Sep 292016
 

Phew, it is the end of the week at last and what a busy week it has been!

I have become quite the social butterfly. Who knew I had it in me? However, I must say that I feel extremely drained energetically and am on the verge of delirium as I am also not sleeping completely through the nights for some reason despite being fairly tired.

Anyway, the week began with an evening event with the International Women’s Business Group “Welcome Back Cocktail Reception”. M joined me for that since men were welcome for the first event. I must say it was a fairly easy event since the whole intent of it is really to network. So, I got a handful of new business cards, some expressions of interest in The OSH Network and generally meeting new peeps. Plus, the ‘free’ food and drink was not too bad. They did it well with a photo booth and a draw for some prize, which obviously I did not win or I would know what the prize was! πŸ˜›

Monday was my usual mall walking activity that has become a nice part of my weekly routine. I did not stay for coffee afterwards, though since I was not quite sure about it and had to get ready for my book club meeting that I mentioned in my Tuesday post. The book club was actually quite good and interesting. I have never attended one before and only have images from movies about what book club ladies do. While we did have a lively discussion around the book, we also got to know one another since there were quite a few new ladies there. I will definitely be going back. So that was a success.

Tuesday was free from networking, but I had two yoga sessions. One was my case study/client and one was a brand new paying client. My first ‘actual’ client! So, that was amazing and so great to reassure me that I am on the right path of what I am doing.

Wednesday was my return to golf. I joined the golfing group for beginners, which was a lot of fun. I met a few new ladies of my age as well as some to look up to for golfing. Although this was networking to a degree, the golf is really for my own socializing purposes. πŸ˜‰ In the evening, I went to a networking event, which was the first one on my very own with no one else around for me to fall back to. When I first arrived, though I met a really nice lady who was also new to the event, so we hung out the most. We made friends with a few friendly faces. I got more business cards this time and got to share my own business model around. So, that is progress!

Then, this morning, I went to Yas Mall again for the free yoga session there. Some of the Monday ladies were there as well, so we had coffee afterwards and I got to chat with some different people than usual. Overall, that was also good with another potential client. πŸ™‚

So, I give myself a HUGE pat on the back for the week. It is quite impressive for me to be out almost every night of the week and to be making efforts to connect with new people. However, I appreciate the need to spread my wings as I venture away from the world of academia and into the ‘other’. πŸ˜›

Now, I am looking forward to the long weekend and hoping for a long deep sleep!!!!

~T πŸ˜€

Sep 282016
 

Yep, that’s right. I barely made it a week of my attempt at the 21-day sugar detox. πŸ™

It was not due to cravings or massive desire for sugar, but rather a busy schedule that resulted in eating out more and not having time to shop for food that would distract me from sugary items. 

We did well until the networking event on Sunday. There was food. There were bubbly drinks. Then, there was dessert. What is a happy girl to do when faced with the question of sweets or self-restraint? πŸ˜›

So dessert it was. 

This led to a tasty cheesecake shared the next night…


So I finally had to admit defeat. 

I am not too disappointed given that we workout a lot and generally eat well. When we have normal life again, I will try to stick to another attempt. Though it may be tough if it isn’t before the holidays… πŸ˜‰

~T πŸ˜€

Sep 272016
 

Interestingly, I wrote the title of this post last week after a conversation with my friend that I mentioned in my post about perspectives being relative.

Yesterday, I went to a book club (yep! and more on that later), where we were discussing the atrocities experienced by the tribes of Congo by the Europeans – particularly King Leopold of Belgium. As we discussed, one attendee, who is Korean, but spent most of her life in America, brought up the atrocities experienced by the Koreans and Chinese at the hands of the Japanese. While we all felt her pain and the closeness of it could not be denied given her father had been put in prison by Japanese soldiers, we could not help but remind her that similar acts had been done by Russians, Germans, Romans, and so on. The historical list is endless. She was not easily appeased, but quieted down eventually when we were not as mortified as she.

This goes back to trying to have conversation on the history of African Americans. A new museum has just been opened in D.C. to finally let the sharing of their history be cemented and recognized; yet every AA I know will still remind you of how horrible their history is even if they grew up fairly well off and unaware of much racism. It seems that they more than willingly take on the pain and suffering of their ancestors even today. Admittedly, this might not be completely fair given what is going on all around the U.S. right now between the AA community and the police force…, but that’s a whole other topic!

