Log 39 of daily life meaning

On parenting: This weekend we’ve decided to take Levi (and us of course) to see a puppet theater for children. I’ve never been at such an event from the perspective of the adult by now.

It’s been a nice way to spend time on a rainy Sunday. The stories were nicely adapted. One of the them was about an emperor who had 3 sons, and they took turns on guarding an apple tree that made golden apples, because each year someone came and stole them. In the original story, the one I knew as a child, the first and second born children were troubled persons, vain and they ended up badly, while the smallest of the brothers was good, hardworking and eventually got all best things in life (which didn’t make me feel so great about myself being a bigger sister). This nowadays version was nicer in many ways. The big brothers were still vain and faulty but they managed to slay a dragon each, and find themselves princesses and a kingdom. Everybody got a happy end except the dragon. There’s much improvement in the mentality of this story after 25 years. And that can only make me happy.

I can’t stop thinking though how much I would have loved to see in the father figure a wiser person and one that is closer to his kids, maybe get a glimpse of a mother that is independent and forward thinking, see the bigger brothers go do personal development to solve their problems. Ow, and have them negotiate peace with the dragons and create space for collaboration. Would that make for a boring story? Umm, I don’t think so. Even peace brings a lot of challenges and controversy. But I can’t stop yearning for characters that are not in the extremes. Good versus evil. People are complex, they have better parts and parts that don’t serve them so well, and parts that hurt others. I can’t remember who said it but there’s a little remarkable saying I read somewhere: “Everyone is right given their model of reality”.

I yearn for better stories to tell our kids. A better world is first created in our minds before it becomes reality.  The thought of re-writing such a story in a different way kept crossing my mind. 🙂

Log 40 of daily life meaning

On meaning: This post is about loaded and kinda impossible questions.

What do you do when you see a loved one taking a decision that seems to have all the chances to go wrong? You let them go as they choose, while knowing that you will will need to be involved when/if things go south? Suffer with them, loose sleep and energy yourself to support them when the eventuality happens? Or you intervene in force and try to control the outcome?

It is fair to intervene in the choices of an adult?

This is a loaded question in so many ways.

Is it fear for what might happen to the other that motivates us, our some internal fear for ourselves, for how we might feel should the worst case scenario become reality the one that drive us?

If you would ask me this question casually, about how I would proceed, I would say that everybody is entitled to their own choices. They need to follow their path and unless the path leads to mortal danger, an adult should have the option to live with the consequence of their action and work through it to learn. It seems fair on an not to meddle with someone else’s life (exclude minor kids of this, I am not talking about them). All good and nice. Everyone gets their space and their control over themselves.

But what do you do when the decision of one also affects the others? How much can you let the other person do as they want knowing that it will affect you?

In the family group, as the ties are so close, it happens often that the decisions of one affects the whole group.

What do you do? Is letting everyone have their will still a valid option in reality? Where is the balance?

Log 38 of daily life meaning

I think one of the most important thoughts of today was related to food. I discovered that for a lot of time I had food guilt. I wish to eat a lot of stuff, but each time such a desire came in, an internal dialogue started right away: “Ow, I should not be eating that, it’s not healthy” or “It will make me fat, I haven’t yet lost so much weight as to afford to eat THAT”. This internal chastising is been going on for years, I can’t actually remember the time where I ate without a care in the world. It must have been childhood.

I do know a bit about healthy eating, food combinations and what effect the food has in my body. The question however, was how to get out of the internal chastising about food loop.

So I took a bit of time to observe by feelings. I noticed that most of the time eating in my case is emotional. When I am angry or upset about something, I want to eat. When I am anxious, stressed , I want to eat. When I am really tired after a day of work, I would have some beer or a glass of wine. Even combined with popcorn. While I eat a balanced vegetarian diet with fresh fruits and veggies the rest of the time, these unbalances do take their toll.

Because I am not fan of cooking (to put it mildly) and Alex isn’t either, we often have a bit of stress over what choice of food to have next, where to get it from, how to produce less trash. I get to think quite a bit about how would it be if I didn’t have to eat. And you know what always comes back to me? That I need so much less food that I now eat. But then, what would I do with all that free time? How would I treat those moments of emotion that have been pre-programed to request for food? How could something that is so much ingrained in my brain be replaced? And with what? And what would I do on social contexts? Food for thought, heh.

So, to sum it up:

On travel: Next week I’m leaving for Paris to prepare the ISO Audit with the subsidiary there. Can’t wait. I also have my new employee and colleague with me and it’s a great time to bond.

