Jan 242017
 

_The Power of Habit_ by Charles Duhigg 

I believe I started this book some time ago and then got distracted from it due to Book Club, life etc. My completion rate of books seems fairly dependent on either my holidays or time on the treadmill. ๐Ÿคฃ

Since I have had no holidays for over a year โ˜น๏ธ, it is my habit of heading to the gym that is getting me back on the reading track again. 

As I do enjoy self-awareness helping books that also include a bit of psychology, I enjoyed this book quite a bit. 

The human brain is something magnificent really and the ability to understand even a tiny fraction of it is so cool. Our habits are formed by our actions and positive or negative response stimulation of those actions. What we need to be aware of are the triggers that create the action and why we desire the response stimulation. When we become aware of these then we can foster the habits that are beneficial to us or break up habits that are not. 

Being someone who needs habits and structures to get by each day this is definitely something relevant and useful to know about. I feel as if I can say that most of my habits are productive and positive because my response stimulation is a sense of calm and peace which I must have to get through life these days. 

Also I do know that through mindfulness and meditation I have greatly controlled and changed my negative responses. When I was younger and less aware, I had much less control over what I said or behaved. Now, I try to choose what will be meaningful rather than hurtful to me or others. 

If you have habits that you’d like to change or are not sure of habits you might want to change, then I highly giving this a read!

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

Jan 232017
 

Yesterday, I was busy and out from 7:30am until 7pm. You can imagine how exhausted I was after doing 6 hours of Apple Training with a short hour in between, then straight to a Japanese lesson in the evening.๐Ÿ˜“ I did not have a moment to myself aside from a bathroom break until I got into the bath once home. Thank goodness I had stored up some energy and properly planned my week to allow me some serious quiet time this morning. ๐Ÿ˜œ

So the weekend did not turn out quite as I had imagined. There were some ups and downs. 

The ups were that we went to the HSBC Golf Championship and enjoyed a day out in the nice weather despite being fairly low on funds, the entry was free and we had enough to splurge on some food and drink. 


The other up was that I got to hang out with my honey quite a bit, which in small weekend doses makes me happy. I also had a brief moment of cheer eating a very large and unhealthy breakfast at Denny’s. Food does truly make me happy even if it can be temporary! 

Unfortunately, there were a lot of downs to add to my stress levels. โ˜น๏ธ To start off with, I headed early on Friday morning to my car to find it not starting. I had a yoga session to go to, but after giving it a few goes and recalling that this had happened before last month, I gave up – cancelling my session even though I probably could have hopped into a taxi. Thankfully, my client is a sweetheart and more than happily adjusted her schedule.

We decided to ignore it for the day since we were going to the golf anyway, but during the day my lessons for the next day cancelled due to illness and whatever other reasons. This is our weekly budget…. So, that put another damper on my mood๐Ÿ˜ซ…. However, deciding to just go with it was the only way forward. ๐Ÿ™ƒ

On Saturday morning, we decided to have our breakfast before tackling the joy of the car, which was a nice reprieve. We returned to call the tow truck company, but upon arrival they could not take the car as it was parked in the garage, which is not easy for a truck to get into. I left M to sort it out, but knew when he came back yelling on the phone that it had not gone well….๐Ÿ˜ฌ Therefore, I took action convincing him we could push the car out of the garage as it is all downhill and then call the company again to come get it off the street. Somehow we managed to do that without completely screaming at each other ๐Ÿค and I emptied out my car with determination to never see it again! ๐Ÿ˜•


Thankfully, the repair center was open and had a look at it. The fuel pump was fried, which he had mentioned before but we were sure that when I first bought the car two years ago they had replaced the entire fuel system. Seems they missed the pump bit….So, that is going to cost another 3K that we do not have. The ironic thing is that we took it in to be valued just a few days ago with the idea that we would sell it if we got a decent price. Convinced that we could get more, we declined the offer made – but it was still working then! ๐Ÿ™€ So, of course, now we are kicking ourselves for not just getting rid of it when we could….๐Ÿ˜ฟ

