appreciate myself for increasingly remembering that anything new at work may mean new issues for me; It may feel overwhelming (and it does), but then I may and will find solutions to them. Maybe I will fail too, but is it not how I learn and grow?
  4. I appreciate myself not working right now and feeling optimistic about life and myself
  5. I appreciate myself for changing or gaining different perspectives, and for not resisting to these

 

joy journal – Jan 21, 2018

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and getting up with the feeling that I care about myself and support myself with kindness, understanding, and food. Great food πŸ™‚

2. I am grateful for baking sourdough loaves. I baked two loaves today; both turned out to be delicious. How did I start with baking bread? It is a dilemma really. I remember that my first trials were frustrating. I am glad that I did not give up.

3. I am grateful for speaking with my family. we all love cats and talking about cats make us all cheerful and happy πŸ™‚

4. I am grateful for cooking a healthy meal for myself and eating it with lots of garlic. Garlic became somehow common in my life lately. This crunchy and tasty food is making me feel better, presumably by reducing my blood pressure. I will take it! πŸ™‚

5. I am grateful for seeing a change in my perception of my conditions. I see the glass half full increasingly. For a person who is known to be highly critical and skeptical, this is a wonderful change that has naturally come to my life.

For example:

I complained about my work a lot, but what if it is the best job for me for now? What if it is better than other alternatives I may have had should I have made different choices? I may have a stressful patch at work, but it is a meaningful job that allows me to contribute, create, train others, and learn. It also comes with a great salary. Although my salary is eaten up significantly by the taxes and extra taxes, it is still good enough to let me pay my mortgage, have an abundant life, and invest for my future. These may not be as much as I wanted them to be, but when I think that it could have been worse, I can do nothing but appreciate and like it…

The same thing with the city I live in. The economy may not be good and the future does not looks prosperous here, but it is a small and safe city with a very simple life. What if it could have been worse? Full of crime, traffic, and complications? I am indeed lucky to be living here.

Thus, I may have been going through a hard time, but it could have been much worse. I am grateful for realizing this.

6. I am grateful for being kind to myself.

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate myself for eating better, drinking kefir, eating fruits, cooking healthy food, and baking my own bread
  2. I appreciate myself for seeing the positive out of the negative, even though it may not be visible at the beginning
  3. I appreciate myself for exercising my right to say “no” the other day and having no negative feelings about it, which says that it was the right thing to do
  4. I appreciate myself for taking time to relax this evening after days of non-stop work
  5. I appreciate myself for getting excited about my plan to shop next Saturday
  6. I appreciate myself for exchanging nice words with someone I know and feeling elated about it
  7. I appreciate myself for working on my issues; I know I am angry deep down. I will find out why and I will release it
  8. I appreciate myself for mentally supporting myself when I feel like things are too much and I cannot handle them
  9. I appreciate myself for being ready for a busy work day tomorrow. I know what I will do and I am confident that I will do wellΒ 

 

 

joy journal – Jan 14, 2018

After an anxiety-filled and psychologically turbulent week, I am feeling a lot better now (and for now). This is a blessing and contributing factors are the followings:

1. I am grateful for my past experiences that helps me with understanding the causes of the anxiety and tackling it.Β 

2. I am grateful for my family and the blogging friends being supportive during this difficult time.

3. I am grateful for the warm weather that makes my life a little bit easier.

4. I am grateful for seeing some plants and flowers still being alive in the yard. It is amazing how resilient they are during winter. It gives me hope that despite the estimations that they would be dead now because of the snow and freezing conditions, some of them still survive. I shall too survive this time and the future ones to come.

5. I am grateful for eating better lately, which makes me feel like at least I am good at taking care of myself.

6. I am grateful for donating a number of items to a charity. I had had collected them from home in the last one year and now almost all of them are gone to be enjoyed by other less fortunate individuals. What a blessing.

7. I am grateful for buying drawer organizers yesterday and seeing that they do their job very well. Now my measuring cups and utensils are in different containers and my drawers are well organized. What a difference they make in how I feel about myself and my life!

8. I am grateful for treating myself with little indulgences; a small bar of chocolate yesterday and another two today. Knowing that I care about myself, try to release some of the pressure off my chest, and support myself is great.Β 

9. I am grateful for shopping yesterday and today. It gave me a much needed mental break from the issues. I also purchased lovely items that I would need, coffee being one of them πŸ™‚

10. I am grateful for having the day to myself and so far having a more or less pleasant day and feelings.

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate myself for caring myself.
  2. I appreciate myself seeing the positives after negative experiences.
  3. I appreciate myself for being open about my current anxiety and stress.
  4. I appreciate myself for constantly trying to do good and feel good.
  5. I appreciate myself for functioning well despite the mental clutter, stress, and feeling anxious.
  6. I appreciate myself for cooking and baking healthy food.
  7. I appreciate myself for surrounding myself items/furniture etc. that are all either useful and needed, or loved and appreciated.
  8. I appreciate the fact that I donate to charity whatever I am done with and in usable condition.
  9. I appreciate myself for not further pressurizing myself with my own expectations.
  10. I appreciate myself for keeping a clean and well organized home that gives me a sense of peace and accomplishment.
  11. I appreciate myself for taking time to reflect upon, identify, and write all of these great things here.

finding a balance

My recent bout of feeling anxious and down has several causes I can think of. One of them is the re-prioritization of extensive work in the last 7 months of my life; I worked day and night and with great intensity. I have undertaken new roles, new projects, and faced lots of issues to deal with. I have been trying to grow and get stronger professionally. That meant giving my own emotional and physical health a lower priority and some parts of the jobs the same.

Right now what I am feeling is lack of control over my work and personal life. My mind keeps presenting me scenarios of negative outcomes, one being failure. Anxiety I am feeling is real.

I find some level of serenity by facing the issues, realizing what happened and why happened, and getting back to my past experience to predict for the future. My issues are the ongoing neglect on the other parts of my professional and personal life that if not handled soon can create negative outcomes; the reason they have happened is because of the toxic and negative work environment that pushed me to work at a high level continuously and the need to deal with this stress with unhealthy habits or food; and my past experiences tell me that this too will pass if I handle things well now, re-prioritize things in my life, be kind to myself, and the anxiety I feel is often an alarming but useful reminder of these changes.

I may be a control freak and I have no shame in telling this. My job requires a good deal of control for a high quality work, so maybe I am well cut for it. Maybe it makes me this way – who knows?

It is well known that in my line of work, there are many pressures that we need to deal; internal or external. Nothing new to me. I will take one thing at a time. Some things need to be dropped. Other things need to be started. I cannot prioritize my personal life yet, but I will start with controlling the work first (obviously it is very important for me) stating with neglected parts of it, starting tomorrow.

I may also ask for help. My mental health is important to me. If this goes on for a period of time, I will be speaking to a doctor.

In the middle of all of these reflections, I keep wondering how that life-work balance works for everyone.Β 

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joy journal – Jan 7, 2018

Th first joy journal entry of the year πŸ™‚

I am feeling kind of anxious and down. My best remedy is, as usual, remember the people, things, and experiences that I am grateful for. So, here it goes:

1. I am grateful for being healthy and well. I am safe, I have a job, and I have financial abilities. My emotions may be over-whelming right now, but I know from my past experience that eventually my anxious thoughts are trying to help me correct or remember things, and my future acts and experiences, thus, are going to be better.

2.Β I am grateful for talking to my family and their well-being.

3. I am grateful for cooking a large pot of bean meal today. I love beans! They are hearty and tasty. My freezer have 5 containers of bean meal that will be consumed in the coming weeks. It is a peace of mind to know that I have home-made meal to be consumed later.

4. I am grateful for the weather being chilly but not extremely weird. It is winter alright; with snow, cold weather, lots of high winds, and some sunlight in between. I predict that in May we will have a better weather and all these will be over. 4 more months of this… is.. manageable.

5. I am grateful for baking a wonderful loaf today πŸ™‚ I have more than enough bread to keep me going the entire week.

6.Β I am grateful for feeling what I feel, however un-pleasant it may be, and going through the turbulence. I know that I am at the eye of the thunder, but this too shall pass.

7.Β I am grateful for all the food I have at home. I am abundant and well cared for. What a blessing.

8.Β I am grateful for watching a funny show. It feels good to be paying attention to something positive and have a laughter every once a while.

9.Β I am grateful for being warm and cozy at home.

10.Β I am grateful for today being Sunday so that I can use the day to deal with my emotions and emotional turbulence. Tomorrow is another day.

11.Β I am grateful for tomorrow being a work day so that I can focus my mind into new and fresh topics.

12.Β I am grateful for wanting to resign but deciding not to. What am I gonna do if I resign? Finding a job is not easy and financial strain will be too much. I pray that there will be better days ahead and my mind will cool down. I know I am not calm or well right now. The last 7 months have been very busy and stressful. I prioritized work more than my own personal well being. In addition, I prioritized a part of my job over others. Now it is time to pay attention to other parts. I feel like if I can control the work better, I can control my personal life easier. Maybe I am wrong, maybe I am right. Only the time will show. In the mean time, all I can do is to keep doing my best, be smart, and keep my nerves cool. Wish me luck.

13.Β I am grateful for realizing that I am not well emotionally. I will use this realization as a start point to pamper myself and find solutions to the situation.Β 

14. I am grateful for having this option to vent out here. Facing the adversary and acknowledging it is the first step to solve issues. I believe in it.

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  • I appreciate myself for trying; trying to keep my head above the water and trying to face my feelings
  • I appreciate myself for working, even though that means I work at the weekends and late nights. At least I am functioning and my professional performance is good
  • I appreciate myself for getting tired of working at home, which is productive but also causing some kind of social isolation. Hope to fix this soon
  • I appreciate myself for eating healthy food
  • I appreciate myself for having past experience that helps with identifying issues and their root causes, as well as mechanisms to deal with them

somethings do not change, others just do

Happy new year everyone!

I am in the 10th day of my paid holidays. I have done what I planned to do during this time; did not work or think about it, cleaned and decluttered my home, and interacted with my family always everyday.

One things I have not done is to reflect on 2017,Β  my experiences and having a closure on both the issues and the exciting developments. Each year I have done this, with some success being appreciated, sour points surfacing, and some important lessons learnt alongΒ  the way. When these doors are closed, there open doors for a fresh year ahead. Overall, it is a healthy exercise.

This does not mean that I cannot reflect right here and right now:

I have had an interesting 2017. I worked really hard especially in the last 6 months of the year, mostly from home. It stressed me but also made me create new ideas, projects, and reports. No day was wasted. I can say that I made an extraordinary effort to turn things around at my professional life. Whether they will turn out to be fruitful is to be experienced in 2018. So, there is hope there πŸ™‚

I have become more assertive and said “no” at work a couple of times. I am looking for many such occasions in 2018, which will be an interesting experience to come. Hope I can do this well.

I have not visited my family this year, which was hard on all of us. We have differences and lack of communication when comes to certain feelings, but I am hopeful that we will continue to have more open communications in 2018. After all, there is nothing more important than my family and their well-being. I just wished I could support them better. I feel limited and incapacitated in this regard, bu who knows maybe in the new year I will be able to change things for the better. I am hopeful.

On the personal side, on the general I have done well with my finances and savings. It was a golden year. But I do not wish money to be my most important focus this year. There are people (like my family) and myself that deserve a much better appreciation and care.