What is salient to me, though, is that when another AA group – the Asian Americans – talk about their history, there is very little complaint about their treatment or atrocities done. It does not mean that it did not happen – recall the Chinese railroad workers or Japanese interment camps -; it just means that the stories are more about their personal or familial struggles and efforts to overcome rather than stories of their persecution and reasons for not succeeding.

No one likes to hear this, but the perspective that we take – victim or survivor – greatly affects how we share our histories. If I play the victim, then there is no way that anyone’s history can ever be as bad as mine. On the other hand, if I play the survivor, then it is a story of victory and achievement where there is no way that anyone’s history can ever be as inspiring as mine. πŸ˜›

In no way, shape or form do I devalue nor do I discount the individual, group or cultural history that needs to be shared. However, I do feel that we could do with a bit more empathy and compassion for others to put our own histories into perspective. It is not a competition on who has it worst, but should be a sharing and connecting on who can make the best of it to better themselves, those around them and the world as a whole.

So, I smile at those who want to convince me that they have had it or even now have it so rough. As I walk away, I will give a sigh of relief that they have helped me to be grateful for my own struggles today and in the past whilst providing me with a new perspective to enjoy life to the fullest no matter what.

~T πŸ˜€

 Posted by at 10:20
Sep 262016
 

After a barely successful attempt at staying sane last week, I decided that I needed to refocus on ensuring that I get myself sitting each day to meditate. The truth is that I have been out of practice and a little bit lax on the meditating scene lately. While I do try to keep my positive mantras each day, I have not quite been working on centering and freeing my mind.

Therefore, this week I have decided to get myself up at 5am to meditate before we go to the gym at 6am. I managed to get up this morning, but it was a bit of hard work given that I had gone out last night for networking and was rather tired. Unfortunately, I found it quite difficult to get my mind to clear. Although I was not yet quite awake and it was a good time to meditate before all the day’s thoughts drifted in, I felt somehow tense and lacking the ability to clear my mind. Perhaps it is just a matter to getting back into the habit.

I have noticed that with the extra stress of life these days, changes in my daily patterns and the new activities for the business I am dangerously balancing my mind in the sane side of the world. However, it is also very possible that I could slip and fall into a depression or manic state if I am not careful. So, my mind needs to become a bit more a priority so that I can remain calm, cool and collected. πŸ˜›

We shall see how the 5am starts go. We ended up not going to the gym, so I went back to sleep for another hour instead, which was good since I had mall walking anyway for my exercise today. πŸ˜‰ More on that later!

~T πŸ˜€

Sep 252016
 

I was away from my computer and Abu Dhabi this weekend, so I could not really post. It was a nice 24-hr break away from the crazy realities of life these days.

When we were in Bali everyone was keen to organize a monthly get-together when we were all back in the UAE to keep our connections strong. Although their saying this may have been similar to the passing phrases of “we should get together soon” that people often make knowing that it will likely not happen, I attempted to make it happen for this month.

There was a Yoga Tune-Up workshop advertised a couple of months ago that I really wanted to attend. So, I used that as a reason to make a trip to Dubai. I accepted the offer of one of my yogini friends and stayed at hers on Friday night. I arrived around lunch time and we had a slow start, but eventually got to Dubai Mall where one of our yogamates was in a food festival as an executive chef of a rebranding vegan restaurant. It was nice to show support and to see her and her husband briefly. πŸ™‚ While my friend and her son did some ice skating I walked around the mall, which is just really an insane place to be. If I had had more time and money, I probably would have shopped or at the very least eaten much more! πŸ˜›

(Vegan restaurant where my friend is the chef)

(Her delicious vegan chocolate orange cake)

(Dinner mostly made by my host but with some help from me πŸ˜› )

In the evening, we got back and made dinner together (or tried) while another yogamate came over for drinks and dinner with her two sons. It was nice to catch up with them and to see people in their own environment.

The next morning (Saturday), we were up bright and early to get to the Surf House to rent Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP) for some paddling and attempts at SUP yoga with the Burj Al Arab as our background. It was a real shame that no one had a camera to take photos. While I have tried SUPing a few times, this was the first time that I actually enjoyed it. Maybe it was the scenery or just knowing what to expect. So, M and I will likely give it a try by the mangroves when the weather is a bit cooler and we are feeling a bit more relaxed in our activities.

