Discovery of New Interests

Aside

As the climate starts to warm up a little, the city starts to emerge from the silence of winter. Mornings are awaken by the lively sounds of chirping birds while people start to take their coffee or beer outside of their house. Squirrels are out skittering from one front/ back yard to another, looking for food or maybe just a mate. A few days ago, I was bemused when I saw a pair of ducks in the canal while crossing the bridge. Where did they come from?

I made a surprising note about myself recently. I was stressed but for a different reason. For those who have not already guessed, I am usually hard on myself and my focus in always about achieving more in life. This word ‘achieving’ is set in a context where the milestones are measurable. The progressiveness is usually scaled according to money, status and power. Having been in the position of a so-called home maker for almost a year and a half now, my perspective of life is finally taking a turn. When they say old habits die hard, they were not joking.

So what am I stressed about this time? The stress here is not something negative as I am excited about my new projects. I would like to 1) try my hand in baking bread and 2) planting herbs. Since I am enrolled in a new school for French classes which happens three times a week, classes and homework have kept me well occupied. I need to block out some time to kick start my mini projects.

Who would ever thought I would be interested in baking bread! However, times have changed and I am really starting to enjoy the art of cooking where your food is your creation. I have seen beautiful pictures of homemade bread on my friend’s facebook. I am such a sucker for food that even a picture could trigger off the greediness in me. She shared a recipe with me and I just need to get down to realizing it.

Bread baked by PY. How to resist?

Bread baked by PY. How to resist?

I have read, heard and seen people planting their own vegetables and herbs in their backyards. That’s how far it went. The thought of having my own mini vegetable farm never crossed my mind. I could only imagine causing them an unjustified death. Yet this time round, the ‘mother nature side’ of me decided to take a bold stand. ‘Try it!’ says her. I do not have my own yard but I do have a small balcony so I could start from there.

This is a beautiful moment for me as I am able to experience something different. I am finally starting to discover some interests of my own. Hurray to that!

Signing off with love,

Esther

Cold Invasion

Watching the beautiful snowflakes carpet the area around me, I sniff into my tissue paper wishing I was well. 

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I am living through one of my worst colds. It has been on-going for more than a week now. Fortunately, I decided to do the wise thing and that is to put a stop to my schedule and stayed home for the last 3 days. Out of 24 hours, I was awake for less than 6 hours. The other 18 hours, I was snugged up in bed, floating through both semi consciousness and unconsciousness.

My nose started to give me some trouble the beginning of last week. However, I was still functional hence in my world, life goes on. I continued to go for my classes and my language exchange sessions. I was tired but I did not want to lose time so I carried on with my daily activities. Last Friday, I skipped an evening French class as I was exhausted and could not even find the strength to leave the house. After a good night sleep, I felt better and I thought I should be ok. Unsurprisingly, I went out over the weekend. How can I miss a good friend’s and a cousin’s birthday party right? Wrong. The body started to protest. My near empty vessel pulled through Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday, I crashed with a major headache, an unpleasant nose congestion and a horrible toothache.

It was not too long ago that I got a prolonged cough which brought me to the clinic. This time round, going to the doctor shall be the last option on my list. I had to get well on my own. A girl friend suggested a home-made remedy for cold — raw honey + ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Apparently these two elements have the antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties which deal well with the evil cold. While doing my research online with regards to my symptoms and cure, I found out an interesting statement by a writer of the article ‘How to get rid of a cold in 2 easy steps’. He said, “there is no cure for the common cold”.

“All of the remedies sold, at the drugstore or from your health food store, only alleviate the symptoms of a problem that shouldn’t be stopped in the first place!”

Hence the best formula is to let the body heal by itself. And how do we do that? We have to sleep a lot, drink lots of warm fluid and eat well (no heavy and greasy stuff). If I have given more significance to the onset of a cold, maybe I would have been able to avoid it in the first place or take a shorter time to recover. Since the superwoman in me likes to work till the last drop of breath, I need to pay a heftier price for my actions!

On the other end, there is also a good side to it. The process of being sick is painful yet it gives me a good reason to rest and drop everything else off my worry list. It is also a reminder for me to pay attention to the state of my immune system because every time the season changes, I catch some kind of a bug. I would like to enjoy the change in seasons and not cuss through it. Dan says that I got the REAL cold this time round and it is my initiation to be real Quebecoise! As I survive this round, I sure hope that my immune system gets stronger and fends off all those unwelcomed bacteria and viruses.

Hence for those who are feeling a little under the weather due to the change in temperature or other stress-related activities, remember to listen to your body. Do not use up the fuel because then you will need a much longer time to refill the tank and to get the engine started. As for me, I not am done battling with this cold yet. Maybe it is time for a warm glass of water and a hot shower…

Signing off with love,

Esther

Real VS Fake Breaks

Facebook is invading my brain!!!

As per every other unconscious moment, I always have this notion that I am a super woman. The super woman in my case does not refer to a super hero with the noble cause of saving the world. Instead, it refers to a woman with 10 hands, trying to juggle everything at the same time. When these hands start working nonstop, you will begin to observe the emission of smoke, followed by the deterioration of the control center. Finally, all the hands are entangled and superwoman is officially in a breakdown mode.

Taking breaks are necessary to manage the longer journey. However, taking ineffective breaks only leads to more restlessness and diminished motivation. There have been times where I told myself that I would take a quick 10 minutes break in between of my activities and what did I do? I surfed facebook. What happened next? 30 minutes went by just like that. I am not upset that I took a longer break than expected but I am disappointed that I did not protect my own time. I gave the precious 30 minutes to Mr. Facebook. What did he share with me? Pictures of Asian, Western, Mediterranean food etc. Updates on inspirations, frustrations and random daily comments. More pictures of babies, dogs, and a bruise maybe?

I have to admit that some of the updates are amusing and give me a good laugh at times while some other times, I can myself updated on someone’s life. Yet the rest of the time, I felt my brain rotting away with the influx of random information. As much as social media has gained significant popularity in our world today, being in control of this modern technology and being controlled by it result in a polarity outcome. Since I felt I was losing myself with the endless updates on facebook, I decided to take a break from it. Deleting my account did cross my mind but I decided that I still enjoying keeping myself updated once in a while.

Hence, to re-emphasize my point, clicking mindlessly on facebook has not proved to be an ideal way to take a break. The next myth I have, checking my emails and reading information on random websites is another good way to free the mind. *DANG DANG* This does not work for me too. Even though the information of the websites are of no relevance nor importance to me, there are still a lot of information that is being processed through the channels of my tiny brain. Instead of letting the mind rest, I am actually triggering it to work extra harder!

After stubbornly sticking to some perceived methods of relaxation, I decided to explore and take some steps of change. Much to my pleasant surprise, the simplest day to day activities are what free my mind. These activities include:

–          Cooking (excluding washing of dishes)

–          Packing the house (a cluttered environment reflects a cluttered mind!)

–          Ironing (I am probably hypothesized by the iron which goes right to left and left to right)

–          Watching dramas (I always thought wasting TV/ dramas is a waste of time. That assumption was made as I thought I had to always put my time to productive use. But hey! I deserve to let me imagination be taken to a different dimension too!)

–          Eating (always makes me happy!)

–          A cup of aromatic steaming coffee (with sugar and milk please!)

A break is meant for brain to rest isn’t it? It is therefore important to find an activity that takes your mind off the serious tedious to-dos list. Everyone has their own ways of having a well deserved break. I have discovered mine. What’s yours?

 

Signing off with love,

Esther