Personal · Personal story · This Is My Life

These are not easy days…

My family is going through a very difficult financial time right now that each day is burgeoned with struggle. Each waking moment comes inundated with its own portion of challenges that goes beyond just getting through the day.

There are times when it’s truly hard to say that all is well when the struggle is tedious.

I go through bouts of depression and mental stress these days that I lose sleep and some days are much harder than others. Sometimes, I literally feel as if the quagmire of life is bent on swallowing me and I struggle to drag myself out of the funk.

Now as I grow older, I understand better and empathize with those who become overwhelmed with life and seek easy ways out of their pain. Sometimes, we are in so much unseenSerenity pain that the person right next to us does not even grasp the magnitude of our internal struggles.

Most times, these pains are not only in the mind, they affect other aspects of our body and who we are and a lot of times they are triggered by events out of our control. I am trying not to focus too much on the problems but to redirect my energy on possible solutions as focusing on the problems only amplifies them. I am also repeating the ‘serenity prayer’ to help me keep calm and absorbing the words

If you find it in your heart and with any change to spare, you can support me in your own little way. Shalom ♥

Everyday People · Family · Health · Life · Parenting

All in a brisk walk…

This morning I woke up with a foggy feeling in my head and it was as if I hadn’t slept at all. I felt lazy, and just wanted to continue lying on my bed, but I knew that doing so would simply set the wrong tone for my day and literally muttering ‘mind over matter, mind over matter’ I basically cajoled myself to crawl out of bed and take my antidote – which is to go out for a brisk walk, to get some fresh air and hopefully feel more alive in the process.

Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas on Pexels.com

My brisk walk can involve various things depending on my mood, either listening and humming to music that I enjoy with an occasional shake and a jig to accentuate the notes that hit home, listening to a podcast or any talk that piques my interest, venting in my head and going over an argument that I had with hubby and realizing that maybe I should have used a better punchline than I had; mentally deciding to save a punchline and use it to drive home my point, going over my to-do list in my head, making a shopping list, thinking of random stuff and just watching people go about their business…

I had almost come to end of my walk when an idea popped into my head out of the blues and I was so excited at the thought that I made a mental note not to forget to include it in my soon to be executed plans. Right as I turned into the bend leading to our apartment block, I ran into a young dad and a toddler – who by my assessment is barely more that 24 months – attempting to play football, and I slowed my pace to absorb the scene.

The man kept a few paces apart and kicked the ball towards his son. It’s either because the baby was wholly new to the game or wasn’t sure what to do; he missed it not once but four times. After each miss, his dad patiently walked towards him, picked the ball and kicked it again. I was silently rooting in my head for the little one and just as soon as I thought that he would miss it yet again, his little foot finally connected with the ball and he kicked it back with gusto. The ring of his delight and joy from his accomplishment had me applauding both of them and a huge smile made its way to my face.

A brisk walk of 40 minutes not only brought me such unexpected fullness, it drew home several pointers and set a positive tone for my day. During my grudgingly taken walk, I got inspired, I saw love and patience, I saw resilience and joy, I became energized, I gained more clarity and buzz that I wouldn’t have found in my cup of coffee. These little things we often overlook, they are the things that matter.

How is your week going so far?

Love · Musings · Philosophy of Life

To love or not to love?

Those who are the hardest to love, need it the most – Socrates

Sometimes, it seems far easier for our peace of mind to walk away from those in our lives who are so hard to love. Such situation is certainly a paradox in life. It can be tough and even most times exasperating loving someone who is indifferent to your attempts. I believe that the problem of such people stems from unresolved issues and they may have developed this mental defensive mechanism as a way of coping and in response to their secret concerns. Do we then stop loving them and walk away?

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Love is a choice; sometimes a deliberate decision. You can’t force it down someone’s throat or make them reciprocate what they don’t feel. I should think that it is far more pragmatic to love such a person and to pray for them from a distance because loving them up close can be mentally exhausting and emotionally draining.

Walking away from them should not be about abandoning them ‘cos love is what feeds and fills our soul. Love does not rush. It is patient! I guess we love them because we hope for and see potential for change.

Finance · Guide To Better Living · Health

Health and You.

My recent struggle with plantar fasciitis and aching body parts has made me stop and reflect seriously on the fact that the more advanced we supposedly become, the farther things change. From back in the days when my mother had the voluminous ‘where there is no doctor’ as a go to reference for most home remedies that she concocted and used to keep us germ free and as healthy as ever, and the time when your family doctor knew every nitty gritty detail about you and your family – from your scraped knees to your menstrual cycle, what your family liked for Sunday lunch, your dad’s finances and what have you – between then and now, there’s a vast difference in doctor and patients relationships.

It does appear that those days when your community doc would look at your hands, listen to your heartbeat galloping along, asks you to stick your tongue out and say ‘ah‘, checks your eyes and inquires about your bowels whilst palpating your tummy and so on have become history.

