Aug 222014
 

Today, I have written:

1. I am grateful for the company of my two cats, even though they also drive me crazy!

kitties

 

2. I am grateful for the time and ability to go out last night to see David Blaine’s illusionist show with friends. It was also my first outing with D with her dad and my bf! :D

db1

David Blaine holding his breath under water at 3minutes and 16seconds.

db2.5

David Blaine holding his breath under water at 8minutes and 31seconds.

db2

David Blaine holding his breath under water for 10minutes and 3seconds. Crazy!!!

db3

Me and D!

3. I am grateful for the Internet and all that it allows me to do! [post on blogs, keep up with friends, surf for useless info, etc.!]

:D

 Posted by at 11:38
Aug 212014
 

So, motivation is still a challenge. I am forcing myself to stay home and try to get some work done. So far, I’ve done a good job of procrastinating and taking care of ‘other’ things. However, I think, I think I am moving in the right direction….

First, I realized that I need to focus on positives and train my brain to associate working at home with results. I also need to focus on positives to stay motivated. To help with that, I have decided to join the trend of daily writing three things I am grateful for every day. While I won’t post it on FB daily, I will try it here as part of my continuing attempt to post regularly here too! ;)

Without further ado:

1. I am grateful for my loving and nearly ‘perfect’ boyfriend. <3 [He's away for a few days, but am so glad to have found such a lovely man.]

2. I am grateful for a decent job that allows me holidays to enjoy/travel/relax. ;) [Even though I don't always like it, it is a job that offers me the lifestyle I like.]

3. I am grateful for all of my friends – near and far. :D [Without them, I would not be able to survive this crazy expat life!]

With that said, my procrastination is over. Four hours left until I go out tonight, so I definitely want to make at least a bit of progress today! Wish me luck!!!

More to come,

~T

Aug 202014
 

I thought to myself this morning that one of the reasons that I am not so motivated to do the PhD on most days is because I want to live in the future. The future is when the degree is done and I have nothing weighing on my mind – that I should be doing something, but am not. It’s been over five years of me doing this silly thing and so I am ready to be done with it. Of course, that means I gotta get my s*** together and buckle down until it gets done, right?!

Once it’s done then I won’t have a sense of living in the future and can enjoy the NOW. :D

More to come,

-T

 Posted by at 09:46
Aug 192014
 

Yesterday I stared on the computer and contemplated the fact that I really do NOT need this PhD. Yes, I am nearly finished and all that, but I was really in a bad mindset. So, I took the day ‘off’. I attempted a bit before I went to meet a friend for lunch and though I had good intentions after lunch, especially after J said I could do it, I decided to say ‘f*** it!’ instead for the day.

However, not to have a day completely wasted – it’s not in my brain power :P – I did manage to take care of a few other things that I needed to get done such as renewing my car registration. Now, there are some things in this country that are actually quite good in terms of updating processes. This is one of them. I was in and out of the registration building within an hour! This is a miracle. So, that made me happy. Afterwards, I went to the grocery store and considered buying two pairs of shoes that I really do not need and then managed to walk away! Now that’s progress! hahah! :D

Anyway, although my apartment is free and mine again, I think that I really do need to head out to the cafe. I need to get a lot more done and it just doesn’t seem to happen at home…. So, wish me luck!!! :D

More to come,

~T

Aug 182014
 

It has been gnawing at me as to why I am irritated with the people staying with me – or rather the husband. He’s lovely – no doubt. Yet, each time he talks to me I feel annoyance. This morning, it dawned on me or at least became a little bit clearer:

*I am not good with meaningless conversation. I do not like to talk about the weather, especially when I live or experienced the exact same weather. Yes, I know it’s hot and humid here…. I do not like to be told the obvious – I can see for myself that today is clear, but yesterday was sandy from the storm. These kinds of conversations have no value to me and yet I realize that they are part of life. I need to switch my brain to appreciate this more as there must be something in it if 90% of the people in the world have these kinds of conversations…, right?

