Oct 212016



_King Leopold’s Ghost_ by Adam Hochschild

Last month I joined the Book Club of the AWN (American Women’s Network) where I have been spending a lot of my time being active in meeting people and other things. While I never in my life expected that I would become a “book club lady”, I did decide that I was going to try new activities in areas that I am both interested in and new to me.

So, our book for September when I joined was this one. Initially, I found it interesting and a horrifying story of what went on in the Congo. Of course I have heard speckled stories, but this is the first time that it was written out in black & white (literally!). However, this also meant that it took me some time to get through it as it is a fairly detailed ‘history’ book, which is not generally my area of interest. Still, I plowed through and took a bit more than a month to complete, but as it was myΒ first book of the club, they did not mind that I had no finished before our first meeting. πŸ˜‰

This is the story of King Leopold of Belgium’s obsession with conquering land initially in the interest of Belgium, but then for his own personal ego boost. He worked politically, economically and personally to get others to do whatever it took to make him rich and memorable in a new “empty” territory. However, no one seemed to think of the Congolese as people. It was truly sickening what went on there and the author does a decent job of blaming all people – not just the Belgians – for the atrocities that occurred. He also directed our attention to the fact that these kinds of things still happen in current days….

Therefore, not exactly, an uplifting story to contend with, but interesting all the same. This is the good part of being part of a book club, right? I am being introduced to new stories that I might never have heard of let alone pick up to read. πŸ™‚

~T πŸ˜€

Oct 202016

We are on the verge of insanity, of normalcy, of living, of dying….

This morning I went to have my medical done, which is one of the last major hurdles before my residence visa gets issued. I am not allowing myself to get excited just yet, but it does mean that we are nearing the point where life just might – just might – start on the path toΒ normal again. πŸ˜€

There is still a long way to go before true normal returns, but I am being positive and hopeful that we are on the correct trajectory for that great downpour of blessings.

Weekly, thingsΒ are going well with tutoring and business sessions. In just two months I am on the way to nearly replacing my take-home income, which is shocking. Again, I am being cautious in excitement, but I feel good about how everything is going.

There are also some other income sources brewing that will also help so I do feel as if we are on the verge – of all that is good and wonderful!!!

~T πŸ˜€

 Posted by at 14:42
Oct 192016

_Yoga Therapy: A Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Yoga and Ayurveda for Health and Fitness_ by A.G. Mohan and Indra Mohan

This text that was required for my yoga teacher training course was one of my favorites. 

It is easy to read for explanations on yoga as therapy looking at the whole person rather than yoga as fitness looking to exercise. There are also good tips for assessing new clients and sequencing poses to help bring physical balance to the body. 

This will be a book I will go back to for sure!

~T πŸ˜€

Oct 182016


Ah, do not let the title mislead you. I am by no means setting ‘real’ workout goals. However, that does not mean that I do not think about challenges. Given that my car is in the shop and M needed the car for morning appointments, it was most convenient to have him drop me off at our Tuesday morning meeting point on the Corniche.

I think I mentioned that I have joined a running group that is mostly made up of moms (Moms Run This Town – MRTT), but has the subtitle of She Runs This Town. While I have been wanting to get out more, I have only managed to keep the Tuesday morning in my schedule.

Anyway, due to the car situation, I decided today was a good day to try the full length of the Corniche and see how long it would take me. I had company for the first 3.2km where we mostly power walked. Then, we parted ways and I carried on for the remaining 3.3km.

Although I wanted to run more, the heat and humidity is still a bit too much at 8:30-9am. So, I did short intervals of running and then the rest walked. I guess my pace is not bad considering.

While I have no intentions of running any races anytime soon, if ever, I do hope to be able to run more consistently. So, I am glad to have found a group of ladies who get me out. Maybe I can even start more often when I feel as if life is settled….

Thus, no workout goal per se, but at least there is progress happening. πŸ˜€

~T πŸ˜€

Oct 172016

Well, my best intentions of late have been waylaid the past few days. Not without some positive moments as well. πŸ™‚ Thus, let me share what has been happening.

On Thursday, we were in Dubai all day. I had made plans to go meet a few people from yoga about future work and collaborations. While that was only two meetings in the day, M also had a couple of appointments lined up with clients. It also happened that my SIL was in town on short notice for work; therefore, we were able to meet up with her, step-daughter and boyfriend for dinner. Despite being out all day and in Dubai, it was a fairly relaxing day and almost felt like a mini-holiday day since we were away from home. πŸ˜…

My weekends are now no longer weekends as they are my busiest days in the week since that is when people want lessons or sessions. Therefore, I had an early morning yoga session on Friday morning, followed by a coffee stop at friends’ to pick up my ballot and say hi to their little one. We had a few hours to relax before heading out to a friend’s 50th birthday party. Unfortunately, I did not pre-game well for this event, so a 2hr boat cruise with continual filling of my bubbly glass and very little food led to a bit of a messy evening. 😩While we had part 2 of the party on-shore, there was still not much food. Thus, the four tequila shots I did instead of drinking water or eating food ended up with a quick departure to home and a christening of the taxi (yes, again! πŸ™ ).😳