Once back from that, I had a little bit of time to relax before heading off to the workshop. I got to see another yogamate there and the workshop was absolutely fantastic. I am a HUGE fan of Yoga Tune-Up balls as they really help to relieve muscle strain and in my less luxurious days, it saves on the lack of spa visits. πŸ˜€

tuneup

All-in-all, it was a really nice weekend despite being rather busy and not getting to ‘chill’ that much. Who needs to chill every weekend, anyway?! πŸ˜› It is a busy week ahead, but should be good!

-T πŸ˜€

Sep 222016
 

Not too long ago I wrote about my initialΒ networking activities of late.

This morning I went to the American Women’s Network (AWN) coffee morning for the first time. Now when I first arrived I attended an AWN meeting, which was very different as it was in someone’s home with just a few people. After that event I swore to never to go another one, which I successfully did for the past eight years (almost). πŸ™ However, as I have said, I need to network and I have heard really nice things about the group and their activities, so I decided to give it a go as I have still stayed updated with their events.

It was an interesting event, indeed. They have grown to the point that now the event is held in a hotel ballroom. There are loads of ladies involved in different activities. They are well organized and have a speaker for each event. Today was about the Desert Diva trips in the ‘unchartered’ territories of the Arabian desert.

I met a lovely lady, a few others, an extremely rude and self-important lady and a familiar face within the two-hour period. I pushed myself to introduce myself to some of the ladies who are organizing the golf and book club that I am joining. Thus, I feel it was a success as a first networking event all on my own! πŸ˜‰

We shall see how we go next week as there are quite a few coming up that I will be attending. πŸ˜€

~T πŸ˜€

 

Sep 202016
 

At the end of last week as I was visiting with a friend I could feel the skin around my mouth itching and a familiar tingle on the edge of my lip. Hoping that it was not what I thought it was, I tried to ignore it. Despite my attempts, the tingling got worse and by the end of my visit, the fever blisters had boiled up on my mouth. Usually I am home or carry around ointment with me to catch the outbreak before it goes into full blast, but sadly this time I was not able to do so.

Ever since I got really sick one year as a kid I have gotten fever blisters. Normally, they are a result of my body getting run down from sickness or from stress. Initially, I did think I was getting sick as many people are carrying around yucky bits with their kids going back to school and everyone’s immune systems going haywire trying to find balance from everything brought in from people’s trips around the world during the summer. However, (knock on wood) I have not yet been fully taken down by anything, which leaves stress as the remaining factor in causing my outbreak.

Now, I really do not like to admit to stress or sickness. Yet, it is obvious that there has been a lot of stress in our lives lately; therefore, there is no point in denying that it is there. I am just about at my wits-end with patience in our situation, but need to hang in there just a little bit longer. While I am okay with myself not admitting to stress or giving myself pep talks to stay positive, I am less keen to hear it from others.

So, the other day a friend of mine (who happens to be African-American) went on a monologue about how I had nothing to stress about; there are people dying and children starving who have REAL things to stress about; so I should relax and count my blessings. Obviously, I did not really want to hear this. Yes, of course, I know this reality and of course I am grateful for what we have despite our stressful inconveniences. In the grand scheme of the world, I really do not have anything to stress about or worry about. Still, it does not mean that my current feeling, physical response (look at my face!) and mental state should be de-valued or under-played because at the moment it is real for me.

After taking a bit of a step back from it and having another conversation with another African-American friend on another topic, I came to realize that it is a common theme for AAs to diminish the ‘suffering’ of others under the impression that no one has suffered like they have or do. While I am not devaluing the historical and origins of suffering for their community, I am contemplating the relativity of it along with the need to make others feel sure life could be worse ie. like theirs….

In any case, it has been good for the contemplation, if nothing else. πŸ˜€

~T πŸ˜€


Day 2 of the 21-day Sugar Detox meal was a repurposing of the meatballs from Day 1. Therefore, I used Fed & Fit’s Breakfast Salad as the base for dinner. So, instead of sausage balls, I used the leftover meatballs. Also, I added spinach as the salad base and left out the cilantro to make it a more hearty dinner salad.

M’s feedback was “I think this might be the best salad you have ever made!” πŸ˜€ And, I have made a lot of salads lately…. πŸ˜‰

Sep 192016
 

Cannot quite decide on what topic to write about today, so will go with some jumbles.

