lifestyle

The loser leaving work at 5pm

I normally start my work count down to 5pm roughly around noon.

I take my lunch  at 12:30pm so in my head, I am closer to that 5 o’clock in my head. Since I take an hour lunch, I get back by 1:30pm and, hey, that is just 3 hours and 30 minutes away from that wonderful 5 pm!!

Then I try to do some work, maybe be productive for about two more hours which gets me to 3:30 pm. Then the second count down to 5 o’clock starts. