Storytime: I’m officially double vaxed

Hello reader. How are you doing?

I seem to be free from wisdom these past few days. So maybe a random update?

I took my 2nd dose of the Pfizer vaccine today. My arm hurt and drew blood. The nurse said I was too tense, for some reason. I didn’t get any sleep last night. The weather these past few days has been rainy but hot and clammy. I took some pictures today through the window. It rained on me as well, but since my phone is still new, I hid it in my purse instead of trying to take pictures in the rain.

My son had karate class today. He also had school. He gave me a hard time in the morning, and upon arriving at school, his classmates started taunting him, telling him this isn’t your seat. He just froze, gave the smile he gives when he is trying not to cry, so I called him over and I told the supervisor what happened. She told him not to listen to them. He remained rooted in place until the teacher came and I talked to her and she told him to sit wherever and not listen to his classmates. That’s when he shuffled to his seat. I just can’t believe he is indimated by his classmates like this. At home he pushes boundaries and is very persistent when he wants something. Why is he so shy at school? I get flashbacks of me at school. I can’t handle this.

My immediate thought was to pull him out of school and homeschool him, but I know that was an overreaction, even if it was just a thought. He needs to learn to stand up for himself. The 2 years of online school did him a disservice socially. With my family and in-laws, he is very articulate, but not with others. He argues with me, pushes my buttons, fights for his autonomy, and sometimes wants me to feed him and dress him because he is too lazy. There is no in between with this kid.

Ooh I did some housework too, but not as much as I planned to do. Also, wifi was out for the past 18 hours. It came back an hour ago.

On a completely different note, I am still testing out my new camera and I took a cool picture of a leaf!

In general, my son didn’t give me a hard time today. I mean he did, a little bit, but not as much as he usually does. However, since I’m occupied with my phone, he won’t eat dinner. He probably will soon, so I need to exercise my patience muscle.

What have you been up to today?

Have you been vaccinated?

From brain fog to productivity: The power of naps

I started writing this blog post because I was feeling like there was something on my mind, but I was feeling groggy and brain fog, then I took a nap for 1 hour and continued the post. Read on to see the effect of a power nap on boosting positivity and productivity.

Before nap:

I’m sleepy but my hands are glued to my phone…

I have a lot of me time and I don’t know what to do with it…

I haven’t been writing monthly goals, so I’m falling behind in everything…

I haven’t been fulfilling my purpose for a while, to motivate and inspire…

Maybe because I’m not motivated nor inspired…

I think of new ideas for the blog…

Then I feel like I have nothing wise and meaningful to say…

I just write when I want to vent…

Why can’t I write about the beautiful fall leaves I saw today?

Why can’t I write about the waves that mesmerized me yesterday?

Why can’t I talk about how my sons face lit up on the way to school as he told me how he and his friends played hide and seek in the playground?

Why can’t I write about my brother and sister visiting me yesterday, and about how my son was proudly showing them the masks he designed, his books and notebooks, and the way he drew each family member?

Why can’t I talk about how proud of myself I felt because I immediately cleaned up the mess my son made, was very hospitable towards my brother and sister as I served them fruits then cookies and tea?

Why can’t I talk about how I cooked delicious spaghetti and made a TikTok video of it?

After nap:

I wrote my to-do list.

Then I wrote my October goals.

Then I made coffee and a healthy breakfast!

I realized that I am the experiment. I am my motivation. I inspire myself with my journey and my growth. I make the same mistakes over and over until I look within and realize that instead of reading self-help books to try to be more optimistic or to fix my marriage, maybe just stop nagging about every single thing? Maybe stop being a perfectionist? Just live and enjoy the moment and focus on the good things that happen. I write for myself, but I also write for you. But I’m addicted to my phone. I’m addicted to validation. Maybe a little addicted to drama.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Storytime: I’m sleepy but my son needs attention

I’ve been up since dawn, both yesterday and today. Ever since I took the vaccine, my sleep has gotten worse because I can’t lay on my right side. I just want to sleep, but I’m also hooked on this novel I’m reading on my phone. So I fight the tiredness to read, and naturally, when my son sees me on the phone a lot, he asks for attention.

He literally says “I need attention!”