Even though we left reasonably early, I was still in very rough condition come Saturday morning. 😷Although I had a lesson, I had to cancel it as an hour beforehand, I knew there was no way that I was going to make it. Sadly, we cannot afford for me to cancel lessons as the money I make on the weekend gets us through the week (or events like yesterday…). So, canceling one class was okay, but my Japanese lesson is worth the entire week’s of survival. I got myself about two more hours to recover, which I barely did enough to get to the lesson. While I initially felt unsure about surviving the two hour lesson, somehow I made it through and felt reasonably well the rest of the day, although I did have to cancel meeting up with some new friends in the late afternoon. The rest of the day was used to continue recovering and looking forward to a new day to start!πŸ˜”

The new day started, and well, you read about that yesterday!πŸ˜₯

So, that happened. I have luckily had a quieter day at ‘home’ today as being a one-car couple forces me to take some time off. It has helped me to catch up on my to-do list even though I missed my mall walking today. πŸ˜‰

Let’s just hope that this week continues on the upward trend and by the weekend I’ll have my car back!✌🏽️

~T πŸ˜€

 Posted by at 13:47
Oct 162016

…or so the saying goes. This can be interpreted for the negative and the positive. At the moment, I’m having faith that there is a building up of the positive that is going to dump it all at once on us soon!

Sometimes I think that the universe is testing me like Job to see how much it takes for me to break. So today I mentally told the universe “You will not break me!” with the image of Gandalf striking his staff to the ground shouting with determination “You shall NOT pass” to the daemon underground. 

It started out as a day where I felt on top of the world 🌎, which I haven’t felt for quite some time now. 

I had gotten up with a good attitude, swept the apartment of 75% of the dust and cat hair, cleaned the bathroom, organized the laundry basket to take downstairs upon my return from running errands, and got ready to go. My bag was packed as well to take downstairs when I got back to charge up stuff, do some work and meet our neighbor friend for lunch at hers. I was even planning on getting her yoga sessions started. 

Off I went to the embassy to submit my overseas ballot for the first time in years. I was so glad that I could vote as I wasn’t sure if my ballot would come since I have changed names and jobs since. However, my friend got it to me and so I felt it my responsibility this year to ensure that I voted properly. Thankfully the embassy collected the ballots until today to mail for us.

From there I went to drop off my passport keeping my fingers crossed that the change of status visa will come through soon so that all can move forward for my visa to come through and our lives to finally return to ‘normal’. 

As I walked out feeling pretty good, I went to turn on my car πŸš— and it stuttered to a dead end. Initially thinking it was just the battery, someone came to give me a jump but that didn’t work. So we figured it was either a dead battery or that the car was too small. Hubby came with his big car while I called the battery peeps. They told me 2hrs thus we figured we could try the beast. Hubby arrived with the beast but still no joy. As I tried to stay positive another hour later, the battery company arrived, tested, changed and then informed it wasn’t the battery after all. Therefore, 100AED later he went on his way while we called the tow truck to come take my car away. Another 45 minutes later a very happy 😊 tow truck driver arrived. He also tested the battery and confirmed it may be the starter motor or something. So he took the car away 

to the garage where it was indeed confirmed to be the starter motor. Part is on order and now we are a one-car couple for the week. 😜

While this was happening I received a message that our phone bills were overdue and so outgoing service would soon be cut off. By soon they meant immediately. Although we both still had data, M’s business requires he be able to call people. Not such a biggie to me, though the next step is loss of data, which is NOT okay!! 😳

Therefore, instead of going home to get work done, I dropped off M at his office, stopped to pay the mobile phone bill, for a quick bite to eat and then was off for my lesson. 

I picked up hubby after the lesson and went with him to his appointment before we finally made it home. 

The gratitudes for today in all this is that M was able to be with me for basically all of the experience keeping me from a meltdown 

as I really hate to deal with such things; our neighbor friend’s friends cooked dinner which they shared with us and we are enjoying the cooler evening air right now. 

So keeping in mind that there are numerous people in the world with no shelter over their heads or running water or enough food to eat, I have nothing to be down about. Everything was fine overall. Thus, even though it feels like a lot of negative rain β˜”οΈ pouring down on us, we have loads to give thanks for. 

Still, I am not denying that I wouldn’t love some of the positive rain to start dumping showers upon us anytime now. 😬

Tomorrow I will try to update on the weekend and why I didn’t have time to post the past three days. 

~T πŸ˜€

 Posted by at 20:29
Oct 122016

Someone said to me the other day that I am very self-aware. I felt quite pleased with this assessment and generally consider this to be true about myself. There is nothing like a little reality check now and then to remind me that there is always room to improve! πŸ˜›

Change is the only constant in this world – so the saying goes. Or, we can always count on change. Phrases like this make me laugh because of their truths and also because of my continual dismissal that they might apply to me. I prefer to believe that I can prevent change from happening and yet, it continues to happen day by day proving to me that only the universe can be in control of anything.

