I remember my mom when we were little telling us to go outside and get some fresh air every morning or in the afternoon. Fresh air contributes a lot to our brain health. I’m not an expert on this but I know the more oxygen the brain gets, the more it functions more efficiently. It does improve your concentration as well.
Sunshine boosts levels of serotonin, thus, makes my mood better, too! So I try to take a little sun time daily. Though it won’t be too easy now because it’s summer and with temperatures rising up to more than 45°C, oh, it’s hellish!
3. A good night sleep
For years, 4-5 hours has been pretty much a good night sleep for me. Sleeping more than that gives me back pain and makes me lazy the whole day. Several months back, I started to force myself to sleep for 6-8 hours. It wasn’t easy as I tend to wake up after 4 or 5 hours no matter how tired or drunk I was the day/night before so I started taking melatonin and it worked after a few days. It helped me regulate my sleep. I guess, the few hours I’ve added in my sleep were a lot better than spending them overthinking. 😉
4. Walking and jogging
Walking and jogging have been a part of my lifestyle for years. I’ve stopped since I came here but eventually got back to it though not as much as I usually did before back home. Both helped me a lot when I’m sad and most specially during my most painful breakup. I haven’t gone out for a walk or to jog for months again now but I’m preparing myself for it again.
5. A great conversation
Having great conversations increase my energy and brightens my mood. I like talking to people who stimulates my mind. I like learning new things, sharing what I know, discovering new ideas, knowing things we have in common, debating about issues/subjects we disagree on, etc. It’s fun. It’s energizing. It’s healthy.
I’d be shocked that you and I are having coffee together. Nevertheless, I’m having a cup of brewed as usual while you’re having your favorite iced latte.
If we were having coffee…
You’d be complaining about work and everyone in the office. You’d complain about everything, big or small, things that matter and mostly things that don’t.
If we were having coffee…
You’d be convincing me to side your part of the story. You’d be bad-mouthing the others. You’d be comparing one staff to the other, yourself from everyone else. You’d persuade me to believe that you’re right and they’re wrong.
If we were having coffee…
I’d patiently listen to your endless rant about wanting to go back home to your country, that this place is hell, that the people around you are stupid, that you’re treated unfairly.
If we were having coffee…
I’d be surprised that I’ve tolerated myself to lend an ear to all your whining.
If we were having coffee…
I’d tell you to go back to your country if you find it all better there than here, after all, nobody wants you here, too. Go find a place where it’s all heaven and fun. Where everyone’s smart and wise. Where nobody will treat you “unfairly” as you always claim it to be. And if you ever find that place, please, stay there and be happy.
Life is filled with unanswered questions, but it is the courage to seek those answers that continues to give meaning to life. You can spend your life wallowing in despair, wondering why you were the one who was led towards the road strewn with pain, or you can be grateful that you are strong enough to survive it.
A quote that reminds me to always be grateful for being strong enough to survive whatever life throws at me.
Thanks again, Elma for this challenge. Til the next one! 🙂
Kanemochi is a dessert/ice cream brand well-known for its fresh Japanese mochi filled with premium ice cream. I first thought it originated in Japan but it’s actually from Thailand.
It was my first time to taste these awesome bite-sized goodies and was also my first time to visit Dalal Complex. The mall is pretty empty and Kanemochi is located on the first floor. The shop itself was cute and quiet, I can sit there all day and read a book or something while munching these goodies! 😜😋
There are 21 flavors of these cute, delicious treats and tonight we tried taro (their best-seller), mint chocolate, melon and pistachio with almonds. The best one for me was the taro and mint chocolate. Yummers! 😋👍
Each piece costs 750 fils and one piece is not enough! Ha!
The staffs were quite friendly, too! 👍🙂
Anyway, for those of you who haven’t tried it yet, you can visit them in Dalal Complex, Salmiya. It’s a great way to chill out this summer!
*I’m not in any way paid to endorse or blog about Kanemochi Kuwait. I am just so happy to have tasted them tonight and thought it’s worth sharing!
Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches. Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. That’s its balance.
A reminder that we need to recognize and remember the importance of balance in our lives…
The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954 and was the last major work of Ernest Hemingway. It’s a brutally simple story about an old Cuban fisherman named Santiago who is alone in life and his only friend is Manolin, a boy who used to fish with him before but because of a series of bad luck including not catching anything for 84 days, was soon told by his parents to go with other fishermen instead.
