Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lazy Day Sunday...

"Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week."  ~Joseph Addison

I had vague plans for my Sunday... which included going to a Carnival heritage fair being held by Festival & Creative Arts Centre (UWI)... didn't really get around to any of my plans though. 
 
Got up at 4.30 am - went down Mayaro with my family. I think it's a good thing we don't all usually get up at the same time each day - we're pretty grouchy when we get up. Luckily once we were on our way all was well. 

It was gloomily rainy... I lost an earring... took some photos... bonded with the family... thought about life and where I want it to go - what do I want to do? where do I want to be?

No answers yet. 

Got home around midday - spent most of the afternoon drifting in and out of sleep. Some thoughts of maybe I should be cleaning/working/organising-for-the-rest-of-the-week... all thoughts easily ignored... 

Ate cake :) orange-sponge? Yum. 

Currently watching the Oscars pre-show... loving dresses on Scarlett, Mila, Reese... am always awed by all the work that goes into these awards shows. My faves? Inception -  is that up for anything? Black Swan - thought that movie was amazing... Any others? I'm so not a movie-watcher... lol... Currently liking the intro with Anne & James Franco... 

Going to watch now. Maybe. 

Wishing you all a wonderful week - hopefully filled with clarity...

peace,
Ren

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I want a new job.

"It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance of things, or the inner spirit of nature and the mysterious soul of man that occupied me, still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or, in its highest sense, the physical secrets of the world." ~ Mary Shelley

I really do want a new job. I've been saying this for some time (as in since 2009). It's not that I've got a bad job per se... it's just that I'm simply not happy with it... and perhaps now is the time to get serious about moving on. Today is Thursday - every single day since last Thursday I've arrived at work in a fairly pleasant mood and within less than an hour have had that good mood plummet... sink so much so that I'm fairly grouchy and have to constantly remind myself to be nice to people. As Kathy Bremer says in this article: 'When I wake up two days in a row lacking excitement about work, it's time to consider a move'. I've been waking up and seriously contemplating calling in sick every day for this week so far (in fact the only reason I didn't is because I took last Friday off :s)... It's obviously time to move on.

People (family and friends) may wonder why. I'm permanent after all. I get a fairly ok salary & health insurance and the company contributes each month towards my pension fund. I get upkeep allowance for my car (because my position requires going off site to visit other companies). It's not far from home - about 30 minutes away on a good day (15 minutes on a *really* good day a.k.a. a day with no traffic). I can do the work. I sometimes like the work - it's interesting at times. These are all the reasons I've not left yet.

I want to leave though. I read this article recently... trying to figure out if I could make myself happier with the job... but no. I still want to leave (and soon). It's just stressful... The work is frustrating when processes aren't followed. The persons in management positions don't seem to know how to manage. My eyes seem to be failing after so much time spent doing computer work (seriously - today I could not tell a cat from a dog :s). Am generally concerned about my overall health. "Is it all worth it" - is the question that I'm asking myself and more often I'm coming up with no.

So. I want a new job. I just have to figure out what that new job could be. What are my skills? What are my strengths? What do I like doing? Why am I drawing a blank here??? *Sigh* I've done the Myers-Briggs test... and found out that I'm an INFsomething... I say something because at different times I've been INFP and others INFJ... I need a career that is more than a job - I knew this before the test but this confirms it right? I just need to figure out exactly what it is that I want... help?

Yesterday I went to the mall (to pay bills... ergh... went book-browsing - which turned into book-buying - to cheer myself up after) and was accosted by a lady wanting to know if I'd like to know another way of earning income. Hmm. Is it a scam? A sign from the Universe? Apparently they (group of ladies) were taking names for a seminar this weekend on how one can start another revenue stream... Hmm. Today, I opened up my inbox and found an email from Omega - encouraging me to Join their Seasonal Staff... I would absolutely love to do that... except I'd have to pay air fare and etc... hmm.

Perhaps I should make a list of some sort... will go back and read articles and spend time on reflection and the like... My hexagram today (courtesy Tarot.com) is Revolutionary Change - it refers to that time of life when things need stirring up. I feel stirred - just not sure when I'll be settled. 

