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Current State of Mind

It’s been a very long hiatus. Much has happened but that’s nothing new. I just didn’t have the motivation to write. Maybe I didn’t have any motivation left in me at all. Questioning lots of things. Getting frustrated. Feeling stuck (by my own devise). The body giving signals to slow down before derailment and me not acting upon it despite hearing the cries. One more day, one more week, next month. The same old cycle. After almost every two years.

For the past 1.5 months, been dealing with health issues which do not go away. The tests so far are clear.. which is good news & a blessing! Feels like one pain is related to another. With travel just around the corner (first since Jan 2020), I feel like I don’t have enough time to run from one doc to another to figure out the cause of my health issue. Been feeling exhausted, emotional, and like crying. The specialist I want to go to is not available till the day of my flight (tough luck). Now I have to find another one who’s good and will listen to me patiently. Compassion & competence. I have mad respect for doctors who give enough time to patients and listen to them. To me, that connection is the first step. Diagnostics & treatment follow it. I still remember my very first interaction with my GP. I was in so much pain that I ended up crying as she checked my throat. And she hugged me. I can never forget that human connection. She’s my GP to this day.

I know I am stressed. Work, future, life in general, and now health. It may not be a huge issue but it hasn’t resolved yet. That bugs me. I obsess about it. This downward spiral of stress & obsession is also nothing new. The health issue & stress combined give me a feeling of lightheadedness. You know what, writing all of it down may help. At least these thoughts are no longer going round & round in my head.. a never-ending cycle. Counting my blessings.. I try to.. whenever I feel positivity and, thankfully, there are periods of positivity in every day. Can’t thank my God enough for these times.

At this very moment, my head feels a bit lighter.. and my body feels at peace. Pakistan & Australia are starting the T20 Cricket World Cup Semi Final match. Honestly, I don’t want to hear anything about it. Too much emotional investment. Too much stress. For some it’s just a game. For others, it’s much more than that. Pakistanis fall under the second category.

One of my favorite poems is on my mind. Don’t know the poet as I read it on the cover of a letter pad that I had bought years ago. I made it a point to memorize it.

Lives are filled with happiness

When hearts are filled with love

Love brought you into my memory

Love brought you into my heart.

– Anonymous

This song found me. I was watching a fan-made video of EXO‘s Baekhyun which had this song in the background track. Loved it so much that I had to search for it. On repeat since this morning!

Feelings

Been thinking of how I feel or have been feeling recently. Drapetomaina.. this word describes how I feel. The COVID-19 pandemic and the travel restrictions that followed, along with the increasing number of distress cases that I’ve had to manage, have taken their toll. I miss my travel. I miss my me time. I miss being alone, in my own zone, away from everyone and everything. Loss of interest in things I enjoy – check. Not feeling like talking to anyone at all – check. Sick of having people around me all the time – check. Being in high alert mode 24×7 – check. Feeling confined in my environment when I’d like to roam around the world – check. Losing in interest in what I do – check. Not feeling like looking at my phone at all – check. I know what it is and where it’s going. The question is: what am I going to do about it. Or, whether or not I’m going to do anything about it.

Reconnecting

It’s been quite some time since I wrote a blog post.. or read a book.. or went out with my friends. It’s not that I did not have anything to say. On the contrary, there was much to say but not the right words to express how I felt/feel. COVID-19 changed the world in many ways. From staying at home 24×7 to washing every single thing entering our home, the fear was palpable. Not being able to hold Fizzy & Happoo was another test. Netflix came as a blessing (and curse too, maybe?). Got hooked to Turkish dizisi and binge-watched so many series. The result: missed my book reading target. Haven’t finished a book in what feels like ages. At times, I feel guilty about not reading; but then I tell myself, there’s no compulsion. It’s OK to take a break, even from the books. I hope to reconnect with my books.. when it’s time and I feel the urge to pick a book. Till then, I’ll enjoy my k-dramas & EXO‘s songs ❤

This song by Crush, from the OST of Goblin (one of my favorite K-dramas), is so melodious and heart-touching. Been on my playlist on repeat mode – all day long!

I was never interested in Korean dramas (K-dramas) or hallyu (the Korean Wave). Never understood why major airlines provided K-pop channels through their in-flight entertainment systems. The COVID-19 pandemic last year resulted in me finally getting a Netflix account and binge-watching Turkish dizis (dramas). This year, I watched a K-drama (Vincenzo) and got hooked. Been watching various K-dramas/K-series on Netflix these days and loving them. Turkish language having Persian roots & being a phonetic language is relatively easier for me to follow. Korean, however, is quite new & different. But, I must say, I love the tonality and the musical quality of the spoken language. It’s a pleasure to watch these dramas without English dubbing. Happy to see that I now know a few Korean words & expressions which makes the dramas even more fun to watch.

As for the storylines and the overall production, the K-dramas are well-made and relatable. They are culturally closer to us than the Hollywood series. The characters are realistic and the actors do a great job bringing them to life. I especially like the diversity in storylines. For example, the way mental health issues were dealt with in It’s OK To Not Be OK. I’m glad I decided to watch K-dramas. Learning a new language & finding new, soulful songs (thanks to the OSTs) is a bonus! 🙂

2PM – Go Crazy

Never thought I’d be listening to K-Pop! Never explored the K-Pop option on the in-flight entertainment systems during my travels. Also didn’t think I’d watch Korean dramas but here I am binge-watching and loving them! So happy I found 2PM’s songs I’ll Be Back & Go Crazy. They’ve been a source of joy since I found them yesterday. On repeat mode all day long 🙂

Trees

Missing the random walks I used to take during my travels..

After a decade, yes a whole decade, we finally bought an OTG to replace our oven! This afternoon Fizzy, Happoo, Zunie, and I did our first baking experiment using to test our OTG. The prep and most of the mixing work was done by me & Fizzy while Happoo & Zunie helped place the small batches of cookie dough in the oven and watched the cookies bake. Loved the fragrance of freshly baked cookies especially the scent of vanilla! The baking trays (from our previous cooking range) were too large so we had to experiment with aluminum & parchment paper. Good news: The cookies passed the User Tasting! 🙂

Lesson learned: (1) In warm weather, it’s better to keep the cookie dough/balls in fridge for sometime so that it firms up. The batch that was refrigerated came out better. (2) Baking trays and cooling racks are very useful so buy them. (3) Oven thermometer was very useful. (4) Sugar quantity may be reduced OR replace chocolate chips with semi-sweet chocolate chip if you don’t want cookies that are too sweet. (5) Don’t forget to taste the batter & have fun! 🙂

Recipe for Small Batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies (servings: 12): Small Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies

Meet the author Walter Ginevri in the Project Management Institute (PMI) Karachi Pakistan Chapter’s Readers’ Club Episode 5 on Aug 8, 2020 at 10 AM EST. Register for FREE at: http://ow.ly/6Wxf50AOHw4. Walter will talk about his book ‘Project Management for Education: The Bridge to 21st Century Learning‘. This is a two-in-one guide for Project Practitioners & Educators.

I’ve met Walter at various conferences organized by the PMI over the years. Walter is not only a passionate & committed volunteer leader but also a very humble person. Looking forward to his session this Saturday 🙂