I took time off and stayed in a European city for 5 days, mostly spent with working or dealing with the cold I had got at that time. It was interesting to see how I would deal with things under unusual circumstances.Β 

I have had my nerves fried as a result of hard-work and it has been venting out lately. So one other benefit of the holidays time off for me. I just wished it did not affect others around me, especially my family. We are trying to find a common ground on communicating better, which is very pleasing. I love my family.

And I realized how brave I was because since July I am also transitioning to gray hair. I do not like looking “that old“. This is exactly how I feel. Old. Not wise, not aged well, but old. I keep thinking “when did I passage to this age?” Life is fast if we do not stop every once a while and re-evaluate our lives and choices. I have come to this conclusion many times lately. This must be exactly what they mean by the middle age crises. I am right in the middle of it.

These being said, I am aware that a day, December 31st of each year, is not the only day that we can reflect, celebrate, appreciate, change, or improve things as we wish.Β 

Maybe that was the reason I have not particularly reflected this year until now.

Somethings just change by themselves. I welcome this.

Happy new year!

 

1st day of the holidays

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

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 πŸ™‚Β 

Excellent start for holidays πŸ™‚

likes and dislikes

While yesterday I had felt pretty excited about Friday (start of time off from work for 10 days), this morning I woke up feeling kind of sluggish.

I, as usual, went to office, had two meetings and came back home to finish work at around noon, but I got overwhelmed again; there is so much to do – some I want to do, some I must do, and some just appears out of nowhere. My blood tension increased again I guess.

In the last 6 months, this is the second time I have had my blood pressure increasing. Both are stress related. Both stresses are related to work.Β 

I want to feel good.

I am increasingly noticing the things I like and things I do not like. These will be my compass to re-organize my life and work in the coming year.

For example;

  • I dislike doing others’ works
  • I dislike pressuring emails or words
  • I dislike not being appreciated
  • I dislike people not knocking my door before waltzing in my office
  • I dislike people not doing their parts and leaving me on the limbo or with more work
  • I dislike the sacrifices from my time and energy and work I feel like I must do to protect my team members and to move our projects

I must change.

  • I like shopping
  • I like planning for shopping
  • I like saving money from sales or use of loyalty points
  • I like trying new hobbies, such as jamming, pickling, and bread making
  • I like thrift store visits and hunts
  • I like being abundant and able
  • I like walking and feeling energized
  • I like reflecting and progressing
  • I like being in a clean and decluttered environment
  • I like supporting people in need
  • I like looking at my fridge and pantry and realizing how much I have
  • I like reading a decent book
  • I like watching a nice movie
  • I like being excited about daily and little things; whether it is walking, taking the bus, or being resourceful

I will work on limiting what I do not like and enriching my life with what I like in the coming year.

My promise to myself.

 

 

 

three days till Friday and holidays

I have three more days to go and then I will be free for 10 days!!

Freedom is something that I really cherish I guess. Just yesterday I was feeling like if I did not have to go to work today, I would have stayed up late and watch a movie. Three more days and I will have this freedom for 10 days πŸ™‚

I thought I was exhausted last week, but this monday I woke up feeling better and having a clear mind. Things did not look so bad to me, so I am working and keep going. There will be many things that I had planned to finish that will remain undone, but some other stuff are being done. Like today we have finalized a document for a team member – she was joyful, and so was I πŸ™‚Β 

I plan to finish cleaning and declutter my office on Friday, my traditional activity right before the holidays. What a beautiful plan πŸ™‚ I think after this I will go for shopping or visit a thrift store or two. A nice start to the holidays.

All of us deserve to feel light and good about ourselves and the coming opportunities. I hope all of you out there have great plans, positive anticipations, and wonderful smiles on your face.

life priorities

I woke up feeling a little bit lost thinking that my life priorities need to change and I should re-prioritize what are important.

For my entire life, my work was prioritized mostly because I love what I do (mostly).

In the last 3 years or so, I prioritized my personal and financial health over work a little bit after I purchased my home: I was not highly successful in terms of personal health (I had a lower back problem that ended me in the emergency, which still acts time to time; I have not lost the extra weight I am carrying around even though I am 5-10 pounds lighter than 5 years ago; and I have not been consistent about eating a variety of food every week). But I was more consistent with the financial planning, frugal spending/budgeting, and savings.

The last 6 months, I became agitated by the toxic work place and all the pressures. One solution to overcome this feeling was working more (irony, is it not? πŸ™‚ ). So I worked almost non-stop since the beginning of July. I feel tired, stressed, and somehow more accomplished. Sadly, working hard and stress also means eating junk and getting lazy and not walking as much as I would. Also not saving as much as I would.

Stressed Big Bang Theory GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Thus, I realized this morning that sometime setting priorities do not work and we may not be able to keep up with all of them at the same time. It does not mean we cannot try. It just means that realistically it may not be possible and that can be okay.

In other words, I forgave myself for eating junk food! πŸ™‚

Joking.

I forgave myself for changing priorities and not sticking up with the most important one.

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I know that my traditional annual reflection time (aka holidays ) is coming and it is only natural to realize these now that we are close to it.

For 2018 I would like to prioritize my health and well being, work, and family; they go hand-to-hand. Financial plans will be my least of priorities this year. This does not mean that I will not be budgeting and aiming to save; just reminding myself what is important more.

Family cannot be prioritized enough. We as mortals are here for this moment and may not be the next one. What $ and work can replace the people we love? They will be on top of my list.

I enjoy not having a chronic disease, but who knows what will happen next year? Probability of having one increases with each age. Thus, I will care about my eating, exercise, and lower back as much as I can.Β 

And work? I can continue to work but maybe a little bit less intense and more effective. What I need is a way to control my feelings and find a venue to vent them out and clarify my mind. The yoga classes offered close to my home always relaxed me, yet looks like they also exacerbated my lower back problem. Goodness knows, I want to start again to feel that way. I wonder whether there are programs designed specifically for people like me having back problems? One thing to check.

Someone GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

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joy journal – Dec 14, 2017

I have had interesting times lately. I was tired, stressed, and almost exhausted. But then things moved, issues understood, and most importantly I realized my own stamina and the importance of small things in life that attract my attention and give me joy πŸ™‚

1. I am grateful for walking this morning to the office. I missed the bus literally by 30 sec and thought I would just walk. It was windy and chilly, but walking gave me a chance to clear my mind and feel good about life as a whole.

2.Β I am grateful for going thru the meetings without losing my cool and already thinned nerves.

3.Β I am grateful for shopping this evening and purchasing frozen berries πŸ™‚ I will be making marmalade with them. I want to do this this weekend but I want to also wait for the canning kit I ordered so that I an start using the kit and water can the jars. I will see how I feel this weekend.

4.Β I am grateful for walking in the afternoon without difficulty. It feels good to return back to my regular walking routine. It is healthy, free, and quite an accomplishment for a lazy person like myself πŸ™‚

5.Β I am grateful for tomorrow being Friday! Three more meetings to go through and then the weekend will be here πŸ™‚ I plan to slow down next weekend, only finish the ends and bits and welcome the free time after that.

6.Β I am grateful for the fresh produce I bought today. I want to cook a couple of dishes this weekend so that I can eat better in the coming days.

7. I am grateful for the frozen meals I have eaten yesterday and today. I had a beautiful soup yesterday and a bean meal today; I had cooked and frozen them sometime ago. It is such a great pleasure to be able to eat home-made food when I am busy.

8.Β I am grateful for all the socks and clothes that keep my body warm and sound during the cold temperatures.

9.Β I am grateful for having money at the chequing account that enables me to afford what I need.

10. I am grateful for trusting life and take it as it is sometime.

11. I am grateful for liking to try new hobbies, like jamming and canning, and sharing the food with friends and neighbours.

12.Β I am grateful for having the night to myself – no distraction and all peace πŸ™‚

13.Β I am grateful for the internet, my computer, and TV that make my life enjoyable and time passing fast.

14. I am grateful for the three little jars that one of my colleagues gave me. They are cute and cute and cute πŸ™‚ It is one of these little things in life that makes me joyful and excited πŸ™‚

15. I am grateful for being healthy and safe.

16. I m grateful that my family is doing well and they are healthy and safe too.

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate the fact that I am generous with my team members and friends
  2. I appreciate the fact that I decided to prioritize my financial needs this year
  3. I appreciate the fact that I have become more self-sustaining with my new canning interest
  4. I appreciate the fact that I walked today twice
  5. I appreciate the fact that I keep my sanity despite what have happened at the work-place lately; re; pressure of keeping our positions, increasing our work load, and demoralizing atmosphere
  6. I appreciate the fact that I decided to undertake less of others’ work in the coming years and prioritize my own time for my own work

 

 

 

random thoughts

I woke up tired and with a puffy face, but the rest of the day moved on without much of a trouble between four meetings. I am done 4 out of 15 meetings scheduled this week and this feels good πŸ™‚

Meetings are supposed to be beneficial. I always try to get at least one thing that will benefit the rest of the meeting attendees or myself. I have had it today as well. Hence, my consciousness is clear; I have done my best and exercised the regular practice of gaining something out of the meetings. But goodness knows, it would be much better if we did not have meetings for everything. Honestly this year meetings (on the average 13 hours a week and lately even 25 hours a week) got the best of me; I need time to do my work out of meetings as well. I know I am not the only one who thinks this way.

Two things that soothe my nerves are;

1) I decided to not focus on relaxing when I am stressed, and rather decided to focus on being smart. I know I have a hard time relaxing so imposing on myself to relax did not serve me well till now. I am shifting my perception and rather would like to try being smart; behave in a way that will work for everyone and keep the emotions out of things (so that I will not have my occasional bursts during the meetings if I am pressurized – it does not benefit anyone). The plus side is that I do not argue with myself whether I am smart or not. I am smart. So right away I feel like I have the necessary foundation to handle things well. This is quite a progress on my account. Hope I will be able to walk this talk.

2) We are getting close to the off time. From next Friday on, we will have a 10 days off with two days in between being a non-paid vacation time. I plan to work at that time and this is not a issue for me. I often benefit these quiet times at the office. For me, the most important thing is to be away from the pressing issues and my regular work routine. I will be happy to work during these two days. Other than this, you know I am looking forward to the last week of December; I will be shopping, cleaning my home, decluttering massively, and attending socials if the opportunity arises. Add on top of these being away from the work routine and you know that I will have a great time!

Looking forward to sharing my happy and excited experiences during the holidays.Β 

Saturday noon musings

The beautiful day of Saturday has arrived πŸ™‚

I have been to a short trip yesterday for work and it has gone well. I made new connections, made a great presentation, got people interested in what I was to say, and enjoyed a number of meals and long walks in a city that was surrounded by water. Island cities can be really magnificent.

Beach GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I was very tired physically prior to this trip but I returned back replenished. My mind particularly. This change has been great to my fried nerves. Hence, I woke up feeling better and with a shoother mind. Things look a lot positive and lovely now πŸ™‚ The lesson learnt is to take breaks if we can and focus our minds to different things on the face of adversary. I know this very well theoretically; I am a difficult learner, but I hope one day practice will make it perfect πŸ™‚

Practice GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Now I have a lovely day in front of me with no activity scheduled. I need to go shop a little bit, which would mean walking. I have neglected walking lately because of the pressing deadlines, but I will take this opportunity today to re-gain my love for walking. I am kind of reluctant right now, but I know I will find it great once I start, so as soon as I finish this post I will put on my walking shoes, grab my shopping tote, take myself out to street. I am sure the crisp air will make me delighted.