So, upon hearing that news, M had stepped out of the house for a call and I lost it. ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ

Honestly, I have had enough of the ๐Ÿ’ฉthat we have been facing. How much more am I supposed to endure? My head swam with self-pitying questions:  What have I done so wrong to deserve this? Where did I go wrong in my choices? Is someone cursing me and why? ๐Ÿ‘ฟ Why? Why? Why? ๐ŸคงNormally, if I have a meltdown I do it when alone as I know that M is coping in his own way working hard each day to improve our situation. I do not want him to feel as if I blame him. Yet, I really struggled with the questions as everything had been on the up for me in many areas other than work before I met him, before we got married, etc. However, I made my own choices and sometimes a snowball effect happens. Sometimes a breakdown is also needed….

I never liked the phrase What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger as it is just a placating phrase for acceptance which I associate with complacency. I rarely accept my situation or admit that something cannot be improved. Yet, on Saturday I felt my mind and resolve break a little. I feel as if I have done as much as I can to fight or help us to get by. I have nothing left – no energy, no answers, no suggestions, nothing….๐Ÿ˜ณ All I can do now is see what happens. ๐Ÿ˜ž

While I try to stay optimistic that life will improve or that somehow we will get out of the whirlpool of increasing misery, honestly, I feel myself heading towards that black hole of I don’t care anymore. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ Perhaps life will kill me after all because I am often moments away from thinking death has got to be better than this. Yet the seesaw of:  life is good – look at all I have and all that is going for us;  with life is crap – look at our problems is constant….Unfortunately, the motion of up and down is really making me sick….๐Ÿคข
So, hanging by threads the days continue. I focus on what I can do hoping and waiting for some magical fairy godmother ๐Ÿ‘ต๐Ÿฝto wave her wand and disappear our troubles.๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ‘ธ๐Ÿฝ

 Posted by at 09:34
Jan 212017
 

Well, this week was sadly very spotty in my workouts. I blame it on my Aunt Flo visit, and also the instability of my life lately. However, I vow to get back to it properly next week!

Jan 15 (Sunday) ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿฝ

  • 5′ elliptical warmup
  • 4’21” 20/20/20
  • 20 3kg bar squats
  • 3 10″ arm hangs
  • 25 2kg tricep curls
  • 30 30kg total abdominal x2
  • 20:10″:20 1.25kg ab crunch x2
  • 25 25kg low row
  • 15 15kg should press
  • 20 4kg back crunch
  • 10 4kg side crunch x2
  • 15 15 pectoral press
  • 20 leg lifts
  • 100 jump rope
  • 25 sun salutation A

Jan 16 (Monday)

  • 3.26km 30’24” ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ

Jan 17 (Tuesday)

  • Rest day ๐Ÿ˜œ

Jan 18 (Wednesday)

  • Lazy day ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜”

Jan 19 (Thursday)

  • 1.07km 10′ warm up 5’walk/5run(8)
  • 35 30kg total abdominal
  • 20 10kg shoulder press
  • 125 ball sit-ups
  • 20 10kg pectoral machine
  • 25 back crunches
  • 12 side crunch each side
  • 25 10kg chest press
  • 60 jump rope
  • 30 2kg tricep reps
  • 20 1.25kg ab crunch
  • 1’02” forearm plank
  • 45″ full plank
  • 3″ handstand hold off wall
  • 23′ yoga Thursday practice

Jan 20 (Friday)

  • Was supposed to have a yoga session and then do a workout, but my car would not start, so I gave up…. ๐Ÿ˜ซ

Jan 21 (Saturday)

  • 37’04” 4.02km (barely made it to the treadmill, but glad I did!) ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ
Jan 202017
 

I missed writing yesterday because I was catching up on the day after a shock to my system on Wednesday. I am still trying to work out what the universe and God are trying to teach, tell and show me. At the moment, I am not fully appreciating whatever it is or may be. ๐Ÿ˜’

