Statistics

Do you ever feel alone, like you don’t belong? I feel like that a lot. However, I love statistics. I use them to track my personal growth. Personal growth and maturity can’t really be measured but I measure how often I brush my teeth, shower, exercise, sleep by 11 pm, read Quran, etc. I feel left out quite often. After living in Lebanon for 22 years, I still don’t fit in. I don’t stand out either. But I find solace in my internet friends. I have real friends too, but I barely see them. Some I haven’t seen in years, because they live abroad.

So let me try to label myself and google the statistics of each label, in an attempt to feel less alone.

I’m a human. World population in mid 2020 was 7,772,850,162

I’m a Muslim. 24.1% of the world population are Muslims. Hello, all my fellow brothers and sisters in Islam. If you’re a Muslim and you read this, comment below! Also hello to all my non-Muslim friends. I respect our differences.

I’m bilingual. Over 50% of the population speak at least 2 languages fluently. If you are bilingual, then you know the struggle is real! From forgetting words in either language to being unable to form a sentence without using both languages in the same sentence, and so much more!

I’m a mom. There are an estimated 2 billion mothers in the world. I salute all the mothers out there. Single, married, widowed, adopting moms, moms who lost a child or had a miscarriage, and those who are moms at heart but are unable to have children. You’re all superstars!

I’m a stay-at-home mom. While 71% of moms do work outside of the home, 29% are staying home. Being between 4 walls is tough. Don’t forget to exercise, hydrate, go outside, take a break, hide in the bathroom, eat ice cream, etc. Working moms as well!

I’m a writer. There are over 1 million freelance writers globally. There is a writing community on Twitter. Follow the hashtag #writingcommunity and give each other a #writerslift. This hack did wonders for me. It made me feel at home on Twitter. Writers do think alike.

I’m a blogger. To date, there are more than 500 million blogs out of 1.7 billion websites in the world. Their authors account for over 2 million blog posts daily. So if you’re reading my blogs, out of all the content out there, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. This blog is the only place where I can be myself and talk about my thoughts and feelings. Nobody cares that I contradict myself or change my mind according to my mood, and I’m congratulated for being so self-aware and open about my feelings here. This blogging community is my support system. My family and friends don’t even read my blogs. At least most of them don’t.

I have a podcast. There are currently over two million podcasts and more than 48 million podcast episodes. If you listen to my podcast, thank you so much! Your support is very much appreciated.

I’m married. Only 4.3 percent worldwide are married! That is such a low number. Maybe they included children and widows and divorced people in the population? I know that 50% of marriages end in divorce, so every year I remain married, I pat myself on the back for remaining patient. Not that I condemn divorces. If you’re not happy in your marriage or your spouse is abusive physically or emotionally or cheated or for any reason, you feel you can’t endure your marriage, you have every right to divorce. But for me because of my specific situation, a divorce would be a hasty decision born from anger and ending in regret and heartbreak. So far I’m okay in my marriage and I’m working on making it thrive rather than just survive. Married people, how long have you been married, and do you have any advice for me?

I suffer from anxiety. The prevalence of anxiety disorders across the world varies from 2.5 to 7 percent by country. Anxiety isn’t something I flaunt. I own it because it explains why my body is so sensitive to stress, but it’s not an excuse not to work on my self improvement. Since the pandemic, my anxiety has gotten much worse. I can even feel that I have changed with my family, my in laws, my friends. I’m more withdrawn and it seems like I’m in a bad mood or bored all the time when I’m just anxious and trying to breathe.

I get bouts of depression. More than 264 million people suffer from depression worldwide. (World Health Organization, 2020)

I think that’s enough statistics for now. I feel less alone already, and yet I feel so special. This encouraged me to work on being a better and kinder person, because it’s not about fitting in or being liked. I used to be so sweet and helpful. As much as I appreciate my internet friends, I need real life family and friends to survive. I’m already working on my marriage, and I called my mom today. I’m going to make an effort to build bridges with my in laws again. I don’t know if it’s true or my anxiety telling me they don’t like me, so wish me luck.

Where you can find my podcasts

Hello and welcome to my blog! If you are new here, I’m a blogger and an author. I write about all things from self-improvement to poems and parenting stories. For those who don’t have time to read my blogs, I’ve transformed my blogs into podcasts, and you can find my podcasts in several places, including:


Google Podcasts

https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy80ZjQyMDYxOC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw==

Spotify

Breaker

https://www.breaker.audio/my-rollercoaster-journey

Radio Public

Happy listening!

