Tag Archives: lifestyle

Another Milestone

I realized something the other day while I was looking at my growing collection of succulents; I’m enjoying being on my own.

I know I told you already that I am a loner and prefer solitude than being in a crowd but there is some difference; before, I crave to be among people I have nothing to do with. I love to meet new acquaintances – preferably in far away places so I can run away if it becomes too much and strangers become too close – I love talking to random people, exchanging ideas and watching them doing their things as long as they don’t follow me home and insist to be my friends. Before, I resented being isolated. I was constantly homesick. I wanted to experience again the life I had before; the fun, the chase, the adventures, the thrill of discovering new people, new places and new things. I hated being settled, peaceful, grounded and (more or less) secure. To me it was boring, unimaginative, dead.

I still enjoy meeting people and going places and discovering new things but it is not a must anymore. At the end of the day, I am happy to be home. In fact, lately, while exploring new frontiers, at the back of my mind, I can’t wait to go home. I can’t wait till I am again inside my four walls where I can be alone and peaceful and safe. Safe from expectations, safe from demands, away from the prying eyes and prejudiced judgmental people. I can be whoever I want to be no one will force me.

Before, I charge my battery somewhere, the more peculiar, weird, bizarre, the better. These days home is where I recuperate and I get my fix from peace and quiet and safety my place offers. I don’t want complicated situations anymore. No more dramas, no more unnecessary commitments, no more pretending, no more catering to what society expects.

Today I realized another thing: I don’t have the urge anymore to control things. 

Before, I want everything the way it supposed to be, in my head. I got into a panic when things are not in their proper place and things don’t happen the way I expect and my weight is not 46 kilos. The moment the scale shows one or two gram more I will get so nervous I will go into crash diet and see to it that my weight is back on track within three weeks.

Now, I am 10 kilos heavier and have love handles all over the place but I can stand it. I don’t get agitated anymore when there is a glass on the kitchen counter or a cup somewhere in the living room and there are clothes that have to be ironed in bed. Mind you the glasses and cups and clothes will not be there for long, but they can stay there for a few hours till I find the time and urge to remove them. I can go out now without straightening everything till my house is picture perfect. In short, I’m learning to let go.

I’m learning to let go of my paranoia as well. I can stand open windows now, doors too. Dark days don’t make me think of everything evil and I can take a bath now when I’m home alone and even dare to go into my dressing without locking anything that could be locked. The knife I still keep but I forget it’s there sometimes. I take it as a positive sign and continuing improvement of my mental health.

I don’t know if I’m really getting better or would really get better or I just resigned to my situation. Could be also that I’m just getting old and tired and lost my appetite for anything that rock my already shaky constitution and learning the value of restful and quiet uncomplicated existence.

Who knows…

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Guilty I Am

Remember the time I wrote an article about feeling guilty whenever I eat? Well, that is not the only thing I’m feeling guilty about.

I feel guilty if by the end of the day I have nothing to show for it. What I mean is I have an immense urge to always create and do something I can’t sit still for more than five minutes. I feel guilty if I’m not doing anything. I feel that it is a waste of time to sit and relax while you can do a million things instead. Not only I want to create I also want a proof of my labor. A tangible proof. Something I or someone else could admire and cherish. Something beautiful, something creative. If I don’t have it when the day ends, I feel worthless and guilty.

Again, I don’t know why. 

No one told or taught me to feel guilty if I’m idle. If ever, I don’t remember. The reason behind this is probably the same one why I don’t indulge in idle remarks or mere social chit-chat__ it’s pointless. If you want to say something, say something meaningful, remarkable or unforgettable. Say something kind and true and always meant it. Don’t say anything for the sake of__ just saying something or because you think someone wanted to hear what you’re about to say or just placating a person for whatever reason. And for God’s sakes don’t talk about the weather! And don’t start your greetings with “How are you?” if you don’t really want to know the answer to your inquiries or don’t have the time to really listen to the other person’s woes. Don’t say anything out of politeness. If you have nothing truthful or substantial to say shut your mouth and walk away. 

What else I’m feeling guilty about?

Cleaning and tidying. 

I’m a very clean person. I’m keen on hygiene. Not only personal hygiene but about everything. No, I’m not Mysophobic, just clean. And on top of it, I hate clutter. I cannot stand glasses, cups or anything unnecessary on the kitchen counter or coffee table. My espresso machine and water cooker are in the cupboard and only going to be out when needed. No shoes on the hallway and no coats either. People often describe my house as something that jumps out from the pages of a lifestyle magazine. My mother-in-law said my house is clinically clean. My daughter once remarks that it seems nobody lives in my place and one state agent told me that you can eat on the floor of my abode.