A while ago M mentioned that there is a chance my visa will have to be cancelled because we have not had the money to pay for insurance or the completed visa. As it is, we have had to pay quite a lot just to get the visa in the first place, but we are just making do financially. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ On Tuesday night, M came home and said the visa company was going to get in touch to sign some papers about cancelling it, but did not specify that what they wanted was my passport, Emirates ID and were really going through with the process.๐Ÿ™

So, Wednesday morning, I freaked with the news. ๐Ÿ˜ตNow, understand – life here does not move forward without an EID which comes from the visa. The reason we had to live in our friends’ apartment over the summer, went 11 weeks without electricity, etc was because neither of us had these very important items. Therefore, now the thought of having it all cancelled puts us back into the threat of being kicked out of our place, going without electricity again and all of that will cost money that neither of us have….

Needless to say I was nearly on a plane out of the country on Wednesday to flee the situation. I went from disbelief straight to anger. ๐Ÿ˜กThere is no more room for tears or meltdowns – those will come later, I’m sure. ๐Ÿ˜œ

Luckily, M stayed reasonably calmed and walked me off the edge, so-to-speak. We came up with a plan that will happen for me no matter what. Our plan is to leave here by the end of March, early April. Perhaps we will come back now and then or at least I may until June as I am supposed to be starting a 200hr yoga training course next week, which finishes in June. I can come back for the weekends depending on where we are – hopefully. While we do not yet know our destination, we are narrowing down options: ย Philippines, France or Japan or somewhere in the US.

It is nice to at least have a decision made in that direction. Just hoping that wherever it is we will be in a much better place to get started and get out of this hole that we seem to be unable to get out of. ๐Ÿ˜”

My hope is that I can still maintain writing online and building up our new business venture. So, there is always still hope!

~T ย ๐Ÿ˜€

 Posted by at 09:47
Jan 182017
 


_Mornings in Jenin_ by Susan Abulhawa 

This month’s Book Club reading was this one, which I had never heard of nor of the author. Seriously, there are so many stories to be heard and read! ๐Ÿ˜…

Having just finished this book a few moments ago, I am still processing the whole story and trying to recall the 80’s when some bits of this story would have been in my lifetime….

The book is fiction, but is based on stories and experiences of the past for Palestinian Arabs and the Israeli conflicts starting from post-World War 2 until recent days. The story follows four generations of Palestinians and their struggle for survival. It is a story of women, love, war, family, history, community and humanity. A full explanation would be too complicated so will let you do your own Google search of a book review. ๐Ÿ˜‰

With that said, I must say that it is one of the most moving and shocking stories I have read in a long time. I found myself near tears at different points and even a bit angry at the actions of the Israelis. ๐Ÿ˜กAlthough I do not know the history well, I do remember the news at the time of the constant Palestinian and Israeli conflicts. It continues today, though other wars and conflicts fill our TV screens. It amazes me how people go lifetimes suffering such great sorrow and living in constant fear. It really puts my life struggles into perspective. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

The book is well-written with some beautiful bits of prose especially towards the end. I highly recommend this as a read. I have not read anything so moving in such a long time and am so glad that the Book Club has exposed me to this book. ๐Ÿ˜

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

Jan 172017
 

I cannot recall if I have already written about this topic recently as I know I have talked about it and written in my journal…. Honestly, age is hitting me, I think. It seems I am forgetting things more and more, even while I am talking words escape me so that I sound even dumber than I really am…. ๐Ÿ™

Anyway, if I have written on this, feel free to comment and tell me I am going senile! ๐Ÿ˜›

Last week I came to a refreshed/renewed realization about my introverted tendencies. Two activities with social interaction is my limit on a daily basis. This means that I can do a lesson and one social engagement or a yoga session and one lesson with no social engagement, etc.

This became very clear to me when I had three interactions for two days in a row and by the third day I was completely drained, tired and my head was aching. While my extroverted husband had little to no sympathy for my state of mind, I did all I could to get through the third day by canceling a lesson and being thankful for a quiet evening to myself.