First, as promised, here is my dinner from Day 1 of the 21-day Sugar Detox. It ended up being quite tasty though it could have used a bit more flavoring. Still, not a bad recipe for Spinach-Cilantro Meatballs. I could not bake, so I did a quick fry in a pan to brown the meat and then boiled them in beef broth. Also, I used a mix of ‘greens’ other than just spinach. πŸ™‚ There were plenty for dinner, some for lunch and I’ll be using the rest to add to tonight’s dinner. πŸ˜‰


In other news, trying to transfer money from overseas – more specifically the US – is a pain in the posterior. It takes a week for money to transfer…even though they say it may transfer sooner. Now, I understand why and how Western Union came to be and why and how they can charge so much for the wire transfers because if you want money fast it is the ONLY way. So, despite optimism trying to prevail, we are at the whim again of timing waiting for the transfer to go through before my visa processing can commence…. <deep and long breaths> πŸ˜›

Somehow, I have become a socializing networking machine! This past weekend I met up with people whom were mostly new to us every day!!! Yep, me! I do feel a bit exhausted from it and perhaps my fever blister break out is a sign of that, but it is all for the good. I am making new friends, staying active AND getting potential new clients. Gotta keep at it!

So, this is my update for today. Tomorrow, I will start earlier when my mind is fresh to write on something more ‘interesting’. πŸ˜€

~T πŸ˜€

Sep 182016
 

Day 1:

Just a couple of months ago I finally wrote up about _The 21-day Sugar Detox…_ book that I read. Just about a year ago, I also did a light version of the detox with a friend, though we both had cheat days for alcohol since our husbands are British and well, the Brits do not like to give up their booze. πŸ˜›

When we moved into our apartment, we said that once we got settled we would do a juice detox and reboot our eating and health habits. Since the ‘settling’ bit has gone a little haywire, our detoxing and rebooting has been a bit haphazard. We are both getting to the gym regularly (me less so the past week or so…) and M is seeing some massive results from that alone.

Also due to limitations in our cooking facilities, our eating has been generally good, though if we eat out more we tend to eat less well. M still has a bit of a ‘beer belly’ and does not yet want to admit that diet is 80% of weight loss; thus, he has plateaued a bit even though the muscles are forming and he is still burning off his calories.

So, I have been toying with the idea of doing the sugar detox again since the beginning of the month, but with Eid hitting I put it off. However, now that we are all through the long holidays for a couple of months, I thought this was as good a day as any to begin at last.

Therefore, yesterday I planned out our dinners for the week to ensure that we have a sugar-free meal. While I cannot control what M eats during the days at work, I can encourage him to eat well and hopefully offer him some leftovers to take to the office if he has time to eat (which he often does not).

I am also going to try to return to intermittent fasting dinner-to-dinner, but will probably just do one day a week instead of two as I did before because I am exercising a lot more than I was.

Hopefully, we will do well – though it is going to be hard to stay off the sugary tasty drinks for the next three weeks…. Wish us luck!

Here is my lunch today…the peanut butter still has some sugar in it….

Will take pics of dinner to post up on tomorrow. πŸ™‚

~T πŸ˜€

Sep 172016
 

It has been a while since I have posted on the fur balls (okay, maybe only a month ago… πŸ˜› ), so I thought it might be time to share a few recent pics.

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine here who is starting a pet photography business (Shim Photography) here came to do a photo shoot with the munsters to beef up her photo gallery. It was almost as if they knew that they were doing a photo shoot because they were amazingly sweet and calm while she was at the apartment taking photos. The black and white ones are from her photo shoot and the two colored ones are from this morning.

Although they do drive me crazy, or rather Pippi drives us mad with her crazy cat howls, they are also a sweet addition to the house. Sometimes I miss not having cat hair all over the furniture and my clothes, or being able to put out nice things on counters, or to leave dirty dishes in the sink (nah, who am I kidding on that one?), etc. However, when I come home in the afternoons and little Mia comes to greet me at the door or as I sit on the sofa reading a book or taking a quick afternoon nap, I realize just how much I do love my kitties.

I think because I am married I cannot technically be called a “crazy cat lady”, but I might be somewhat close! πŸ˜› M says I am funny about the cats, but it is more that I have ‘rules’ for them – like no giving them water from our bathtub or no people food! Isn’t that just normal? Maybe not. In any case, I do try to have some boundaries for them. πŸ™‚

So, there it is – my cat love. What’s not to love after all?

~T πŸ˜€

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