It’s one of those days…

It’s one of those days that are familiar only to those suffering from autoimmune diseases. Only chronic patients will be able to relate. You know those days when you’re too tired to stand up, talk, or do anything for that matter. When your only desire is to crawl under the rock (a pile of blankets that is) and hide from the world?

Here’s the thing. I recently started working from home. I love it as it’s fulfillment of my lifelong dream, but it requires discipline. I’m just at the beginning of my path still looking for new clients, and have like a million ideas in my head and deadlines to catch up… and then a day like this holds me back.

I fucking hate it. I really do. To make it clear, I do NOT feel sorry for myself nor do I want pity. I will do my job. All of it. I always do. But I find it so hard to accept that I’m not well. I’m unable to relax and give myself a break. So instead of taking a day off and get some rest, I put tons of pressure on myself.

Can’t truly remember when was the last time I took time for myself and just sat on the couch, ate like a little piggie and did nothing. Probably back in elementary school when Fridays over at my best friend were the highlight of the week. We’d have horror movies marathons and ate our weight in sweets.

Or when I had no problem sitting down for hours and hours doing nothing. I was playing Sims like the world’s destiny depended on it. Or I was wasting time watching TV. And I didn’t care at all.

Times have changed drastically. These days I feel bad for not being busy 24/7. It doesn’t matter how tired and exhausted I am. I always push myself to the limit. To make matters more interesting I also started a new therapy not long ago, and like usual I’m experiencing all the side effects.

I think you have to have a special talent for this. I manage to fail at every therapy and piss off my doctors. Oh, the stories I have to tell. Maybe I should start blogging about that? 🙂 What I’m seriously contemplating right now is blogging about how this therapy goes.

But I also need to learn again how to take it easy and how to take a better care of myself. I have to learn how to feel not guilty and take time to recover, rest and relax.

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I live

Huh, so where do I even begin? I’m still alive and kicking, although you couldn’t tell so judging from the activity on this blog. I’ve been ignoring it like crazy. Which IS crazy considering I’m paying for it. Besides, I’m not really ignoring it. I’m simply too busy to write.

I know, I know. Such a lame excuse, aye? At least being too-busy-for-anything is super popular right now. It’s the latest trend from what I hear so once for a change I’m keeping up the appearances. Congrats me?! But all jokes aside, the reality is that I’m truly super busy.

I’m not saying this in vain. In fact, I’ve been so busy it’s not even funny anymore, but I’ll get back to that later.

First, I want to focus on this blog. When I started it, I wanted to write about how to cope with life with chronic illnesses. I wanted to inspire and be inspired, offer and find support, all the usual jazz, you know. Guess I was dead wrong. Writing about that ain’t easy. It’s not easy to find words. It’s hard to be all smiles and brimming with wit at all times. On top of everything my latest doctor appointment was a sheer disaster, so I swore to myself I’m done with doctors. Regular check-ups, m’kay, everything else- hell no!

Hope I don’t jinx it, but I’ve been feeling surprisingly well lately. Maybe that’s because I’m so busy, hehe, but either way I’m thankful for it.

That being said, let’s go back to me being so, oh, super busy. Before I continue, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE to work! Honestly. I’m happy I can work, and I love my job(s). Buuuut- it might’ve come to a point where work is all I have. And something deep down tells me that can’t be right. That there is or should be more to life.

I mean, I feel SO lost without work. The second I have nothing to do it hits me how empty my (personal) life is, lol. But what’s even worse is that that I have no idea how to relax, unwind and take it easy.

My work is- hard to describe. All I can say is that it’s extremely versatile. I do many different things. We have a family business, we recently opened a new branch, and I help at both. Then there’s my freelancing I have no intent to give up on as it allows me to write and be free (sort of).

There’s nothing I love more than writing. It makes me happy. I’m very grateful I’m slowly but surely making progress in this direction. I’ve been doing lots of different writing jobs lately- from eulogies, CEO to copywriting. But no writing for my soul. And I miss it!! I honestly do. However, days are only 24 hours long, and it’s hard to fit it all in this short time frame.

Besides, writing isn’t something you can do on command if you know what I mean. My other jobs are highly unpredictable not to mention emotionally exhausting, so I gave up social life too. I’ve learned it’s best not to make any plans and promises rather than breaking them.

I get roughly 5-6 hours of sleep, go to work, and rarely make it home before 6 PM. Then I cook some dinner, and voila- it’s time to take my laptop and work some more. I try my best to keep with up with regular work. I juggle as much as I can. But it’s not leading anywhere, to be honest.

