I’ve been a bit out of sorts lately. I think it’s due to the rainy, snowy weather we’ve been getting recently. I love the crisp fall air, colourful leaves, and the atmosphere of the season. But it can also get cold and drizzly which isn’t nearly as pleasant. Here’s hoping the weather will warm up again, even for a little. As you may have noticed, I was away for a couple of weeks. Then came back to chaos at work and the catching up process. We’re also down a couple of people due to vacations, so it’s been extra hectic. I’ve been really mentally drained and burned out.

But I’m learning to be kind to myself and have given myself permission to rest. In my free time I’ve been spending a lot of time reading and thinking. I’ve been tidying up my personal spaces at home which makes me feel productive. I’ve been cooking lots of comfort foods, which is especially nice with the cool weather outside. And I’ve been investing time in a new friendship which has brought me joy. I’ve also been more motivated to write, so hopefully I can share more content on here too.

So while there is struggle, there’s also been positivity. How have you been faring lately?

6 Things About Me

On a lighter note, I wanted to share a few things about me. Let me know if you feel similarly, or if you’re completely different. I always enjoy hearing from you 🙂

I enjoy a slower pace of living.
I love mornings on the weekend. Since I don’t have to rush to work, I can take my time getting up. I’ll brew up a mug of coffee whilst checking on my plants and making sure they’re watered and happy. I’ll wander around the living room and tidy things up. Or nestle onto the couch and watch the bright sunshine stream in through the open windows. It’s the perfect way to start the day.

I prefer being alone most of the time.
I rarely find myself feeling lonely. Ironically, I often feel the most alone when I’m in a crowd of people. But when I’m at home, puttering around, or spending time on creative pursuits, I feel very content. I still enjoy the company of people, just in small doses.

I have a calming presence.
I’ve had people tell me that spending time with me calms them down. Even in stressful situations, I apparently give off chill and relaxed vibes. I guess that’s a good thing as I like making people feel comfortable.

Most people don’t know the real me.
On the outside I’m quiet and reserved while still being friendly. But if you’re paying attention, you might notice I don’t share a whole lot about me. Only a few have seen me at my most authentic and vulnerable.

I hate small talk.
Years of customer service has honed my ability to converse in small talk. But I still don’t enjoy it. I can tolerate it as a way to break the ice. But when the entire conversation is small talk, I find myself going just a little bit insane. I then start plotting ways to excuse myself and escape the conversation. I have even hid in washrooms to avoid small talk.

I don’t answer the phone very often.
If I don’t recognize a name or number, I won’t pick up. If it’s important they’ll leave a message. I’ve also been known to stare at incoming calls and let them go to voicemail. Then I call back when I’m mentally prepared to talk.

Nearly the weekend

It’s been a long week. We’ve been consistently busy at work which is good. But the only downside is that greater engagement with clients and coworkers at work leaves me more burned out by the time I go home. Fortunately I have about an hour alone in the evening before my roommate gets back. So I use that time to prep supper, prepare things for the next day, and do bits of cleaning in our shared areas.

I’m not sure if it’s due to the restrictions, but my (highly extroverted) roommate has been more needy than ever. She’s pretty good at leaving me alone if my door is closed. And I’ve been utilizing that option a lot lately in order to recharge. So that’s been great. But as soon as I leave my room to fetch a glass of water or use the washroom, she pops out of her room like a jack-in-the-box and starts talking. It would be almost comical if I wasn’t so mentally exhausted. And at that point, I’m not even coherent. So I can’t really explain why I need to be alone.

On the plus side, we’ve been having absolutely beautiful weather. So I’ve been able to go for walks outdoors more often. It’s truly been a lifesaver. Especially since my roommate only leaves our place for work and groceries. And constantly wants to talk when we’re in the same room. And follows me around like a puppy if I move from one room to the next.

But I’m looking forward to this weekend. I’ll probably do some cleaning around home (with headphones in). Grab a cup of coffee or tea and go for a walk. And spend some time with my daily planner. What are you up to this weekend?

Being thankful

Every autumn I like to do a series of posts. Sometimes it’s sharing my love of autumn, other times it’s been travel quotes.