Storytime: You always have a choice

As I sit here, with no electricity (they are removing it 10 hours a day in my area, while other areas don’t get electricity for 48 hours in a row sometimes), just reading blog posts to pass the time until the electricity comes in an hour, I ponder on a few things.

I had a spirit lifting conversation with a friend today. We spoke for hours and I only had to go because I needed to heat my lunch in the microwave before the electricity went off. For reasons beyond my control, I no longer have wifi when there is no electricity. It would have helped a lot of I did, but on the bright side, it helps me leave my phone a bit (not for long obviously since I end up playing candy crush and reading blogs. I can read saved blog posts offline but I can’t click like so I will not un save them until I have clicked like).

A few of the things I could be doing if there was wifi right now are:

  • Create Canva designs of parts of my book “The best advice to improve yourself and your relationships” and post them on Instagram and Twitter.
  • Gather links of my podcast into a blog post (my podcast is now available on Spotify, Anchor, Breaker, Radio Public, and Google Podcasts).
  • Start translating my book “The best advice to improve yourself and your relationships” into Arabic.
  • Make a few TikTok videos of my time in Turkey in 2019.

Besides the situation I’m in (feeling creative but not being able to work due to no electricity or wifi), I’m sleepy. I haven’t been eating well or sleeping well lately. I think I may be stressed out. I don’t know if it’s because of the situation in Lebanon or from being at home too much or my issues with my family or the problems some of my family members are going through and I can’t do anything to help, or maybe it’s my marriage issues, or my hormones, or the heat.

Truth is, I can blame my lack of self care on any of these things and it wouldn’t matter. The result is the same. I’m feeling anxious, lathergic, erratic, I either overeat or don’t eat enough. I stay up late reading novels, sometimes all night. I’m not taking care of myself. I need to do better.

One thing my friend told me today:

“You always have a choice”.

These feelings of hopelessness and helplessness are not an excuse to self destruct.

I have a choice to sleep early, to put my phone aside at bedtime (I did just that last night but only because my phone battery was 17% and the charger is too far from the bed).

I can choose to eat healthy food (I have been occasionally eating more fruit but I also ate a lot of junk food on Monday and tuesday).

I can choose to not let the little things in my marriage bother me, to let them go, to have compassion and tolerance. Some things I need to fight for but I can’t change anyone. I can only change my perception, my reaction.

So as soon as the wifi is on, this post will get published, and I will do what I said I would do. Until then, I choose to read blog posts instead of playing candy crush.

Read the 1st chapter of my 1st novella FOR FREE!

Hello and welcome to my blog! How are you doing? I know I’m really bad at self promotion but recently, I published a new book where I gathered my top 13 viewed blog posts and spruced them up and published them as a kindle ebook. I remember I wrote a post about it.

Anyway, a few days ago, I go into the kdp website, and bam! A new feature called kindle vella series is up, where if you have a story for a novel but you’re not quite done with it, you can post one chapter at a time.

So I don’t know if you know this, but 9 months ago, I took a 3 day creative writing course (I mentioned it in my blogs somewhere) and it sparked my creativity and ever since, I had an idea for a novel.

It took me a month to write the outline for the novel and even longer to write the 1st chapter. I struggled because I’ve never written a novel before, and also being at home with my son in the middle of a pandemic isn’t ideal for a writer. Writers need solitude, like a cabin in the woods or a house on the beach kind of solitude.

Anyway, I did manage to publish 3 poetry books (oh yeah, I forgot to promote my new poetry book “Determination and other poems”. I merely mentioned it in a wordpress story when I published it but it’s not available for buying now anyway because I just enrolled it in kdp select) and 4 mini biography booklets, a self reflection workbook, and the top 13 blog posts booklet.

Ok so this is my author page on Amazon.

You will only find 8 of my books there, because the other 5 are enrolled in kdp select, including my newest book. This means that they’re available for free to anyone who has kindle unlimited (10$/month subscription). I totally recommend this if you can enroll in kindle unlimited because it gives you the chance to read as much as you like of my books that are enrolled. You can also give me feedback on what you think of my books. I once read that a book is not complete until it’s read, so I need your feedback.

I’m working on having a paperback version available for all my books for those who prefer to read the book as a book and not as an ebook.

I only wrote 1 chapter so I submitted it and I’m waiting for your reviews on Amazon so I can move forward and continue writing this novel after Ramadan.