On parenting: Levi is growing, and it seems to become easier somehow. Not all the times, but most of the times. I love him so much. And Alex too. I think we also become better at this. Missed doing the parenting courses lately and we both need to resume. But other than that, it’s an amazing discovery to see how a tiny human grows. I try not to think about how he’ll be when he grows up, what he’ll do. I just let him unfold and try to support him along the way. It’s seems it’s going good so far.

On throwing less trash: This one has not being going quite as good as I hoped. I still have a great deal of food I love, or certain products, that come in plastic. Like my fav stuffed bio pasta.

Thank you for reading :*

Log 37 of daily life meaning

First of all, hello again. It’s been a while 🙂

Second, I decided to change the title of my posts from “searching for the meaning of life” –  to a simpler form –  which nowadays is more in line with the fact that with all that search, there seems to not be a specific purpose, end goal for it (life), other than actually living in the present moment of every day.

This revelation, thought, name it as you will, sunk more into my mind this Friday 19 Oct, while reading some materials on the subject.

I need to say that this released quite a bit of tension about how things are “supposed to be”. When I decided that there is no specific purpose that I could find through intensuve search, other than living each day in the present moment, things relaxed a bit. No more need to control everything to get to a specific outcome.  No more living only with the future in mind.

When I took all that away, the only thing that remained was to enjoy every day as much as possible, because there is no expectation. Like a movie in which I am actor.

This does not mean I don’t plan for the future anymore. I do. I think about what I want, I put it down like I did with the Start Page on this blog, then I stop obsessing about it. I like to review them regularly, one or twice every two weeks to evaluate progress, I don’t try anymore to control how I get there. The focus goes to living on my own accord. Indulging myself in smaller or bigger pleasures.

This also brought me to the realization that I can’t plan or manage my personal life in the same manner I manage my teams.

Last weeks have been quite a busy time, with 2 more new people in my team, training, and an ISO 9001 audit. There has been a lot of thinking on my side but none of it actually made it in writing to this space. But more insights about this on the morrow.

Take care and thanks for reading my journal

Log 36 of the search for life meaning quest

A couple of weeks ago I’ve been to Tunisia with work. A new person was hired in my team, and me together with the person I train to be a team leader went to meet our new member of “the family”.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve been away for a whole week from Alex and Levi. And it’s been very hard in the beginning. Then, there were quite a lot of things to do and time kind of passed fairly quick.

Tunis is not what I expected, with surprises on both ends. There were a lot of preconceptions I came with: that’s it’s not safe to walk the streets alone, that you need to be covered with clothes up to your teeth, that because I was a woman I was going to be treated like a second hand citizen.

All of that took about two days to get rid of. Of course, like almost everywhere, there are places where it’s better not go walk in, and places where it’s totally Ok.  Tunis is quite conservative, you will see the more conservative people dressing like that,  but I’ve also seen a lot of people and especially women in T-shirts and jeans. However, besides tourists, I haven’t seen women in dresses, but it was still a lot of casual attire.

One of the biggest challenges I had was with taxi drivers. They see you as the tourist that you are and they rip you off. Big time. Next time if possible I’m considering renting a car or have someone from the office take me, because public transportation was not an option. But, you live you learn.

On our first day there, my colleague Maria and I tried for lunch a traditional dish, Brick, that seemed healthier in the menu than showed up in the plate 🙂 It was made of some egg, with rice and was fried in oil, which is something I would have avoided if I’d known any better.

I don’t know what exactly from that dish (maybe also in combination with the heat outside) made us so stick to our stomachs, that it’s better I don’t get very much graphical right now. Let’s just say that my dinner that evening was some orange juice (unfortunately from the can) and some ginger tea.

Most of the time there was of course, work, work, work. But we managed to see two things: Sidi Bou Said, which is like a Santorini of Tunis: it’s amazingly beautiful and a bit of El Medina and surroundings – and I want to come back to visit in more details both places.

All in all I loved it here. It was a full adventure and I plan to come back: the spicy food that makes you feel like you don’t know what’s happening to yourself anymore, the rhythm of a place that’s growing and evolving, the culture difference that sometimes pushes your limits to the point of changing your views on the world, the nice, welcoming, witty people that exceeded my expectations.

Log 35 of the search for meaning quest

On meaning: I started thinking again about doing interviews with people I like. This time it will be on centered about the life meaning and the meaningful things in life. I already contacted a few of the people I had in mind to start this project with, and I can’t wait to show it here on the blog.

I also put more thought every day into the things I want to have in my life, rather than frustrating over the ones that are not the way they should be. It’s so obvious this is the best way for a peaceful mind, but also so challenging at times.

On travel: As I mentioned in one of my previous posts next week I’m going to Tunis with work. I’m gonna be away from Alex and Levi for a whole week and I start to miss them already just by thinking about it. But…it’s a new thing to do.