Although I enjoy the hustle, there is a lot I miss. I miss alone time. I miss relaxation. I miss carefree feels. Ok, so the latter might be a myth but still. Life can’t be all stress and no fun, right? I’m aware of all the flaws, but somehow it seems I can’t make a proper change. I have no idea why is that so. But I guess being aware of it is the first step or something. 😉

In other news, I’ve been struggling with activist burnout lately too. I’ve been under attack for my veganism a lot. People still don’t get it, duh.
But to be honest, it’s not just the animal welfare that worries me it’s our planet and how we litter it. We’re going to drown in the trash, but no one cares. Environmental reasons are a big part of my vegan journey, and seeing how reckless and clueless people are is super depressing. So I made a vow to do my best to spread awareness. Still, it doesn’t feel enough so I hope I can get involved more actively.

Anyways, I’m still alive. But just because I live doesn’t mean I’m living. If you know what I mean. Not to get too philosophical, I’ll try to change that, and start living too. 🙂

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When was the last time you checked your neck?

January is thyroid awareness month. You know, thyroid, that little gland located somewhere in the middle of our necks that loves to cause troubles? Yup, that’s the one.

Before being diagnosed myself I hardly knew of its existence. No wonder I sometimes joke and say that I can divide my life into two eras: before and after thyroid. Before was easy. After- not so much. It’s scary to think that almost every other person I meet, is or knows someone who is affected by it.

Still, no one seems to take it seriously. It’s like a joke. Because, what could something so small and shaped like a freaking butterfly, really do? Well, where do you want me to begin?

Do you often feel exhausted? So tired you can barely walk and move?
Do you perhaps feel moody, sad, depressed?
Do you ever feel nervous for no particular reason, all jittery&anxious?
Do you feel like you’re forgetting something?
Does your heart race a bit more than usual and it’s not thanks to love?
Do your stomach and guts protest a lot?
Do you wonder where your sex drive disappeared?
Do you also wonder why your periods are acting crazy?
Is pain your new best friend?
Do you feel super hot and/or super cold?
Do you wonder when did all that weight came or left?
Do you wonder how come you’re still not completely bald when your hair is falling out with the speed of light?
Do you feel like there’s something in your neck?

There just might be! Those are just some of the symptoms. Just some. That’s right. I know they’re pretty vague, not to mention common. No wonder it’s so hard to get a proper diagnosis.

What’s even worse is that once you’re diagnosed, most doctors believe that’s it. You get your pills or other treatment, and for them, the work is done. In reality, it only just begins. Right dosage, flare ups, collapses, inflammations,… big changes in your life are to follow. Life is never the same again.

Check your neck. Often. Trust yourself. Find support. Offer support. And stay strong.

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Happy New Year

So… it looks like we finally managed to get rid of the bad boy. 2016, that is! Did you make out of it alive? If so, maybe congratulations are in order. 😛

All jokes aside, was it really that bad? I can say it was quite challenging and therefore very eye opening. But apart from that, it was just another year. And years are basically just numbers. Numbers=math, and in my book, math is not only boring, it’s also annoying AF.

The older I get the less excited I am about new years. I don’t do resolutions. I never did. NY is just so… overrated IMO. All these promises, good wishes, corny greetings,… they’re forgotten so soon and people continue with their lives, fall back into routines, and that’s perfectly normal. That’s life. Why put pressure on yourself just because a year goes up by one number? If you want to change your life or change something in it, then you really don’t have to wait for NY to do so.

Dunno, NY was exciting when I was little and the idea of being up past midnight seemed promising. These days I’m always up way past midnight, so most of the charm is gone. I do understand, to some extend, this, um, freshness or the promise of it, that comes with celebration, and hence don’t roll my eyes when people go all crazy and overboard with excitement. The only thing I do hate is the pyrotechnic. Seriously, why would you want to send all that money up in the sky and scare the hell out of animals? That’s beyond me.

Anyway, back to 2017- it’s here! No matter if you celebrate or not, love it or hate it, have a whole list of resolutions or not a single one, I wish you all a good health, lots of laughter that comes from the heart, love, and happy moments with your dear ones. Here’s to travels, new adventures, yummy vegan food and happy animals. 🙂

Stay true to yourself and take it easy. 🙂

PS: Maybe my resolution should be to write more… 😀

And remember- we may not always have the control over what happens to us. But we do have the control on how we'll react.

Join the Challenge 22+

Or, as I love to say- come to the (b)right side- we have (vegan!) cookies. 🙂

There is no doubt- veganism is huge right now. So many people are willing to give it a try, which makes me super happy and excited, but also takes me back to my own beginnings. I remember how insecure, lost and misunderstood I often felt. I went through all the phases and did the whole process all by myself and alone.

Looking back at it, I see I could use some help, and now this help is here, widely available to everyone who wants&needs it, in a form of an amazing project, called Challenge 22 +. As the name itself says, it’s a challenge in which you get to experience veganism for 22 days. Your first step is signing up through the website.