Sometimes I tell him I’m too tired or too busy to give him attention, and sometimes I oblige. There are a few days every once in a while when I’m actually in the mood to play with him and I suggest activities. I haven’t been in the mood to play with him for a month because I’m so stressed and tired.

The boredom jar is empty.

We did all the 50 activities there. So I asked my son to think and suggest an activity for us to do together. He suggested several activities and told me he wants to do them all. Then as we began some activities, he added some more to the list. I told him I need a break between every activity and another. In my breaks, I did dishes, laundry, tried to sleep, and read from my novel. I still have more activities on the list to do with him, some housework that I don’t feel like doing but must do, a novel to read, and sleep.

We have done these activities so far:

Play pretend with his superhero toys
Soccer Ball
Uno
Frisbee

These are the rest of the activities on his list:

Basketball
Snakes and ladders
Balloon
Read him a book
Hide and seek
Tag
Follow the leader
Spin

He also has karate class today and I need to video him doing the moves that will earn him his orange belt before he goes. It’s also lunchtime now.

Update: We did one more activity together, basketball, then I put him on the tv so I could iron, then we practiced karate, then he went to class, then a million things happened but I’m too tired to write them down. Been on my phone for more than 10 hours today! I didn’t even do housework…

Storytime: A writer must be read

I have so many posts in my drafts it’s overwhelming. Some of them are from April. The ideas are there, but the words won’t seem to flow.

I have a lot of creative ideas. I’ve been organizing the images from my trip to turkey in 2018 for the past month. At 1st I was going to do multiple slideshows, but that didn’t work out. I made one slideshow yesterday and it was nice but it took forever. I did some collages this morning but the templates I used needed internet and thankfully I got that for an hour.

I’m tired, I have a migraine, but I can’t sleep. YourHour app claims I’m obsessed with my phone. I’m afraid they may be right.

So many creative ideas and not enough time, energy, or internet to execute them. Yesterday I turned on my laptop to finish chapter 4 of my novella (I’m going to add another scene), but with only 1 hour of internet, I chose to work on my phone.

When your work demands promotion on social media, the line blurs between work and play. I sit now with the Quran next to me, closed, waiting to be read (I’m trying to make it a habit to read Quran 1st thing in the morning) but the thoughts are finally flowing here, so everything else can wait.

Writing for me is sometimes like exorcism, in the sense that if I don’t get the thoughts out, they possess me and I can’t think of anything else, or I completely forget about them, which to me is much worse.

I can’t tell you how many poems I thought of or began to write but was too busy to finish and that felt like creativity lost in the Bermuda triangle, never to be found again.

I sip on my coffee but eat nothing. I’ve been doing that lately, even though I know it’s unhealthy, but it’s better than eating carbs with my coffee. I’ve gained fat and it’s making me hate myself and my body. I keep saying I need to go on a diet.

Why am I wasting time and energy on collages and slideshows of the pictures we took in Turkey? Because the end result makes me happy, and when I share with my family, it makes them happy too. But shouldn’t I be using that time and creativity to promote my books and work on finishing translating one of my books to Arabic? Probably.

I’ve been getting migraines on and off for a week. I would say it’s because of the change of weather, but I know it’s because I haven’t been sleeping well. I stay up until 1 am, sometimes 3 am, and I wake up at 9 am now, except for some days like today, I wake up at 5 am. I wish I could tell you I wake up, exercise, meditate, etc. I wake up and stay on my phone until my arms hurt and my neck spasms.

I watched a movie called Game Night yesterday. Loved it. Totally recommend. I’m wasting my time with movies too. It helps my mood. I also recently watched The Wife, and something they said in the movie hit deep. If you’re a writer, I recommend you watch the movie. It’s about an author and his wife.

Here is the scene from the movie that struck a chord:

“Did you hear that? That’s the sound of a book that’s never been opened”.

“But a writer must write”.

“No, a writer must be read”.

I have published 10 books so far, and some of them have zero sales so far. How am I to perfect my work if nobody is reading my books and giving me feedback? How am I to fulfill my purpose, to inspire and motivate, if my books are not being read?

I thought my purpose was to write, but if that were true, why does my heart skip a beat when I see the views on my blog skyrocket (like they did yesterday, thank you very much, I appreciate it), and why does my heart sink when a day goes by with only 12 views?

A writer must write, but a writer is not a writer without their readers.