However, kindle vella is still in beta mode, so they’re not available yet.

Kindle Vella stories will be available to readers in the US in the coming months through the Kindle app for iOS and on http://Amazon.com

It’s called “Tony and Sandra: A story of love, loss, and healing”

So far I know you’re supposed to buy tokens to read chapters but the 1st few chapters are for free!

Worst promo ever, I know. In conclusion, check out my books on amazon and if you order a paperback, let me know what you think. Send me pictures of the book please (I also want to know what you think of the books if you read the Kindle version). I may use those pictures as promotion on instagram. If you have kindle unlimited, check out my books Life after Freedom ends, Determination and other poems, Growing up between USA and Lebanon, Heart on my sleeve and other poems, and Motherhood in poems. If you don’t, sign up here for kindle unlimited.

I also realized many fellow bloggers have published new books, so I want to pay it forward and spread the word about their books and encourage you to check them out.

Journeyman’s Legacy published a book called Relationship Reflections

How to teach a difficult child published 3 books about life reflections and poetry.

From famine to feast recently published a book about eating disorders.

In this day and age, there is an infinity of books to read, movies to watch, podcasts to listen to, and blogs to read, so thank you for taking the time and choosing my blog.

This is my podcast My Rollercoaster Journey.

And you already know where to find my books.

Thank you for following my blog

Hello and welcome to my blog! I just reached 400 followers on WordPress. I wish there was a WordPress achievement star for that. There was one for when I reached 200 followers. I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff.

I’m not posting this to toot my own horn. I’m aware that many bloggers have much more followers than I do, and some have far fewer.

I’m posting this to say thank you. It means a lot to me, every view, every like, every comment, every follow.

I try to keep up with reading blogs of those I follow, but I’m currently 10 days behind. I binge-read when I can and sometimes it’s a lot to take in because I like to read and reflect. Sometimes I have a migraine or I’m too tired or busy or my son is too clingy and I can’t read, so I know that sometimes it’s an effort to read blogs sometimes, especially if you’re a parent, or if you have a full-time job or both.

I also recently started converting my blogs into podcast episodes, and I appreciate everyone who takes the time to listen. It means a lot.

I also recently published my 8th book on Amazon. I appreciate everyone who checked it out.

I just updated my author bio on Amazon. You can find all my books nowhere.

The 3 Cs that ruin every relationship

Hello 👋 reader and welcome to my blog!

I’ve been on an emotional rant lately, and with the new year, better me, I decided to take a more positive approach to dealing with my feelings.

About 2 weeks ago, I heard a podcast about marriage and it was filled with gems of advice. It was about how relationships are hard work and you need genuine connection and quality time. The main theme, though, was about the 3 Cs that ruin a marriage. This can apply to any relationship, but usually is talked about in the context of romantic relationships. These Cs are criticize, condemn, and complain.

Criticize

Criticism is everywhere and everybody does it. Some people get paid to do it, like art critics. There is nothing a human is better at than being judgemental. That’s what criticism is. It’s passing on your judgement and pointing out the flaws in something or someone.

Here’s the thing. Nobody is perfect. We are all human. We make mistakes. We forget. We get emotional or irrational. Some mistakes are more forgivable than others, especially when you differentiate between doing something on purpose or by accident.

When we are bothered by something from someone, we have every right to address the issue. However, we often address it at the wrong time (when our partner is tired or hungry or has a headache) or the wrong place (in front of our children or in laws) or wrong method (hurling insults instead of gently suggesting while making the other person feel loved, cherished and understood).

Why do we criticize?

We criticize because we somehow feel devalued by the behavior or attitude. Critical people tend to be easily insulted and especially in need of ego defense. Critical people were often criticized in early childhood by caretakers, siblings, or peers, at an age when criticism can be especially painful.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/anger-in-the-age-entitlement/201404/whats-wrong-criticism

How can we stop criticizing?

  1. Be realistic. Meaning lower your expectations of others and don’t be a perfectionist.
  2. Look for the positives. Nobody is perfect. Focus on their good attributes.
  3. Don’t take the behavior personally. Usually, someone’s behavior has nothing to do with you. Maybe they’re in a bad mood, or tired, or have a headache.
  4. Consider whether you need to say anything at all. Sometimes you just need to let it go.
  5. Ask directly and respectfully for what you want. Yelling doesn’t get your point across faster, it makes the other person defensive.
  6. Manage your own anxiety and stress. This is my biggest obstacle.