Walking GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Have a great Saturday everyone!

Happy Animation GIF by Chris Timmons - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

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#5 topic for reflection during holidays

I have been thinking; without taking new challenges, growth is stalled. Why do I not look at the problems as challenges and see how I learn and grow?

Taking issues as challenges will be my #5 topic to reflect during the reflection season (aka holiday season).

I have been dealing with a lot of issues all my life, both at work and at my social life. IΒ  yesterday mentioned about “liking my comfort zone” in the last few years. It is somehow related to this.

I have many work-place issues that I constantly try to solve. Little, big does not matter. They are constantly occurring. There are times that I am free of them, which are blessing. Naturally when one appears after such a period of comfortable time period, I react negatively.

I will try to take it easy next time. Next week I have an important meeting that can change things for me. I trust life. As long as I keep my cool, it is gonna be fine. I suspect that I will have to make a hard choice after this meeting, but it is possible that this choice is the better one. I must trust life. I must trust the unknown.

I will then decide with a soother and more rational mind.

#4 topic for reflection during holidays

This has been something I have been keep visiting but never fully committed to:

#4 topic for reflection during the holiday season for me is to take more risks. Being more bold. Doing things differently or doing different things.

I have had a tendency to move around my comfort zone, both at work and at life in the last few years. This past 6 months I somewhat moved into two new fields at work. It has been a bold step that was hard on me (too much stress and too much of a hard work), but it also helped grow me. Being interested in new topics, challenging myself, and then producing things/reports/projects that look really good gives a huge satisfaction. I would like to keep growing this way at work. Who knows; maybe I will even change my work πŸ™‚

As per my life and life-style, I need to apply a similar mind-set. The trouble is that as I age, I find that I need/enjoy more of stability and less of challenges. Social interactions would be one example – I am getting more and more enjoying a solo life and limited social interactions than before. Good? Bad? I do not know. But this might be one area to challenge myself.

Another area may be changing my style. This past weekend I wished I had worn dresses πŸ™‚ Would that not be amazing? With proper leggings/pants, summer or winter I may be able to enjoy this new style. I think it will be just fine together with my new (naturally silvery, pepper and salt hair) πŸ™‚

Goodness knows, maybe I will even go out to musicals or concerts πŸ™‚

#3 topic for reflection during holidays

Being more assertive is my #3 topic to tackle this year during my reflection season, aka, holiday season.

As I age I found that I got more understanding and tolerant. While these are great qualities, they are not always great. Sometimes we must sit back, evaluate, and then say no. Whether it is our own ego’s or somebody else’s request, it does not matter.Β 

This past year particularly I have had a number of experiences with my colleagues and work-place management where I was literally taken advantage of and burdened with extra work and ridiculous requests. Since winter I have been distancing myself from such a colleague and I still need to handle another one. Also, for some time now I have been asking questions and not saying yes to everything my management asks me to do. Hear me my fellow bloggers and do not sign anything before you absolutely sure to understand. There is so much sneaky management tricks that may fool you, especially if you are like me and tend to trust. Consult your union, knowledgeable people around you, or a lawyer. This is real.

So I have had some progress in this area and I know that I will keep going until all becomes manageable. There is more to be learnt and I am looking forward to it.

 

#1 topic for reflection during holidays

I need to protect my time better at the office and let others do their work. Not me. I repeat, I should not be doing others work.

Period.

Since last July I have done well preserving my energy to mostly my own work. That costed me my 5 weeks of annual leave being spent at home working hard to do my own work. What a ridiculous situation… I still do not know whether I should be laughing or crying over this.

On the positive side, however, it is good that I have realized this and prioritized my work and performance over other colleagues’.

During the holidays you know I like to reflect to improve things in my life. This will be area #1 to further improve.

More to come.

three weeks to holidays

Three weeks to holidays when we have 10 days off.

Every year I would be very excited about this. Except this year I have not come to that point yet.

See, I have been working non-stop since July and it kind of became a daily habit. Today I have submitted an important report, a third one in the last 6 months (which is very productive). I must be excited and relieved, but not yet, I see. I think it is because I have a short trip to make this week for business and I have some more deadlines/tasks to complete in the next few weeks. I should not be complaining that I am still on the “work” gear – it is very useful for me and my work. I just wished my mind was rather focused on the 10 days of off time, start making plans, and get excited about them πŸ™‚

I kind of think that two weeks later I will start slowing down. This would mean wrapping the little works, making and documenting projects for the new year ahead, and finally cleaning the office for once and best. this would mean dusting it, putting aside all the paperwork, or better yet dumping all in the garbage. It is my favorite thing to do at the office! What a great closure to a year of hard-work πŸ™‚

And as per the off time, my plans are more or less the usual; clean the every bit of the house, especially the floors; declutter nice and easy; donate the unwanted/unneeded items; shop and get stuff that I need, socialize with friends; read a book or two (have not done this for some time – it is the time that I get the pleasure of reading again); thrift; sew a piece or two; and reflect.

I have lots to reflect this year. As per work many things happened, first demoralizing/toxic organizational things and then the hard-work I have been doing since July. I have had three trips this fall (including the short trip I will make this week) and the one in Athens was particularly memorable. Also, I am getting used to my gray hair and do not even care about it anymore (what a strange thing that is….).

After celebrating and noting cherishable memories and experiences, it will come to this : “What do I want to change or improve then?”

We shall see πŸ™‚

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joy journal – Nov 30, 2017

1. I am grateful for pampering myself in this long and tiring period of hard-work. I eat food my body craves for, I keep myself warm and cozy, and I make my daily life as comfortable as possible.

2. I am grateful for the snow we have had today! The first real snow of the year, which is always delightful to watch. The slow fall of the flakes, the white sky, trees, and roofs, and the need to drink a cup of hot tea. Magnificent! (remind me these in three months when I will be completely fed up with it πŸ™‚ )

3. I am grateful for two productive meetings today. One of them motivated a team member of mine and the other myself. I had asked for a favor from a colleague of mine and she did it during this meeting.Β  I feel awesome πŸ™‚ She was great really.

4. I am grateful for receiving the garbage collection schedule for the new year in the mail. It will help me remember to leave my garbage and recycle bag out on exact dates.

5. I am grateful for the new cardigan I got from the thrift store this weekend! It is a lovely piece, very soft and cozy, and keeps me warm. Come to think about it, this past year I almost renewed half of my wardrobe by purchases from thrift stores. They did not cost me a lot of money, they were fun to look for, and a delight to use. I feel lucky πŸ™‚

6. I am grateful for working at home and finishing up a report. It is due Monday and I think I have done really well. I had decided to draft it just 4 weeks ago, immediately after another big report. I was tired and exhausted then, but was also motivated to start this one because of its benefits. I have got quite a support from my colleagues and superiors who have seen its draft form. These make the time and energy spent on this report just fine πŸ™‚

7. I am grateful for my elbow feeling better thanks to physiotherapy. I never thought that it would be so beneficial considering that I waited like 5 months after the initial injury. Human body is a miracle and medicine is awesome πŸ™‚

8. I am grateful for tomorrow being Friday! I have only one meeting in the morning and the rest of the day I am free to finish small tasks and maybe go visit a thrift store. After all, I feel like I have deserved this break and the excitement to see all bunch of diverse items and clothes. Have you ever thought why we can find more diversity in thrift stores than regular retail stores? Very interesting.

9. I am grateful for being interested in life and work, although the latter has been getting on my nerves a lot lately. While the work place has been toxic, I found an opportunity to engulf myself in productive work rather than resentment. This feels like a good luck to me.

10. I am grateful for my computer, internet connection, and everything else I have that make my life comfortable and enjoyable.

11. I am grateful for being grateful.

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Things that I appreciate myself for today:

  1. I appreciate myself for working hard and seeing the benefits of it, even though my nerves seem to be on the edge
  2. I appreciate myself for keeping a simple and abundant life
  3. I appreciate myself for saving and investing for my future
  4. I appreciate myself for stretching
  5. I appreciate myself for liking and getting excited about little things in life

 

 

Sunday night musings

Lots of great things happened this weekend πŸ™‚

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

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

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 πŸ™‚ ). I also bought two good-looking cardigans that i am sure I will wear with love. A very good day indeed πŸ™‚ 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? πŸ™‚

Fifth of all; I found a great deal on my favorite french press and ordered it πŸ™‚ It is expected within a week or so and I could not be happier πŸ™‚ 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!! πŸ™‚

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! πŸ™‚

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

I could not ask for a better weekend!

Have a great Sunday night everyone πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

“me” time; what? It is sacrificed for work tonite

Β I just finished up working…

My day started at around 8 am.

I missed the first bus and waited for the next while also reading a document at the bus stop. My first ever work at a bus stop!!!

Then I attended a long meeting. It at least had food and continuous stream of coffee, so that I could wake up after an hour or so. The meeting had many speakers and was interesting, but eventually I could not take it anymore and left early. I am not sorry!

I came directly home and worked, worked, and worked until this minute. When there are too many things to do all at the same time, when I cannot finish things at a time that I aimed for, and when time-crunches on me, I just feel inadequate. This feeling does not help. Luckily I have learned to ask myself what I was feeling and why. This exercise helped identify the cause of the stress I have had. I calmed down by reminding myself that this was not the first time I have found myself in such a situation.Β 

Eventually, I decided that I could do this even though it would mean that I would have to work till midnight and sacrifice “me” time. My other alternative would be to have “me” time tonite, which would mean I could find myself in the same situation tomorrow. And the next day to come. And so on…. The right choice was clear.

It was an epic struggle but I am happy to say that eventually I have done it.

Now I am gonna eat something.

Good night everyone – may you never have to sacrifice your “me” time..

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in preparation for the long weekend

We have a long weekend coming up – The Remembrance Day in Canada. We remember once again all the armed forces that died while protecting us. May they all rest in peace. What a sacrifice..

Hence the next Monday is a holiday. This is the last one before the holidays. Needless to say I am excited about it. Here are my plans:

  1. Make orange jam! Yes, my first trial of this type and second trial of jam πŸ™‚ Exciting!
  2. Work. I will take this opportunity to do some more work, now that I have a great acceleration. Things are moving and I feel fantastic about how creative I am nowadays. Very much appreciated.
  3. Sew something? I have not been able to find time to sew anything lately. Even jam covers would be nice – let me try that πŸ™‚
  4. Thrift store visit. I want to do that so hard πŸ™‚ Time to renew my wardrobe a little bit and purchase clothes that are more active-style like. I figured with my new short hair (which seems to make me look young) and the gray hair growing fast (which reminds me constantly that I am not young anymore), I find that an active style makes me feel better about myself.Β 

 

joy journal – November 7, 2017

1. I am grateful for prioritizing my time and working effectively today. That is why I am not sorry for taking the cab from and to my home and making some additional extra expenses to keep myself pampered and time-efficient today.

2. I am grateful for my friends telling me how much they have liked the fig jam I made this past Sunday! It is always a delight to see friends appreciate my food – as a person who does not enjoy cooking this is a great feeling indeed. There is something great about sharing food, too.

3. I am grateful for getting a compliment on my hair today πŸ™‚ Did I mention that I have had a hair cut and now my gray hair is more visible? I was very sad to see them at first but over time I grew to love my hair and the new style. I do not know whether in the future I will have the same feelings, but at least so far, I have not reverted back to dying my hair, which is a significant success!