In the midst of these crazy times, full of lock-downs and restrictions, I wanted to share something positive. I want to share one thing I’m grateful for every day for three weeks. I hope you enjoy them and please feel free to share what you’re grateful for in the comments 🙂

My love of autumn

The stirrings of autumn have begun. There are tinges of yellow on the trees and a few leaves have already fallen to the ground.

Autumn is my favourite. I love going for walks while the soft smell of decay fills my senses. Taking in the vivid reds and oranges suspended in the canopy above and scattered on the ground below. Crunching my way through the fallen leaves along the path.

Autumn has its own charm. It feels romantic, lends itself to emotion. It brings coziness and warmth. There’s an ache of nostalgia, longing, melancholy. A shift in season and temperature. It feels like memories, love, loss.

Even grey, rainy, days can be magical. Finding comfort curled up with a good book. Wearing a cozy shrug and woolen socks. A cup of tea at my elbow. Watching raindrops slide down the window pane.

There’s coziness in warm flannels and soft sweaters. The texture and scent of woolen scarves, leather boots, and snug denim. Comfort foods on cool nights. Thick, rich soups and stews. All the pumpkin spice I can handle. Cups of steaming, spicy chai. So hot I burn my tongue but come back for more. I love autumn!

What is your favourite season?

5 Things About Me

I thought it would be fun to do a lighter post. Here are a few things about me you may not know.

1. The older I get, the less I care what others think.
This has been so incredibly freeing for me. I’m still a people-pleaser at heart, something I’m working to overcome, but I feel more at peace. There’s no longer any intense pressure to conform to what I think others want.

2. I write far better than I speak.
Writing gives me time to sort through my thoughts and feelings and choose the most appropriate word for the occasion. Thankfully I’m blessed with family and friends who are patient when I mix my words together or stutter (which happens if I’m nervous or tired).

3. I find it easy to see things from another’s perspective.
Travel and personal experiences have broadened my world. It’s far richer for all the people I’ve met and interacted with. However, it also can become frustrating when dealing with those who only see life one way.

4. I internalize stress.
I never knew how to handle stress as I was growing up. I’d simply shoulder everything until it overwhelmed me. Then I’d have an emotional meltdown (usually over something small and insignificant). Over the last 5+ years I’ve been learning to be more proactive. Meditation, mindfulness, exercise, and time in nature has helped me alleviate and deal with stress.

5. I find labels helpful but am not defined by them.
I’m an introvert (specifically INFJ) and a HSP (highly sensitive person). Learning there was a reason for the way I thought and functioned completely changed my perspective. I finally felt normal. That being said, I don’t find myself constrained by labels and am always pushing for self improvement.

What’s something interesting about you?

Daily challenges

sea-758165_1920I’m struggling a bit. Due to the current situation, I’ve been at home a lot. So has my gregarious, extroverted roommate. She wants to hang out all the time but I don’t have the energy or the desire to do so. We’ve had conversations in the past about our differences in energy and how I need alone time to recharge, but we may need to revisit it.

I understand she’s been having a hard time adjusting to this new normal. There’s nowhere to go after work so we both end up at home around the same time. She only hangs out with one other friend (every once in a while) so I’m her main source of companionship. I’ve been trying to spend a consistent amount of time with her. Usually for an hour or so most evenings and in the afternoon on Sunday. But it’s never enough.

Even outside the time we spend together, she’s always trying to get my attention. I’ll be doing food prep in the kitchen and she’ll be talking to me from the couch. Making random comments or asking my opinion on what book she should buy or what she should have for dinner. She doesn’t actually want my opinion, as she never acts on it, so I think she’s just trying to illicit a response.

My only safe space is my room. Fortunately she respects the closed door (most of the time) and lets me recharge. But as soon as I leave my room to use the washroom or get a glass of water, she immediately pops out of her room, and starts talking. It just feels very invasive. If our conversations were deep and meaningful, it would be one thing. But they’re filled with small talk, chatter, memes, and daily grievances.

I’m planning on taking some extra quiet time this week and weekend to recharge. Any suggestions on how to proceed are greatly appreciated.

Life lessons

living-room-690174_1920We’ve just been through an extremely stressful few months (and it looks like it may continue for a while). I’m sure most people can relate. I’m terrible when it comes to managing stress. I became burned out, overwhelmed, and emotional. I had pretty much no motivation to do anything, which is also why it’s been so long since I’ve posted anything here. I’ve been working to make changes in my life to help manage stress. Here are a few things that have helped.

