Making lists

29 11 2019

I was watching a documentary about hoarding. The paths we take in our lives are sometimes paths that we may not have chosen ourselves, and that, in fact, each of us is searching for a way to fill in the blanks that others may have left us with. Psychology is an immense subject and working on our psyche and on our soul is a road less travelled on by so many of us. However, as life passes by, our emotional world is the one that we need to protect. The one we need to work on getting right. It is essential for ourselves, but also for the people we share our lives with. Today’s exercise is a list, a to-do list. I need to make a list of the things that need to be done, things that weigh down on me each day, things that I want, things that need to be resolved. It is a list that will be written and then filled with gratitude. No solutions, just the list. Gratitude is there. It is within us on each and every journey we make, so why not just spend more time with it. Why not imagine that it is the sounding board of all the things we want. We should not overwhelm it with fear and insecurities and problems. We should just make it aware of the problem and then gratitude will get it done. As I am getting ready to write my list, I think of gratitude as my own personal genie again. Today my wishes are his command.

My magical to-do list

I am debt free.

I am wealthy enough to have time to do the things I love.

My relationship with my son is wonderful.

My businesses are doing so well that I have more free time.

I have found the perfect plumber.

I found the ring I lost last year.

My family is back together and more loving and united than ever.

I have the perfect staff.

All my dreams are becoming reality.





Negativity

3 11 2019

Negativity. Not a good thing. Working me out is not an easy journey to make. It’s not a first class cabin on British Airways’ Dreamliner. Nor is it a luxury Royal Caribbean cruise. It’s more like a voyage across the Atlantic in a fishing boat, which I haven’t done, but visualizing it gives me sort of the same feeling as this. I am the only passenger, and although embarking on my journey seems a fun and exciting adventure, the reality is quite different, as sailing upon the peaceful, calm ocean’s water on a beautiful sunny day, rudely turns into a fight for survival in a raging storm. Sails are torn, waves are crashing into the boat from all directions, and chaos appears as my co-traveller. Then I begin my at leasts. I may not have the clearest weather, but at least I’m on this boat. It may be bumping along the waves, but at least there are no holes. It’s getting rougher, but at least I have this life jacket. I may not know everything about sailing, but at least I can swim.

You see life is not about problems and solutions. There will always be problems to which there will be possibly more than one solution. Our perception of the problem, though, is just that – our perception of it. If we could just get that little voice in our head to not focus on the problem, but in the at leasts we have, then the problem becomes a smaller version of itself. This is the sense I make of it. This is how negativity slowly diminishes, until it becomes obsolete.

Today is my way out of negativity. The exercise is simple enough.

I have to take a problem or a negative situation that i most want to resolve, and find ten things to be grateful for. So here goes.

The negative situation. My financial situation.

My magical way out of negativity.

I am grateful :

  • To have been able to learn how to survive with a little.
  • For the small but more important things in life that I have become aware of.
  • For the precious family moments I have been able to have.
  • For becoming more creative.
  • For appreciating the true values in life.
  • For learning how to less frivolous
  • For reducing my carbon footprint
  • For opportunities to do good things with less things.
  • For finding true meanings
  • For keeping my sanity
  • For improving my problem solving skills

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the perfect resolution.

The hardest part of today is to keep it positive and not hunk negatively about anything. So this will be a wonderful day. It will be the story of a girl on a boat, crossing the Atlantic, with clear blue skies and the most favorable conditions.





Do what you love

1 11 2019

“Find what you love, then do it.” I love that. If that phrase were a plane, then I would be the pilot. I have spent at least 80 percent of my life working. The thing is, no one ever told me to find what I love doing.

My parents taught me to just work hard – that’s one aspect. However, frying chips, cleaning chickens, and filleting cod was not driven by insane passion. I didn’t hate it, but it was not what I loved.

My teachers at school were quite good with me. I was a creative type, with a knack for art, maths and storytelling – literally I was great at that.

