Storytime: what you don’t know can’t hurt you

I have trust issues. I can’t talk about them in detail, but they lead me to do things I’m not proud of and that bring no good to anyone.

Have you ever heard the phrase: what you don’t know, can’t hurt you? It’s so true. I was curious about something. So I had a doubt that crept into my mind this morning, and I was curious to check if my doubt was true or not. Turns out that doubt was false, but I stumbled upon something that hurt me and I can’t do anything about it because then I would have to explain how I know.

Do you know what’s worse? I feel like I deserve it, because I haven’t been perfect either, and now I’m being punished for my mistakes.

I have more doubts, but I’m not going to go down the rabbit hole of checking if I’m right or wrong. I would rather be blissfully ignorant than proven right. Just the thought gives me physical pain and heartache. In the meantime, I’ll keep working on my trust issues and not give in to the temptation of doubt. I will care and love and hope for the best.

Self-reflection Sunday: Deep conversation topics part 1

Hello and welcome to my blog! I had a long day yesterday and I was in a lot of pain last night and I was exhausted. I went to bed at 9 pm after caving in and taking painkillers. The reason why is still blurry but I think I was feeling emotionally overwhelmed by a conversation I had with my grandparents which poured salt onto some wounds I had buried deep down in the name of being tolerant and understanding. Add to that 2 weeks of lousy sleep and voila! It took a toll on my body.

A lot is going on in my life that I can’t write about because it’s private. Many things I can’t change but haven’t been able to fully accept. Anyway, I decided to still do the self reflection post, even though I’m 13 hours late, and I’m still going to do a motivational Monday post afterwards.

I’m also really behind on reading blogs because I was working hard on my new book (it will be released tomorrow as an ebook) and binge-watching Gilmore Girls (I finished season 7 yesterday and started Gilmore Girls: A year in the life).

Without further ado, today’s question is:

What is your biggest day to day challenge?

This one is easy. Controlling my anger. I have a hard time keeping my cool, especially with my husband and son. I get irritated by small things. I get more controlling the more I feel things are out of control. I try to let things go but I end up bottling them up and exploding. Today is my son’s 1st day back to school in person and even though he woke up on his own at 7:30 am, which is a 1st, he gave me a hard time and I snapped at him, which is something I’m not proud of at all. I went full The Hulk on him and then after he calmed down I apologized and made amends. I had been doing so well the past 3 days keeping my anger levels low but it was the weekend and we were out of the house for the most part anyway.

I’m so excited that my son is back to school, even if it’s just for this week and then the week after next week. I was short on me-time and I have so many things to do and only 3 hours to do them. I already did the dishes, laundry, and made the beds, but I want to watch Gilmore Girls and also read blogs, so I guess I’ll keep going back and forth between those 2. I also want to exercise and read Quraan but I guess I’ll do that later. I just hope I don’t forget about them altogether. That’s another struggle I have day-to-day. I struggle with balancing housework, self-care, and parenting. I’m always short in 1 domain because I can’t focus on everything at the same time. Some days I don’t spend quality time with my son. Some days I slack on housework. Some days I don’t exercise or read Quraan.

I hope you enjoy this new self-reflection prompt I found on Pinterest called deep conversation topics. I’ll be answering a question every Sunday.

Storytime: Why my writing is suffering

I slept at midnight last night.

Woke up at 2 am because it was the 27th night of Ramadan.

Such a special night!

It’s 7 am now and I still can’t sleep…

Been tossing and turning in bed from 4 to 6:30 (while oscillating between reading blogs and scrolling instagram).

Then got up and exercised.

Me: works out for 7 minutes… I feel like a fitness guru now.

Now I sit with no electricity (welcome to Lebanon).

I was going to sit at my laptop and either watch a movie (I watched one yesterday too. I know, I’m deviating from my goal of no tv) or work on my writing but my laptop battery doesn’t last for more than 10 minutes unless charging.

Speaking of writing, I look at the blogs I posted the past week and I feel like they were written half-heartedly. Then I see my views dropped this week and I guess you felt it too.

Here’s the thing. I’m not being lazy. It may seem like it but I’m not. I’m physically and emotionally drained and my thoughts are all negative. You don’t want to know what thoughts are on a loop in my head. Trust me.

As part of my plan to not complain, I’m trying not to talk too much, because it comes out as complaining, comdemning, and criticizing. The 3 Cs that ruin every relationship.

How am I doing?

1st of all, nobody cares. Everybody is wrapped up in their own issues to care about how I’m doing.

2nd of all, I will tell you anyway because that is how I am, always desperate to talk about how I feel because it’s how I process things.

