Monday, March 31, 2014

Peppermint Love

Here is a photo journal of me oven-drying some peppermint leaves that I was gifted with yesterday. I was nervous about the process (still am) but I actually enjoyed it.

Step 1. I washed the leaves and let them dry.

Step 2. Then I clipped them from the stems.
Step. 3 I laid them on cookie sheets and popped them into the oven on the lowest setting with the door cracked open for 2-3 hours.
This is how they looked when they came out.
And here they are in my little jar. I have more in another container :)

 And also lastly here is my little peppermint plant that I am hoping will take and grow, grow grow! I am super excited about this because I have taken to drinking peppermint tea because I am cutting out milk and sugar. I am hoping that I enjoy my tea even more than ever before.

Grow little buddy grow!

Friday, March 28, 2014

For Peace Sake

I am moved to write about it today because way my emotions have been spiraling out of control.

I spent a good bit of Wednesday night feeling sorry for myself to the point of tears. I felt lonely and the weight of being an adult fully responsible for myself with no family or friends that I felt that I could fall back on if I really needed help was like a crushing weight.

In that moment I found myself thinking that in lieu of support from the outside I would have to prepare myself to wing it on my own. This was not a pleasant thought, and for me it was a very surprising feeling. I have always verbally treasured my independence.

I thought I was proud of it in fact but I realized in that moment that I was wearing it a a shield to cover how scared I felt at having to sort everything out on my own. I am blessed to still live at home but yet I am financially separated from my parents. I contribute to the household and beyond letting me be a tenant I would never expect my Father to help me with anything.

I looked to my finances for some sort of solace. Looking to my setup to see if I had adequately provided for strangers to be hired to, for instance, take me to doctor if I had no other option. The figures stare back at me and force me to face the truth. There is no amount of peace of mind that can be bought by being financially prepared because at the end of the day we are social creatures.

Everyone needs help sometimes and it is probably unfair of me to say that my friends an family will not help me. What I mean to say is that I don't feel like I have anyone here who would put me first, that I can really count on to do anything for me. I trust that my Grandmother would but she is in Philadelphia and I am here.

But I need to find some peace with-in myself. I am still searching for it. Sorry for being so low but I needed to get this out of my mind and in front of me so I can read it. I also hope that it reminds me how far I have come when I find a positive alternative for this feeling.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Fighting Frustration

When I get frustrated or irritated I feel like a rubber-band about to snap. And in turn I get really snappy and I hate it. I hate being that way but yet it continues. I feel helpless in the emotion and that makes it worse instead of better.

I find I am very snappy with my best friend when I come in from work. I am wondering why that is. I am usually not in that bad a mood but somehow her asking me how my day was feels like an intrusion into the peace and calm I was anticipating.

In that moment when I get home, I feel relief at my work-day being over and I get very irritable when that is encroached on. I don't know how best to communicate my need for some peace and solitude because as it stands there is nowhere to go.

That is why one of my pipe dreams is to clear out the back bedroom enough to move out of her and back into my own space. It won't happen overnight and it will take a lot of work on my part but increasing I feel that it will save our relationship a lot of friction if I have somewhere to retreat to.

I want to find a way however to fight the mood when it happens and move away from it. I am in charge of myself and there is no one but me to blame for my moods. I will do the best I can. In a way I am using the space to confess that I have a problem and that I am unhappy with it.

I hope that as I continue to focus on changing that I start to learn techniques to become the person that I want to be. Here is hoping that you all have a wonderful, creative and peaceful night.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The advice given

Reading motivational items tends to be very enlightening and can be empowering but the effect is fleeting. The reason for this is that reading and nodding one's head in agreement is not enough to have any change in your life.

Manifesting change takes time. That means you have to consume the things you want to become on a regular basis and slowly implement them into your life with a dogmatic, unfailing persistence.

Failure will happen. Things won't go your way. Hiding from reality doesn't help anything but at the same time it is okay to give yourself a break.

Advice given doesn't need to be followed by rote, you need to evaluate it with an open mind and feel out what works best for you at this time and go back to it at a later date to see if it makes anymore sense.

Being human is a state where your mind makes everyday living more complicated that it needs to be. Where enjoyment and gratitude are uphill battles and interaction with others in a trial.

For my own self the future is murky at best and the path that others suggest for me bring me no motivation, only a feeling of being bogged down under expectation and the wide brush of conformity.

I am practicing being grateful for the life that I have and how far I have come in being able to better support myself. No, life isn't perfect but it's a frig of a lot better and I wouldn't trade this state for any other place I have been in life.

Life can be very depressing it one lets it. There is a lot of small things that can bring you down not to mention the bigger things that push back against you. It's okay to be sad, and unhappy and it is all right to disagree with someone you care about. It is not alright to let all of these things consume you as if they are the beginning and the end of your existence.