It should be fairly clear by now that I need loads of structure in my life. It is the secret to my success, so to speak, as well as the source of my sanity – if I truly can claim that! πŸ˜‰ By having structure, I give myself a false sense of control. In the audiobook I am listening to, the author promotes the use of structures to reduce the amount of depletion that occurs from worry or stress in not knowing what should happen next. <YES!!!> I realize, though, that I might take this to the other extreme.

Every day I have a schedule. For the most part, I stick to it as I plan my days at least a week, if not more, in advance. The night before, I prepare mentally for the upcoming day setting my alarms to guide me through the day and thinking about where I have some flexibility in case things come up.

Well, this only works to a point. So, when my husband suggested that I may have to make a special trip to Reem to drop off an originally signed document for my visa processing, I am disappointed to admit that I did not respond very elegantly. πŸ™

While I can give a number of excuses like I feel stress about my visa, or I think I have been patient enough, or I had a busy schedule already, etc., none would be appropriate enough to justify my snappy, pissy attitude that I gave in response. The truth is that I just have not yet figured out a good response pattern to suggestions of change.

I have been notorious to go into a rage when a small change in a planned restaurant was suggested…. It is just that I need time to process. In most cases, I will agree to the suggested change or even see it as a better option; however, when sudden changes occur it triggers physical and emotional memories of being taken suddenly to a new home or out of my comfort zone which usually resulted in a negative event. My fight-or-flight instinct kicks in causing me to have a sort of ‘tantrum’ rather than taking a deep breath and asking for a moment to process the suggestion.

Intellectually, I understand this. I am self-aware enough to know that there is something not right with my response as well as the reason I respond in such away. However, my very imperfect self needs work and help in developing the correct behavioral patterns to respond more gracefully. πŸ˜›

Eventually, my aversion to change may just be welcomed rather than defended – or one can hope! πŸ™‚

~T πŸ˜€

Oct 112016

I have recently joined a group calledΒ Moms/She Run(s) This Town, which is a running group that has chapters all over the States and world. πŸ˜€

Although I am not particularly a runner, nor do I plan to join any races any time soon, it has been quite fun to meet some ladies who like exercise from fast walking to running.

It all started when I decided to go to the free Yas Mall Ladies Walking activity which started as once a week with alternating weeks of mall walking and yoga. There has been so much interest, that now they have it twice a week with Mondays for walking and Thursdays for yoga. The Thursdays are a little difficult for me to get to regularly, but it is good fun. However, I have consistently been getting to the Monday walking. So, I have made friends.

One of my friends is the founder of the Abu Dhabi chapter of MRTT, who also happens to be a Korean adoptee from the States. So, through coffee chats post-walking and lots of Facebooking, we have a regular group of ladies running on Tuesday mornings on the Corniche.

At the moment, we start on the other end from where I am, but we are going to try changing up the starting point now and then.

Today we went nearly 6km of 2/2 split intervals of running and walking, though I walked most of the way back due to conversing with some new ‘friends’. While some of the member of MRTTAD are runners for races, most of us are just happy to be getting out to socialize and exercise! That’s good enough for me! πŸ˜€

~T πŸ˜€

Oct 102016

When money is tight it is difficult to justify getting pampering done or splurging on a cup of coffee at a cafe – two of my favorite things to do, by the way. 

These were activities I took a bit for granted as part of my regular routine of life when I was working full-time with a steady stream of income. While some women might not be willing to sacrifice this first-world luxury, it was the first of the items that had to be given up in my mind. What’s the point of spending money to look a part that I could not afford to play?

With things starting to look up and in celebration of signing on my first solo client, I decided it was worth a bit of pampering. 

Of course, post-pampering in this location involves a chai latte treat. A girl has to eat after all!! πŸ˜›

So it is a nice feeling to escape the worries a bit and feel as if the life of luxury is returning. It really is – just gotta be patient a little longer. The Universal Lord of all is providing above and beyond abundantly. Thus, I am always grateful and even more so in moments like these. πŸ™‚

~T πŸ˜€

 Posted by at 14:19
Oct 092016

Sometimes a bit of a break away from the to-do list and self-imposed pressures to write or meet deadlines is needed.

This weekend ended up being that, though not planned as such.

It was a nice weekend and for the first time felt somewhat ‘normal’. We hung out with friends. I ‘worked’ with a few lessons and yoga sessions. We went out on our own and relaxed. Sleeping in did not quite happen and probably won’t now on the weekends (at least for me), but that is okay. πŸ˜€

So, I did not write or post at all. However, it was a time to process some plans and ideas to maintain our momentum for getting life back on track. Thus, taking some time to just breathe has its benefits as well!

Stay tuned for what is to come!!!!

~T πŸ˜€


 Posted by at 11:51