4. I am grateful for the wild rice soup I have made and consumed today. It is a delicious and completely improvised recipe. I am proud of myself and cannot wait to serve it to my guests.

5. I am grateful for the beet pickles I made last week. They are tasty and give me an opportunity to snack on them, rather than eating bread or other carbs.

6. I am grateful for my kefir grains. They keep providing me kefir and cheese. I am now drying a bunch of them for later use. I hope I will be able to revive them later so that I can always have these magnificent organisms and kefir in my life πŸ™‚

7. I am grateful for doing my physiotherapy exercises to help my elbow heal. It has been since May that I have had the problem. It is sad to see my body needing therapy like this, but hey, considering my age I guess this kind of things are just normal. Nevertheless, I must care for my body and keep it in good and strong shape. Goodness help me! πŸ™‚

8. I am grateful for the flowers in my yard sill striving and flowering. The weather was so nice this year that I am not surprised that they still are alive. I am collecting their seeds with the hope that I can have more of this plant next year.

9. I am grateful for all the food in my fridge, freezer, and pantry. I think I will not need a big grocery haul this week. Time to consume what already have πŸ™‚

10. I am grateful for watching movies and listening to music. They are distracting me when I need most and relaxing me when I cannot take stress anymore πŸ™‚

11. I am grateful for working really hard nowadays. I started a new project last week, which has moved really well in the last two days. I surprised myself with my performance today and I am glad that work is moving well. I do not know whether they will find interest and get approved for us to do them, but designing and writing them are the best thing I can do. The rest will be at the hands of life. Let’s hope for the best outcome πŸ™‚

12. I am grateful for the flexible working hours that allow me to come home and continue to work without distraction.

13. I am grateful for having no disastrous events in my life nowadays. I live in a safe and comfortable city that makes my life easy and peaceful.

14. I am grateful for sleeping well last night. Nowadays my sleep pattern is healthier than last few weeks when I used to sleep for only a couple of hours.

15. I am grateful for this weekend being a long weekend! My plan is to use the extra time to complete some work and also try orange jam! Yes, you have heard right – I want to try another jam, this time something that is my favorite. I may share it with friends should it turn out to be a nice one.

16. I m grateful for being grateful and taking my time to write these.

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Things that I appreciate about myself today:

  1. I appreciate the fact that I keep working and trying
  2. I appreciate the fact that I do not completely strain myself and relax some tight plans, such as my budget, in order to function better
  3. I appreciate the fact that I have lots of great food at my home
  4. I appreciate the fact that I find excitement and interest in small things, like pickling and jamming
  5. i appreciate the fact that I do a great job

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday morning musings

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

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

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

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

Swedish Chef Cooking GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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

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an appreciation of the last 4 months

I made the final deadline of an important task yesterday and as of yesterday I am thinking “what a fantastic 4 months I have had” πŸ™‚

It was hard, stressful, and full of personal and professional struggle, but I made it! Now, all I can reflect on it how beneficial and useful all these were.

let’s start with the beginning; we have had a fantastic summer and I walked during the day in the nature. It was very enjoyable and relaxing. I kept thinking how bright the future would be.

I made a job application out of frustration re; my work place; even though I have not heard from them, it was nice to see what I was up to. A personal and professional development opportunity indeed.

Then I took my vacation time (4 weeks ) to work at home and to get away from the meetings. I have done an enormous number of things during this summer and fall, which is such a great thing. I am very satisfied with my performance, even though I have no idea how the outcome will be. I trust life.

I made two over-seas trips (business trips) and have had interesting experiences. I was so focused on working that I missed many opportunities to enjoy my life, but now I just laugh at my naive-ness πŸ™‚

I have dealt with serious and difficult tasks, one particularly very challenging. It dragged me down, made me suspect my abilities and made me lose precious time. But I made it, however imperfect it was. And I learnt about myself a long the way; I learnt that I do not quit when it is important for me. Something that I respect myself for. This experience also made me realize that I pull through difficult times, no matter what, and I can do this again!

In between all of these, I also decided to transition to gray hair, and boy, have I got the most challenging time! I hated my hair, felt old and lost, but kept going anyways. I am more brave than I think I was. What better feeling than this?

I have learnt that I can take risks and not be scared of them or failing. I learnt that I am stronger than I think I was and this feels great.

I have had a wonderful 4 months and now that it passed, I can reflect and realize.

I love this opportunity to learn about myself, changing as a person and as a professional, and undertaking more serious tasks and experiences.

Life is good my friends πŸ™‚

 

 

random thoughts

It was a strange day for me.

I went to work, got my usual 3-cups of coffee, and realized that my mind was not focused on work at all. So I decided to walk to a nearby shopping centre. I bought some much needed items that were on sale, bought myself a nice latte (with pumpkin spice; yummy) and two toasted bagels as breakfast, checked out two thrift stores nearby, and bought a lovely cardigan from one of them. I then had my hair cut somewhere on the way back to the office. I have short hair now and my gray hair is so easy to see. I think I am getting used to it more than I would like to admit. I do not like getting old and I will write about this later, but I think I actually am getting used to gray… Strange…..

Anyways, I had not realized that I had spent so much time out today – when I returned back to office, it was 4 pm already πŸ™‚ I worked a little and walked back home.

It has been sometime that I lost myself like this, fully focusing on shopping or going around the stores, without thinking work too much…

What a beautiful experience.

 

Sunday morning musings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Have a great Sunday everyone!

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back to my frugal self this week

Seems like I have had enough of the over-spending spree that has been happening since July.

Except one, all my deadlines are met, a large volume of work is done, and I completed two over-seas business trips.Β My stress levels are low (knock on the wood) and I am feeling like having a simple and frugal/resourceful life is easy now πŸ™‚

Accordingly, this week my spending was way below my weekly allowance. A first in the last 3 months….. I am proud and very excited about this πŸ™‚

Cannot wait to feel the joy coming out of frugal life and collecting all the savings that I will use for my advantage, such as having mortgage pre-payments πŸ™‚

 

less is more…

I have come across a horoscope on the internet today. I do not believe in horoscope or estimating future. So my relationship with horoscopes is quite rejecting. But I could not help but read this one, which ended with the phrase “less is more“.

It is talking about not only physical but also mental clutter. I am good at keeping my home minimally cluttered. But, how about my mental clutter?

I am guilty of mental clutter that often drags me down.

I tried many times in the past to effectively block this mental negativity. Exercise is good, reading an exciting book is good, making plans is good, working is good.

I work big time, especially nowadays, but it is actually a resource for the mental clutter. So what do I do?

While quitting my job crosses my mind, logically I do not want to do this. I have commitments for the next 3 years, so it is out of question. Plus, I have no better alternative right now, so it is not a feasible option.

Then, what is my solution?

I do not know but a break and de-stressing would be awesome. Timing could not be better – I am going away for a couple of days for a business trip. This will give me much needed break from office. But it will not be a permanent solution – as soon as I returned back, I will find myself in the same stressful and on-the-edge situation.Β 

Removing negative people from my life would be a good option to tackle. I have a friend and colleague who is quite negative and constantly complaining about the work and other colleagues. As a good friend and senior colleague, I listen. I have been listening to for years now, and I cannot take it anymore. Time to keep my distance….

Setting a time aside to meditate each day would be an amazing thing to do. If done properly, this “doing nothing” state always made me feel better and more optimistic.

And being grateful for my job. Just yesterday I realized that I had missed to be grateful for my job….. There are so many things to be grateful for it. I make a living thanks to my job. I am a part of a big organization and train young professionals thanks to it. I have benefits and vacation time thanks to it. I save and invest for my future thanks to it. I have a place in my community thanks to it.Β 

There are countless things to be grateful for my job.

I think remembering these will help make this difficult times turn around.

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joy journal – Oct 1, 2017

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and waking up in relatively good mood. I am feeling better today, with no obvious negative thoughts or stress. Lovely πŸ™‚

2.Β I am grateful for my coffee πŸ™‚ This drink is a great start to day, waking me up and giving me an instant satisfaction and pleasure. It is great that we have means to prepare coffee anytime anywhere at an affordable price.

3.Β I am grateful for cooking chick peas πŸ™‚ I had put around a pound of peas in water yesterday. I was not expecting them to cook in 30 min πŸ™‚ My mom was right – if you simmer them after they start to boil, it helps them to cook faster. Counter-intuitive, is it not? But give it a try. I am sure you will be surprised as much as I was πŸ™‚

4.Β I am grateful for baking two great sourdough loaves today. I feel abundant and joyful.Β 

5.Β I am grateful for working at home, nice and easy. I could not as much as I wanted to do, but I have done good. This takes some of the stress away from me.

6.Β I am grateful for not chickening about a document I am reviewing. It is a kind of critical document that requires my full attention. I cannot make a mistake, or ignore a detail. It has been going well, knowing that I am doing my best and it is pretty good. My experience with this document helped me to develop some kind of confidence in my ability to handle critical assignments. There happened in me some kind of acceptance that it was difficult, can have significant negative consequence should I not do a comprehensive and thorough review, but it was what it was. An opportunity to grow.

7.Β I am grateful for the kefir cheese I made from kefir yesterday and today. It is healthy and tasty. Both my sourdough bread and kefir cheese seem to be resistant to microbial growth, which is quite pleasing.

8.Β I am grateful for my internet connection and computer that make my life easier and fuller.

9.Β I am grateful for getting used to silvery tone of my hair. Right now I do not feel like I am old. Who knows what I will feel tomorrow, but I will take this positive thought right now.

10.Β I am grateful for the safe home and neighbourhood. It is quite and peaceful. The only noise I can hear is from my internet and keyboard.

11.Β I am grateful for having the night to myself.

12.Β I am grateful for speaking with my family today. They are always nice and supportive.

13.Β I am grateful for feeling courageous today. I needed this feeling.

14.Β I am grateful for the gray weather that helped me to stay at home and work.

15.Β I am grateful for making beet pickles yesterday πŸ™‚ I thought they would take a lot of time, but I was wrong. This is my second or third time making them. I noted the ingredients and their measurements (that my mom told me) to help me in the future.

16.Β I am grateful for my notebooks, pens, and paper that make me write on. Writing always relaxed me. Like this moment, even though it is an electronic text.

17. I am grateful for all the food I have in my fridge and pantry.

18.Β I am grateful for having no pain today.

19. I am grateful for being grateful and taking my time to note these here.

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Things that I appreciate about myself:

  1. I appreciate the fact that I keep going, no matter what
  2. I appreciate the fact that I am not scared of difficult tasks
  3. I appreciate the fact that I keep a quiet life
  4. I appreciate the fact that I keep my contact with my family
  5. I appreciate the fact that I cook simple but healthy food the majority of the time
  6. I appreciate the fact that I enjoy the scenery of my yard
  7. I appreciate the fact that I make an attempt to keep my home clean
  8. I appreciate the fact that I always take at least 2 hours per day to chill down and relax
  9. I appreciate the fact that I am a good friend and ready to help my friends
  10. I appreciate the fact that I have been kind to myself nowadays
  11. I appreciate the fact that I floss and enjoy it!

 

 

 

 

trusting life during hardship

Our work place continues to be toxic and putting lots of pressure on us. One of my colleagues and I were having a conversation today and we both are fed up.

