Book swap

One of the things that I have accomplished at work, and which made me real proud, was the book swap. 

It might not be related to the actual work that goes around there, but having hobbies and being able to share them with others is fulfilling. And it all started with the “Red Queen” book, by Victoria Aveyard.

I am pretty certain that my book has been circulated to at least 6 people, all of them now owning a copy of their own. Not only that, but I do believe that they own all 3 books, plus the two short stories (Queen Song and Steel Scars).

Even to this day, I haven’t received my book back. I am not sure who has it, nor do I wish to have it back. I am just happy it was the book that started it all.

Of course, I have a few books in my bookshelves that are not my own. I am trying my best to read them, but I think I will go for the Kindle version and just return them to their rightful owners. After all, in a month my contract will come to an end. I only wish to keep in touch with a handful of people. The others.. well, it will be hard to remove them from my mind. I just hope they will soon become just bad memories.

There are a few people I intend on keeping up with the book swap. I just love the books they recommend. They’ve enlarged my horizon a couple of times, and I can only be grateful for that.

I only plan on making good memories from now on. 

For the first time in ages, we actually got the chance to make plans. They might not be the biggest and boldest plans, but being able to say “Yes, we will come” to a wedding or to a christening invitation is something. To be able to say for sure that we will be spending Easter together, and that we can go out during the weekends with friends feels like out of this world.

We even got the chance to go out in the park and just waste an hour or two. Pluto proved to us how long it has been since he was out in the park. After a couple of ball runs, he was exhausted.

 

When being able to do regular things seems like an achievement, you know for sure that things were not right at all. Hopefully, things will only get better this week and I will get that call confirming my hopes for the last two weeks. *fingers crossed*

Spring, is that you?

Spring is slowly coming. We’ve had lovely weather this past week. It was sunny and warm. It really lifted my spirits. 

What really made me happy, was the fact that I got the call that I was waiting for. Next Wednesday, I will have my first face to face interview. I know it might not seem much, but for me that interview is a life line. Considering everything that went on in the last two weeks, a job interview is something to look forward to.

I know I shouldn’t count the days. But, I can’t help it. I just want to break free of that place.

With that said, I am planning on making my days count. I will try my hardest to get out of the rut that was self imposed because of work. 

~~~~~~

I do love the new book shelves that we got from Ikea. They changed the room. The fact that I couldn’t fit in all my books in them, doesn’t matter at all. I still had free space in our bedroom.

I’ve also made some decent progress at my Autumn needlepoint. In fact, if I keep it up, I should be able to finish it in a couple of months. It is a very large project that I have undertaken. But, it is worth it. 

Of course, whenever I stitch I have company. 

They might not help with the actual stitching, but they do provide a good company, even when all they do is sleep.

I missed spending time with my furry friends. I missed wasting time. I hope that soon enough, I will miss having to worry about how each day will turn out.

I should just follow the example from Pluto and Marlanu’, and just enjoy each moment as it passes. It seems to be working out great for them.

Happy happy, joy joy

Since I signed my resignation, things have been really good. Not great, but good. Which is amazing!

Makes sense?

I am happy. Things have picked up in almost everything. It is hard to explain this feeling. Sure, I am tired of everything that goes on at work (with the attitude change towards me from my so called team leads colleagues and from the management), but I feel free. There is nothing that they can do to dampen my spirits. Plus, there are two other people that are leaving from the same reasons as I am. The third, I am helping them with their resume and applying for jobs.

That and one member of my team (the agents that I am responsible for) actually cried when they heard the news that I was leaving.

I don’t care what the management says, when your own agents feel sad and cry that you are leaving that means you were worth something! 

I am worth something!

Now I feel like crying. I am sad for leaving behind such awesome people. 

With that said, I am still happy. I am happy happy, joy joy. I have a job on the line. It is not 100% certain, but considering I turned them down last year and now when I just asked if they have any other openings, I was called in for a job interview, I can only hope for better days.

Soon, I shall have my freedom. I will be able to wait a lil more for it.

12.04.2017

I was finally able to sign my resignation. Last day of work: 12.04.2017.

You might think that my CV is updated, that I am actively applying for jobs. I haven’t done anything of the sort. I just cleaned the house and rested.

It was such a wonderful feeling to have time to waste. It has been such a long time since I felt happy about doing regular things. Listening to music, stitching, watching a Bollywood movie, walking Pluto, resting with Marlanu’ and Pluto. It felt incredible.

I don’t regret anything. If stability means losing your own self, I would rather have instability. I would rather struggle and be happy, then comfortable and miserable. 

I want to make happy memories, at work and at home. I don’t one thing to affect the other. I want to feel good about myself, once again. To be honest, I started feeling really old. I started thinking that there is nothing out there for me. That I am not good enough for anything else. It showed on my face, in the way I dressed, the way I acted. I was a sad person. 

That is not who I am.

I am a happy person by nature. The smallest things make me the happiest. When I laugh, Pluto laughs with me. He feels my happiness. Yet, I haven’t had a real laugh in ages. Even the blog became depressing.

~~~~~~

In March I will apply again to get my driver’s license. Johnny was right. If I want road trips that we can both enjoy, I should step up as well. I started learning Spanish, as I planned. I don’t know much, but at least I can count to 10 in Spanish. I also understand most things said to me, but I still can’t reply back.

So, my action plan for the next two months: small steps to get back my old happy self. 

New beginnings

It is done.

I quit my job. I am now waiting to hear news of when my last day with them will be. I do not feel happy. I do not feel relief. I just want to know when is the last time I will have to show myself there. 

The whole experience has left me bitter. 

From what I was told, all my work and effort equals to zero. All the work that I put, all that over time, equals to nothing for them. 2 years of hard work, all down the drain. All because someone doesn’t like me. 

My head hurts and I cannot seem to get out of this gloomy mood. 

I had plans for this year. I wanted to save money to get my drivers license, to get a new bed, to take my British Cambridge exam and more. 

I really need to see things from a different light.

It is a good thing that I left. I was planning on leaving for a while, so might as well get a nudge in the right direction. I was getting way to comfortable, while things were not that great. In fact, they are bad and getting worse each day. It will be hard financially for a while, but we survived worse times. That and there is no debt to pay. 

The worst part of winter has passed. 

I just need to hang in there till the end. Keep my head up and not break down. Easier said then done, but that’s what I must do. 

An end to an era

Sucking at something is the first step to becoming sorta good at something

Jake, Adventure Time

From the recent updates at work, apparently, I suck very much. What better way to motivate someone who is already in doubt about staying or not. The worst part is, that it is not even related to my work. It is related to what others think and say about me. I cannot even fight back, and defend myself because of the “he said, she said” thing. No real proof, no real facts, just hearsay. 

The others is a general term, used by our manager for feedback sessions. It is a term she loves (among many other derogative terms she keeps for agents that do not met her standards). It gives her power by dividing us, by making us mistrust one another. 

So, I come back to the conclusion that it is not the work and its quality, but how much one can suck up to the boss. 

That is where I really suck.

I cried over it. 

Like a complete and utter dumbass, I cried.

I guess it is my mistake as well. I got comfortable knowing that I have a job. The fear of not having a job, and having a hard time getting one, two years ago, has stuck with me. I dread going over that whole process of interviews and waiting.

The best part of all of this was Johnny’s reaction. He almost chocked with his coffee, while laughing at me.

Yep, he laughed. 

He was not the only one that laughed. 

That hurt even more. 

Here I am crying myself out, trying to figure out why and how this happened, and people are just laughing at the absurdity of it all. I really am a dumbass. 

So, without further rambling and ranting, I have prepared my resignation. Tomorrow, when we have our team meeting (of course it had to be on my day off), I will submit it. 

If this is considered giving up, then I give up. There is no point in going on like this. I would rather dread two, three months of job hunting than another year working in that environment. It will not be like before. The fact that I will resign my job tomorrow doesn’t mean that I will leave straight away. I will still have 45 days to enjoy their lovely company. But, that’s a good thing. It gives me two months (while I am being paid) to find another job. 

All I have to do is to survive tomorrow. That is the most important thing.

Halfway through January

We’re halfway through January. Nothing exciting happened. The days have passed and nothing new happened. Same old, same old.

I could go on like that for a while. I was not expecting anything dramatic to happen, nor for our life to change completely when the new year started. I was and still am fully aware that in order for something to happen, things need to be put in motion. The only way things will be put in motion is if we do something completely different.

We didn’t do anything different. We went around, doing our regular business. It is hard to change a pattern that has been going on for years. The sad reality is that the same pattern will go on for years to come. We might change a few days by doing new and different things, but at the core it will still be the same. 

It sounds depressing.

I would like to attribute this state of mind to Winter. 

It gets depressing this time of the year. It is way to cold. I dislike the fact that I have to wear so many layers of clothing. I dislike the fact we cannot go on road trips because it snowed so much, and the roads are not that good. I dislike having to stay indoors when we could be out and about. 

I am happy for one thing. I already applied for a vacation in March. A full week of freedom from work. I am not sure if they will approve it, but I am entitled to a total of 38 vacation days (because last year we barely got a few days off). All I can do now is to wait and survive work. 

A much needed Bollywood dose

Watching a Bollywood movie takes time. Most of them are at least 2 hours long. Imagine watching 3 Bollywood movies, after being on the night shift.

Yep, that’s what I did. 

I just didn’t want to waste my day sleeping. Weekends are short enough as they are.

~~~~~~

The movie selection process was done completely random. Usually, I would look up one of my favorite actors and see what new releases they might have. This time, I just went with whatever I found available. 

I was not disappointed.

My first choice was “Kidnap” with Sanjay Dutt, Imran Khan and Minissha Lamba. 

Sure enough, it had drama, action, eye candy (for both sexes) and the most important thing, a happy ending for everyone involved. Yep, a true Bollywood movie. Even the bad guy, Kabir Sharma played by Imran Khan) was off the hook for kidnapping Sonia (played by Minissha Lamba). 

The second choice was “I hate luv storys“. 

I think I picked this one because I liked Imran Khan in Kidnap. But, I also liked Sonam Kapoor in Saawariya. With this one the selection process was not so random. I must admit, I was just curious and I like pretty faces.

Usually, when looking for Bollywood romance I always go for old movies. All of them will be compared against “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” (my all time favorite). With “I hate luv storys” I had moments where I skipped forward. This usually happens when I just don’t have the patience for certain scenes. 

It was cute, but not cute enough. 

The last one I enjoyed! I really did. I stumbled on it, and I am glad I did. It was “Chalo Dilli“. 

It was cute and funny. It was relaxing and it had a train ride! It deserves more than what it has on IMDb. This lil gem actually made my day much better. I considered my time (almost 8 hours, with breaks included) well spent. 

What struck me, is that all of these movies are old. 

Chalo Dilli was the most recent one. It came out in 2011.

I really need to get my sh*t together. My life is revolved too much around work. It should be the other way around. I should work so I can live, not live to work. That and I really need a new job, something that has nothing to do with Customer Service, Sales or anything related (if possible).

Bloody cold

I am just stating the obvious here: It is bloody cold!

Yes, I am aware it is winter. I am also aware, that we are in January and this is the coldest month of the year. I would not have any problem, if I wouldn’t have to take the dog out or go to work. 

This is the first year that we had to get Pluto doggy footwear. It wasn’t hard to convince Johnny to buy them. It wasn’t a want, but more of an urgent need for the poor dog. Pluto seemed to love them as soon as he was outside and he was able to run around. I was hoping he wouldn’t drag me along anymore, but that hope was soon lost on me.

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Taking Pluto out for short walks is fun, and we do get some exercise in. But, we do have those moments when enough is enough. Those are the moments that we slowly go back home. The moments when something warm is all that we want.

I do love winter, just not at the moment.

Maybe I am a bit grumpy, since I didn’t get enough rest in the last 2 days. All I know is that the bed is the best place to be at the moment. It is warm and comfortable. I also love it when all four of us are cuddling (Marlanu’ and Pluto like spending time with us as well).

Marlanu’ knows best since he seems to be sleeping more. 

A visit to the in-laws might cheer me up. After all, they have the good food and a soup would go perfectly.

2017 Must Read Books

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream” – C.S. Lewis
~~~~~~
I don’t like to make plans when books are concerned. I like to have the choice of picking whatever I want, whenever I want.
Yet, there are a few books I keep for those moments when everything in the universe is perfect. Believe it or not, those moments do come, even if once in a blue moon.