I can’t thank you enough for reading my blogs. You make my day. I don’t get paid for my blogs. I write for me. I write for you.

Please check out my books on Amazon and buy one, or more if you can. Or if you have kindle unlimited, go ahead and read my books for free. Also, don’t forget to check out my novella. Read chapters 1, 2, and 3 but wait for chapter 4 while I add another scene. I don’t know when but soon.

I’m going out with my family today, so that should be fun. I feel like I haven’t been fun to be around lately so I’m trying to change that. My tolerance has become subzero. It’s the whole “people: can’t live with them, can’t live without them, debacle”.

I’m read Quran and I’m off to exercise now. Cheerio.

Poetry Friday: Keep Swimming

I feel like I’m floating

Moving around with the waves of the ocean

Sometimes I’m almost drowning

Now I’m in too deep, now I’m near the shore and

I think I’m going to be saved

But then comes another wave

And I start swimming

But I don’t know where I’m going

I’m not so sure

I want to go to shore

Because the sand is burning

My body aches, it’s hurting

Then I see a rainbow

And the fire disappears

And I rise above the water

Till I’m gliding in the air

There’s been a glitch

In the matrix

I feel like an avatar

It’s like nothing is real

It’s all so surreal

And everything is falling apart

But we’ve got to stick together

Lift up one another

We will get through this

I know it’s all chaotic

Life has become robotic

The unknown is terrifying

If we were in a movie

This would be the climax

There should be a plot twist

In the next chapter

But this is real life

It’s so full of problems

There’s no magic fix

No happy ever after

Soon as I realize

That the end is near

I swim with all my might

My heart is filled with fear

But when I close my eyes

I dream of paradise

I think I’ll be alright

As long as I keep swimming

The Best Ways to Perfect Your Nighttime Routine

Hello and welcome to my blog! Today I want to share with you 21 things you can do before bed in order to get a better sleep. I finished the challenge last night. However, there are 2 things on the list I didn’t do, one of which is the reason why I can’t sleep well at night.

Can you guess which one it is?

A routine is very important, whether in the morning or in the evening. You may want to have the same routine everyday (shower, read, sleep for example) or you may want a weekday routine versus weekend routine, or you may simply want to try out these things one thing at a time, like I did.

1. Reflect on the day. Write at least one thing that went pretty well.

My son ate his meals without a fuss. He also went to karate class without nagging. Even though he didn’t sleep until after 11 pm and misbehaved a bit, he was relatively well behaved today.

2. Do something relaxing. Have a facial mask, do some painting, take a bath. Whatever helps you relax, do it.

I took a shower (I don’t find baths relaxing).

3. Avoid your phone at least 1 hour before going to sleep.

I wish I could do this, but I’m addicted to my phone. I pick it up as soon I wake up and as soon as I get into bed. I’ve been going to bed around 11 pm but end up on my phone for 1 to 2 hours. The closest I got to giving up my phone at night was when I hopped into bed a few days ago and my phone was 17%. Within 10 minutes, it became 3% and I had to get up and put it in the charger. I fell asleep almost immediately after because my phone wasn’t next to me. I really need to work on this because at this point, I’m self sabotaging and I’m aware of it but not actively trying to stop.

4. Drink some camomile tea or other herbal tea (decaffeinated) before bed.

I drink green tea every night before I sleep.

5. Have a good sleep environment. Keep the bedroom at a good temperature, use blackout curtains or a sleep mask to block the light.

This is a given, except I don’t like to use sleep masks, even though I have one.

6. Journal. Take the time to pause and reflect.

I journalled about something that is bothering me. I wrote it in my notebook with a pen! Not on my phone.

7. Light some scented candles and play a relaxing playlist.

Scented candles are not my thing. I don’t think I own any. However, I did play relaxing nature sounds so I’m counting this as done.

8. Do some stretching/yoga before bed.

I have been stretching more and more lately because my muscles are so pulled they hurt.

9. Write a gratitude list:

  • I’m grateful for my husband. He is my confidante, my advisor, my twin flame.
  • I’m grateful for my son. I love his hugs and kisses. He is so cute and smart and kissable. He is sometimes funny and tries to be brave and wants to be strong. I see in him great potential.
  • I’m grateful for my parents. Despite everything, they are there for me and they love me and want what’s best for me.