My passion at that age was singing. I would spend every minute of my free time listening to music. It was sort of a taboo in my house. Never really knew why and I never asked, but I would wait till there was no one around and then I would start. The only records at home were Greek records, so Greek it was. Every summer visit to Greece or Cyprus would be recounted over the winter months by playing all the tapes or records bought before leaving. Not enough, though. My hunger for music was bigger than me, but not “right”. So I would skimp on lunch and save up pennies to buy that must have song. Sometimes, I would just wait to hear it in the radio, or secretly switch tv channels to it on Top of the Pops. When I got my first radio cassette recorder, life became that much more interesting. An empty cassette in the recorder and it just all made sense. Press and record. I would learn songs and sing them- everywhere – cleaning the house, doing the ironing, getting up, going to bed was just one great song in my head. This fire was quickly extinguished when the time came to focus on my future, which, guess what, singing was not going to be a part of. This is, again, another story, but that was and still is, my passion.

After the chippies and the restaurants, my next jobs were during uni. I worked in bars and pubs, did some telesales, but then it wasn’t until my work experience year that I found that I had another passion. Customer service. I worked for Xerox during this year, and it was one of the best years of my life. I loved working there, being part of the office culture, getting up, dressing up, going to staff meetings, talking to customers, solving their problems. My year in Rank Xerox was the year that helped me find a passion again and I loved it. I would later be head hunted by the company, but that again is a story not for here.

Next, came Greece. So let’s put this shortly, a family business was built, I came here to help run it, fell in love with the place and my husband, and stayed. Now, we’re not talking about Mykonos here, so summer seasons are short, so the family business was about 3 months long – any more time was and is, just for the sake of being open. But this was really something I loved. I was and still am, enthralled with the whole hospitality thing. Love meeting the customers, love arranging events, love the atmosphere. However, short seasons meant I also had to find a job for the remaining 7 or 8 months of the year. So I taught English.

Teaching in Greece is a very complex subject, which I learnt as soon as I started my small business. I believed I would just be helping students who were not that good, it it turns out that I was actually teaching them what they should have been taught in school. Anyway, this is a whole other story, possibly a book. So that is how I started my dual jobs in Greece, and this is what I have been doing up until today. I’m tired. I’m exhausted but life’s ups and downs means that I am working almost every day and night, barely making ends meet, trying to save the family business I love, and having to keep on teaching in the process.

Today’s exercise is giving gratitude for your job. As it is the end of October, and I have started my teaching job, this is what I will be focusing on. Not ideal, but the point is to make it ideal.

Works like magic.

Today I have an imaginary manager with me who is making notes on all the thoughts and feelings I have for my job.

These are his notes for today, only focusing on what I am grateful for.

I’m so grateful for:

  • Those kids that are hungry to learn English.
  • My awareness of the problems they have and tackling those problems in a discreet way.
  • The way that I changed a whole class by making them see the fun in learning and the good in themselves.
  • The knowledge that each individual has their own learning speed, and own learning time.
  • The gift I was given by one of my students.
  • The hug I was given by another student.
  • The smiles on the children’s faces when they get a joke I have said in English.
  • The simple act of teaching them other things like kindness.
  • The books that help them get a small taste of a whole different world.
  • Their eyes when you tell them the history of Halloween.
  • Getting paid

My life is about multitasking so I had to focus on just one of today’s jobs, which is not my favorite, but that’s ok, and I do feel better.





Mentors, Idols and Health

28 10 2019

In an attempt to rediscover myself I decided to write a blog, sharing my experiences, stories, fears and dreams with you all. My journey was never the easy road, but hard work and will power always showed me the way. I think that it had to do with faith. Faith that the good road was always the right road. There was always another obstacle to overcome, another hurdle to jump over, another hic in the cup.

The thing with inner strength is that it is usually the sequel to a traumatic experience. It is then that you seek the meaning, the reason to carry on, the hope, the light at the end of the tunnel. My younger self did that. The trauma was followed by denial, anger, guilt, detachment, despondency and finally defeat. Things that were not on my bucket list. Feelings that were not usual for that age. Despite this, however, I had a deep conversation with me and that was when I made decisions. A better life – a better me. I let go of any undermining thoughts and fixed me. I read, I studied, I worked through the issues and then I searched for hope. Now, in the days of no blogs or vlogs, where google was a spelling mistake and search engines were not a thing, searching was a tad more difficult. Searching was done in libraries, which were my sanctuaries, delving through books and microfiche articles. It was helped by TVs and radios, newspapers and magazines. Searching was time consuming but enriching. It was through these searches that I found my first idols. There were so many great women to choose from – scientists, politicians, journalists, singers, authors, businesswomen. So many, yet so few. In awe of all these women I tried and worked hard, but I had already been stripped of my safety net, and the cracks has already begun to show. I dreamt of being a Margaret, a Dionne, a Diana, an Oprah. But I never dreamt of being me.