A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

A Dog's Purpose
This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog’s search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, this touches on the universal quest for an answer to life’s most basic question: Why are we here?

This one is a pretty obvious choice for someone like me. Most likely, I will be reading it in bed with Marlanu’ and Pluto sleeping beside me.

A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley
A long way home
I’ve been thinking about this day for twenty-five years. Growing up half a world away, with a new name and a new family, wondering whether I would ever see my mother and brothers and sister again. And now here I am, standing at a door near the corner of a run-down building in a poor district of a small, dusty town in central India – the place I grew up – and no-one lives there.

Another book that got itself a movie. I don’t know what to expect from this one. I really hope it isn’t a “feel good” book as Slumdog Millionaire.

A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
A passage to India
When Adela Quested and her elderly companion Mrs Moore arrive in the Indian town of Chandrapore, they quickly feel trapped by its insular and prejudiced ‘Anglo-Indian’ community. Determined to escape the parochial English enclave and explore the ‘real India’, they seek the guidance of the charming and mercurial Dr Aziz, a cultivated Indian Muslim.”

I am a big fan of slow paced novels.

A Bride’s Story series by Kaoru Mori
A Brides story
Acclaimed creator Kaoru Mori (Emma, Shirley) brings the nineteenth-century Silk Road to lavish life, chronicling the story of Amir Halgal, a young woman from a nomadic tribe betrothed to a twelve-year-old boy eight years her junior. Coping with cultural differences, blossoming feelings for her new husband, and expectations from both her adoptive and birth families, Amir strives to find her role as she settles into a new life and a new home in a society quick to define that role for her.

This is a manga or a graphic novel (as many like to call them). The author is one of my favorite just for bringing to life the “Emma” series.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Me before you
Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident.

What is life without a bit of romance?

Poirot and Me by David Suchet, Geoffrey Wansell
Poirot and Me
Through his television performance in ITV’s Agatha Christie’s Poirot, David Suchet has become inextricably linked with the ‘little Belgian’, a man whom he has grown to love dearly through an intimate relationship lasting more than twenty years.

One of the few books that I own (not as a ebook or audio book).

An Autobiography by Agatha Christie, Robert Herrick
An Autobiography
Fans of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple and readers of John Curran’s fascinating biographies Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks and Murder in the Making will be spellbound by the compelling, authoritative account of one of the world’s most influential and fascinating novelists, told in her own words and inimitable style.

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
North and South
When her father leaves the Church in a crisis of conscience, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the north of England. Initially repulsed by the ugliness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of the local mill workers and develops a passionate sense of social justice.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Little Women
Following the lives of four sisters on a journey out of adolescence, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women explores the difficulties associated with gender roles in a Post-Civil War America.

My reading list is pretty big. I am sure that if I read about 50 books per year, it will take me a lifetime to read at least half of my list.