How can we deal with criticism from others?

  1. Evaluate the Critic’s Intention Honestly. Are they criticizing you because they are trying to advise you, or are they purposely trying to put you down?
  2. Assess if the Feedback provided is Constructive or Destructive. This depends on the method the criticism was delivered.
  3. Show Gratitude to those who Offer Constructive Criticism.
  4. Control Your Emotions when Handling Constructive Criticism. Don’t get defensive.
  5. Consider the Suggestions not the Tone of the Feedback. Look for the grain of truth.

Condemn

There are 10 types of automatic negative thoughts, one of which is called generalization. If you had a bad experience with someone so you say “all people are bad” or someone you know isn’t listening to you and you say “you never listen to me” even though that’s not true.

What does it mean to condemn?

To condemn someone or something is to express complete disapproval of; censure.

The problem with condemning someone or something is that you’re rejecting it as a whole. Just like saying “screentime is bad for kids” when in fact there is a lot of educational and beneficial screentime out there when monitored for a certain amount of the day.

Why do we condemn?

When you express your moral outrage and punish people who have mistreated others, you’re able to broadcast to other people that you yourself are morally good.”

By condemning bad actions, you broadcast your own morals, advertising yourself as trustworthy and “good.”

How can we stop this bad habit?

  1. Don’t pass judgment. If you find yourself being judgmental, stop yourself.
  2. Understand. Instead of judging someone for what he’s done or how he looks, try instead to understand the person.
  3. Accept. Once you begin to understand, or at least think you kind of understand, try to accept.
  4. Love.

Complain

Complaining is often confused for venting. I did a post once about the difference between complaining and venting (click here). We often don’t even notice when we are complaining.

What is complaining by definition?

To complain is to express dissatisfaction or annoyance about something or someone.

But why do we complain?

Complaining keeps people from taking action. It gives excuses to procrastinate and keep from achieving goals. It’s always much easier to complain than to find a solution. Another reason people complain is to avoid responsibility.

How can we stop complaining?

  1. Step back. Look at the big picture. Will it matter in a year? In 5 years? If not, then let it go.
  2. Look within. Take your complaint seriously. Why does it bother you? Can you do something about it?
  3. Choose the right channel. If you must complain, choose a trustworthy friend or family member. Someone who will validate your feelings, be honest with you, and give you advice when needed.
  4. Air valid concerns. If you complain about everything, your concerns won’t be taken seriously. But if you try to let things go, when you do have a big concern, you’re more likely to be heard.
  5. Find the positives. Looking on the bright side in life is very important. You don’t always get what you want and people don’t act like you want them to, so look for the upside in every situation and your complaints will naturally decrease.
  6. Practice gratitude. Count your blessings. Remember the things you have now that you used to pray for. Enjoy the little things and see how fortunate you are.

I hope this post benefitted you. Please like, comment, and share to your friends and family. Also, follow my blog if it’s your cup of tea.

What is your objective in Life? and other reflections

So I know this blog is going to be all over the place and I like to be organised and when I organize my surroundings, it helps me organise my brain. I’ve been thinking about a lot of things in the past hour. It is Tuesday, and since Sunday I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about dealing with disappointment because something happened on Sunday and it was a bit of a disappointment and on-the-spot I implemented my quest to be more positive and more mindful and I kept telling myself “enjoy the scenery” and it eventually worked. I started observing the people around me, all the love, all the smiles, all the laughs and even though I was quiet and if you looked at me then you’d think that I wasn’t having fun but I really came to enjoy it. The thing is, we were supposed to go to see the snow and we were a month or two late and so the snow had melted away and there was this tiny patch of snow and the people that were with me still managed to find the positive and to play with that small patch of snow and build a tiny snowman and I just loved that positivity that I wish I have and that’s what I’m working on.
So I was supposed to write a blog post about how to deal with disappointment and how life is full of disappointment and how to be mindful and to enjoy the ride and to embrace life as it comes and blah blah blah but I was busy yesterday living. I mean good busy because I was spending time with my family; yesterday i visited my family and I also saw my best friend and celebrated her birthday so it was a good day.
Today I got up early to do housework because I’ve been really slacking in my housework lately and I feel like a clean house reflects proportionally on my state of mind. When my house is dirty or unorganised I become really depressed and so it was really important for me to overcome my laziness (another topic that I should talk about more because I feel like I don’t talk about it enough) and so I got up at dawn and cleaned the bathrooms. It’s really important to have clean bathrooms by the way, that’s just a side note. It’s really important and affects the mental health and health in general.
So while I was cleaning the bathrooms, what I do is while I’m doing housework (not the regular dishes and laundry but when I mop the house and clean the bathrooms) I listen to podcasts and the podcasts that I listen to; some are about parenting, some are about living positively and being productive and successful and happy and having good vibes and so I listened to a few podcasts and each one was about a different topic and it got my mind swarming because I’m not one to listen and it goes into one ear and out the other. I actually ponder on these things later on so after I listened to four podcasts, I took my headphones off and I just sat and folded the laundry while doing nothing and let my brain work.