*I am not good with different levels of what I call ‘respectful’. For example, you are staying in my home for free. I have offered for you to ‘make yourself’ at home by using my water or drinking my “above-average-priced” coffee. If you see that you have finished my water and I told you that there will be no more water until the day you leave (7 days later!), then if I were you, I would have bought some bottles of water to contribute to the home’s water supply. Or, if you decide to have coffee two or three times a day and notice that my full container of pods has diminished to half within four days, if I were you, I would find out how to replace your coffee pods. Now, I know, people aren’t me and if I don’t want stuff to be used then I shouldn’t offer or open my home. However, it’s not that I don’t want it used – it’s that I want there to be respect for the fact that you are staying in my home for free and consuming my things for free – everything has a cost – and you have no concern for the consumption of my things FOR FREE! I’m paying the air conditioner for your cooling. I’m paying the water bill for your cleansing. I’m paying for the water for your drinking. I’m paying for the coffee for your enjoyment. You are receiving all of this for FREE for seven days!!!!!! Don’t you think you should stop and think about how to give back for what you have received?

Maybe they will to someone else and I will just never know what my giving has contributed to some greater good. However, at the moment, all I feel stress about it and am looking forward to having my space again.

That’s the end of my selfish ranting. I shouldn’t be so, but it’s my current perspective and state of mind, unfortunately…. :*(

More positive stuff to come,

~T :P

 Posted by at 09:54
Aug 172014
 

It was a nice weekend and I even managed to get a bit of work done – never enough – and relax too! :D

Now, it’s time to get back to it. Need another chapter out in the next couple of days and have to just settle in to it. Will be heading off to a cafe soon for that! ;)

For the past week I’ve had CSers staying with me. They are a nice older couple from Torun, Poland. The husband speaks pretty good English and the wife hardly speaks a word, though she seems to understand quite a bit. For the most part, they are fairly easy to have around and I’m sure it is nice for them to be able to stay in a ‘home’ rather than a hotel where they can cook and all that jazz. It’s not a big deal to have them here and yet I am finding myself more and more annoyed by their presence. WHY?!

Small things are irritating me like: *they finished my water bottle in about four days that would have taken me another week to finish and they have yet to buy more to replace it; *the man talks to me about seemingly trivial things while it is quite apparent that I am in the middle of working or doing something else; *they are around most of the day; *etc. etc.

In the grand scheme of things, none of this should bother me. Maybe I’m stressed about other things or maybe I am just getting old and set in my ways?! I am hoping it’s the former rather than the latter. M suggested that perhaps I should limit the time that CSers can stay rather than allowing such a long stay. I think this is a practical solution to avoiding future angst as I don’t want to stop having CSers, but I find it a bit tiring to have people I don’t know in my home for so long….<sigh>

It’s a good challenge for my introverted and anti-social personality. :|

Anyway, they are gone tomorrow and then I shall take a little break from the sharing of my home for a bit – until after I submit my dissertation and school is in full swing. That way, I can avoid at least that stressor. :)

More to come,

~T

 Posted by at 10:44
Aug 152014
 

**I am going to try on the weekends to update on my summer travels – until the last chapter is submitted. So, here we go!**

The beginning of my summer holidays started with some drama from work as I had to miss the last two official days due to my second-to-last coaching course and then I flew early to meet my mom in the UK for our mother-daughter trip. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, but as fate would have it, the students had to cause some trouble at the last minute…. Anyway, with that, I flew away to leave all thoughts of the desert behind me!

Throughout all of my travels I have always avoided having to go through Heathrow as people have always said it is a terrible airport. Although I couldn’t imagine it was all that bad, this was my first time there; and, well, now I fully understand.

Upon arrival, I was completely amazed at the disorder at the luggage belt. People stood right up along the belt and would not get out of the way when my suitcase came by.