Help?
ren 


p.s. another quote just because I like this one as well:
"Your work is to discover your work and then, with all your heart, to give yourself to it." ~Buddha

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I don't eat preserved mango anymore... (warning - long post ahead)

"Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging." ~Joseph Campbell

I ♥ preserved mango... for those of you who don't know what this is, it's mango preserved with spices & sodium benzoate & am not sure what else (I never gave much attention to the packaging)... I haven't had it since early 2009 though. Why? Because it's not healthy for you... it's a long story and really you should do your own research and decide whether or not you want to eat stuff like this but I've stopped. I still love it though... the scent and sight alone triggers instant want. It taunts me from shopping aisles - like yesterday, when I went to the grocery... as soon as I entered, it was there:


K's Red Mango - oh how I crave you. *sigh* ... I've given it up though. I don't believe in partaking of things that are particularly unhealthy for you. It's why I don't understand the major obsession with drinking/smoking/doing drugs that a lot of people my age have - there are already enough diseases and etcetera that can shorten our life span - I don't see why people want to hasten the process... or want to live with health drama in later life that can be caused by unhealthy living. It can be argued that a little bit every so often shouldn't cause a problem - I know myself though... I have the craving for preserved mango... one bite and I'll want it regularly. lol... To each his/her own... every one must know themselves and what they are willing to go through health-wise.

I'm careful, I guess, because of my mom... I've said before that she's a cancer survivor - she was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in August 1996. Since then she's been through radiation and chemotherapy (numerous times due to the cancer returning). If you haven't lived with someone who has a serious illness then you don't know what it's like - just as, I'm sure, I don't know how it is to survive a serious illness. That's how I consider my mom - a survivor - no matter how many times cancer gets her down she'll always come out on top. What I am then, according to Komen for the Cure, is a cancer co-survivor. I can totally talk about [write about? I can talk about it with people I'm on friendly terms with... it's much easier to write about it to the world at large] what that's like... in fact, here's my list:

What being a Cancer Co-Survivor is all about (by moi - so it's really just my perspective):
  • learning at an early age (13 in my case) that healthy people can get seriously ill.
  • providing comfort - whether it be ole talk or hugs or staying up late in the night/morning or going out to do normal stuff (like pedicures... lol) or providing salt water to rinse after severe puking (people going through chemo now - be aware - side effects of chemo 10 years ago? So Much Worse).
  • discussions on wigs vs headscarves vs fine-being-hairless - my mom's lost her hair a few times due to chemotherapy... I think the first time was traumatic... the other times? I don't know... It's always grown back - and is now baby-soft... think how baby hair feels and that's how her hair feels now.
  • realisation of the fact that you can't tell what's going to happen and any moment might be your last.
  • learning to do laundry - all members of my family can do their own laundry. When my brother was younger (before secondary school) I did his and I remember doing my dad's at one point. Now - everyone is responsible for their own laundry - I help mom when needed - but generally we do our own laundry - I think that's worked out for the best.
  • becoming immune to (or at least tolerant of) the sight/scent of blood, bodily fluids and strange-body-happenings - I'm forever grateful that my mom has never been so badly off that she's had to be hospitalised for lengthy periods - she does however, have to do regular bloodwork, she has had to have her lungs drained and she's also had chemo side-effects that have freaked us out (all her nails fell out once upon a time - thankfully they grew back).
  • learning to be appreciative or perhaps trying to remember to be appreciative of the things you have and the things that you can do... this time around my mom's shaky on her legs (actually I remember her being shaky on her legs a time before as well - she was in fact skinnier than I am - which is a big thing when I'm less than 5 feet tall and weigh about a hundred pounds)... so shaky that she's not been driving - I realise now that I'm a driver that that's a big thing - it's a loss of independence and not being able to go where you want to go when you want to go... I want to tell her it'll get better - but we don't really know that do we?
  • discussions about life, the meaning of life, death, if there's an after-death, reincarnation, soul-purpose and other topics of that nature.
  • trying to manage your emotions (and - if you're like me - the emotions of everyone around you) - I don't like it when there are arguments and general grumpiness in my house (though I do contribute to that as well) - chemo can have effects on one's emotions though... this time around we've noticed that my mom is moody (in a gloomy sorta way) soon after chemo.
  • trying (and failing miserably in my case - even though it's been *years*) to keep questions like: 'are you ok?' or 'how are you feeling?' at a minimum...
  • learning to live with guilt... which I think may be my issue... the thing is that I live with my parents... which is really not uncommon for a 20something year old Trini person... I do want to travel and such however - in fact I *have* travelled and such and so therefore I already *know* that a part of me is going to feel guilty that I'm not at home in case (in case something happens... the apocalypse? death? dismemberment? zombies? I don't know...).
  • being supportive - reminding mom (and myself) that exercise/healthy eating is important... or skiving off exercise/healthy food to do /have something more fun.
  • giving love... because ultimately I want my mom around - my life would be less without her in it.
This is probably one of my longer posts - and still it doesn't cover half of what it means to be a co-survivor. If you're in this position or if you're faced with illness or if you're supporting someone that has another illness then you just need to remember - we do what we can... what else can we do?

