Back to the salt mines!

I had 10 days off work.  1o days!

It was a struggle to go back to work this morning and the day sped by so fast I nearly got whiplash!  But, that being said, after 10 days of not being chained to a desk (and my determination to keep my desk as paperless as possible), today was a good first day back at work!

Today was actually a really good day.

WUKABKR

So this is 40?

It’s my birthday!  Hurrah!

So this is how 40 feels?  I don’t really feel any different from yesterday.  Sure, there are aches and pains, creaking bones and clicking mandibles, but apart from the carpal tunnelly hands, I think I’m okay.  Oh and I’ve seen (and dealt with) a few more grey hairs!

I have been thoroughly spoilt with birthday presents, flowers and birthday greetings.  People have been so kind.  I’m glad that I’ve done enough good to deserve the well-wishes.  Thank you to my church baby Nikki who wrote me a lovely message.  I wonder sometimes if I’ve become too distant, too protective of myself to do any good, to do something for other people.  I’ve been struggling with myself lately, having internal arguments about how I’m behaving.  I’m glad I am still doing something to make some people happy.  Because that’s all I ever really want, I want to make people happy.

birthday40I want this year to be the year I make improvements to myself.  I want this year to be the year I tick off some of the items on my personal to-do list.  I want this year to be the year I officially establish my real “hustle” (it’s a little something I learned from Emma Gannon‘s podcast – listen to Episode 9 where Emma interviews Paulette Perhach.  These millenials are so driven, you get energised just listening to them!) so that my current “hustle” becomes my “side-hustle” so that I can do what I really want to do!

It’s not going to be easy, because I am plagued with procrastination and I have the tendency to allow myself to be swallowed up by inertia.  I am bolstered, though, by the desire to do something else, to do something creative, to work for myself.

I am determined to do something this year.

at40I don’t look too bad for 40, do I?

Arrested development

We’ve heard it all before…the old adage that age is just a number.

I turn a year older in exactly 14 days.  It’s a milestone birthday.  But I don’t think I feel my age.  Don’t get me wrong, I know I am getting older.  My body never passes up the opportunity to let me know that I’m aging – I’m finding more gray hair, I’m seeing tiny wrinkles starting, my hair is thinning, my metabolism (darn it!) is slowing down, and I am plagued with aching joints and muscles.

The thing is, I don’t feel old.  This isn’t necessarily a good thing.  There are times when I feel underdeveloped, immature, inexperienced and juvenile.  There are spring lambs who seem to be more mature, more street smart than me.  Like I didn’t grow up quite the way I should have, like I didn’t really have the right social skills that a person of my age is expected to have.

I know, I know!  You’ll probably all say that I shouldn’t base my self-judgement on the dictates of society.  But I can’t help it!  Sometimes I feel completely inadequate.

So I’m going to start a journey of rediscovery.  It’s really been something that started a few months ago.  I was craving change.  I wanted improvement in my life and I was really annoyed myself because I knew I would be plagued with procrastination and inertia.  This is why I’ve started reading inspirational books, I’ve started paying attention to all the  articles about self-development articles that I’ve subscribed to.  I’ve started to seek inspiration because I’m determined to make some sort of change this year.

I’m consumed by this desire to change my life, to be happier, to be more successful, to be more driven, to be healthier…and not because I want to everyone to envy me (well, okay, maybe I want everyone to look at me and say, “Wow, look at her!”…maybe just a little.  I’m only human!), I want to look at my life and feel a sense of achievement, to know that I achieved the goals I set for myself.  I know I’ve had achievements, I know I’ve made a difference, but I want something else.  I can’t exactly articulate it.  But I want to be able to tick things off my list and go, “Well, there you go!  I’ve finally done it!”

The sad thing is, I don’t exactly know what it is.  I’m not completely sure what I want to be, who I want to be and it’s funny because there are times when I wonder, who I am and if I’ve lost my identity.

My ball has stopped rolling.  I am unmoving.

But this year, it will be different.  I will start identifying my want to-do’s and I will get them done!

Time to start moving again!

Who am I and why am I here?

I’m late to the Blogging 101 Party but I thought I’d still work on the assignments.  I need to redirect my blogging efforts and relight the blogging fire so to speak.  So in this case, this start is better late than never!


Those two questions are probably the scariest questions a blogger can face…well, to me it’s very scary.  Because sometimes, I forget to focus on the who and the why.

I remember starting a blog on another blog host site.  It was mostly a journal for me.  I place where I wrote about my rants, where I made fun of people who made grammatical mistakes, where I talked about me.  I’m not exactly sure that’s where I found my voice…if I’ve ever found it at all.  But I’m a lot more serious about this blog.  Because I think I’m much more selective about what I write and share online.  I find that as I grow older, I’m more sensitive to how what I put out in the universe affects other people – ripples in the water, and all that jazz.

So, why don’t I just write my thought down in a journal.  I don’t know is the answer to that question.  Sometimes it’s just knowing that you can send things out into cosmos and somewhere someone goes, “Oh I get that completely!”  I think it’s a deep-seated human need to fit in, to belong or just feel like we’re not so different – am not entirely sure that that’s a good reflection on my individuality because it speaks volumes about my need to conform to the mores of society!

I write because I want to talk.  I think I write because I want an audience.  But at the same time, I sort of want the imagined anonymity.  I mean I can hardly be anonymous if I use my photo as my Gravatar image, now can I?  But it’s the ease of putting stuff out there.  Of seeing if anyone finds what I have to say interesting.