I cling because I have no interest in losing what I have built in the last decade here. I also do not wish to lose my financial stability and benefits. Honestly looking for a job does not sound so exciting, either. While I still think about resignation time to time, I silence myself and keep going.

I know that this is a very challenging time. The last one year has been quite stressful and pressing. The last three months I have been working too hard. I have lost my daily routine, budget, and healthy life-style and scummed into high levels of stress, junk food, and financial waste. I am not pleased with this, but at least a part of the work is going well.

This is not the first challenging time of my life. Before I found this job, for two years I had lived in financial limbo, not knowing what to do. I had jobs but they were just enough to keep going, without making me happy or excited. Then I have got this job, which is decent but comes with lots of hardship. These previous times I was like right now, not knowing what the future would bring and how I could find a solution… It hurt, but eventually these times were followed by my current job, which solved at least the financial part of my problems.

Tonite I am kind of thinking that perhaps the current difficult time is a transition to a much better time…. The future can actually be an adventure….. It can be a much better job, a change of location, and finding what I had longed for but forgotten or failed to attain in life.

Why not?

Yes,Β I have a kind of optimism that I hope will last πŸ™‚

I believe that these difficult times will lead to a brighter future, and I am being excited about what the future may bring πŸ™‚

For a usually skeptical and pessimistic person I welcome this change in my perception.

I think I just trust life now.

πŸ™‚

my perfect life

Working very hard, feeling agitated and dealing with negative emotions related to mostly work, I feel more and more the need of sitting down and reflecting.

I have some inner work to do, which I have been neglecting, because almost all of my energy and time has been spared for work in the last three months. There are many warning sings, like being on the edge, having high blood pressure time to time, and lack of patience generally. I must stop and reflect.

This morning while trying to win the mental judo in my mind, I asked myself what would be my “perfect” life?

I know there is no such thing.

But I also know that I can always strive for a better life and more inner peace.

To reach that level, I must change the level of attention I pay to issues and peoples’ behaviors (that bother me). I must bring myself to my core, the loving life force, and open my eyes and mind to the bigger picture called life. I must set aside a time to just breathe and connect.

Even the idea of “setting time aside” puts me off.. When did we become so busy that we cannot even assign a few minutes a day to our own natural needs and abilities? When did centering our mind around life as it is become something unattainable? When did we become so full of work but lack of life? Why are we so competitive? What are we afraid of?

Sometimes I want to move to a deserted but safe place, like an island in central America, cut out all communications with outside world, and “lose myself” with just doing nothing. No phone or internet talk, no work or social obligation, no project to start, execute, or finish, no place to visit or explore. Just sit, gaze at the sky, and let my mind find itself.

Saturday morning musings

Listening to a piano piece, and drinking and enjoying my coffee on this quiet and sunny Saturday morning. What else would I need to feel grateful for this morning?

 

This is a day full of house chores, shopping, and interactions with family and friends. excpet the first one, you know, all is exciting πŸ™‚

I am not sure why I do not enjoy house chores. But I kept thinking that I may not be the only one feeling this way. Shout out in the comments area if you are like me.

There is a beautiful , serene feeling coming after the house is cleaned and tidied a bit. It is brighter, more peaceful, and certainly more enjoyable. While I do start house chores out of necessity (one of my almost consistent house rules is to clean the house on Saturday mornings), but the positive feelings I experience after I see it cleaned, organized, and decluttered for the week is amazing πŸ™‚

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As per shopping, I must visit a number of stores today. I plan to get some paint to help finish re-staining my porch, some dried food from a retailer, and yogurt from another nearby store. Thankfully all stores are close to each other and there is a bus stop close by. I am so grateful for the public transportation system that enables people like me to go around their lives easily and affordably. Many people assume that a professional like me would have a car. It is always interesting to see their reactions when I said this was not the case πŸ™‚ I wonder how many of them see is as a limitation on my abilities or choices, rather than a good choice economically and practically….

That reminds me another memory where one of my colleagues was surprised that I had bought a house only after 5 years of moving here. He said he bought his house within two weeks after moving here. I had to tell him that I did not have a down payment at that time. While that was absolutely true, I did not mention that my main reason was that I was not interested in purchasing a house. I have never been and now I am a house owner (ahem…)…. I am still feeling a little bit sour about this; re; feeling the pressure to make an explanation……People can be very judgmental when comes to others. The same colleague was quite judgmental about our work yesterday, not knowing the importance and meticulous nature of it. That pisses me off.

Why do we speak up our minds and evaluate others’ situations without giving a thought on it first? There are so much to learn if we do reflect and think about possible reasons for choices made by others. If not, listening to others can help expand your thinking capabilities. Let’s reflect on this for a moment. I certainly do. I am not excellent about it either, but at least I constantly remind myself and get humble about things. That is one Β more thing to be grateful for today.

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I am also grateful for my family, who were always there for me and mostly supportive. They did not get my circumstances and thus are not able to understand the reasons behind some of my choices, either, but at least they are trying after. This is priceless.

Go hug a family member today πŸ™‚

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reflections

Today I have not worked like crazy as I have done in the past 3 months. I rather took my time to reflect and I needed it. This was mostly motivated by the fact that yesterday I almost collapsed emotionally. My nerves are fried and I needed a break to go back to a healthy level of exhaustion (if there is anything like this ever) and feel good (because I deserve it, like anyone else).

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Life is bigger than what we experience and in order to expand our experiences, we must stop this wheel of routine and un-focus for a while, and look beyond where we are. It is exciting and refreshing. I am glad I have found a chance to do so today.

One thing I keep notice in such times is that I actually do better than I think. For instance, in the last 3 months I have re-arranged the furniture in my living room and kitchen, and they both look lovely and more functional. It was hard to move everything by myself, but I made it and the end results are excellent πŸ™‚

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I also made quite a progress in my yard. I digged the high part of the yard and placed the digged soil on the lower parts. I have four stalks of mint that are flourishing in the yard. I have planted seeds and grew beautiful flowers. New flowers and plants appeared in my yard this year, which are a delight to look at. I filled the sides of my yard with soil in the last two days (commercial soil) and now I have a wider-looking yard and the side sections are ready to be planted next year. It was tiring and challenging to carry those soil bags (30 liters each) from store to home, but I made it. I planted potato, garlic, and onion and all flourished and yielded (I have collected around 1 kg of potato; can you imagine my joy?)? I planted 35 cloves of garlic last week for harvesting next year and mulched over with dried leaves to protect them from frost during the winter. My neighbours renewed their part of the fence with fence similar to mine, and as such the yard looks really good now. Also the next door neighbours painted the exterior of their house and it looks beautiful. I have been lucky to have had all of these improvements this year πŸ™‚

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As per work, I have done really good, even though it was stressful. At least my efforts produced results, which is extremely satisfying.

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I have points to improve still, but I am not worried about them. Only because I know I am capable of doing them, too. One recurring issue is eating better and a variety of food. I am making an effort again nowadays. we will see how this will work out. I must reduce or eliminate my extra expenses that are made only to feel good in such a stressful time of my life, but I am slowly getting there. I must also regularly do my lower back exercises to keep it healthy. A manageable list of aims that I am sure I can do. It is just a matter of time.

Today I have taken steps to improve in these areas. I ate veggies and fruits at the office; I took the bus rather than cab; I made an appointment with my physiotherapist to help me get on track with my lower back. I ate junk food in the evening, but I am assuming this too will be gone sometime. I accepted the fact that sometimes change occurs over time, rather than when I want it. Acceptance brings serenity. Nevertheless, I must keep trying and making these changes occur.

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graceful acceptance of failure and mistakes

I have had a comment from an experienced colleague of mine about a work I have done which also included his involvement. Looks like I have missed some critical information in my report, which he drew my attention to.

I fully agree with him that these information should have been there. So in contrast to my regular self who would become defensive, I realized he was right, and thanks to him the work would be better presented now to others. I gracefully acknowledged this.

I was surprised with my reaction, but I am equally pleased with it. Admitting a negligence and mistake is a good thing; I like it when I see it in others. Today was my turn.

I must say this is a great experience for me. I had had another meeting on Friday, which had some heated arguments. I am not afraid of arguments, but creating a negative air around myself and the room. I realized that with today’s experience I would have managed the Friday’s meeting better. It is too late for it, but next time I will be better.

This experience tells me that there is always a possibility and opportunity for spontaneous growth and one can fail but can also accept it gracefully. I like this newfound wisdom.

where is my resilience?

I feel on the edge the majority of the time. My nerves are firing and sometime for the little things. It is time that I take a break.

I have another 3 weeks of speedy work schedule after which I will have another business related trip followed by a couple of days for rest in Europe. I am really looking forward to this break. When I return I have another month to go with stress and high work volume, but I am assuming that the break will help heal my nerves. I keep telling myself I must find a way to manage my stress. The best way, in my experience, is cardio exercise, aka martial arts. At my age?? I am hesitant…

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My other alternative is to sooth my nerves with junk food.

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What is it gonna be?

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joy journal – September 11 2017

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and waking up early. I was at the office before 8 and it was a productive time of the day.

2. I am grateful for having the money to take the cab in such a heavily raining day. I may not like wasting money but today it was well needed.Β 

3. I am grateful for working fine and being satisfied with it. It is great to appreciate my own efforts.

4. I am grateful for doing the right things. I am known with my meticulous nature and always striving for doing the right thing. Many people may not find it pleasant but it is very important. That reminds me one of my previous mentors who was especially not happy about it. It is strange how different people have different work ethics. I thank myself for always trying to do the right thing in the right manner.

5. I am grateful for having laughter while watching a comedy movie πŸ™‚

6. I am grateful for having a strong house that endures all the harsh winter and now the heavy rain. I appreciate this so much.

7. I am grateful for having a nice and positive conversation with the cab driver this afternoon. He was very positive and it was infectious – I felt lucky to have exposure to his positivity πŸ™‚

8. I am grateful for resting in the evening and feeling energized and well.

9. I am grateful for eating a nice potato salad with lots of great raw veggies – very healthy and yummy πŸ™‚

10. I am grateful for making a mortgage pre-payment this evening πŸ™‚

11. I am grateful for the cool temperature at home; last week it was very humid but in the last few days it is plain cool and it is the most magnificent temperature ever πŸ™‚Β 

12. I am grateful for realizing that I have had an extra week of work before a significant deadline! I was a week ahead of real time! This illusion has happened once again a couple of weeks ago. When I realize that I have more time than I thought I have had is an amazing relief. I do not know why I am feeling a week ahead of time.. I think it is because I am stressed and hyper because of the work-load.Β 

13. I am grateful for developing as a professional. I have been challenged quite a bit by some bossy and manipulating colleagues lately. It is a sensitive balance to keep a good work relationship and being assertive at the same time. I swallowed things a few times and I was assertive a couple of times. But the journey has not ended yet. The future possibility of dealing with such situations stresses me, but I try to talk myself out of this. “Learning and developing, and I will know better to handle such situations in the future“. Thus is what I keep telling myself. Experience… It is an hurtful experience but will help with next ones, right? They always do.

14. I am grateful for being healthy and energetic.Β 

15. I am grateful for the night being peaceful and lovely. Nights have always pacified me – what is it about them, I wonder? Is it the darkness? Lack of the daily rush? Tiredness? Closure of the day? Silence?

16. I am grateful for my computer, internet access, and TV/cable that make my life easy and entertaining.

17. I am grateful for my new trousers that fit me well and keep me warm. they are more suitable for winter but they look so good that I am happy to wear them.