10. Read a good book before going to sleep. Helps you unwind and sleep better.

I read a chapter from the book “The 3rd Girl” by Agatha Cristie. I’m usually a romance novel girl but this mystery is keeping me on my toes. I finished the book and wrote a review about it here.

11. Plan your next day. Your tasks, outfit, snacks, …

Some days I plan my tasks as soon as I wake up. Other days I plan the night before.

12. Send a special good night text to someone you love.

I bid my best friend goodnight.

13. Take a nice hot shower or bath.

I took a hot shower.

14. Cut out caffeine, alcohol, or sugar at least 3 hours before bed.

I’ve been drinking coffee once a day for months, and in the afternoon I drink black tea. I usually drink green tea in the evening but last night I had black tea at 8pm and I went to bed at 11 pm but didn’t fall asleep until half-past midnight.

15. Meditate/pray. Just be alone with your thoughts.

It’s scary for me to be alone with my thoughts. I often distract myself with podcasts, YouTube videos, TV shows, and books. That night, however, I put my phone aside for 2 minutes to appreciate how much I have and list them in my head.

16. Tidy up your space. You’ll be able to feel calmer and relaxed.

I generally keep my space tidy.

17. Have a light dinner before bed.

I try not to eat before bed, but if I must, I try to keep it light.

18. Set intentions for tomorrow.

This seems similar to task 11 but I set my intention to be productive.

19. Diffuse some essential oils to improve your sleep quality.

I don’t do essential oils. I shower with lavender scented body wash but that’s about it for me.

20. Avoid checking emails, news, studying, or working before sleep.

Lately I’ve been going on twitter before bed to promote my books but that night I didn’t.

21. Don’t go to bed hungry. Eat some almonds, a banana, or porridge to help you sleep better.

I go to bed hungry a lot, and I wake up starving! Sometimes I eat a banana, porridge or a sandwich before bed to help me fall asleep.

I hope these tips helped you. Do you follow any of these tips? Do you have a nighttime routine?

To do this challenge, go to: https://21dayschallengeapp.com/app/challenge

What I’m working on

Hello and welcome to my blog! How are you doing today? It’s amazing how wordy I get once my creativity isn’t trapped in themes, but themes are important for the organization of my blog. Nobody wants to read incoherent thoughts and all over the place ideas.

Today I thought I’d share what I’ve been working on, not just in terms of writing, but in all of my goals. There are also things I want to work on but my plate is too full. I will tell you what I want to work on but can’t, to get it out of the way.

If you have been reading my blogs, you’ll know that the 1st 2 chapters of my kindle Vella are out, and I want to write at least 3 more chapters, but I’m working on so many other things. It’s frustrating because I already wrote the outline for the entire book, and I even reread the outline a few days ago and was immediately inspired to write chapter titles for the rest of the book. It’s the details I choke on. The details are what make a book. Focusing on the 5 senses to make your reader feel like they are in the book, perhaps even make them feel like the main character. Then there is the description of scenes and items and the sunrise and such. I need to clear my head to write this novella. It doesn’t help that I lack the confidence to write it. It took me 9 years of writing poetry to begin publishing my poetry books. And even now, I still feel cringe about my older poems. I have only recently begun publishing self-help books, but only because they were highly appreciated on the blog. Talking about myself has always been easy, so the autobiographies (though I had to censor most of them and strip them down from most of their content to protect my family’s privacy) were easy to write. But I’ve never written fiction before. This is hard, but it is something I must do, but it’s on the bottom of my priorities though I feel most passionate about it.

Now let me tell you what I have been working on to distract myself from the crisis in Lebanon and to control my anxiety and depression:

Healthwise, the goal is to take more walks, exercise daily, drink 1 L of water a day, go to sleep at 11 pm, eat fruits and veggies daily, shower 4 times a week, brush my hair 4 times a week, and brush my teeth daily.

So far I’ve reached my goal in showering and brushing my hair, so as you can tell, I have a lot of work to do.

As parenting goes, I’m trying to spend one on one time with my son, even if it is just for 5 minutes. I’m also supposed to be studying with him the rest of his kg3 curriculum before he heads on to the 1st grade.

