I almost forgot why I started this blog

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When I decided to move back to my hometown I was so drained that even the decision to move back was extremely difficult to make. I was emotionally exhausted and all I could think of was running away and hiding until I got better. Sometimes I think that I ran away, but I don’t regret my decision. Rather than running with no purpose only because you don’t want to hurt your pride and give up, I think it’s better to know when it’s the time to take a step back and watch the whole situation from a distance.

I remember that it was so difficult to decide to move back here that I couldn’t sleep for the whole month prior to my moving. I was extremely stressed because it was the first time I was giving up. It felt so strange and new. Sometimes I felt like a coward. I was ashamed of running away. I was ashamed that I needed a break at the age where I was suppossed to move mountains and conquer the world with youth and boldness. I was taught that this is what young people are supposed to do.

When I arrived home, it was summer. The green grass, the flowers were everywhere and the beautiful trees surrounding our house, it was like everything was calling me here, to come and rest for as much as I needed. I felt so much peace like I never felt before. Drinking coffee on the bacony with the most rural and beautiful view, cooking outside with the most delicious vegetables, watching the night sky where you can actually see the stars. Everything was so perfect and calm. But it lasted for about 3 months.

Soon the summer was about to end and I felt again restless. I wanted to rest more, but at the same time I felt like I was going to be left behind. Also, I realized that I had missed so much the countryside that I got to romanticize it in the first months. Then reality hit me again and I knew that living in the countryside doesn’t always equate to watching beautiful flowers, laying on the grass in the garden or smelling the nice air after a good summer rain. No, countryside is also about weeding the garden, watering the plants, and other hard works that your parents do and you can’t simply watch.

Soon enough I started to do both my full-time job and help my parents outside as much as time allowed me. Doing only those things, I started to think that I neglected my personal development. The pressure was always there. The pressure that you must not stay behind. The society is extremely competitive and hardworking people can be found everywhere. I thought that I must rethink my methods and start a plan to develop myself as much as I could. I started journaling, blogging, reading more, losing weight, learning a new language, involve in extra activities at work. I tried to do my best in any situation.

Here I am again. Not as exhausted as before, but somehow tired of trying too much. When I was thinking about this, ironically, I remembered the name of my blog and my original intention of living at a slower pace in a world that encourages competitiveness and a fast rhythm. I almost forgot about the way I wanted to live.

However, I learned that even if my intention is clear, my road will not be always straight, without little stones that might make me trip. The road could be full of obstacles, big or small, thus I have to be prepared to adjust my ways to fit to any situation.

Today, with a clear intention, I take a step back and try to slow down. Today I choose to do one thing at a time and listen to my body. Today I choose to be productive in stillness.

I hope you know when to take a step back and take care of yourselves.

2021: One year of challenges and growth

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It comes natural for me to make lists, to observe the process and the progress. Therefore, making analysis of what I achieved, of the steps I took to get where I am now, of the challenges I encountered and the lessons I learnt is always an opportunity to learn more and to understand myself better, and also to think of better ways to fly even higher.

By making lists and observing the activities and the results, I am also trying to win over laziness and procrastination. Living in the countryside was the perfect chance to slow down in many areas, but I was afraid that I would become inactive or lazy. Thus I need to see results and to motivate myself to grow.

Looking back, 2021 was full of challenges and difficult times, but it was also a great year full of gratitude, nice projects, achievements, great people to work and to connect with, lessons, creativity and happy moments. What more could I wish for?

At the beginning of the year, I chose 4 random mantras that would guide me and help me become better in certain areas: Self-care, Change, Lessons and Power. All the things that I did were more or less related to these areas that I wanted to improve. I learnt a lot of things and I allowed myself to fall, to feel embarrassed, to not be right all the time, to make mistakes, and this is how I have learnt so many things about myself and other people. I accepted new challenges and got involved into new projects that made me more confident and more aware of my super-powers.

I stepped outside my comfort zone as much as possible and I did some things that made me fearful and insecure about myself. I learnt that I can do better than I thought and it made me feel proud and stronger. I became more determined to be the one who decides what it is best for me and listen less of the things people say to me. I decided to take better care of myself and see myself for who I am, not for what I should be or for what I could be.

Maybe what happened less this year is change. I was afraid many times and took my time to do so many things. I could not say that I made dramatic changes or that I did some wow-things. However, I tried to improve myself and my life as much as possible in the actual context. It is enough and I did even better than I had expected.