Physically, my stomach hurts and it’s bloated, my foot has been hurting for 2 months (considering seeing a doctor to try to fix it but sadly it’s not up to me). I woke up sick yesterday. Not sure if it’s an allergy or a cold (I can never tell). I have no energy during the day but I can’t sleep after dawn sometimes. On the bright side, my migraines are less frequent and I can still walk and talk and do light housework and read and write and hear and see (my efforts to focus on my blessings).

Emotionally, I feel very lonely. My friends aren’t texting me back. I can’t hang out with anyone for various reasons. My husband is emotionally distant because he is overwhelmed about the situation in Lebanon. I’m also overwhelmed about the situation in Lebanon and other countries like Palestine but my reaction is I need more hugs and reassurrance and focus on my pockets of happiness (for example, the weather is good, even though I’m not going outside, and I had coffee for suhour).

Spiritually I was feeling good-ish because I was crushing my goals but I could do better in other areas. Ever since I did a self assessment tracker a few days ago, I lost momentum.

Mentally, I’m reading a lot but not retaining much. My brain is fried because I’m tired. I’m writing but it’s not my best work because I’m tired and I don’t want to be negative. Negative thoughts on a loop. Or I go numb and dissociate. Pockets of happiness that don’t last long enough. Focusing on what I don’t have, like a job and a car and a 2nd child and the ability to go on field trips and travel to different countries. Then I remember the number of people who don’t have enough food to eat and I feel guilty for wanting those things. I have food, shelter, clothes, and so much more. Some people in Lebanon have to go to 6 different organizations to provide them with basic necessities.

Let me try to be more optimistic. Talk about the good stuff. My son is my sunshine. He really is making me smile, even when he frustrates me. His smile lights up my world. His questions blow my mind. He still gets piggy back rides from me and he loves them. His hugs are healing. He is so cute and adorable and I love his personality. I see in him his dad’s confidence and my insecurities meshed in one. We have been slacking on positive affirmations but I’m sure to let him know that he makes me happy every chance I got. I don’t play with him enough, especially during Ramadan because I’m so tired, but he has become so emotionally mature that he literally tells me “I want to spend time with you” and when he says that, I do, even if I’m tired.

Like yesterday, I had to take 2 naps. He kept waking me up because he couldn’t fall asleep. Then eventually I told him to set up Ludo (his new favorite board game) so we can play. He won.

I’ve been going on instagram a lot but not posting much (sharing stories doesn’t count). I no longer feel the need to post everything I do or to make each picture I take instagram worthy. I take pictures and videos for memories.

I wish I could take my son places and give him experiences but my husband has a very sheltered mindset. He won’t even take us for a picnic. He is 💯 a homebody and me and my son are suffering because of that. With everything going on, I need to go out and breathe (with my mask on and not in a crowded area obviously).

Anyway, I’ll stop here to avoid going down a rabbit hole of self pity. It’s a sore topic, going out. So simple and basic like eating and drinking to some people, but for me, I must beg for months to be able to go to the seaside (which is literally 5 minutes by car away from my house) for 5 minutes.

Think of the people who have no food to eat, I keep reminding myself. I hope one day I get to go out more. I’m trying to manifest that in my life, whether by a miracle of my husband letting me drive (I have a license but little practice), or if my family start going out again and my dad takes me.

I normally avoid going into personal details but I’m explaining myself (which is also something I’m trying not to do) as to why my writing isn’t up to my standards lately.

Also, are you enjoying the daily reminder? Or should I make it a weekly reminder and put several reminders in 1 post? Your feedback is very much needed and appreciated.

Finally, the Ramadan series are on pause because, although I’m still watching animated islamic YouTube videos, I’m not getting inspired to put a spin on them.

If you have any questions or suggestions for me, please share them in the comments.

Storytime: Learning how to rest

Hello and welcome to my blog! Happy Hump day! I’m really tired and in pain. How are you doing?

I’ve been feeling tired even after drinking coffee twice a day for a few days but I still pushed myself to be productive. My left foot has been hurting me for 3 weeks and I’ve been enduring the pain, even when I could barely walk.

Last night, my toes cramped up and I almost screamed in pain. I tried to massage them and help them relax but the spasm spread to the rest of my foot and up my shin.