peace,
Ren

Friday, February 18, 2011

Interesting Read: Full Moon in Leo

A site I've discovered with pretty interesting stuff - in this case, a blog post about the Full Moon in Leo tonight...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A thankful Thursday...

"The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings." ~Eric Hoffer 

I've been very grumpy today... which is not abnormal - while to most people I may seem to be very even-tempered and happy and such, I do consider myself to be... moody. I try not to be on Thursdays though... I have a special fondness for Thursdays as you'd know if you read the 'about me' page. The overall combination of traffic, crazy drivers, workplace drama - people not understanding the processes and family squabbles have however managed to make me very grumpy today. I don't much like it and so in an effort to budge up and get back into a somewhat positive frame of mind I thought I'd do this post... stuff that I'm thankful for today. Without further ado then, I am thankful...:
  1. that I have a home and family - they drive me crazy (both individually and combined) but they love me and ultimately want what's best for me and for me to be the best I can be. In times of crisis (real or imagined) I know they'll have my back.
  2. that I have my driver's license and a car to drive - I can totally get where I wanna go whenever I want to get there (sorta - it may sometimes take much longer than I anticipate due to crazy drivers and traffic). 
  3. that I've got a job - it pays my bills and allows me to go on two week trips to the USA without too much worry about finances. It also allows me to partake of random indulgences like book-shopping, impromptu movie-watching dates and Hagen Dazs/Cold Stone visits.
  4. that I get along fairly well with people - I imagine my workplace would be much worse (for both myself and others) if I didn't...
  5. for long pants - I like skirts I do... sometimes though one needs long pants - especially when one's leg hair is growing back and it itches so much that you're tempted to scratch off all your skin - if you've never had such experiences then count yourself lucky ... as a side-note I almost did a mini-rant-type-post this morning about hair-removal and hair-growth and why lord, why??! Got distracted by work though...
  6. for music - I left work in a bad mood... luckily my car has a radio... and Lou Bega's Mambo No. 5 is such a happy song that it's hard to not sing-along ... and of course singing along cheers people up (or at least cheers me up). Additionally, this particular song has a memory attached that makes me smile - I'll always remember that it came out in 1999 cuz that was the first time I visited New York - we stayed by my aunt and in one particular store on Liberty, while I was at the cashier, this song came on - the girl that was cashing was very into it - singing and moving to the beat - when she saw me grinning she confided that her name was Rita... so, of course, she loved the song. Lol... 
  7. for pets - cuz they love you unconditionally. We've got a dog and a cat - such distinct personalities and most entertaining characters.


I'm sure I can think of more if I tried harder... I've got a lot to be thankful for and really must remember this when I'm feeling grumpy. What are you thankful for? Friends, family, acquaintances, circumstances... when we put our minds to it there's a lot to be found and I think it's in remembering and celebrating this that we get joy.

Wishing you much happiness,
Ren

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Jeopardy! The IBM Challenge

"Watson is a smarter system - an efficient analytical engine that pulls many sources of data together in real-time, discovers an insight, and deciphers a degree of confidence. Could a business operate like this? How about a city?" ~IBMWatson

My family likes Jeopardy... we watch it together fairly regularly. My family is also somewhat tech-lovers - though my dad more than the rest of us. You can imagine therefore the excitement that was generated by  Jeopardy! The IBM Challenge - the first ever man vs machine Jeopardy competition.

All I can say is ... WOW!!! Can't wait to see tomorrow's show.

If you want to know more about Watson click here.