Of course, it isn’t true.

I just cannot rest if my house and garden are dirty and cluttered, but clinically clean it isn’t. There is dust everywhere. My house is a dust magnet. I can wipe the table clean and when I turn around, the dust has already settled in. And there seems to be always something on the floor. Mostly strands of my hair which is by the way so noticeable against the light tiles. No, my house and routine are ordinary. Just like me. 

I think I’m going to leave it here before I get totally carried away and say something irrelevant to the topic (as if I didn’t do just that) or something I might regret later.

See you next time?

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Money Is the Root Of All Evil (They Say)But People Need Roots (I say)

“Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time!

But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money!”

― George Carlin

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Random Thoughts On Wednesday

I wish I could say I have a love-hate relationship with food, at least, that way, there is still one positive side to it but the truth is I neither love nor hate food. For me consuming any form of nourishment is nothing but a necessary evil. I don’t enjoy the act nor the taste. My father said I eat like a soldier and it doesn’t change since then. I gobble and gulp the food as if there is no tomorrow and with minimal chewing. The sooner it’s done the better. If I have one feeling which associated with food that would be guilt.

I feel guilty when I eat and I don’t know why. Never been anorexic or bulimic. Never had so much issue with my weight. Of course, I don’t want to get fat who does anyway but a serious problem regarding weight I never have. But I feel guilty nonetheless when consuming a fair quantity of food. What is a fair amount in my book? Eating three times or more a day. I feel that I should be eating only once or not at all. If I could skip a meal or two, That would be ideal. I feel better that way. Believe you me if I can go on without food I will, there is no doubt about that.

I only eat when I’m dying of hunger or craving for something. Mostly fried crunchy food because sweets I can’t tolerate. I never fancy cakes or ice cream. I can eat them without a problem (if you consider lactose and gluten intolerance not a problem) but I draw the line at chocolates. No matter how hard I try I simply cannot acquire the taste for it. I can go so far as saying I hate them. I don’t care if they are artisanal or expensive coated with eatable gold leaf, if it’s chocolate, I pass.

So, where is my aversion for food originated from?

From my youth, where else you might say, but I don’t think so. We were poor and every meal we considered a feast back then. I grew up on a diet of seafood being born and bred in a fishpond. Meat was scarce and so hard to come by we only had them once a week on Sunday. If you want to know a little bit more about how my life was when I was growing up, you can read some of the painful details here and here.

Anyway, whatever psychological issues I have with food, I don’t know where it comes from. All I can say is: Food doesn’t excite me. I wish I can go on without.

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Garden Enigma -Part Two

In order to understand what I’m talking about, you need to read this post of mine. Not only it will give you an extensive view of the place, but it will save me also from the trouble of rewriting everything again. 

They say you will only realize the value of something when it is no longer there. In this case, it is true. In someway it is. Garden wise, it truly is. Financial wise, it’s not. But to us, especially to D., The place is still the benchmark. We still miss it. We often talk about the time we were drinking wine and eating tapas in the huge gazebo, sleeping on the loveseat when he came home from work amidst the singing of the birds and buzzing of insects, lighting the firepit during the colder months, taking a nap on the hammock and enjoying the great outdoors in our property right outside our doorsteps. I even wrote some of my articles in the garden. Now, the place is nothing but a distant memory.

How many times we drove there and park just outside the gate nursing the pain in our hearts upon seeing the people who bought it altered the property beyond belief, ripping the period features we cared for and loved replacing them with modern ones that do nothing to enhance the beauty of our once beloved house it looks like a butchered example of those renovations when people failed to successfully marry the old and the new. I saw that the yellow climbing rose I planted next to the front door is still alive and thriving. That baby has grown enormous it almost reached the third-floor window and covered with big blooms. I wonder if they will rip it out too in given time.

They say be careful what you wish for and often times this cliché happened to be true. At least in our case it certainly is. If I could do things all over again you will be surprised when I say I will not alter a single decision I had made that lead us to our current house with the beautiful garden we never use. I have no choice. It was then “take the plunge and swim” or “stay put and drown.”

What would you choose? 

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A Garden Enigma

I have a landscaped beautiful garden in my suburban home. Though it is done by a professional, I can’t help adding my personal touch to it, making it the cottage garden I adore and love but on a minimalistic side. There are still lots of blooms, but they are contained in specific spaces. The landscaper planted few key elements in clumps like Hydrangea Macrophylia, Spiraea Japonica ‘golden princess’ Some Buxus clouds by the front door, Choysia Ternata on the side gate and pachysandra terminalis as a ground cover. Oh, there is a lone  Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ at the front. There are also few trees suited for small-ish gardens like Cornus Kousa, Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’ and a couple of Acers and three others I can’t recognize. I added a lot more since then.