I’ve been living with chronic pain for years. I have scoliosis and my neck and shoulders are often spasmed, sometimes my back. I get lower back pain because I have flat feet and I struggle not to walk like a penguin. I ripped the cartilage on both knees 9 years ago and when it’s cold, my knees hurt, or when I overwork myself. I have anxiety and when it flares up, the entire right side of my body spasms and I get burning muscle pain. On and off I get burning pain in my thighs and I must lie down until the pain subsides. I get migraines almost daily, sometimes so bad that my face becomes numb. I have a bloating problem that comes and goes and sometimes even gives me pain similar to that of a heart attack. I have a small hernia in my lower abdomen that flares up occasionally and causes me pain. The big toe on my left foot is crooked and I need an operation but can’t have one because it would hinder my movement and I have a 6 year old I need to take care of. A few years ago, I did an operation in my left foot and it still hasn’t fully healed. Doctors say it’ll always be like this, swelling and causing pain every once in a while (this is why my foot has been hurting for weeks) and 5 months ago, I went to the beach and was barefoot and something sharp went up the sole of my foot and it still hurts occasionally.

But last night, this was new. My toes have never cramped up before. I was really scared. After a few minutes, they relaxed and the cramping was replaced by burning pain from my toes to my knee.

So this morning when I woke up to my alarm at 8am, I wished I had let myself sleep in. I can see the signs of burnout emerging again. The cramping last night was definitely a warning sign. Right now both legs are burning in pain and I have lower back pain.

I’ve been trying too hard to be productive, but I’ve also been sitting too much binge watching (I finished season 5 gilmore girls last night). I haven’t been exercising daily and I think it’s because of the pain in my foot. However, when I don’t exercise, the spasms increase.

On Saturday, I went up and down 6 flights of stairs and took long walks. I think I shouldn’t have. Stairs are bad for my knees, says the doctor. Also, the special footwear I must put on outside only fits in my black shoes, so when I wear my navy blue shoes, my foot suffers (the one I did the operation in). I’ve been wearing the navy blue shoes for 2 weeks because it goes with my outfits better. I guess I’ll be switching to black shoes next time I’m out.

We’re in the middle of a pandemic, so I’m not really going out, but I took a walk yesterday and went nowhere and I visit my family once a week and my in laws once a week because even with the pandemic, we’re still seeing eachother, from a distance. As far as I know, most of them are not seeing other people.

Back to the point at hand, or shall I say at foot, I need to rest, so that is my focus for today. If you need me, I’ll be catching up on blogs and watching YouTube videos, except when I’m tending to my son’s wants and knees.

Any tips on how to rest when you have a 6 year old child?

I was only able to write this post because my son isn’t up yet. He’s not a handful, but he requires a lot of attention, being a lone child. I can’t relate because I have 7 siblings.

Are you a lone child or do you have siblings?

Update: I just woke my son up and now I wish I hadn’t. Send help.

Motivational Monday: Favorite Will Smith Quotes

Hello 👋 reader and welcome to my blog!

It’s a good day today. I woke up with a migraine but I didn’t let it stop me. I’m in a lot of pain but I won’t let that demotivate me because today is…

Motivational Monday!

What better way to motivate you than with quotes from one of my favorite actors and motivational speakers, Will Smith!

Without further ado, here we go:

This right here is my purpose

I struggle to live up to these quotes, especially the one about chasing people and the one about handling your own mind.

Which quote did you resonate with the most?

Who is your favorite motivational speaker?

What’s going on in my mind

Hello 👋 reader and welcome to my blog!

I get a lot of thoughts during the day, but most of them are automatic negative thoughts. I do have happy thoughts too, often, like last night I was hanging the laundry and I looked at the sky (as I often do while hanging laundry) and noticed it was a clear starry night. It made me smile.

I thought of bringing my phone and taking a picture but I knew that the quality of my eyes were much better, and the camera won’t do it justice. I also didn’t want to ruin the moment.

I go in between wanting to live in the moment and hurrying to photograph it before it fades away.

I watch the sunset every night but I don’t take a picture every time. Sometimes I just look and smile.

In between my daily migraines and back pain and knee pain and exhaustion and laziness, there are moments of joy and clarity. My mood fluctuates throughout the day, and judging by a blog post I read today, that’s perfectly normal.

For example, while writing this post, I had to yell at my son three times. It’s hard to think of happy moments when my son is getting on my nerves. I try to give him as much attention as I can, but it never seems enough. On the other hand, we do spend some nice moments together, playing uno, drawing, coloring, and reading stories. He also says a lot of adorable things and sometimes I feel like he is mature. Then he acts like a 3 year old.

I understand that since school is online and he is an only child, he gets bored and lonely pretty quickly. However, my capacity to give him attention is limited. Right now I’m tired and I just want to sleep, but I can’t.