On making healthier choices:  Today I ate a cheese pastry with coffee for breakfast, a small mushroom quesadilla with coffee for lunch, coffee again for break and there will probably be pizza for lunch as we’re going out to celebrate Alex’s mother anniversary.

Not proud of my choices, but logging them makes me more aware and less able to refuse to look back at what happened. I’m good with the water intake though.

On throwing less trash: I’m happy to say that buying my lunch in my ikea glass bowl became a habit. Now I’m proud to take my glass bowl out of the reusable cotton bag while staying in line, hoping that others will see this new possibility of doing things and might wish to take it as example.

And that is all for the day. 🙂 See you tomorrow.

Log 34 of the search for life meaning quest

Today was again a food revelation kind of day.

This morning when we were going to the parking lot to drive to kindergarten and work, we passed by the car that picks up the garbage from the complex. And the smell….well, it was like always, sinister.

Which got me thinking again, after yesterday’s reflections over what we do with our health in the big picture. Let me explain.

I got to think that all that smelly stuff went to a landfill where it pollutes the soil, the water system within the ground, which then affects the food we eat.

I got to thinking even further about food and garbage: why do our bodies smell like they do and why we need to use a deodorant full of toxic stuff every day to not smell in public like the aforementioned car that takes the garbage? Or why our mouths smell equally bad in the morning and we need to “refresh” to make it go away?

I know we’ve been doing this since forever I can remember and this is how things are done. But, I can’t help myself to ask why. More to the point, why does it have to be like this.

If my body smells like that on the inside, it means that what’s inside my body is not Ok. Putting perfumed stuff to make it smell pretty sound quite a lot like the stories of the French a few hundreds of years ago, covering lack of bath with nice smelling stuff.

So, as food becomes a part of us,  and this happens in the most physical sense there is, this leads me to thinking next about what I do want to be made of? And I admit, I’ve never seriously thought about this perspective before. Without switching to some other thought after a few seconds when it becomes uncomfortable to consider it anymore. Do I want to be made of animals raised in awful conditions with hormones, of plants full of pesticide, of chemical aromas and plastic? The answer is obvious. However… as easy it is to say “of course not”, the decision to break free of the cycle poses challenges.

Mostly because a lot of times I don’t know what to do to change things. What is actually good? On top of that, the comfortable and the known are hard to be changed. Not to mention easily accessible.

But looking at how I want my life to be, I must admit that I can’t ignore much longer that what I’m currently doing for my health does not serve me to get the kind of quality of life I want to maintain in my later years.

Awareness is the first step they say. Because after you consciously accept something, you can’t go back to thinking in the same way as before.

Next is research and action. On which I will come back with my findings.

On travel: Next week I’m going to Tunisia with work. This is going to be a new adventure as I’ve never visited this part before.

Log 33 of the search for life meaning quest

Article that I should have posted yesterday after Levi fell asleep, but got so sleepy myself that I decided to hit the pillow:

Yesterday (Saturday) I’ve been at a friend’s birthday and had one too many glasses of wine and ate more than I regularly do.

I had a lot of fun then, but in a predictable manner, by body was not really feeling particularly friendly the next morning.

So I got (again) to ask myself: why does one do things that they consciously know are not good for them, when there will be consequences, and they do it anyway? It’s a good reflection to have.

I decided a long time ago that I want to be able to care for myself all my life and that the last part of my life is not going to be a painful zone full of regrets.

I’ve seen enough people that ask me what else there is to life if you don’t eat/drink what you like when I open the subject. The answer is that I don’t know the solution for another, but there should definitely be something, because this road doesn’t really go somewhere nice. I’ve observed a lot of people who don’t die from a quick death, but their health declines for years before the end comes and it’s not pretty for anyone involved.

I was discussing with Alex yesterday, before the feast, what we should do about it. And how there needs to be a way to get to the finish line but and not suffer like a dog in the process.  So this is what I came with:

  • Eat more healthy&drink the 2l/day water. What we like to eat is programmed in our brain. Since all over the globe people eat so differently, it should mean that we can program ourselves to like what makes us feel good. It’s nice in theory, but de-programming old habits and things of comfort is sometimes a herculean job. Don’t I know it 😁
  • Practice a form of exercise that promotes flexibility: like ballet, yoga, dance. I’ve seen that the old people’s body gets rigid and this affects the ability to move easily – so starting early with taking care of flexibility is a must for me. I’ve given this up after becoming a parent, due to the hectic schedule and it’s high time to put it back.
  • Take good care of the teeth – teeth are so so important in regard to our ability to enjoy food, talk and maintain the youthful aspect of the face. Not to mention that artificial teeth cost a small fortune with which I’d rather travel. So, I need to get into my head more the healthy eating part, regular visits to the dentist to be proactive with any things that might appear.
  • Take care of the mind. This is one of the most important. No life can have quality if the mind is in the sorrow pit. This means having a good coach or therapist to guide you through tough times. In our country, a therapist is still seen like something only crazy people go for, but my take on this is that one needs to go see a specialist for the mind in the same way one does their yearly medical investigations. Just because the problems of the mind are not so visible as the problems of the body, it does not mean one should handle them on their own.
  • Work until I die. I don’t know about others, but I don’t see myself retiring and waiting for the money from the government to come. I think that if a person does not have an activity, a business they love, so they are involved with the world, it’s very easy to go into loneliness and depression and the state of health declines.