Yeah so my brain was so full and static from how loud the voices in my head were and everything I’ve listened to. I once read this book called “You are what you did” and it’s so true but it goes much beyond that. You are what you eat, you are what you what you listen to, you are what you watch, whatever you feed your body and your mind and your soul; that is what you are.
I try my best to feed myself with uplifting content and hopefully it reflects on my personality and my being and I’m not doing this so that other people like me but to grow as a person. This is what I was reflecting on. I was thinking about how one time, one of my sister’s friends told me (this was like 10 years ago) “I don’t like you” and I spent months trying to get her to like me and she told me “I just don’t like you. It has nothing to do with you, it’s just I don’t like your personality. I don’t like you and no matter what you do you’re not going to be able to change that!” and that is so true for so many people. I know that so many people are not going to like me no matter how much I change, no matter how much I improve. Some people, they’ve known me for like 10 or 15 years and all they know is the past me. They don’t know the present me because I’m always changing but there are some things in me that always remain the same no matter how hard I try to change them. Like I’m still impulsive and I still talk a lot and in detail about everything. I like to share how my day went and what I did and I’m not a very good listener but I’m working on it though.
Anyway, for a long time I didn’t love myself and I’m just getting to this point in my life where I am learning how to love myself and accept myself for who I am and that doesn’t mean when you accept yourself (a lot of people when they hear these quotes about how how to be yourself unapologetically which was one of the podcast I listened to today, they go overboard) it doesn’t mean be a jerk and have no regard for other people’s feelings. You can be yourself and still be nice and that is actually what you should aspire to be. You should aspire to be successful and happy and kind and assertive (someone who is not passive aggressive). I’m learning how to not really care what other people think of me and how many people don’t like me and I know a lot of people don’t like me but they’re just not brave enough to say so. I feel like there’s some people that I will not like no matter what, but I’m also working on that too because I like to take things from a psychological point of view and I feel like when I try to understand that someone is the way they are because they had a traumatised childhood or because they just don’t know how to love or because of the way they were raised, I tend to have sympathy and sometimes a little bit of pity for these toxic people. I try my best not to leave any room in my heart for hate or dislike for someone I cannot agree with or someone I don’t get along with, but I don’t want to get to the point where I just hate this person or I can’t stand them.

So reflecting on this podcast that I listened to: It’s really important to be yourself but also to strive to be kind.

There was another podcast I listened to about dedicating yourself to the arts which is exactly what I’m doing in my writing. I’m opening myself up so much and making myself vulnerable to the world just to make other people feel that it’s ok to be themselves and I don’t do it for money. I don’t need to be rich and famous but there is a part of me that wants recognition and so I thought to myself while folding the laundry why am I doing this and immediately thought of recognition. I want to be admired and I want people to strive to be like me but no that’s my ego getting in the way of my goals because as human beings we like to be remembered and we have this ego.
As usual, when I am confused, I do a quiz. I did this online quiz on quizony. I recommend whenever you want to do a quiz do it on quizony or on psychology today. That’s where I usually do my quizzes. I don’t do them on any random website.
The quiz was about finding your objective in life and they’re like your objective in life is to find the meaning of life which is so accurate but sometimes my ego gets in the way and I start to imagine myself on Talk shows and talking to people and sharing stories and giving people advice.
It is my goal to become wise and I feel like you will never achieve the ultimate level of wisdom. There is always something for you to learn and if you ever get to the point where you feel like “I’m wise enough now. I don’t need any more wisdom”, then you’re spiralling out of control because you will never reach a point where you need to stop learning or gaining wisdom.

This post is getting too long and my son is up, so I will talk more about my reflections on life, if you want me to.

Let me know in the comments below if I should do a part 2 about the other 2 podcasts i listened to today.