On today’s journey I am being grateful for something tied to all this. I am being grateful to my health. It is so important to be grateful for each limb, each cell, each organ, each sense which makes us what we are. Our body is our temple. Our health is the most valuable thing in our lives, and it is thanks to this health, both in body and mind, that I was able to dream, focus and get here today, wherever here is.

Magical Health.

I said thank you for each part of my body- legs, feet, arms, hands, eyes, ears. I gave thanks for my senses, the cells in my body, each organ. I was thankful about my heart, my mind.

I will do this each day as part of my gratitude practice.

The Gift Of Health Is Keeping Me Alive.

Through today’s exercise I remembered. I remembered that I had never found my mentor. You know, a mentor is possibly ‘The Person’. Stories are full of mentors, those older people who had that knowledge, that little edge over life, that small tip that only they know, and now only you know. I did search for a mentor, but did I ? Possibly not. My heroes were untouchable, busy people with whose lives were not even closely linked to mine. So I had to become my own mentor, and this journey would be hard, bringing me here again, to today.





A penny for your thoughts

24 10 2019

In an attempt to rescue my sanity, I am embarking on a journey. It’s not the first time, but this time I’m taking you with me. This time, I have decided to partner up with you and travel into my world in order to find myself again. I am searching for magic, the magic I once had in my life, and no, I’m not mad – not certifiably anyway. I think the word I would use to best describe me is closer to exhausted, than mad. Today I will be embarking on a 28 day journey of reinvention – refocusing, remembering and readjusting. Having read countless books on the laws of attraction, today I decided would be the day for a serious get together with the other me. Not with the one that has a million plus one things to do during the day. Not with the mother, the wife, the workaholic, the teacher, the manager, the aunt, the cousin, the friend. No. Today I’m meeting up with me -someone I lost touch with a long time ago. I will find me, teach me and learn from me. Today the first thing on the agenda of our meeting is to rediscover me. When did I stop being in awe of everything around me? When did I stop caring? When did I give up? When did I start living day to day, only to end up here, 48 years after my birth, without any control, stuck to a routine that does not express me, in world that does not express me, doing things that do not express me, living in a broken body and carrying my soul around in a suitcase. When was the moment that life passed me by and how did it lead me to here – a here where I do not belong and cannot understand. Today I will find me and I will find magic, and I need you all here to center my soul so that I can see the magic again. We’ll talk again soon.





All work and no play …

23 02 2011

My vocabulary slowly has to change so no negativity.   Well, these days being ones of recession, opportunities are not to be missed.  As I work every afternoon and evening teaching English, my mornings are preoccupied with my second job, as well as my hobbies and my home.  My second job … well … I manage a seasonal hotel, family run, situated on the coast.  It is closed during the winter months, and opens from May to September.  It is a family business, so you can believe the hardships that you can come across when you aren’t dealing with a company or a corporation, but with a whole family, and it’s even harder when they are your family.  This has been my second job for the past three years, and I must admit that it is something that I love doing.  The area that we are in is not commercial, but it is one of the most wonderful areas I have ever seen.  The lush green surroundings and the crystal clear waters, the long sandy beaches and those gorgeous summer months are things that should not be missed, and it is such a great feeling being part of somebody’s happy memory.  I have always wished that this could be the main job in my life, but unfortunately the short season, the high expenses and the fierce competition make this one of the most challenging jobs that I have done, but it also means that I cannot give up my other job to give it my all.  Therefore, my happy mornings are usually filled with hotel business.  My experience in this field is very limited, but I love learning, so I try desperately to learn and enhance my skills in this field. 

Today’s business was answering e-mails and making a plan for this summer.  New ideas are hard to come up with, but this morning I awoke thinking of all those things that I would love to be able to do at the hotel, so I enjoyed my morning coffee, envisaging what I dream of for this small family run business. 

So, this is one of my three passions.  It is one of the things I love to talk about, love to think about, love to dream about and I want to make it work.  I leave you now to keep working on it.