And because I'm still super-excited about it:


And a link to IBM's YouTube Channel where there are many vids about Watson and how it was developed.

peace,
Ren

An After-Valentine's-Day post...

"Love doesn't make the world go round, love is what makes the ride worthwhile." ~Elizabeth Browning

It's the day after Valentine's day. How was yours? Everything you thought it would be? Everything you wanted to avoid? I think a lot of people tend to focus on valentine's as a romantic occasion - a between-me-and-my-lover type of occasion... and in fact, I have found myself focusing on that aspect (or rather the total lack of that aspect).

When I reflect on it today though I wish that aspect wasn't the only one that is [forced] into our consciousness... I had a good day yesterday... I had ole-talk and laughs with my family, cake [and cheesecake - what? it was *Valentine's Day*] with a girlfriend, and ended it all by going to see Black Swan (a most excellent yet somewhat creepy movie) with a couple of my long-time girl-ppl [and one new one]... I got chocolates from a work-colleague... a rose from my girl-ppl... and makeup from my brother's girlfriend [my brother says I should be offended in a 'what exactly are you trying to hint at by giving me makeup Zar?' type of way - doesn't he realise I'm just happy to get gifts? pfft].

It was overall a really good day and so... that's all I'm saying. I didn't know what to write really about V-day... there is a lot of stuff out there already...  and so here's what I've found:
Two great personal Trini blog posts (one by a girlfriend of mine, one by a blogger I've recently started following):
The Single Girl's Valentine's Day - Ideas (from Cosmpolitan!)
Dr. Eva Selhub's "The Love Response" page - In 2009, I attended her workshop at Kripalu - it was all about using love to heal yourself and others and is, in my opinion, an interesting concept.

Hope you all had a good day and if you didn't then I hope you have a new view on V-day...

much love to u,
Ren

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I've been on the road lately...

"The feeling of being hurried is not usually the result of living a full life and having no time, it is on the contrary born of a vague fear that we are wasting our life. When we do not do the one thing we ought to do, we have no time for anything else – we are the busiest people in the world." ~Eric Hoffer

Of course... I am a travelling officer so I guess that's somewhat expected. It's also an explanation as to why I haven't really written anything in the past week. As I was driving home today though I thought that I should at least summarise my thoughts/events and so, here is this post:
  • it's a New Year all over again :) The Chinese New Year began on February 3rd. It's the Year of the [Metal] Rabbit ppl :) According to Tarot.com - 'This will come as a relief following the tremendous highs and lows brought during 2010, which was ruled by the fierce Tiger. The Rabbit's peaceful nature combines with the noble, protective Metal element to usher in a gentle phase governed by diplomacy. Compromise will yield more impressive results than threats.' I like that there's another new year - this way anything that I haven't started sorting out I can refocus on.
  • one of my girl-people turned 29... as in Twenty-Nine years of age... when did we get so old??? it doesn't seem like we're old  - apart from generally having more experiences and insights I don't think that much has changed. We went out to dinner on Saturday night - been a while since we did a girl's night but what with life & work & family it's hard to get together. Spent the night together ole-talking... life and love and almost-a-mommy / almost-a-wife / it's-so-hard-to-find-a-man discussions... good times - I fully encourage liming with your people (whoever they may be - so long as you are comfortable and trust them to be comfortable with you).
  • attended the Launch of National Registry of Artists and Cultural Workers and the 2nd Symposium “Towards a Multiculturalism Policy”: A focus on the Creative Arts. It was for work - and was most interesting. For too long I think that T&T has been focused on the academics when it is plain to see that we are a creative people. I look forward to the development of the creative arts sector - and to there being space to move/dance/be freely.
  • Chemo-Tuesday (for my mom) ... one more to go we hope... she's managing though it hurts my heart to not be able to help more. I realise though that I'm perhaps not taking-care-of-people-inclined... what this means is that of course I'm sorry for my mama... and I want to help ease her up in any way... but those ways don't automatically come to me... so. Meh.... doing the best I can - hoping for the best.
  • had to work the 3rd day-2nd shift in the trade show that was part of the Trinidad and Tobago Energy Conference 2011 - another interesting event though I didn't see much as was working. Will have to follow up via media.
  • drove here-there-and-everywhere or at least much more than I usually do... It's fun. My car is to me what other people's showers are to them - a place where one can sing-along and generally have a good time... lol... have also realised that the good travelling karma is still with me - have not had much traffic woes at all - yay!
  • have become mildly addicted to Echo Bazaar - I can't even begin to describe how fabulous and interesting it is so you can read about it here or here or just go check it out yourself.
 And so - this is what I've been doing. Busy? Maybe... Kinda... It seems so (to me at least)... 