If I had to give myself one rule to live by after taking in all the advice that I have read over the past few weeks it would be:


Enjoy a simple life.

That's it. Every other thought or extrapolation of good intention can easily flow from there. 

Hills and Vales

I have been ill for most of this week and a lot of my plans have fallen aside. I am back in action now however and trying to spend today refreshing my mind an picking back up the habits that fell by the way side.

There is much to be said for the positive boost of a new day. It does bring with it a sense of starting over anew. While most of yesterday was wasted away sleeping, I can use this day differently. It is a free do-over.

I will cast on for a new project today using the yarn below. A carrying-bag for my yoga mat. I am unsure if I have enough of this yarn to finish it but I have other colors of the same weight and brand so I can choose to stripe it.

If I make that decision I will take a picture and show it here.

100% cotton worsted weight

I am feeling almost desperate to de-clutter. The mess is making me feel depressed and uninspired. Realistically though I can't just wiggle my now like Samantha and get it all magically whisked away so I will give myself a year from this date to get my small spaces in order.

My first major project will be organizing my yarn. I have hit on an idea to make my pull out chest of drawers that don't function properly into shelves instead. Once I get rid of the first set of stuff, I'll look into that more aggressively.

I have really mixed feelings about everything but I know that living simple is what I want. Mistakes of the past are like an albatross around my neck but I will move forward. One fresh new day at a time, I will get there.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Two Rows a Day

I have been dithering about getting back into knitting and I can't say for sure exactly what has been stopping me. Today I added a few more rows on my cowl and I feel better. It led me to make a pact with myself to knit at least two rows a day. No more is required but if that happens it would be great.

I hope that this small positive step will be the key to me recapturing some of the joy that knitting can make me feel.

Here is a sneak peak:

Not a great picture or very thoughtful posing.
In other news my exercise and eat healthy goals are going well. I have found out that I have lost 10 pounds since Jan 31st and I am not unhappy with that. My goal from here on out is to settle into a healthy diet that I can maintain and build stamina through regular exercise.

To be honest I don't get to do a full 30 minutes at any one time. I usually put in little sessions of two twenty rep. sets every day. This has been working for me. I am also adding in a 30 minute Cardio video I found on YouTube but I don't get very far into before I am too worn-out to continue. I am sure this will improve over time. 

Here it is in case you are curious:

I'm in a good place mentally. Not a perfect place but one where I am trying to improve myself and to kick myself in the rear when I focus too much on the negative and forget to be grateful. This is being shown out in my continued de-cluttering efforts. I am very slowly getting there. 

Here's hoping that all if well with you all in the blog-universe. Greeting and love from Barbados. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Road Travelled

In February 2009 when I entered the Civil Aviation Department I couldn't really imagine what I had let myself in for but I went in with an intention to be successful. I ended up in a classroom full of people from all different walks of life and a 4 inch think mountain of a information to climb.

That was the first of three times that I would sit in the classroom at the Barbados Air Traffic Training Center and by the third time the original classroom of thirty was only seven. There is a lot to that story as to why only seven of us were in that classroom and indeed I could write a novel to explain why only five of us left that training center last year to return to the work environment.

Some things I remember like yesterday. In the first course there was an ultimatum. Only five would continue immediately ahead to do the Aerodrome Course, the rest would have to wait at least a year. They stated they would take only the top students.

The pass mark in all exams are 70%. This is no mean feat, as it is required to reproduce the work verbatim. In the end only 3 were chosen and I was the first pick. I received Valedictorian for that course. This set a standard for all the rest of years to come.  I maintained a final course average of over 90% on all three courses and received a note of distinction every-time.

This is not to brag, this is t celebrate. I worked very hard and I put all of my effort into this last five years of study and preparation.

 To speak of exams though is only one part of the puzzle.

Air Traffic Control requires to perform in the practical capacity as well. In simulation I also maintained an a grade in all of the courses and in all of the positions. In the live environment, working with an on-the-job-coach and then being evaluated working on my own, I continued to work at a standard that was commended by the supervisors and my peers.

My growth in this area is not at all exhausted. I have a lot more to learn and to experience when it come to practicing controlling. Looking back however, I am proud of what I have done so far.

If you have asked me in 2008 where I would in 5 years, I could never have imagined this outcome. I was working as a secretary in a Restaurant chain making minimum wage and having only a basic education, I had no idea what was coming next for me.

Now I am once again at a place where I feel uncertain about the future. I poured so much of myself into this process that now that it is nearing the end, I am looking up at the world around me like a person who has emerged from living underground for many years. The sun is in my eyes and it is blinding me.

However as I pause to look back the way I have come, there is much that I would do differently. Some things that bring me shame; other things that leave me knowing in my heart that I am strong but I am weak and overall I am imperfect and unique in my failings but beautiful in my strengths.

When I look at the road traveled, I say to myself. Well done Asha, well done.