18. I am grateful for yogurt. It is one of my most favorite foods. I eat too much though; sometimes around 750 ml per day… Too much of nothing can be good, so I would like to take a break from it for some time.

19. I am grateful for my moisturizers that keep my hands and face moist and healthy.

20. I am grateful for my floss! I love flossing. The trick is to have the most suitable floss for your needs. I use a three-liner that works wonders for me.Β 

21. I am grateful for my perfume. I do not wear it often, but yesterday I wanted to and it was a delight.

22. I am grateful for realizing, after all the stress and issues with collaborators, that inner peace is an important thing. It may have been stretched a bit nowadays but it will heal and be fine once this is over. I wonder why I cannot take things easy and be relax at the face of this kind of adversities. I need to focus more on seeing the big picture and caring for my inner self. This journal entry is serving just this purpose.

23. I am grateful for my flexible work hours that allow me to work at home when I need it.

24. I am grateful for needing this journal, remembering things, events, people, and experiences to be grateful for, and making a conscious attempt to feel good about myself and my life.

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Added after the post:

I forgot – as of Jan 2017, I aim to note at least 3 things that I appreciate about myself.

Here is today’s list:

  • I appreciate myself for resisting the bad and negative
  • I appreciate myself for working hard
  • I appreciate myself for eating better today
  • I appreciate myself for being healthy
  • I appreciate myself for taking time to rest
  • I appreciate myself for contemplating and learning about myself and others
  • I appreciate myself for soothing myself by self-care
  • I appreciate myself for taking steps and starting/continuing with the plans that are important for me
  • I appreciate myself for loving the nature
  • I appreciate myself for enjoying the sound of rain
  • I appreciate myself for finding joy in writing and reading this journal

 

 

 

 

 

what would I do when I retire?

I want to retire in 8-11 years only to get rid of the stress and ridiculous issues that I deal with everyday at the office.

A few minutes ago I thought about this: what would be my retired life like?

It would be free of work related things, I would have some kind of financial stability/security, but then how would I fill my life? What would it be like?

This is an unknown situation. As someone living alone, I probably would need some human interactions. I think I would have a part-time job. That would also give me some pocket money. I can switch jobs easily too if I do not like the environment. That is a relief.

What else?

I think I would travel a little bit with tours. I have no interest in going around the world by myself at that age. Too much stress. Tours, on the other hand, would make this experience easier. I would love to go see the South America and Europe.

What else?

Would I write a novel? Poems? Where would I publish them? Would they be good? If not, why to write at all?

What would I do really??

Would I be free of stress? I think not, but at least I would not have the stress of work. I think I would be stressed about other things.

My health for one. I would probably stressed about health problems. Right now I am free of chronic diseases, but heck, anytime something may show up. So..

Life does not wait and time flies. I think I should stop thinking about retirement and rather focus on how to have a better and more fulfilling life.

What would make me more joyful and fulfilled now, I wonder?

Spending good time with my family. Having laughter. Feeling energized and hopeful for the future. Being more in the moment. Caring less about work and more about my life experiences. Being more positive. Seeing opportunities more. Taking opportunities more. Changing things that do not work. Removing toxic experiences and people from my life. Caring less about money and having less anxiety about future financial well-being. Being more spontaneous. Joking with life. Dancing with life.

Do I want too much?

 

 

what a wonderful trip I have had to Rome :)

I have been back from my short trip to Rome and what a beautiful trip it has been! πŸ™‚

I have had a great time away from work and office, and all the ridiculous problems I have been dealing with at work lately. It was a business trip and as such I have had work related activities, but they were rather joyful and successful encounters, and as such I feel good about myself and my work again. This was much needed πŸ™‚

The transatlantic trips are long and inevitably make me tired, but they are so good for my mind. A fresh look at life as it develops right in front of me is a great experience. I tried new things this time and instead of taking the cab, I mostly took the shuttles and bus. It takes more time, but is certainly a great meditative activity – you gotta find out how to get to somewhere and how to get the tickets etc. A great activity that forces you to be in the moment. This is an amazing relief for the mind. And seeing once again that I was capable of overcoming hurdles in a country language of which you do not know (thanks to its residents who know some English) is a boost for my confidence πŸ™‚ And all the money I saved for my organization by not taking the cab is anther plus! I am pleased with myself. A lot.

I gotta go around the city (Rome) the first day and I found myself really relaxing. It is so beautiful with its history and art. I wish I could retire there πŸ™‚ Dreams are powerful and I realized that I have attained some of my dreams of young age; I am in a profession that I loved so much, obtained good credentials and positions, and I am living in Canada, one of the best countries in the world now. Realizing these during my trip gave me some kind of satisfaction that I cherish even today.

Italian food is not my favorite (i.e. pasta, pizza), but I managed to have wonderful lamb and vegetable dishes. I am grateful for making good choices in food and eating all the fresh produce. I ate peaches, my friends! Where I am, it is almost impossible to find – how lucky I have been πŸ™‚

I am back to work and I feel energized. I have a busy 2 months in front of me that will require lots of attention, focus, and hard-work, but I think I will be fine.

Viva Italia! πŸ™‚

 

Wednesday morning musings

I got up very early this morning, partly because it was cold. I am glad I have done this, though, considering how peaceful, stress-free, and enjoyable the morning is.

I have been feeling quite well since yesterday evening; a big work is almost done and it feels good.

I have been on and off on work staycation in the last 6 weeks. It has been stressful to do all the work that dragged me down during this time and I was hurt along the way and exhausted, but now things are getting and looking better.

I still have lots of stuff to do but I have a list that shows which works are done in the last 6 weeks and I am glad that I went thru this time; lots of work is done! In my profession 6 weeks is a short time, and all the things I have done are great things. It was a great decision to do this this year. I am very satisfied with my decision and performance.

At what cost, you may ask? And you are right, stress and exhaustion are not worth it within the big picture of life. But I know if I had not done what I had done, things would have been worse for me and I would be looking for a much longer period of agonizing time to finish everything. Finding this positivity and being satisfied with everything are priceless. And feeling well is above all of these; I am very grateful.

This week is the last time that I am able to take vacation time off this year. That means until the holidays in December I will have occasional flexibility to work from home. I should be okay with this, but somehow reacting to it. It tells me that I enjoyed or benefited from working at home. Another positive thing Β to be grateful for!

On my personal life side, this intense work period was also good; I socialized a couple of times and hosted friends at home. More importantly, I broke my routine, even though I longed for my routine life during the last 6 hectic weeks. Life is interesting. Everything has its own proper time I guess…

I have great plans for today! I will complete some more tasks that have been dragging me down. I am looking forward to finishing them and adding them to my tasks-done-list! What a treasure πŸ™‚

I hope you all will have a gorgeous day filled with positivity, satisfaction, great opportunities and solutions πŸ™‚

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pretending

Ok – I cannot tell lies as a brutally honest person, but sometimes I feel like I must pretend in order to prevent a huge negative consequence.

I have had a very stressful 6 weeks and mentally I am very, very close to exhaustion. My body was exhausted 2 weeks go and 3 days of rest had mended it. But mental exhaustion is something else; you must recharge and cool down and excite with other matters. Or, burnt out is inevitable. It certainly is not an easy deal. I was burnt out once quite badly. It took me almost 3 years to fully recover. This is a very long for a professional with a highly demanding job. I cannot be there again.

Today I emailed two colleagues about a work we are supposedly doing where I am the only one shouldering 95% of the things. I said I am almost exhausted and cannot do more now; would they do their part?

We will see how it goes.

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leaving everything behind soon

They say anticipation is more exciting than attaining something.

I truly believe in this – in a few days I will be flying to Europe for a couple of days of business trip and I must say I was not able to anticipate much till this morning, but I guess I am now and it excites me. I will leave everything behind for a couple of day – all the stress of work, work-place, and issues.Β 

I will be free.

Something marvelous at last πŸ™‚

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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.Β 

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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 πŸ™‚

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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 πŸ™‚

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slowly slowing down

I have been slowing down the work, and stress as a result, in the last two days. I am feeling good and ready to come back to my regular self. Not yet, but soon.

I developed this fear that the moment I will relax, something else will happen. So I am keeping my guard up for any new events to show up. A tiring feeling.

Next week will be busy with drafting and finalizing a project that I have been working on for some time. Including many people in it is an opportunity for a better project, but managing conflicts and everybody’s interest is not something I am looking forward to. I try to convince myself that this is neither the first nor the last time that I will have to handle such a complex team dynamic, so eventually things will be better. Eventually I will forget or move on with a valuable experience. This is good πŸ™‚

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While I am officially off today, I went to office and had two meetings with my team Β members. Since these meetings move our own work, I am happy to show up at the office. However, I realized once more how much I resent doing little work that others can do. What a waste of time for me while more important issues wait my attention/time and my team members can take care of the little points themselves with a little bit effort. That is a dilemma… I guess if I was not such a control freak and aim to do high quality work, I would eagerly let my team members to take care of the fine points. Yet the past experience says that they are still young and not highly experienced, so to ensure that we will have a good product, I feel like there is no other option, but me being directly doing the work… Tiring… But the reward is well worth it… Still resenting it, though…

I finished working at home in the afternoon and was ready to do something different. Honest to goodness, nothing came to my mind.. Shopping? Walking? Seeing a movie? Watching TV? None…. I could not even think about reading a book. I understood that my transition from fast and high-volume work to my regular work load (and mental relaxation) has not finalized yet. Give me a couple of more days…

Yesterday I made a list of things that I have done in the last 5 weeks (the start of my work staycation period). I liked what I have seen :)))) There are so much done in that period of time. Yes, it was hard on me, very stressful and threw me off my routine, but eventually I have done what I meant to do. New issues are emerging and some of my tasks are not done yet, but I keep this list somewhere close to me so that I can look at it and find motivation and satisfaction. That was one great idea that I am glad I have come up with πŸ™‚

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I remember seeing a profile of a surgeon somewhere in Canada. He was just appointed as a director of a large unit. In that news, he mentioned something like “I am looking forward to challenges this position may/will bring and resolving them“. I always thought that this was odd, as I take challenges quite serious and it takes extraordinary mental energy to resolve some of the issues. So, I do not know whether he just said that, as it was expected from a director/leader, or has indeed a personality that can look at challenges without getting emotionally and energy-wise drained. I know some people are better in handling challenges and I want to believe that that person in fact stated the truth. This would mean that there is still room for me to develop and achieve that mental attitude.

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Tomorrow is another day. I will see what the day will bring. Until then, I am off to preparing a nice dinner and watching the X-Files πŸ™‚

 

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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.

Life has shown goodness to me nowadays

You know that I am going through and stressful patch in relation to my work in the last one month. There is too much to be done and too much emotions and exhaustion to deal with. But there has been great things as well, which I should acknowledge.

One of the things about my profession is to be recognized by others in my field as an expert. I have had three invitations in the last one month as an expert. One of them from a national organization that I have not worked with in the past. Another one is an international organization that I had interacted with last year. And the third one I have just got an invitation from is the biggest organization of its kind in Canada. All of these organizations coming up with my name and their trust in my professional abilities made me feel really good about myself; I have national and international recognition after all πŸ™‚

These invitations not only strengthen my own confidence and self-appreciation, but also help me show my own organization that I am a recognized expert. This increase my chances of being respected here.