1. Simplify my life
I’ve been spending a lot of time at home. Less distractions have given me more free time. I’ve spent lots of time watching Netflix. But I’ve also been working on creative projects. Being productive helps me feel better. It’s also given me more opportunities for much-needed quiet time (since I’m living with a stir-crazy extrovert).

2. Limit social media
I like to stay on top of what’s going on in the world but I found that I was getting overwhelmed with negative news. Now I only check the news once a day and limit my time on social media. I’ll also connect with friends and close family when I need a positive boost.

3. Take time for passions
I have a big list of creative projects I want to work on. Having more free time has given me the chance to start on a few of them. It’s been so much fun and has brought some extra joy into my life.

4. Take care of myself
I’ve been trying to take better care of myself. I’ve been working on getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, eating healthy, and cutting out processed foods. I’ve also been trying to go for more walks outside in the fresh air and sunshine, and working out 2-3 times a week. These small steps have helped me feel a lot better. I’m also taking time to recharge as I need.

5. Create a quiet oasis
My room is my escape but it was getting a bit cluttered and busy. So I removed all the clutter, did a deep clean, and organized whatever was left 🙂 I also added some greenery. It’s become the perfect little oasis to recharge and relax. There is a sense of peace as soon as I walk in.

These are a few things that have helped me. How have you been coping? Anything that has helped you over the last few months?

Quick life update

girl-983969_1920Things have been pretty quiet lately with the current Covid-19 situation. I’m one of the lucky ones who is still able to work. Local regulations still allow for small offices under 10 people to operate as long as we’re social distancing. I’m grateful for the routine of work, it helps keep me grounded. I know many who have lost their jobs.

Other than going to work and the grocery store, I’ve been staying at home. As an introvert, this doesn’t bother me too much. The challenge comes when my extroverted roommate is also at home, which is all the time. It’s been a period of learning. Some days we’ll chat after work and eat supper together. Other nights I hole up in my room, shut the door, and put in headphones. Spending time alone working on hobbies or reading a book is an essential part of my day.

With gyms and dance studios closed, I’ve had to be more creative. Sometimes I do a strength workout with my limited fitness equipment. Other days I’ll dance to salsa to burn off stress. Or if I don’t have enough time for a full-length session, I’ll go for a short walk around the nearby pond. I’ve also been finding solace in indoor gardening. Since I live in a condo, I don’t have the benefit of an outdoor plot. But tending to my small collection of plants gives me peace of mind.

I hope you’re all doing as well as possible and that you’re staying safe. How have you been doing?

6 Goals for the Year

japan-4744625_1920These last two months have been chock full of travel, adventure, friends, and social time. If I were an extrovert, I’d be living my best life. Since I’m decidedly an introvert, I’ve been spending most of my free time in my room, recovering as best I can. I’ve finally gained enough energy to be social again, this time in more manageable doses.

I’m not a big resolution person. I prefer to create goals along the way, evaluating and adjusting as necessary. But I wanted to share a few things I’ll be working on this year.

1. Use a planner
I love how efficient I am when I consistently use my planner. Unfortunately I’ve fallen off track more times than I can count. I will be working on being more disciplined so I can get a lot of projects accomplished this year.

2. Disconnect 
I’ve recently come to the realization of how much time I waste on Facebook and Instagram. I’ll give myself a time frame during the day to check on them. But I need to stop wasting my time in the evening and spend it more productively.

3. Embrace my hobbies
Because I’ve been wasting time, I’ve been neglecting my hobbies. I want to get back into cooking, crafting, and dance even more this year. That way I can accomplish some of my goals.

4. Head outside
I’ve actually been doing fairly well with this (before it got super cold and wintery). But I want to spend as much time outside as I can. It’s so rejuvenating for me and I always feel refreshed.

5. Find balance & peace of mind
I’m still working to find balance between quiet time and social activity. I’m also working to care less what others think (and obtain peace of mind). I need to stay true to my nature and not allow others to push me around or manipulate me.

6. Minimalize
I’ve been letting clutter pile up at home and it’s starting to bother me. So this month I’ll be starting the minimalist challenge to get rid of the things that hold no value for me.

What are some of your goals?