Yesterday, I spoke with my MRTTAD ladies about the life of an introvert as one of the ladies has a son who she was worried about until she learned about this introvert vs extrovert concept. As we were talking, I realized I had mistakenly planned three social activities again that day – including the lunch! ๐Ÿ™

As would be expected, by the time we got home from my third interaction with others I was completely exhausted. Therefore, I was slow to motivate myself out of bed this morning to meet the MRTTAD ladies on the corniche for our weekly walk/run.

Instead, I also listened to my body and mind – which I am trying to do more and more. Thus, I cancelled going out exercising altogether calling it a full rest day since I feel tired overall. I went to my coffee meeting and then was blessed by the Universe by a cancellation of my evening lesson leaving only an event tonight. ๐Ÿ˜€

Now, I am able to catch up on emails, posts, etc. and rejuvenate my energy before going out again!

Although I may be deemed as stubborn, abnormal/weird, or even anti-social at times, I am okay with all of it if it means that I am energized and able to be as fully productive as I want to be at the end of each day. Knowing myself and what works for me is key to being healthy and happy within my own skin!

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

Jan 162017
 


To say I am addicted to this podcast might be an understatement. I love โค๏ธ this podcast so much. 

I cannot recall how I heard about it but most likely this was another Paleomg recommendation from her lists. When I heard the very first episode I was not sure about it as it was extremely difficult for me to follow who was speaking and their extremely random tangents of conversations. However, it only took me about two more episodes to be hooked. 

My Favorite Murder makes driving and cooking so much fun. The two hosts are hilarious and witty whilst talking about very serious and sad topics. Their fascination with these true crime stories – whether well-known or small and local – matches my own. 

I mean if you were not fascinated by the Jon Benet-Ramsey killing in the 1990’s then this is not the podcast for you. However, if you found yourself or still find yourself wondering at the truth, well then listen to this!!! ๐Ÿ˜…

Or what about Jack the Ripper stories or local crime stories…? Morbid fascinations about the stories of the criminals and their victims….๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

So this is my latest favorite way to pass the time in the car or the kitchen. I have not listened to all of the past episodes but am current on the latest ones. Will be catching up on the others soon, but need to keep the variety going with what gets inputted into my brain. ๐Ÿ˜œ

More listening fun to come!

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

Jan 152017
 

Well, after a focused week of posting last week onย goals for the year based on my NYRs, I suppose I should update on a few discussions we had last week.

*It is looking more and more as if we will be leaving sooner than later from the desert. Our destination is still in negotiations depending on M’s prospects, but the Philippines has taken lead recently. We will continue to wait for more concrete details and offers.

*We are definitely going to move. Either today or tomorrow I will have a look at the one-bedroom apartments in the building and decide if we make that move or just give two-months notice on our lease to move out.

*This weekend (yesterday), I registered with a new business – more details to come on that in a following post this week.

*Life is picking up!

So, that is the update in brief. Will give more details as they come. ๐Ÿ˜€ Time to kick off the week anyway!

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

 Posted by at 10:40
Jan 142017
 

With the exception of one day, I managed to keep up with my workout schedule. Since I took an early rest day, I shall make up for it on Saturday; therefore, I’ll post what I did next week or if I manage to get to the gym before this post comes out, then I’ll update it then. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here it is:

Jan 8 (Sunday)
25′ 2.6km
28’42” yoga Sunday practice
23′ meditation

 

Jan 9 (Monday)
5′ elliptical warmup
4’08”- 20 burpees, 20 push-ups, 20 sit-ups
30 30kg total abdominal (crunch) x2
12 10kg pectoral pressย machine
20 1.25kg ab crunch x2
15 10kg shoulder press
100 ball sit-ups
5 sec arm hang/pull up x2
20 bar squats
20 free bar pulls
20 free bar push

 