Why join and why 22 days?

No beginning is easy and this one in particular can be extremely difficult. Sure, there are people who make a switch overnight but majority of people need some extra guidance and time. Which is understandable, considering that most of us were brought up in cultures where eating animals is so normal that it’s hard to see how utterly wrong it actually is. And damaging- to our own health, our (only!) planet, and of course the animals.

So a path to veganism can truly be overwhelming. It can be hard to find the right information and proper advice. After seeing all those videos&documentaries, reading articles, books and blogs frustration can arise and doubts appear. Especially when you have to face the others&break the news to your family&friends. It’s a lot!

However, this rocky road doesn’t have to be walked alone any longer! With a team of experienced and devoted vegans who volunteer as mentors, the transition is easy and enjoyable.

There’s no judging and no rushing, there is only lots of support in form of healthy tips, advice on fitness and nutrition, yummy recipes,… Experts, such as dietitians, help remove any doubts and/or fears. Every day brings a new challenge, but it’s all just fun- like trying vegan pizza for the first time or making some delicious pasta or lentil dish! I promise, you’ll find nothing but understanding and support there.

It all happens in a place, we all are so familiar with- within the “walls” of Facebook- a Facebook group, that is. So all your questions will be answered in real time and you’ll be able to find all the information you need.

How do I know all of that? Hmm, don’t want to brag but I’m also one of the mentors. Cheesy or not (no pun intended)- I’m super happy&proud to be a part of it. I find this challenge as a great way to help acknowledge veganism and it’s a form of activism that suits me best. It helps spread awareness with love and kindness. 🙂

And it doesn’t stop here, oh no! Another amazing perk is that you get to meet people from all over the world and create new friendships, find your “support” groups, which is so crucial. It always fills my heart with joy when I see mentees realise how great veganism is. And that vegans don’t just eat lettuce and die of protein deficiency. 😉

So if you’re interested and willing to give it a try-please, come and join us. You’re more than welcome and like I said, we’re a friendly bunch and we have cookies. Vegan cookies. 🙂

P.S.: I’m definitely not the person who believes in new year’s resolutions. However, if you already decide to make one, then this is the one! I’m also not that sentimental&over emotional person but I’ve got to say that this challenge has definitely been one of the highlights of 2016! So do yourself a favour and at least give a try to the most amazing lifestyle out there. ❤

P.S.2: 22 days because it takes approximately that much time to adapt a change, make a switch and break the old habits. 😉

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The mystery of happiness…

Happiness seems to be the ultimate goal of everyone, and many people spend almost their entire lives in a desperate pursuit of it. However, when or if they fail, that makes them even more miserable.

So you know what? Screw that and screw happiness. It’s overrated, anyway. I’m not going to dedicate my life to searching something that is so… relative.

Yup, in my humble, probably irrelevant opinion, happiness is relative. Want to be happy? Then ask yourself what happiness is in the first place? What makes you happy? And be brutally honest with your answer!

Some strive for wealth and power and fame. Others feel happy knowing they have pretty clothes hanging in their closet. There are people who feel happiest when they can spend their time in the garden and enjoy the outdoors. Some find comfort and happiness in quiet places, some in loud and noisy. And so the list goes on and on.

Personally, I find those happy moments/feelings in many different things. Like a sunny day, a cat that snuggles up to my legs, a smile from a stranger on the street, a bunch of perfectly ripe fresh fruit and having enough time to devour it in peace and quiet. You get the picture.

But those are all “short term” happy moments/feelings. They make life awesome and so fucking special but they don’t last forever and they definitely don’t guarantee happiness in a long term. Bummer, right?

Well, not really. While perpetual happiness isn’t my life goal, I do believe in something else- that is a content and fulfilled life, and I believe this happens when you realise life’s a mix of good and bad. When you acknowledge you can’t (and don’t have to be) always be happy and that there’s nothing wrong with that.

You know those people who always wear a huge grin all over their face and proclaim how they are super happy and that everyone should be happy, happy, happy. Well, if you ask me, they’re tiring. Being positive, okay. But being so hyper happy, and believing that being unhappy is a certain death, is just plain stupid.

Who knows… maybe I’d still be so caught up in pursuit of happiness, if I didn’t get sick. But I did. And it made me revalue certain things in life and helped me realise that happiness can be so many things. That it comes in many different shapes and sizes and that there’s no need to spend my life looking for it and feeling like a loser, if I fail.

And the most important lesson: there’s no universal happiness. So in conclusion I can say that learning all of that was extremely liberating. It freed me from that crazy feeling that I’m missing on something if I’m not all smiley-happy all the time.

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