There is a Hydrangea Petiolaris climbing on three poles by the right side of the house and a huge pergola at the very back of the garden covered with Wisteria. Directly by the kitchen door, there is a kitchen garden with three small pear trees and five different sizes of wooden vat planted with Mediterranean herbs. There are Lavander in some corner front and back, hardy Geraniums I can’t kill no matter what, a border of roses and one Hydrangea Quercifolia. Ah, I remember there is a large clump of Liriope muscari ‘Moneymaker’ also, and that was it.

The first thing I did when we moved to the place is to rip out the expensive real looking pseudo turf by the bay window at the front of the house and put a mixed border. You know… Delphinium, Asters; Monarda, Liatris, Phlox, Japanese anemone, ligularia dentata Desdemona and Othelo, Heucheras, Astrantia and such. I planted around the box clouds on the right side the same mix, they are under a small(?) grafted tree I don’t recognize. I think it is some Cherry Laurel on a stick, has white flowers with a subtle smell. The Buxus clouds suffered the heatwave this year so I dug them up and put them under the three towering Acers by the gate to recuperate and replaced them with a mixed border to mirror the left side under the bay window. This time I added Verbena, sedum (I doted them throughout the borders around the house too) Agapanthus, Rudbeckias, and Echinaceas. I added also some Valerian which seeded everywhere since then and bay leaves trees in the kitchen garden.

Did I mention there is an ornamental bubbling pond next to the circular terrace directly outside the bay french window in the living room? When we bought the place (which is a model/show house of excellent quality) there was only one kind of flower around it, Rudbeckia. I planted Echinacea, Verbena, some grasses, creeping sedum, and Crocosmia. D. Had his choice of water plants. No fish. I don’t do annuals unless they self-seed like Digitalis (by far my most favorite flower) forget-me-nots, Marigolds, Cosmos, and this year Hollyhocks because D. Not gardening not interested D. Decided he wants Hollyhocks. 

For all the beauty of the garden and all the hours I put beautifying and tending it we never use it.

I don’t know why.

We have a romantic bistro/Mediterranean inspired powder pink garden set directly next to the kitchen door by the kitchen garden in the view of the pond. There is a complete three-piece lounge set by the pond shaded by a huge umbrella, there is a big wooden bench under the pergola, and there are lounge beds around the garden but like my spare rooms in the house, they are museum pieces. Nobody uses them. I don’t go out in the garden unless to work, nothing else. Our front garden inside the first gate has a place for at least five cars but it is another lost space. Somewhere to traverse from the gate to the front door, that’s it.

I often wonder and ask myself why we don’t go out in the garden to relax. The only thing I could come with is the noise of the busy traffic outside the gate. Something we never anticipated when we bought the place. We heard the noise day and night and we don’t like it. Although there is a lot of space between our house and the actual road and there are double privacy hedges and trees still it’s not relaxing. If I can uproot the house and put it somewhere quiet I already did by now. I am willing to move one last time if I find a place that will make our current residence a second best but seven years of searching brings me nowhere and the longer it takes, the prospect of moving again doesn’t hold the same allure anymore for me. And my condition doesn’t make it easy either. 

I don’t know what we gonna do but in the meantime, I will enjoy (looking at) my garden from behind closed windows.

Next time I will tell you about a garden we do use. 

All In A Day’s Work

“I am not a great artist, but I have always felt impelled to write. So each day I sift the sludge anew, going through the cast-off bits and pieces of observation, of memory, of speculation, trying to make something out of the stuff that didn’t go through the filter and down the drain into the subconscious.” 

― Stephen King, Night Shift

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Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind

I took everything too seriously. I analyzed things to death. I turned every word, and the intonation of every word over in my mind trying to decide exactly what it meant, whether there was a subtext or an implied criticism. I tried to recall the expressions on people’s faces, how those expressions changed, what they meant, whether what they said and the look on their faces matched and were therefore genuine or whether it was a sham, the kind word touched by irony or sarcasm, the smile that means pity. That is what I would often be thinking and such thoughts ate away at the façade of self-confidence I was constantly raising and repairing.

― Alice Jamieson

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Scattered Thoughts Of Sleep-Deprived OCD

When I started blogging (not here, somewhere, wrong platform good for learning) I only use black & white images for that time, colors terrified me. And the contents of my blog page were darker than the images I cringe whenever I remember it. Which I cannot understand because at that time I was still more or less alive and actually having a life. Those were the days also that I could not type nor incorporate the word ‘love’ in any of my articles. I just could not do it. I tried though. But the feeling is akin to trying to eat something you utterly despise and trying to swallow it makes you want to vomit violently. Even now I have difficulties in tackling the topic. I just don’t do love, I don’t do happy.  