Jan 10 (Tuesday)
6.99km 1hr10′ [3km walking with my MRTTAD ladies and then I ran 1.7km, walking the remainder home]

 

Jan 11 (Wednesday)
5′ Elliptical warmup
30 30kg total abdominal
30 20kg adductor
20 back crunch
10 side crunch (each side)
30 50kg leg press
20 bench leg lifts
30 ab crunch
11 burpees in 1′
100 ball sit-ups
1′ plank

 

Jan 12 (Thursday)
Rest day – I got up to go to the gym, but it was cold and dark out. My mind convinced my body to snuggle back into the warm bed and relax. It turned out to be an excellent choice at the end of the day. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Jan 13 (Friday)
30 30kg total abdominal
100 ball sit-ups
2.5km in 23’11”

 

Jan 14 (Saturday)
Skipped….
Jan 132017
 

We have come to the last of the major areas of life that affect our happiness – personal. Although it could be said that most or all of my goals shared so far areย personal, what I mean here are other areas such as entertainment, hobbies, achievements, etc. The things I want and plan to do in the next year solely for myself as an individual human, woman and person on this great earth.

At the moment, I have not yet put these into time-chunks because we are not yet quite settled as to how long we are staying in the country or where we are going. Therefore, I have to limit some of the goals to things I can do anywhere and maybe anytime. ๐Ÿ˜€

*Continue with my pottery. I know I have not shared for quite some time my pieces, but I want to return to some consistency in my attendance (money permitted) and improve my skills. I am not sure if I will be able to continue this hobby once we leave, so I want to have a good base when I do go so that I can pick up again easily once we are settled again.

*Write, write, write. So, I put my major writing goals under the work post because I now consider some writing as a job (one that I love, of course), but I do have some other writing projects in mind. These include starting a couple more blogs – I know, how many does one person need?!

*I would like to crochet at least four or five blankets with my yarn scraps this year to get rid of the yarn that I have and then donate them to orphanages or hospitals for premies or something like this. Along with this, I would like to keep knitting and crocheting hats for cancer patients or maybe even figure out how to knit/crochet the boobs for breast cancer patients. Again, I can use up my yarn and keep myself productive whilst watching TV since I feel as if I have been wasting away my life a bit these days by just sitting…. ๐Ÿ˜›

*Travel – sadly I have not traveled properly since our Christmas holiday 2015….:( I did do a quick trip to Egypt, but it was for work and I did not stay to see anything. Therefore, in 2017, I hope to have one trip per financial quarter. So, I really want to see my BFF in Japan – ideally in the spring. Then, I am hoping for a nice summer holiday with the BDs (British Daughters) and hubby. By then, we should be planned to move, moved or nearly moved to somewhere new which will count as a trip! Then, in the fall/winter I would like to do a yoga retreat somewhere. Fingers crossed that we can also spend the winter holidays with both or one set of our families. ๐Ÿ˜€

*200-hr Yoga certification – I know I just finished by 300-hr one, but I have already agreed to do a 200-hr course starting in a couple of weeks here in Abu Dhabi. I shall be helping to teach it too, which is going to be wonderful experience. So, with the 200 on top of the 300, I will be able to register as a 500-hr teacher and then train to register my own school doing teacher trainings of my own, hopefully in southern France. So, these are important steps to building my long-term business vision.

*Try at least one thing new this year – whether this is SkyDive Dubai or kitesurfing or dancing or painting or whatever it may be, I really want to stretch my mind to try something I have not yet done but contemplated doing. M seems to think I need to take up painting, so maybe that will be it. Or, we both want to try kitesurfing, so who knows, but stay tuned!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, that rounds out the week of looking deeply into my New Year’s Resolutions for this year. I hope it was not too boring or over the top. God only knows if I will be able to maintain this focus or for how long, but I really believe every one of these goals is achievable. I will try to check in throughout the year to see how I am progressing. ๐Ÿ˜€

Thanks for joining me on this part of the year’s journey.

~T ๐Ÿ˜€