We made a boredom jar 2 weeks ago, and we are doing various activities, from board games to play-doh to blindfolding him and having him feel and taste food and guess what it is. We even did word searches and “All about me” collages. Sadly, he wants me to do these activities with him, and lately, I’ve been exhausted and restless. My son isn’t driving me crazy, but I’m emotionally tapped out. As for studying, his going to camp and karate classes are making him tired and in the afternoon, my mental abilities are shot, so we only have Friday to study since Saturday and Sunday are family days.

Spiritually, I’m working on my prayers and reading Quran.

Financially, the goal is simply to stop spending all my money on junk food.

The prices have solved that for me. Prices are 10 times the prices they were a year ago.

Socially, as I have noticed myself being withdrawn, even from my family, I planned on texting 2 friends a day, calling a friend per week, calling my grandma once a week, and visiting my grandma once a month.

I’m trying, but I’m not there yet. I still feel like avoiding everyone while craving social connection.

My reading goals are simply to read blogs whenever I can and read from a book or pdf book daily.

I’m trying not to think of how many books I have to read but focus on one book at a time. It’s working. Yesterday I finished one of the books I was reading.

Finally, my writing goals can be divided into 2: working on my books (editing existing books to unpublish and republish, typing new books, promoting published books by creating canva designs and posting on Instagram and Twitter), and working on my blogs (writing blogs and creating canva designs for the cover photos).

So far so good.

Of course, I’m not even writing housework as part of my goals. I keep track of the housework I do on my calendar but I can’t add it to the list of 22 goals because that would be too overwhelming.

My ultimate goal is to create a balance between my mind, body, and soul. I want to thrive as a mother and as a writer while keeping myself happy and healthy. Happy people don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t! (comment below if you have seen the movie legally blonde)

What are you currently working on?

21 techniques to increase your productivity

1. Make your bed in the morning (so you won’t be tempted to go back there).

I almost always make my bed in the morning.

2. Have a nice healthy and energetic breakfast (to have energy for the most productive part of your day).

I rarely eat a healthy breakfast. I had boiled eggs.

3. Organize a cluttered space (you’re going to feel instantly more productive).

I’m usually tidy but this was a good reminder.

4. Spend less time on the phone (and do something useful).

The bane of my existence! I’m trying.

5. Get a planner and use it (plan everything you want to achieve).

I plan on my calendar but I did print out a weekly planner and filled it up.

6. Turn off unnecessary notifications on the phone (don’t let this little machine distract you).

I turn off my wifi when I don’t want to be distracted by my phone.

7. Create a meal plan for the entire week ( so you don’t waste a lot of time thinking about it every day).

I plan what I’m going to cook a day before, but meal planning for the week is not my thing.

8. Make a to-do list (and try to complete all the tasks).

I make to-do lists almost every day.

9. Take a 30 min walk (to get some fresh air and feel motivated).

I’ve been walking my son to his karate classes and I’m definitely getting my steps in!

10. Declutter email inbox (it can be a little overwhelming sometimes).

I normally do this once a week, or more.

11. Exercise for 30 min (even if you don’t do anything during the day, you will feel super productive after your workout).

I was able to do 15 minutes, more than my usual 7.

12. Read a chapter of a book before bed (and forget social media).

I’ve been reading from 100 simple secrets of happiness every day, sometimes right before bed.

13. Don’t watch TV (so you have more time for yourself).

I’ve been binge-watching daily for a month but I skipped 2 days of no TV!

14. Organize your closet (and donate everything you don’t want anymore).

I did this today (I’m not doing the tasks in order).

15. Create a music playlist with your favorite songs (and dance like no one is watching).

I did!

16. Don’t check your phone right after you wake up (and have a slow and peaceful morning).

I’ve been practicing this a lot lately. One day I even didn’t go on my phone until after 3 hours of waking up!

17. Meditate for 10 min (you will feel rejuvenated).

I listened to relaxing sounds on my phone for 10 minutes.

18. Organize your pantry and fridge (so you don’t spend too much time searching for your favorite snack).

I did and it felt so good!

19. Deep clean your room (clear space, clear mind).

I deep cleaned the kitchen.

20. Unsubscribe people that don’t bring you joy anymore (you will feel much more relieved).

I do an Instagram purge every once in a while and it feels good.

21. Schedule a rest period during your day (we all need some relax time).

I napped. I’ve been doing that more and more lately.

To do this challenge, go to: https://21dayschallengeapp.com/app/challenge