As I get along in age, the realization that visiting hospitals these days is no longer like my mother whisking me over to Dr. Ndukwe’s familiar consultation room, armed with her magical purse that contained all our medical cards and other mysterious objects, makes me not only sad about the golden times past but has also left me wondering how one can truly afford medical care in these times. It’s not as if any reasonable insurance is the most affordable thing in these parts.

It becomes steadily clear that with fewer overworked doctors and far more patients to see, your visit to see the doc might very well be a rushed affair that leaves you more perplexed than when you arrived. You are most likely not going to get a lollipop and a pat on the back and you will also be out of pocket if the visits become too frequent as you will have to pay for consultation fee and for other costs that pop out of the woodwork.

Truly, we need to take control of our bodies and have our own ‘where there is no doctor,’ sitting on our shelves. What’s your go to home remedy for aches and pains? Please feel free to share. You might be saving someone a lot of pain.

kindness · Life · mental health · Musings

Soft. hard.

No.

They look tired.

They seem hardened.

Some look utterly exhausted.

Beaten, bumped and scarred.

by life.

Physically and emotionally…

drained.

I pray peace for them.

a warm, soft and safe place

to lay their weary hands and heads.

Just A Thought · kindness · Life · Lifestyle

Choosing Lavender…

Photo by Natasha Fernandez on Pexels.com

Already! It’s the end of a work week here. Hardly did the alarm go off on Sunday morning, and now here we are; it’s Thursday. Hey Presto!… and the hours spill into days and the days into weeks and months and the year is almost gone.

Before you know it, 1 year is gone, and next and the next… With each cycle of time, we turn a new age, from 20 to 30 to 40, to 50, 60, 70 years old and so on if life is kind to you. Years lived and days passed. As we take stock of all the years gone by, we realize how much we have gained and lost as well. With the passage of time, some of us have expanded sideways and gained some wisdom ‘hopefully’… We have lost loved ones and as much as we would like most things in our life to stay stable, sadly we can never turn back the hands of time.

I remember my teenage years of hot pants, pedal-pushers, minis and what-not and the firm perkiness of my body parts, no extra folds and rolls, and non-creaky achy parts. Those yesteryears when I thought 30 was old… What my young mind did not conceive then was the need to ensure that I truly enjoyed and appreciated those moments. That I would one day look back with deep-seated nostalgia and sense of loss never occurred to me.

Now, as older years loom ahead, we must, despite all the ups and downs of life, learn to enjoy the time that we have. Let’s immerse ourselves in doing those things that bring us and those around us joy, laughter, peace, calm, hope and prosperity. Learning to leave rancour, undue stress, grudges, worry and all those negative thoughts, emotions and actions that don’t add a jot of value to our lives is a valuable strength. Put some colour in the greys of your days and don’t keep waiting for the right time or a party to wear that beautiful lavender dress of yours. BE The Party! Find the Zest even when it seems evasive. You will be better for it.

Let’s smile at the little things and let the joy and serenity derived from such feeling sooth our bruised souls. There are so many lost moments and broken dreams in afterwards. Even when we are blessed with longevity, life is a short trip.

Life can’t be lived in the afterwards, ‘cos priorities will always change. Afterwards, the momentary charm gets broken. Afterwards, our offspring grow up, we age and our parents get older. Afterwards, health passes and promises get forgotten. Afterwards, our vigour diminishes, the days become less and life eventually ends. Let’s stop waiting for later, ‘cos in doing so we lose the best moments, the best experiences, best friends, the best family that life has to offer. We are no longer at that youthful age where we believe we have the time to postpone what needs to be done in the immediate.

When you are young, getting older might look an eternity, but eternity is most certainly a short trip.

Enjoy Your Life, Be Kind to Yourself and Others. Peace be with you!

Gratitude · Guide To Better Living · Health · How To · Life · Philosophy of Life

Little Moments…

We often sit around waiting for big moments, big shifts in perspective, big things to happen, failing to understand that these little moments, these little shifts and these small things of these days are most certainly the big ones.

Don’t forget to make each day count. Look back on your day, reflect before you bed down for the night and think of at least five things that made your day brighter. 

Shalom!

Good Ideas · Guide To Better Living · Lifestyle

Embracing change…

Most of us who have hit 40 and beyond have most times become hardwired in our ways that change does not come easy and is often worse than pulling teeth, however, if we fail to embrace change both internally and externally we will slowly decay, grow out of touch with times and very well become stubborn, doddering old coots. 

Some may say that after all, we are not going to live forever nor get out here alive – they do have a point – so why bother to keep up with change? There are boundless reasons why change is not only good for your body and soul, your mental health, your business – whatever that may be – and it may not only elongate your life but perhaps make your life more interesting and ‘you’ a less of a stubborn doddering old coot 😉 Change quote, Challenge, Life, Pushing Forward, Inspiration, My Thinking Corner

We know that change is constant and even when we don’t seek it, it is thrust on us that we are not left much choice; you either fight it to a bitter finish, or you embrace it with flourish. The choice is yours.