At the beginning of this year I made a list with the things I wanted to try doing or improving, but what I loved most about it is that I took the freedom to adapt and to do what I felt at that moment. I improvised and I did even more because I learnt that life doesn’t happen according to our plans. However, we can leave our mark and our will in every thing that we do. While not everything depends on us and our will, there are some things that we can control, especially how we look at things and how we think about all the changes. Even when I think of how I thought this article would be, I can see that I couldn’t predict even this small thing. I write exactly what comes to my mind and what I feel, without respecting the list I made or the ideas I prepared in advance.

I don’t know how next year will be and I am not even trying to find out. If you think too much about the future, you lose the beauty of now and the now becomes the past that you can’t live or change anymore. Thus staying present and living the best way you can everyday and every moment is the secret to have a great year. This is what I have learnt after so many fails and mistakes. This is how it works for me and this is where my focus goes: live everyday the way you promised or wished to live.

For me, staying healthy, in peace with myself and the others, eating good food, looking at nice things and writing about them, learning and being creative is the best way of having great days and great years, After all, life is also formed of these trivial little moments of peace and happiness, not only of massive changes and great opportunities.

Thank you for being with me and for reading my stories this year as well. I wish you peace, health and enjoy the little moments.

The importance of one free day per week

This is an era where we mostly talk about productivity, getting the best results and working hard. And we love reading and talking about these subjects. Because this is what everyone else does. We have to become productive, we have to be promoted, we have to work the hell out of us to be observed, to be appreciated. Well, this is how things work. And don’t get me wrong. There’s no problem with working hard, with trying to be as productive as possible, with getting the best results out of your work. This is in fact the way we can measure progress. It’s all fine. However, working the hell out of you while forgetting how to take care of yourself… are you sure about that? Well, I’m not.

I am the type of person who doesn’t like to do something because she has to. Thus I actually get quite unproductive when I do something because I HAVE to. That could be because when I have to do something, I have to force myself to find external motivation to make it work. When I do something because I want it, because I like it, the motivation is internal and it doesn’t feel like work. So yeah, you could say I don’t like work :)) and boy, I get stuck at work so often.

I often feel like we work almost all our life and we have less time to enjoy it. Work is what we sometimes talk about after work when we meet with friends over drinks to forget about work actually. How ironic, right? Work is what we do almost all our life. I myself learned so hard until now just to get a good job. While I am proud I did it, it didn’t make me as happy as I thought I would be. What makes me happy is actually the time I disconnect and forget about work. It’s not that I hate my job or working in particular, I just love more the time I can do the things that I like. Well, I guess this is valid for almost everybody.

In my case, as it wasn’t already enough to deal with a full-time job during the week, I worked also part-time, if I can call it like that, as a tutor during the weekend. I also had a small part-time for 2 years during the week as a teacher, which I think exhausted me. Being a teacher is great and I also found friends while teaching. I did it because I loved it and I wanted to have more experience, but I neglected myself in the process because I didn’t really have the time for it. I guess I overworked myself. The result was a me tired all the time, always busy and stressed. The worst thing was that I was getting tired by the things I enjoyed. This is something I try to be careful of. Therefore I decided to stop getting involved in so many projects and start making time to take care of myself. This is how I thought of establishing the one free day a week.

You might think that one free day per week is not much, but trust me, it works wonders. I usually take that day on Sunday. Sunday is my day and I do whatever I want with that time. I like to do activities for my mental and physical health like meditation, journaling or walking. I also like to relax while listening to music or watching my favorite Korean series. I put a lot of effort in preparing breakfast and coffee for me an my family as my effort to give a good vibe to others and to myself. But what I love the most is the care I give to my skin and to my mind. Sunday is the day I become the VVIP in my life. I am extremely lucky to have a talented sister who does my hair, who gives the best relaxing massage, who does my manicure and my pedicure. On Sundays I become prettier and calmer. This free day is the treat I give to myself after a hard week, and it also helps me start my week with less stress and less worries.

It’s important to work and to improve ourselves, but I think it’s even more important to know when to stop so we can take care of ourselves. Being an active part of this rat race is not something we can be proud of. However, getting to learn how to escape from the rat race is way cooler and you can show off with your skills of nurturing yourself.

What about you? Do you have a day only for yourself? Or maybe you have other methods to relax that you can share with me? I’m curious to learn other ways of slowing down and taking care of ourselves. Let’s talk in the comments.

As always stay healthy and positive and I’ll see you around.