Anyway, back to my writing ideas, which is what this post is about. I want to write motivating and inspiring things, but with what is going on in Lebanon, it feels like what I’m trying to do is soothe someone whose house just caught fire and burned down. No matter what I say, I feel it won’t make a difference.

Which brings me to the reality in my life is that these small pockets of happiness do make a difference to me. They keep me from having an emotional breakdown. They keep me from abandoning all hope. I once said I’d never leave lebanon but honestly, I’ve been entertaining the idea of moving elsewhere. However, it’s not so simple to pick up and leave to another country, so I shut the idea down.

I’m currently reading Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus bit by bit. I’m watching This is Us and it’s helping a lot. I have a plethora of apps to pick from to entertain me and help me with a bad day. I’m exercising almost every day. I’m eating fruits but I’m also eating much chocolate. I’m trying to balance being mindful and taking pictures. I’m trying to find a strategy to sell my books.

That’s all I have for now. I wish I had something more motivating and inpiring, but it’s hard to think with a migraine and a nagging 5 year old. I have 3 to do lists heavy on my shoulders. One for habit building. One for housework. One for my goals.

What’s going on in your mind today?

Storytime: In this moment

Hello 👋 reader and welcome to my blog!

I just wanted to share a good moment with you because I usually share the bad (I’m more creative that way).

It’s been a long day and I did my fair share of yelling and my son drove me crazy during online class, but in this moment I’m happy because:

  1. After fighting with my 5 year old and threatening to delete the games on his phone, he requested to be alone to calm down when I urged him for the 100th time to brush his teeth. Then 5 minutes later he came with a clown thing we made a while back. He came holding the sad clown, as if announcing he is sad. I immediately softened and asked him to sit next to me and I empathized with his sadness. He told me he was angry because I threatened him but he didn’t have an angry clown to hold, but was also sad because he didn’t want to brush his teeth because brushing his teeth meant going to sleep and he didn’t want to sleep because he wanted to spend more time with his dad and also wanted some screentime. I made a deal with him that if he brushed his teeth he would get 10 minutes screentime and then 10 extra minutes with his dad and it went well. I mean, I know I shouldn’t threaten and I’m trying not to but as bedtime approaches, my patience wears thin. However, I’m so proud of him for expressing his feelings like that. I must be doing something right. I can’t take full credit. This kid is amazing. Sadly, I often focus on the negative sides of his personality but lately I’ve been trying to be more mindful of his awesomeness and it’s working.
  2. He shared his gummy candies with me today (he rarely shares with me) and we had breakfast, lunch and dinner together without me having to yell at him or bribe or threaten him to eat (knock on wood).
  3. He organized all his art work today all on his own, during which I read blogs.
  4. We put his toys away together and threw away the broken ones (the toy room had been a mess for weeks).
  5. I chatted with 2 friends today (texting). And I talked to my sister a bit (video call).
  6. I’m alive and healthy (my legs are killing me because chronic pain but at least I don’t have the flu or COVID-19 or any other disease).
  7. I’m being mindful of the few peaceful moments I have before I need to fight my son to go to sleep. I will enjoy this moment of bliss before the bedtime struggle begins (I just need to convince him to lie down in bed and stay there). It’s almost 10pm and I’ve been up since 5am (no nap).

In this moment, how do you feel?

Yoga 🧘‍♂️ in session

I’ve talked about yoga a while ago, and it is something that I haven’t done in a while.

Recently, though, I’ve been doing yoga instead of those very light workouts, and it has really helped me. I just finished a yoga workout and I had to share my experience.

It may have a temporary effect, but it’s totally worth it. I feel like when I’m doing yoga, I get this momentary peace where I can feel my muscles relax (something my muscles rarely do).

Motherhood has turned me into a very neurotic person, but when I’m doing yoga (like really doing yoga not attempting to do yoga while I yell at my 5 year old to leave me alone) I feel so peaceful.

For 7 minutes, I’m not thinking about my to do list, or my problems, or worries. I’m just stretching my muscles.

I don’t do those crazy yoga poses either. I have bad knees and a bad left foot, so my movements are limited. These are totally doable moves and they are so relaxing. It’s basically stretching.

I use the application I mentioned in my previous yoga blog. Click here to read it.

I even downloaded another yoga app for my 5 year old so he doesn’t feel left out.

So yeah, do yoga.

Start feeling zen, even if it’s just for 7 minutes a day. You deserve a break from social media and the craziness in the world.

Disconnect to reconnect

I was going to name this post “the solution to all your problems” but I didn’t want to be THAT dramatic.