It is funny that I have had many such recognition in the past and my organization never made a good remark about these. This is strange, but as day goes on, my list is increasing and so does my case to present myself to my own organization. Lovely πŸ™‚

These invitations require me to set up time and evaluate important reports. I am usually good about this and am looking forward to doing good job and writing great evaluation reports. At a time that I have been looking for ways to expand my credentials and move into the directions that will be good to me and where I would perform my best, these additional work only makes me happy and trusting the magical way of life in helping me move forward.

As a high level administrator told me a couple of days ago “when there is a challenge, there is the opportunity“.

I know that well now.

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your body let you know when you need to slow down

My tummy was aching yesterday and this morning, and I have a terrible headache since morning. I have eaten lots of carbs and drank too much soft drinks, and my face is puffy and I feel lethargic. I believe my blood tension is also high.Β 

Where am I going like this?

I may not have managed my work-related stress effectively so far, but I think it is time that I start doing this.

Action item 1. Stop thinking work at nights. Watch the X-files instead. Give my mind a break.

Action item 2: Breathe. Deep breaths. Continuously. For 5 minutes or longer. Try time to time.

Action item 3: Stop drinking soft drinks. Replace it with water. Drink milk.

Action item 4: Get out of the house.

Action item 5: Eat better. No carbs for some time. Eat delicious veggies and fruits for a change. They energize me.

Action item 6: Do not work this weekend, if I can.

Action item 7: Work at the office tomorrow, not at home. Get some human interaction. Get away from isolation.

Action item 8: Write down the things that go well.

Action item 9: Cuddle with a nice book.

Action item 10: Watch these lovely creatures and put on a smile πŸ™‚

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random thoughts

The day has been good and I like being able to say this πŸ™‚

My hair is doing fine. It has been almost 3 weeks since I have had highlights. I have washed my hair a little bit more frequently than usual, and as such it grew faster relatively to past. In the past, 2 weeks after dyeing my hairΒ my roots would start showing up and I would get depressed over the grays showing. This time, grays are showing but it is not that bad. As a matter of fact, I must very carefully look for them to see them. So I would say despite my epic tantrum at the hair saloon 3 weeks ago, my hair dresser was right – the highlights have lightened up and for now the roots are somehow blending in.

Of course it is quite early to have a final conclusion; I noticed that my hair dresser have done a much better job dyeing my hair than myself, and as such the roots are only coming out to visibility. If I have the same good feeling in the next two weeks, I will conclude that whatever she did, she did it right. Time to make the next appointment! πŸ™‚

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Works is stressful, but at least there are nice people who are helping. One of my collaborators and I have good conversations and we are both humbled by our work experiences. It is time to move up and we will be doing this. Good to have support and empathy, even though time to time we have our own clashes with this collaborator. I come to my senses, she does the same, by comparing our relationships with others (which are much more complex, pressing, and sometime even down right problematic). Among all these turbulent work relationships, the one between us at least work and move both of us up.

Also a staff from another unit has helped me clarify somethings; it was needed and solved a couple of issues. This staff and I have had some turbulent moments in the past, a few years back, on similar issues. I was resentful at that time, but today everything was positive and I could not help but think how well and naturally some relationships heal over time, or after a while.

Both of these recent experience say me that not everything is as bad as I expect them to be, and some work relationships are quite dynamic and require a new look and attitude time to time.

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My potatoes potated! Yes, they have!

I have checked one of the plants out of curiosity and there were around 10 mini potatoes at the root πŸ™‚ I am filled with love and awe…. I planted them back, hoping that maybe they will potate later, or could be food for soil animals πŸ™‚

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a relief after all

I have just completed a critical task and I feel the freedom coming out of letting it go. It is not over yet, but knowing that this one step is done gives me an unexpected relief. I will take it.

Work continues to be hectic and stress levels are still high. But at least I am preparing myself dinner this evening. This is a nice change and makes me feel better about everything.

The work will continue, I will fail, and I will go up. Somewhere, somehow. I wish there were no pressure as we have been under that restricts our minds and negatively affects our quality of life. This is one of the worst summers of my life, all because of work stress. Imagine….

The irony is that it has also been the warmest and brightest here where I live.

How do we enjoy what we are given and how we waste our times thinking, worrying, stressing

C’est la vie?

joy journal – August 14, 2017

I most need to write this journal today; nothing seems to go right and I feel some strange type of being over-whelmed.Β 

1. I am grateful for not losing my sanity yet, despite all the turbulence, issues, and decisions made. All work-related.

2. I am grateful for not resigning.

3. I am grateful for deciding again and again not to resign. Not without finding a job to replace what I already have. Some things are really going unkind and downhill. But no matter what, I cannot resign and leave. It is a good feeling to be able to leave everything behind, but this would not be a wise thing to do; there is me and other people who are dependent on me having a stable life and work. It is easy to quit but not easy to find a job that will satisfy me. Can I change myself? The way I think? The way I cannot handle things? What will the future bring to me? What am I doing right and what am I doing wrong?Β 

4. I am grateful for sitting down and listening to a relaxing music. What the days will bring, I must take it. I just wished I did not have to find myself in these situations. But then what can I do? In all cases I try to be fair and just and do the right thing. Sometimes there are no good thing and sometimes there is too much pressure. I bend under this much of a pressure. I just hope not to bend more or unnecessarily.

5. I am grateful for one of our work being assessed favorably. I got the news in the morning. Our efforts are not completed yet, but at least this is a good sign. I hope the final decision will be favorable or at least manageable so that I can feel better.

6. I am grateful for hearing from an ex-trainee of mine who had worked with me something like 5 years ago. Hearing good memories and how their time under my supervision changed and improved their skills is always a delight πŸ™‚

7. I am grateful for taking the bus in the morning and walking in the afternoon.

8. I am grateful for the coffee I have had at the office.

9. I am grateful for the internet connection and my computer that allow me to work and enjoy my time at home.

10. I am grateful for logically analyzing the difficult time I am going thru and realizing that this is a learning opportunity and it will help me with other experiences in the future.

11. I am grateful for not having anxiety or panic attacks, and keeping my cool.

12. I am grateful for slowing down this evening. Tomorrow is another day. This is a period of time that is supposed to happen.

13. I am grateful for breathing and having a healthy body.

14. I am grateful for trying.

15. I am grateful for having loved ones.

16. I am grateful for hearing bad news from others and realizing I am not in such a bad situation. This may sound selfish, but realizing that there are bigger problems in life brings me back to reality and big picture; I must keep my sanity and well being so that I can help others.

17. I am grateful for my blog for letting me vent my frustrations and confusions, interact with others, and express myself.

planning retirement

I want to quit this job, but logically retiring from this job is the best.

I am looking at another 11 years, I have decided this evening. I can retire in 8 years but the pension is not good enough and the mortgage will be just paid. I need cash in addition to these.

So, my plan is to pay off the mortgage in the next 7 years and then save the mortgage payments I now make as cash. I will in the mean time continue to do my investments (RRSP, TFSA). These should give me some peace of mind. I hope I will not have a significant life event that requires a lot of cash. This plan is dependent on such an assumption.

I currently pay around 15K/year to mortgage. This year I started to make extra payments, totaling around 5K a year. I will make an effort to increase this a little bit more. No more fooling around with stress and making extra expenses, like I have done in the last 3-4 weeks. It is time that I return back to my wonderful budget I started in the new year.

I will make my life work here. I will make my work work here. There is so much I can do and perform. Maybe not what I want to do, but I will focus on what I can do. One year at a time. In two year comes a major promotion that I want to get. That means the next two years I am appliying for projects and forming better collaborations. My aim should be to prepare 4 projects/year.

I decided to become lean in terms of my work schedule and I will be removing myself from one of the committees I am a member of. I also will focus on work during the day and will not think about other stuff. Work is important and I am getting tired. My energy and efforts and time should be better protected.

I will also relax and trust more. Myself, universe, that something great will come. I hope I am not mistaken about this.

My pension 11 years later will not be huge, but just enough. That is good enough for me. I can always start a side kick and get occasional extra income.

I can handle 11 years. It is a definite time period. It has been 9 years that I have moved here. Time flies, but hopefully not so fast till then; I would like to enjoy my life, find my life’s purpose, and feel better about myself and life until then.

The moral of the story is that money is important. It does not matter how young or senior you are, you will need it. Keep it as much as you can while you have it.

 

 

what the day brings, you take it – II

I woke up at 6.30 am with lots of annoying thoughts in my mind.

Quitting and accepting failure crossed my mind, but something also kept me up beat and optimistic. It can be acceptance of the future, belief in a brighter future, or realizing that this is not the first adversity and issue filled time in my life, nor I am the first one to go through a similar time.

Things got better around noon and I realized things are not as bad as I think it would be or were. There were times that I have had similar experiences in the past. I guess our minds are programmed to consider all bunch of situation and focus on resolving the worst possible scenarios. This is taxing, is it not?

This being said, there were times that I thought things were better than they in reality were. Lack of insight? Lack of information? Lack of experience to think comprehensively? You decide.

I really miss my regular routine of walking to office, working, walking back to home, reviewing the flyers on Wednesday to decide my shopping list, grocery shopping on Thursdays, doing house chores on Saturday and sourdough baking on Sunday. Perhaps it is the best. Perhaps I was lazy and fell into the comfort of this routine. It is hard to know. What I know is that time to time life and work can get really challenging. Hold on to life at these difficult times and trust that it will get clear and better. It must be. It always is.

I today believe in this.

 

is there something called being desensitized to adversity?

So much is going on, and a lot of these are going in a direction that I wish they did not. Under different conditions, even upon one such event, I would be pulling my hair and stomping my feet. But not anymore.

I think I passed the initial aggravation with the first adversity and now am going through the continuous agitation and issues with a calmer head. How is that even possible?

One thought that keeps popping on my mind is that “eventually something better will come up“. Β Yes, the things are not moving well, and I have issue over issue to think, plan, and resolve, and yes some of these issues will not be resolved and I will not be able to make things that I wanted to happen. These are all related to work, by the way, which is very important for me but not as important as the well being of myself and the loved ones. This gives me serenity.

There is a saying that one door may be closed but the other may open after that. I love this phrase and keep believing in it. This requires a little bit more care, careful look and research of additional opportunities, but time after time I find myself ripping the opportunities after such hard times. The wisdom of age is priceless. I just wished I knew what to expect from the future.Β 

I am saddened, however, by all the efforts, emotions, and hardship endured during all of these hurdles. Darn transition from one failure to next opportunities is long, too. So my pain has not suffocated yet and brought me to the next level. But I am curious about what will come next and how these and I will shape my future work and possibly life conditions.

Learning about life, myself, my reactions, and my emotions is a continuous process, I see.Β 

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start of the “work staycation”

I am taking the next week off to work. Am I funny or what??Β πŸ™‚Β 

I have a number of things to finish and I am looking forward to this break. I have another 1-2 weeks to take off before the end of August, which is a relief. Maybe I will stop for a couple of days and focus on myself a little bit.

My plans are as follows for the next 9 days:

Work:

3 documents to develop and/or finalize

2 speeches to finalize

Email correspondences and other emergency stuff that will occur within the week (that is correct; I wrote “will” rather than may” because the past years have taught me that emergencies are a normal part of our work Yuppi! More stress hormone! )

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Personal life and home:

Two dinner parties with friends; meaning lots of shopping, cooking, and cleaning. We will see how this will go. Two dinners in a week seem too excessive for me. It is like a marathon! It is great that my friends are understanding. The worst we can do is to take out.