So today’s post was about me needing to look at the bigger picture of life again and how I want it to unfold in the health department. I kept thinking that at some point I need to put an end to: “it’s Ok, it was just once” and remember that I’ve been saying this for way too long time. 😁

Log 32 of the search for meaning quest

My country’s current government wants to make a referendum to decide that a family is composed only between a man an a woman and not between spouses as it was by now.

I can’t help but wonder: people will not stop loving who they love because of a law. And turning away from something some people do not want to see because they were programmed to “know” otherwise, does not make it disappear. How will this actually help with creating a better society for everyone if some people are right and some people are wrong in what they are?

From the general well fare and economic point of view, a person who is denied their rights can only get frustrated and accumulate feelings that does not help them as a person, does not help the people around them and in the end, does not help society as a whole.

People that are happier in their life are better with those around them and more efficient in what they are doing. Unhappy people are well…the opposite of that. Rather than deny people a right, a relationship that is going to happen anyway, I would integrate them into society and have them contribute to make it better. Like other countries do.

If something is going to happen anyway, it’s better to make it a win-win for everyone, the person and the society/economy.

Division and us are better than this group of people [because insert reason] brought great tragedies in the past for a lot of minorities.  The interesting question is: do we want to focus our time on something that will be the norm  anyway? or focus on building a better future using everybody we have and get a good chance to live to actually see it happen?

I don’t know about others, but I’m game for the second one. I think people will have their rights to do whatever they want about their love life anyway. And I will always believe in everyone having equal chances. So there goes my vote to everyone minding their own business and rather find ways to help children go to school, help other social causes, do something that actually brings value to the world. I rest my case 🙂

On healthier habits:

I am happy to say that nowadays I have my IKEA glass bowl with me when I buy lunch and managed reduce by a whole lot the plastic I was throwing out in the trash for this meal., daily. And I’m happier on both sides: that I don’t eat from plastic, and that I don’t throw away things used only for 30 minutes that will take hundreds of years to decompose.

On better parenting: I realized today that one of the best things I do for my child is working to become a better human being every day. Read, open my mind, see things, stretch my limits…the kind of things needing continuous effort but are totally worth it in the end.

Log 31 of the search for life meaning journey

Here is me overcoming procrastination and writing on two consecutive days in a row. Cheers to that!

These days, these subjects preoccupy my mind the most:

  1. Producing less trash and recycling for a sustainable future
  2. Traveling the world with Alex and Levi
  3. Meeting people that share my interests
  4. Helping causes I believe in
  5. Building a business besides my office job

In random order.

On travel:  A few of you might know that, about a year and a half ago we moved into a bigger apartment: a 4 rooms one. Unfortunately, that came with a price tag with a lot of zeros attached and the loan for it, together with the one for the car manages to erode our finances big time. We are not living a bad life, don’t get me wrong, but we are missing a lot of adventures and bonding time while traveling the world together that can’t be replaced with anything else.

We are considering (I came up with the idea and now we’re evaluating it) to move back to our 2 rooms apartment, sell this one and use the money (and lack of loans) to live our life, see the world while also saving up for our son’s studies and a fund for our old days.

It’s complicated actually. And each choice has it’s advantages and disadvantages.

On one hand, it’s good to have an apartment that will increase in value over time. And the extra space brings comfort, the area is good, there is parking space. On the other hand, these years of bonding with our son over adventures, seeing the world and opening our minds and hearts together in this process – will not come back. And staying at home together is not the same – I’ve seen it enough to know the huge difference.

And I think that either way we’ll choose, in the end, we’ll feel like we’ve missed on something. Now it’s just important to try and figure out which way the balance goes.

On parenting: Levi and I starting having actual conversations (like wow!). We talk about what he did at kindergarten, what I did at work, what he liked most about his day, what I liked most about mine, what each of us ate.

It’s quite fascinating to get a sneak peak into this side of his world he has when he’s away. And it’s fascinating to get a sneak peak into his thoughts and feelings.