Good morning everyone! Or good evening, depending on where you are in the world and when you read this. How are you doing? If you’re from America, how are you really? If you’re from Lebanon, I think we passed the point of “how are you” and got to “how can I help?”

Last night I wanted to post before going to bed, but I was exhausted. The good exhausted. The thoughts were there, and dare I say, they were HAPPY thoughts!

This has nothing to do with Biden winning the elections. I wasn’t even keeping up with the polls and I didn’t find out until this morning when I watched a comedy sketch of James Corden’s. I’m not even sure how I feel about that. My political views are still under construction.

Anyway, so yesterday, despite the inevitable negativity that occurs when you spend time with family, or around PEOPLE in any sense, I had a good time. And despite my exhaustion and the pain in my foot from being unusually upbeat and forgetting I need to rest, I had a busy productive SOCIAL day.

I wanted to write about it, but I figured everyone would be consumed with the elections, or whatever it is that’s happening in Lebanon (I don’t watch the news, but I follow Ddoesbusiness for updates), so I watched The Umbrella Academy, as one does when they wish to escape reality.

If you haven’t watched it yet, you’re missing out. It has super powers, family drama, time travel, and a sarcastic 13 year old who is actually kind of funny. Oh and the apocalypse.

Another thing, disconnect to reconnect. Seriously when I’m at my parent’s, I spend much less time on my phone, because I’m busy connecting with actual people, and honestly, I noticed being on the phone so much fried my memory and concentration.

Yes I’m still playing scrabble with Karen, and I’m winning!

Here is a funny video I watched this morning about life without internet. If you don’t watch Julie Nolke on YouTube, I don’t know what you’re waiting for.

I’ve been up since dawn, and I will carry on with my day now. Just thought I’d stop to ask how everyone is doing and give you an update.

Self-reflection part 12

Prenote: I wrote this post at 8pm but there was no wifi due to the storm outside. It is now after 10pm and this post will be published whenever the wifi connection resumes. My son is asleep now and I will sleep too. I’m still in pain, despite taking medication (anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant) at 8pm. There is still a storm outside and I’m saddened that I can’t get up and video it or even look at it. I will bid you all good night. I hope you enjoy this blog post.

My legs still hurt today. Actually, they hurt even more than yesterday, as do my back, shoulder and neck muscles, but mostly my legs. That’s what happens with chronic pain, it comes in flares, and people think I’m exaggerating when I say I feel my muscles are burning.

I wanted to do a “Places to visit in Turkey” post today but obviously with the pain and exhaustion, I can’t focus enough to do that, so I thought I’d do some self reflection today. I’ve been going through the motions lately and I haven’t done Self-reflection in a while.

Got this from Pinterest

1. The 3 words that best describe me are talkative, neurotic, and moody (I’m obviously low on the self esteem lately)

2. Has my personality changed since childhood? Yes, drastically. It changed since marriage and motherhood a lot, but also, in some way it’s stayed the same. I find myself to be more cynical though and just tired (yes tired has become part of my personality).

3. My personality is in some ways like my mom’s and in other ways the complete opposite.

4. I admire my ability to be mindful and appreciative of the details. Like the way a flower looks or the way the sky lights up when there’s lightening.

5. My biggest weakness (I have at least 10) is that I’m too vulnerable. I wear my heart on my sleeve and as much as that helps me in some ways, it makes me too open, too vulnerable, too honest, too sensitive, and I take everything too personally.

6. My biggest strength is my passion, I guess. When I’m passionate about something, for example, my writing. I dedicate myself to it. Like right now, it’s pouring rain and I’m bedridden in pain and it feels like my legs are on fire and my son is driving me crazy but I am writing this post because if I don’t write everytime I’m tired or in pain, I will lose practice and incentive and creativity, and my stats will further suffer. I don’t get paid for this so my stats only matter to me because the more people read my blogs, the more I can inspire and motivate people to do something or feel something or to make people feel less alone, at least.

7. Loneliness scares me the most. I’m not scared of being alone. I have come to enjoy my own company. My biggest fear is that my presence and absence are the same. Why do I enjoy visiting my family so much? Because when I am there, I feel loved and needed (most of the time). My niece literally told me last Saturday “When you come here, I feel better”.

8. I usually make my decisions based on intuition. However, that makes me very impulsive. In addition, sometimes my intuition is off because I have anxiety and getting out of my comfort zone raises alarms in my head. So I try to ask the logical people in my life for perspective or advice when I doubt my intuition.

9. What if I never came to Lebanon? I don’t have an answer. I’m not good with hypothetical questions.

How would you answer these questions?

If you liked this post on Self-reflection, click here for my previous Self-reflection posts.