On the 85th day though, Santiago sailed further out than the other fishermen and was able to hook a giant marlin who happened to pull him farther away in the sea. What happened next? Where did the fish pull him to? Was he able to bring it home? Did he really hook the fish or was it the fish that hooked him? Was he able to change his luck?
This might not sound much of a plot for most people but I think it’s a good read. I found it an engaging story about an old man and his relationship with nature, an old man with nothing left to lose, an old man that has faith in himself, an old man who never backs away from his goal whatever it takes.
The ending was quite sad but moving. I felt really sad for Santiago but he was not at all sad for himself. Though he was totally drained in the end, he was still very optimistic while talking with Manolin which reflects what he said earlier in the book, “A man can be destroyed but never defeated.”
“Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.”
“Let him think that I am more man than I am and I will be so.”
“Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is.”
“Why do old men wake so early? Is it to have one longer day?”
Adapted from the novel of the same name, The Ballad of Narayama happens in a small, remote Japanese village in the mountains where survival rules over compassion. I’m not very sure but it seems the movie is set a century ago where people try to survive in brutal conditions.
Orin is approaching her 70th birthday and is now looking forward to her trip to Narayama. One of the village’s customs says that once a person reaches 70 years of age, they are to be taken to Narayama, a secret, mystical place high up the mountains where they are to die. She now tries her best to settle the affairs of his sons before she leaves.
It’s a movie I found difficult to watch. I for one get bored easily and if the first scenes don’t catch my attention right away, I’d stop watching. However, I continued with the film to avoid another unproductive weekend. (Well, if watching this would mean being productive!) In the first few minutes was a scene where the corpse of a baby is found in the rice paddy. There was also a scene where Orin deliberately bashed her mouth to a kind of stoneware knocking out some of her teeth (Ouch!) because she thinks her sons might not want to send her up to Narayama if she still looks healthy. Another would be Risuke’s (Orin’s youngest son) exploits with a dog (Eeewww!), he has never been with a woman before. This scene was one among the several which were probably necessary to emphasize how the people at that time were desperate to escape the hellish life they’re living and finding solace in the smallest (or weirdest) of comforts.
Orin never questioned her fate however hard it is. She believes there’s an order and purpose to it. No one can question her fidelity to gods and tradition. And so when she was able to tie all loose ends, she prepared herself for the journey to Narayama. She intended to go in time with the first snow fall as she believes that it’s a sign that her death has been blessed by the gods. The last half an hour or so was nearly wordless but captivating.
What left me thinking about after the film though was the idea that the family or the community matters more and thus must be served/followed more. Orin understood this perfectly and abides by the law/tradition without fear. I’m left appalled because I for one glorify individualism. I think it’s harsh to be governed by such mores. And it would have been interesting to have Tatsuhei’s father in the film because he questioned some of the laws/customs in their village which is why he refused to take his mother to Narayama.
The end felt empty for me. With Orin disappearing then reappearing again, kind of went away from the consistent objective approach in the film. Though this practice of going to Narayama was regarded as sacred, it also seemed useless as much as I have seen. I would’ve preferred if the story kept its indifferent tone to the end.
Has anyone of you watched The Ballad of Narayama? I would love to know your thoughts about it and perhaps understand and appreciate the film more. There are probably things I didn’t quite understand and watching movies aren’t really my thing. But still, I’d recommend you watch it.
Being surrounded by trees is a heavenly feeling for me. And it was a really heavenly feeling roaming around Ta Prohm. Huge trees that are hundreds of years old blend and grow out of the temple walls and the giant roots sprawl through the rocks giving the place that surreal atmosphere. These massive trees tower overhead making their leaves filter the sunlight, providing a welcome shade. It’s been said that Ta Prohm was pretty much left the way it was first discovered thus you can’t help but feel a little like Lara Croft. 🙂
I decided to post only about the huge trees here. More of the monastery/temple some other time. My photos can’t give enough justice as to how photogenic the place is but let me share it with you just the same.
A few minutes walk from the West Gate entrance are these two, tall trees. And then…
This. Then you’ll be entering the main area.
Once you’re inside, lots and lots of massive trees await you.
The next set of photos is a tree leaning to one side. It’s one of my favorites and this was where I started to totally feel the place.
And here comes more giant trees and roots… 🙂
And of course, it’s not complete without seeing the Tomb Raider Tree! 🙂
And then behind that…
I wanted to show you more but it’s all I have left, a lot of photos got deleted and my SD card got corrupted and I didn’t know what to do then, but still I hope you enjoyed this post.