Initial impression was not good...Everybody was hoarding around the baggage belt - couldn't grab my suitcase because nobody would move!!!!
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Initial impression was not good...Everybody was hoarding around the baggage belt - couldn't grab my suitcase because nobody would move!!!!22-Jun-2014 16:54, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.042 sec, ISO 320
 

So, my first impression of Londoners was not great.

Luckily, I was able to find my mom quite easily and we got ourselves on the train and to our hotel without too much trouble. It was not great to lug our suitcases in the Tube, but I suppose it could have been worse and some people did help, which lightened my initial impression of people. ;)

In the evening, upon recommendation from M, we ventured out to the West End for dinner. We found a really nice Naplese restaurant and had a delicious dinner.

First night's dinner in West End - Napolese restaurant = delish!
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First night's dinner in West End - Napolese restaurant = delish!22-Jun-2014 21:35, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 40
 

We explored the area a bit and did a fairly epic walk around for our first afternoon/night. We were off to a good start!!!

First ride on the Tube!
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First ride on the Tube!22-Jun-2014 21:04, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 320
 
Piccadilly Circus
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Piccadilly Circus22-Jun-2014 22:50, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.4, 2.15mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 50
 
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22-Jun-2014 22:53, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 32
 
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22-Jun-2014 22:57, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 32
 
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22-Jun-2014 22:57, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 40
 
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23-Jun-2014 10:04, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.12mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 32
 
Aug 142014
 

Phew, am so glad that today is nearly over. I had a very big day of analyzing and reading, which was very much what I needed to end the week on. So, I am feeling pretty goooood.

I came home and did about an hour of exercise – treadmill and weights/stretching. Then, I had breakkie and sorted out my printer woes from yesterday. That made a huge difference in me getting stuff done today – needed to print two chapters so that I can easily sort through the info for my analysis chapter. Once I got myself sorted out, I headed down to the cafe and put in a solid, 4.5 hours over lunch, coffee and tea!

It’s definitely easier for me to work outside of my home…especially when I am not needing to ‘write’ per se, but read and take notes. So, I’m in a good place to do some proper writing this weekend or the start of next week. Need to read loads more, but it’s progress that I will take!!! Yippeeeeee!

So, that ends the week and Thursday. Happy weekend!!! :D

More to come,

~T

Aug 132014
 

Well, today has been a bit of an up and down kind of day.

The positives are that I read two chapters of a book, checked out five more books from the library, started to read the chapter to be revised, had a good swim this morning, enjoyed a much-needed massage, and will be going out to dinner.

The negative is that I really didn’t make much progress when I desperately needed to.

I know… looking at the positives I shouldn’t complain or let the ONE negative get me down. I’m trying not to and I’m trying not think of this as wasted, but rather a slower pace forward yet still FORWARD! ;)

So…at least there is some progress. Now, to figure out how to print what I need; that will help me to go go go tomorrow! :P

More to come,

~T

Aug 122014
 

It’s been a bit slow-going in this next part of my PhD work, but today I submitted a second revised chapter. So, that’s progress. Now I’m at a bit of a conundrum…. Revise Chapter 3: Methods or Chapter 5: Analysis & Discussion and/or focus on Chapter 2: Literature Review….. There’s still so much to do, but it’s coming together….

Anyway, everything is going well in life. I just need to focus a bit more or something as I need to progress faster. I am not sure what the solution is as I need to be at home to have the best set up of my computers and files, but at the same time I get a bit of cabin fever sitting in my apartment all day….

Thankfully, I change scenery in the evenings by going to M’s and ‘relaxing’ there, which means I work on my friend’s twin-baby blankets in hopes of finishing that up before her shower next month. I’m nearly finished with the squares for one of the blankets and can possibly finish it up this weekend. That will give me just about a month more to do the second one. Possible? For me, OF COURSE! :D

So, that’s my life for the moment. ;)

More to come,

~T