I also want to talk about my food journey.  I love to cook and bake and I want to share what I’m learning.  Food for me isn’t just about the physical nourishment.  It also holds a lot of happy memories of family and friends gathered around a table.  Food is an intrinsic part of my growing up, so being so far away from my family, a way for me to reconnect and cheer myself up.

I also love to talk about Filipino food, which I think is a long-ignored Southeast Asian cuisine.  I thought if I wrote about Filipino food then people would see a new facet about the Philippines.  I want to get people talking about Filipino food.  I mean I know that Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern have both visited the Philippines and they rave about Filipino food.  So we have been featured on TV.  There are a lot of tutorial videos about how to cook Filipino food floating about on the internet but I want to add my voice to that.  I want people to know how good Filipino food really is.  We need to be as known as our other Southeast Asian neighbour’s cuisines:  Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian, Vietnamese.

I have no idea how the blog is going to help me turn my food passion into something that I do everyday.  If that is even possible (yes, I know it’s been done, but in this saturated market, can I carve out a little niche for me?).  But I’d like to find out what is out there, if there are opportunities.

I think the first goal is to connect to other people.  See blogs that I have a lot in common with, actually read them, learn from them.  Refine my writing style.  Find my voice.  Fall in love with blogging again (I used to blog everyday…sometimes even more than a blog post a day!).  Find out if this is something I want to take further of this will evolve into something else.  I want to hear from other people.  I want people to come to the blog and say things, react to what I have to say.  If it’s negative, please be gentle, but thoughts are welcome!

I’m excited again.  That’s a brilliant start.

Goodbye January!

Sooooooooo…it’s the end of the month…and, if you live in the UK, the deadline for filing your self assessment tax returns online (I can’t help it!  I work for accountants, we had tax return submissions coming out of our ears!) is TODAY!  I certainly hope you’ve already filed your tax return.  Anything filed after today will incur a penalty.  Just saying.  And that ends my public service announcement!

SelfAssessment-homepageI’ve been busy blogging this month.  I’m (desperately) trying to make good on my New Year’s resolution to write more.  My next task on the blogging to-do list is to ask for feedback.  The plan is to ask my blogger and writer friends to look at the blog and ask for their feedback on the new theme and the layout.  I am absolutely TERRIFIED though.

I signed up for Blogging 101 and haven’t worked on ZERO writing assignments!  How bad is that?!?  I have high hopes for the next few days because I intend to work on the assignments!  I am done prevaricating and procrastinating.  Sort of.  Ha!

Business concept. Isolated on white

The List

It’s a Sunday all over again.  Sometimes I wonder whether it’s really a sign that one is getting older that the days just whoosh past.  I wonder why I always feel like there’s not enough time in the day to do everything that I want to do.  I always feel like I’m not making the most of my time.  I know there is more to life than efficiency, but I kind of feel like I’m supposed to accomplish more than I’m supposed to.

There was one task that I meant to do before Sunday lunchtime and I was quite pleased with myself when I managed to finish it by 4PM yesterday.  I’m the worst procrastinator in the world but I do have off days.

Which brings me to my goals for 2016.  I thought I’d set goals that were relatively sensible.  I have this dream of turning my absorption about food into something that earns me money.  I’m not quite sure yet how I’m going to get there and where “there” is, but this year, I want to do things that’ll help me find out where I want to go!  So that being said, this is my working list (open to additions and amendments, of course!):

  1.  Blog at least once a week.  So at the end of the year, I should have at least 52 entries for this year!
  2. Learn a recipe a week – sweet or savoury.  My goal really has been to cook through all my cookbooks.  Not entirely sure I will want to do that because I’d rather bake cakes.  But life is a balance.  So I need to make sure I cook and bake!
  3. Finish my 2 CBT books.  I need to finish them because I’m still working on my emotional equilibrium!
  4. Be more organised at work – the ultimate goal is to become more proactive than reactive.  I used to be so organised.  I used to multi-task ever so effciently.  I want to get back to being Capability Jane and have a feeling of control over my work again.
  5. Learn that it is important to find that sweet spot where work and life are balanced.  Work is important but so is my personal life and the relationships in it!

This is my working list.  I think these goals are realistic.  The first 3 items are easy enough to schedule in.  But the last 2, well, these need sitting down and thinking about.  It’s the thinking about that is easily injected with procrastination and avoidance.  But I am working on that!

I am determined to make 2016 the year I certainly sort things out.  My life is certainly more complicated than I want it.  2016 is the year I declutter and make sure I have only what is necessary and bring out what is surplus.

Snoopy determined

 

Goal setting for 2016

Like so many others, I have had lists (and lists) of New Year’s resolutions.  Some of them achieved, some of them started but not finished, some of them just left on the list without progress.  I have always allowed myself excuses like I’m too busy at school or, my current one, work has kept be too busy to do anything else.  I have made the usual resolutions to lose weight, keep tidy, finish this or that project, read more…you name it, I’ve probably resolved to do something similar.

But 2016 is different.  It’s a milestone year for me and I intend to make things special.  I intend to tick everything off my to-do list.  I want to look at my to-do list on 31 December 2016 and look at all those lovely and resolute ticks!  So this year, I have resolved to sit down and think about what I really want to achieve this year.  I am also a major procrastinator so I’m not going to allow myself the luxury of waiting.  I have the art of prevaricating down to a science!  But I am determined that I will have my goals set by this time next week!

I want to find that lovely balance between work and leisure time.  I want to make all my efforts count!

I am determined!