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Staining and painting the patio and the wooden parts of the outside doors and windows; I resent this task, but it must be done so that I can protect my property better.

Reading a book…… It has been almost 2 years that I have not read a full book, from start to end…. I have the Game of Thrones series at my hand, which are so interesting. yet, where is my book love? How did I lose it? How can I get it back?

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Taking more pictures of the natural beauties. The photos I posted in the last few weeks, the photos of the plants and flowers in my yard made me realize what a great yard I actually have. Many of these appeared in the last year or two, and when I first purchased my home, the yard looked incredibly bad. I digged and almost leveled the back of the yard, planted a little maple tree, trimmed some unwanted ones, planted a number of seeds, some of which germinated (let’s see how they will survive), planted potato, onions, and garlic. The potato plants are doing great, onion has almost seeded, but the garlic does not seem to be producing anything (I checked one of them). I had heard about sterile garlics, which I seem to have planted. In the fall, I will plant again, potato as well, to see whether the time of planting makes a positive difference (they say these plants should be planted in fall before the frost).

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I also plan to print some of the photos and hang them on my walls. This is a massive undertaking for me because I want to hang around 15-20 frames…. Since I cannot do this myself, that also means that I will hire someone to put the nails on the walls. Fun stuff…i repeat that we need a “handyman/woman” registry or company that can do this kind of little work for people like myself.

And, I must do some back/ab exercises to keep my back strong. I have neglected these exercises for some time now and I feel like I must prioritize them again. Since at home I sit mostly (rather than using my standing desk at the office), my chances of hurting my back increase. I do not need that type of “emergency” situations, do I? πŸ™‚

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Have a great Friday night everyone!

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what the days bring, you take it

While I have had a relaxing weekend, the stress of work has already caught up with me. Since yesterday I have been running, running, running again. I can feel all the stress hormones rushing in my veins and my emotions fluctuating. I feel like emotionally unstable, and sometimes, just sometimes, I realize that I must do things differently.

When you work with others and dependent on their commitment, time, and efforts, you know that this kind of work takes more time and there are times that you need to “trust” that the other party will do their absolute best to finish the work with a level of quality required from you. You also know that this is not an optimistic expectation, because in reality a lot of things can go wrong. So, how do we get the best of the other parties? How do we involve them more, and make them do the things on time? Especially if they are your colleagues, or even worse, your superiors?Β 

I do not have the answer to this. If you have any opinions, please leave me a comment. I will seriously consider it.

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I continue to work mostly at home this week, even though I am back to work (i.e. not vacation time). I do not know whether this is good or bad, but it seems to be working for me. I just wished I could do better. But then, who would not?

One of my colleagues could not believe today that I took vacation time to actually work. Is that so weird? I concur that it is weird, but at least please respect my wishes – I too know to just do things out of work and enjoy my life. But with the work-related congestion I have at my hand, finishing the work is going to give me peace of mind. I am so looking forward to the mornings when I wake up feeling good about life, not stressed by the work I must do. My quality of life is important.

Carbs too.

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Among all of these chaotic circumstances, there has been good things as well. First of, I managed to revive my sourdough from its dried flakes. Objectively though it is questionable that whatever is growing in the starter has come from my original starter (I have been feeding it the last four days); it is quite possible that this is in fact a new culture that I captured from flour, water, or air. It is so hard to know. I want to believe, though it is the original one so that I can brag about my sourdough starter lasting for years and years…What a childish but important wish for me. Unfortunately none of us will know the truth. I wish I could do DNA test or something to figure out :)))

Another good news is that with each wash, my highlights are getting more lighter and I am capable of seeing some light patches in my hair here and there. I am still pissed about the highlights not being strong enough, but considering it has been only 5 days since I have got my hair done, I am hopeful that in two weeks or so, I may get better-looking and stronger highlights. I want to believe…..

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Also, I finally chopped down the little trees shooting out of the trim of my house. Somebody told me that they can grow and start damaging the house/foundation. What!! I do not need that. I feel weird cutting little trees, one because they are little, and second, they are trees. Trees are magical and absolutely wonderful. Why do they show up where they do not belong? I made a mental note to plant one to my yard to ask forgiveness from nature.

Last, since I am not eating well during this stressful time, I seem to be losing weight. I am okay with that as long as I eat at least a vegetable and fruit at least once during the day. Β However, it is strange that even planning for one of my weekly pleasures, grocery shopping, is not making me excited.

The situation, my friends, is that dire.

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the sixth day of “work” staycation

The morning went well, but I lost my hope for success in the afternoon again. Being a naturally skeptical and highly critical person, especially towards her own, I am not surprised with this.

I work, work, and work, and only a small fraction of it goes into “recognize me” bin. All these efforts, careful and meticulous work, time, energy, and deals with stress I put into this work seem to wash away and bring me from all the way bottom to all the way top, the feeling of being inadequate. Its pain and heaviness are inescapable.

I wish I could retire. I do not want to say that I wish I was old enough to retire – I have a life to enjoy and explore still. I want to fully immerse in it before it becomes too late to do whatever I can do with my healthy and able body and mind. But nothing makes me feel more remorseful of having only a little amount of money saved, which prevents me from even thinking about retirement.

They say education is great and a must, and what an education I have had. I have got a PhD degree, worked in four different countries, did countless of interesting work. Yet it was not only after 36 that I could get a job with benefits (including pension plan) and only after 38 that I have got a job with a decent salary. I want to ask; where is all my knowledge, skills, and experience now? Obviously while my efforts, tears and sweat have benefited many organizations, countries, and people (for which I am actually happy), here I am at mid-40s struggling with the idea of leaving a job that constantly makes me feel low, stressed, and unappreciated. Where are the benefits of all my education and capabilities when it comes to me?

Low self-esteem should be broken by all means; nobody is as “low” as one can think. I cannot do this in my case, however. This has been like this for years, fueled by my current position. I competed with many talented individuals to come all the way here and here at this position I am not capable of going any further. I cannot blame others or the conditions, but I cannot blame myself, either. I gave my best and countless numbers of hours and brain cells to this work over the many years. I cannot take this feeling anymore.

I want to believe that even without attaining the level of success I wish for myself, I still can and do great work. I know many people at my position going through the same struggle, and even performing less than me. Yet, they are good at standing, talking, and walking tall, in contrast to me. My own hardship on myself, my own expectations from myself, and my own frustration are the ones that drag me down in my own eyes and then in others’. I sometimes think that this job is more about mental stamina and confidence, however false it can be, than having the capabilities, skills, and excitement for creativity, quality, and effective work. I lack that stamina.Β 

I once had told another colleagues of mine at administrative level that I was more of a manager than a leader; I get things done. He was understanding and said that “….a leader is great, but a manager is even greater. Leaders open the way and develop the ideas, vision. Managers are the ones that make it reality….” How great is that?

I am affected by the lack of effective leaders at my organization as well as the lack of transparency, trust, and presence of lots and lots of silos. I need a leader that can open the way for me and provide me with better resources so that I can soar. Yet, nauseating truth is that I am supposed to be a leader of myself and do all of these. Nobody is going to care about my conditions, needs, or improving my morale. It is all on me.

I wish I could just stop resisting this frustration and accept myself as a failure to find some kind of peace and perhaps identify new paths to explore and move forward, but I am not capable of doing this. I have either a competitive nature that I am not consciously aware of, some kind of hope that does not go away and keep pulsing in my mind, or I am in fact better than I think I am. Not necessarily awesome, but just better. Whatever the reason for not accepting myself as a failure is, I am not sure whether I am grateful or not. What I know is that my time did not arrive yet, so I will keep going, even under harsher conditions. Eventually I will figure out how to make “lemonade”.

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The fifth day of the “work” staycation

Today went well, too. I was up and off to office before 8 am. Our administrative personnel was shocked to see me work intensely the whole day. How would one not? I took vacation time, but I am working harder than ever!! πŸ™‚

At least things are going well. I was grateful once more to make this decision to use my vacation time and work at home. Distractions, distractions are huge at the office. I realize once more how many times people come to my office to just chat or ask something. Thank goodness, none of my team members were around (some of them are off too). Otherwise I would have to meet with them, too… It is great to be helpful and have chit-chat with the colleagues, but it divides my attention and time.

I decided to take some more time in August.Β 

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Sunday morning musings

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

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It is a routine Sunday morning, which is good. It feels great to be back to my routine after a couple of agitated days.

There are things that I realize after the recent ordeal:

a) I feel better within my own so called “highly structured daily life”, where every action and activity has a time and meaning. I do grocery shopping on Thursdays, purchase milk on Saturdays, clean the house and do the laundry on Saturdays, read, write, and watch movies/TV series during the evenings, and work during the weekdays between regular hours. I miss spontaneity time to time, but losing my routine when I most need it (i.e. when I am agitated and stressed) is worse than the boredom that I feel when not having spontaneous activities. You may call me old, hey, I may call myself old, but honestly I like the way my now middle-age mentality works for me, and knowing what works and what does not work for me. One can call this wisdom that comes with age….

b) I may need to reduce the amount of distractions I have at the office so that I can focus on what is important for my work. I lead a small team of talented individuals, some of which requires more supervision that the others. I also have collaborations with other groups and roles in committees in my organization. Late Spring, I started to aim for having at least 2 work day with no meeting, which turned out to be quite beneficial for me. I would love to keep doing this with some luck, by saying “no” more often, and by organizing my time a little bit better. I contemplate on increasing the work hours, either during the week or assigning a week night for work. Fridays can be a good option, but I will have to see that. While I am aware of the fact that I must work harder or longer, I also would love to keep my “me” time that relaxes me and lets me engage in learning, writing, and fun activities. I am a strong proponent of having “me” time. I do not wish to let go off this now.

c) The recent agitation was triggered by me being not prepared well in advance. When I realized that the work I was working on was, although bright, not feasible, I felt anger. Towards myself, towards everything and everyone that kept me away from having more time. This is not right and this is not healthy; others have nothing to do with this. It is my own responsibility to protect my own time and manage it better. I should take full responsibility for my own actions, or inactions, and stop being a drama queen. I cannot keep failing myself. This gotta stop.

d) These being said, I must also say that stress sometimes makes me work way productive than the rest of the time. Like the rest 3 days, when I actually fumed a lot but also did a lot. Stress is counter-productive when it is too much, but as the others would also say, it also facilitates some action. Thus, as long as I remind this myself during high stress times, perhaps I could go through those times smoother.

Lessons learnt… Sometimes over and over… But, hey I am a human being with all the fails and limitations.Β 

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I am looking forward to today; there will be a thrift store visit (I hope), conversations with my family, a sourdough to bake and give to my good neighbours next door, and some X-File episodes to watch at night! Boy, the later parts of the Season 2 was just heart-pumping and the first episode of Season 3 is making me jump in excitement! Thank goodness that we have such joys and excitements in life!Β 

I believe it is gonna be a fantastic day!

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Have a great Sunday everyone πŸ™‚

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The third day of the “work” staycation

Today went really well in terms of the work I have been trying to fix. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! πŸ™‚

Honestly the stress levels I have right now is huge. I want to take things one thing at a time, but how do we achieve that when there are multiple things at hand? Challenge… I need more than ever my logical self and sound mental state.

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