Night,

Ren



Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

'Connected in spirit, bound by love' ~ part of a prayer from my mama.

"In nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it and over it." ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I often have a lot of different thoughts that I'd like to post about. The ones that get posted are usually what's at the forefront of my mind or something I've been stewing on and so, whilst I do want to write about travelling and how fun it is, this post is about soul groups.

Don't know how many persons have heard the term. Or believe in it. Or are open to considering the idea of it. I believe in the idea though - that persons (or souls) reincarnate together in groups to help each other along - learn lessons, grow, etc.

It is said by various authors (first really saw it in the Celestine Prophecy) that the family we come with, the friends we are close to and persons that we are drawn to make up the groups that we belong to. We are all connected. Am currently in the process of organising a birthday lime for one of the members of my girl group - I've always found myself in girl groups - there aren't that many guys I'm connected to. So we'll go somewhere, spend time together and talk about life and relationships and etc.

Last night my mom had her mostly-girl group over - all people around her age (some older some younger) - they talk about spirituality and growth, about setting and fulfilling intentions and generally about being better people and contributing to the world - I think my brother and I are pretty lucky to be counted as members in that group (he's one of two guys in it). We're lucky I think cuz while I'd like to have persons my own age that I can talk such stuff with - I don't know how ready my own girl group is for that... friends my age that can speak of it are far away - email and msgs aren't as great as in-person convos.

I guess in time we'll get there. Or I'll find that group that's willing and able to discuss such topics. In the meantime, I'm enjoying what groups I have - the family and friends that are my support - whether they know it or not.

Have you found your group? Are you a member of a group without realising it? Whatever position you find yourself in - ultimately I think we all need to remember the simple fact: we are all connected - there's always someone there - you just have to be open and allow for communication to happen.

peace,
Ren

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Family Matters... and oh look! it's February!

"To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right." ~Confucius

It's February ... I'm amazed at how quickly and yet how slowly time passes. It seems as though when you're involved in something it takes time but then you pause and already it's a month into 2011. Wow.

I'm back home in Trinidad (& Tobago)... back out to work... in a way it's surreal - and I think I've spoken about this before. One moment you're travelling and living day-by-day, moment-to-moment and then you're at work: stationary, back to the grind. Surreal.

It's a comfort to me being back with my [immediate] family though. I realise that I lost my centre (and my patience :s) whilst staying with my family in California. Too many expectations and preconceived notions of family and how things should be... sadness over drama - It is only on reflection that I realise how I should have related to stuff... hopefully the day will come when realisations occur in the moment and not a week or two after.

Family is a major part of my life - both immediate and [somewhat] extended. I say somewhat because I tend to only focus on the aunts/uncles/first cousins/really-close-relatives... any other pumpkin-vine family I don't consider as much - perhaps because I don't know them. Saturday (after waking up at 10 am due to arriving in Piarco at midnight), I went to church. It occurs to me that that's twice in the same month... something that has not happened in awhile (granted the first visit was to a Mormon church and the second to a Presbyterian). One of my dad's older sisters celebrated her 60th birthday with a thanksgiving...sermon? celebration? event. I'm not as close to my dad's side of the family as my mom's but ultimately - it was good to see everyone. To interact and reminisce. 

If I was to go into greater detail about both experiences I'd have titled this post 'a tale of two carols' because the aunt I visited was my aunty Carol (on my mom's side - d youngest sister of 8) and the aunt celebrating her birthday was my aunty Carol (on my dad's side - I'm not sure where she fits but she's older than my dad).  Family focused for the month of January and I learnt this morning that this year (upcoming Chinese Year of the Metal Rabbit)  favours getting more involved with family. I guess I'm just going along with the flow of the universe, and also with my own thoughts - my to-do list covers family, travel and photo-taking - I've had lots of opportunity for this year so far.  

Be blessed,

Ren