It’s been in my mind for quite some time now, experiencing it first hand with my own family and seeing it happening almost everywhere I cannot ignore it. Pleasing or trying to please both or one of your parents is what I’m talking about. It seems that most individuals are trying to live up to the expectations of their fathers or mothers. My son spent most of his teenage and young adult life trying to prove to his uninterested in him father that he’s worth loving and someone to be proud of. Though they are both sensitive to my opinion, my daughter has an unhealthy competition urge towards me to the point of she hates everything that I am. D. who has a model childhood experience and fairy tale existence has an incomprehensively tense relationship with his own father he avoids seeing him if possible. And if they do meet, they try to outdo each other in their achievements, social status, financial aspects, and material possessions. I don’t understand.

Why, Because I never had the urge to prove myself to anyone. Not only to my own parents but to anybody. I don’t know which is healthier psychological wise: Their confusing behavior or my nonchalant approach to it. But like most of my attitudes and actions, this particular practice of mine is also not deliberate. In fact, I might continue to overlook the difference if I wasn’t born perceptive and has a habit of overanalyzing everything I noticed, trying to understand whatever it is so I can disregard its importance in my existence or add it to my huge collections of points to ponder and something to learn from. Any which way I think it’s not normal. But what is normal, especially nowadays.


I think I’m getting better. I can sleep now with the door open. Not every day and never in the night but early in the morning when I tilt the window for ventilation. Speaking of tilting the windows and doors, I can leave them open now during the day without thinking someone would get in and attack me. No, that would be a lie. In the back of my mind, the thought is still there but not quite so strong anymore not to do it. I can take a bath now too when I’m alone in the house. I still put a knife next to me but still, in my norm, it’s a colossal improvement. I hope I get there before it’s too late for me to care.


That’s my thoughts for today. Until next time and thanks for coming. 

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Calendar

“Time spins away like a mad spider’s web, cast open over the gulf of time and existence…the pages of the calendars tear themselves off the screen, like in old movies. The pages flip past before we realize. It’s astounding! I never remember traveling this quickly in the past.”

Here we are again, another year is about to end before it could really begin. It seems like only yesterday when we started writing 2018 on greeting cards, personal agendas, and journals and look where we are now, Christmas is just around the corner and Halloween is on the threshold following hard on the heels of Thanksgiving and after that, another year, a new beginning all over again.

What I have learned this year?

Well, after years of waiting for a definitive conclusion, I now have a clear diagnose of what is wrong with me. They say I have Fibromyalgia as a direct result of Ehlers–Danlos syndrome along with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Arthrosis and all the painful consequences of the illness. I have Celiac disease and Lactose intolerance and I have abdominal ulcer since I was sixteen.

I learned how to take care of succulents and Cacti. They are still dying on me on a regular basis but out of my 200 collections, only ten of them have perished due to TLC. One died today.

I also learned the importance and benefits of air purifying plants around the house. I suffer from chronic grass/pollen allergy the whole year through and I have a serious case of sinusitis. Since I have my green babies, I have yet to visit a doctor’s office. The only downside of indoors gardening is it is quite addictive. I found out that you can never have enough plants to satisfy your cravings.

What else I have learned this year?

I found out during my three weeks vacation in La Palma that I am not as daring as adventurous as I thought I was nor I love peace and quiet that much. Though my son said to me that the real reason why I don’t do any more risky endeavors is because I have already done it all before and it is long lost its charm since then. I blame it on old age.

I learned how to use make-up and dress up properly without losing sight of comfort which I value the most. I learned to budget and the importance of wants versus needs. I am still learning the art of minimalism in the true meaning of the word which means Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom that allows you to pursue purpose-driven lives.— Sounds great, right? Easier said than done believe me.

This year I discovered the value of learning to accept, forgive and love yourself. I hope to master the art of letting go of the past next year.

What about you?

Do you think that time does really fly?

Did you learn something new this year?

What is your hope for next year?

If you have the time, tell me. I appreciate other people’s stories.

Have a wonderful weekend and see you next week.

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The Balance Between The Bright Colors Of Humor, Serious Issues Of Identity, Self-loathing, The Possibility For Intimacy And The Love That Is No Longer Necessary.

“I hate solitude, but I’m afraid of intimacy. The substance of my life is a private conversation with myself which to turn into a dialogue would be equivalent to self-destruction. The company which I need is the company which a pub or a cafe will provide. I have never wanted a communion of souls. It’s already hard enough to tell the truth to oneself.”

― Iris Murdoch

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