The many benefits derived from change range from:

Personal growth: you will learn new things, discover new insights and perspectives every time you experience some change. Sometimes the outcomes and lessons learned may not be your initial expectation and could be much better.

Improvements: No situation in our life improves by itself without making the necessary adjustments; be it our finances, health, job, relationship, home…We need to take those vital steps required to improve that circumstance that we are struggling with because without making the effort things will continue to stagnate.

Life values: Mere looking at the present conditions of our existence and how a pandemic has made most people reevaluate their lives and reinforce those important life values is an easy example. From time to time we need to assess our values.

Flexibility: Embracing change helps us adapt easily to new situations and even thrive whilst at it. We become far more supple.

Ripple effect: Making big changes in one swoop is extremely difficult, but taking those little steps of change surely lead to bigger ones and hopefully better results.

Strength: A lot of change comes with attendant challenges and overcoming them only makes us tougher.

Progress: Progress is the child of change. Your vehicle will most certainly not move forward when the gear is constantly in neutral. To get where you want to be, be prepared to change the gear and move forward.

Opportunities: Change brings opportunities – both expected and unexpected – and they could present you more fulfilment, happiness and growth. To illustrate, nearly two years ago I flipped my career pursuit and started a journey in the educational sector where I started out teaching French in a new school here in the UAE and within a short space of time, I was promoted to a head of the section. My initial goal was to keep my French sharp and not lose it the way I have lost speaking Spanish, here I am now, not knowing for sure where the ride is going but enjoying it and hoping to make the best of it all the way.

Exciting New beginnings: Change brings that much-desired excitement that we need in our lives. It puts a spring in your step when you close a chapter that should have been closed way back and open a new one that leads to greater things.

A more interesting life: What would life be when it becomes one monotonous, boring and uninteresting routine? As dull as dishwater. Resist that temptation to stick to predictability all the time and aim to initiate little self-evolving steps of change that will lead you where you need to be.

Enjoy the butterflies!

 

Inspiration - Motivation · kindness · Life · My Thinking Corner

Pressing the reset button…

So far, it’s been a tremendously hard year all around the world for many. Our general sense of normalcy and everyday routines, that feeling of taking charge and being in control of our actions and surroundings – which are things we all took for granted, is at very low levels. The anxious have become more anxious, the depressed are more depressed, the lonely feel more isolated and the angry ones’ simply grew worse with their anger mingled with hatred.

Laughter seems far and few in between with frustration and financial crisis dogging many of us night and day. Emotions are all over the place these days and all it takes is spending a few minutes online to witness meltdowns, emotional combustions here and there, all decorated with colourful expletives.

Yet, there’s hope and there are many lessons to be learnt from this difficult experience and our focus shouldn’t stay hung up on all the stress that we have and possibly still experiencing at present. I have searched within me to see what I have felt, what I have seen and what I have learned. My thoughts are not coming out in any particular order, just a free flow of some of what is going on in my head at present without editing.

This situation has shown us that a virus can be a unifier because it doesn’t choose boundaries. It can affect anyone irrespective of background, race, religion, culture, financial status etc. Standing alone as individuals we are fragile, but as a community, we stand stronger, hence, since death is always over one’s left shoulder as is commonly said, we must remember our humanity and the importance of treating each person right especially in the face of our temporal existence.

Everything that you know can end today, ‘cos tomorrow is promised to no one, therefore, it is absolutely essential to focus on the right things and be fully present in every given moment. Value the preciousness of your existence as well as that of others.

Learn to enjoy your life and appreciate what you have. Just think about the fact that there are people out there with far less and possibly in more dire straits. Things may not be going as smoothly for you as they did many months back – know that this time too shall pass and these days which have been spent slowing down is not a waste of time. Our focus has shifted a lot more from material things to things that matter – the bare basic needs of life.

Don’t be reluctant to embrace those little things that will work miracles in you; don’t be afraid to live each day as you deserve and to help others when you can. If you are unable to be of help, the least you can do is not to spoil someone else’s day

If you didn’t do so well yesterday, PLEASE, don’t be afraid to press the reset button and start again today. Saying YES to a refresh is far better than going on a long trip down guilt lane.

Sometimes when life presses that pause button, it is simply asking us to slow down and to take a good look at ourselves. My hope is that these days has taught us to love, to care, to listen, to help and to respect others.

How are you doing? I hope that things haven’t been too rough?

Hope · life skills · Musings · Poetry/Poems

with..without hope

image credit

without hope
where would we be…
buried under heaps
of rotting despair

without hope
what would we think…
that all is lost
and nothing is gained

with hope
where would we be…
searching for sunshine
and reasons to hold on

with hope
what would we think…
that after every dark night
there’s always rays of light

© Jacqueline

may there always be light at your end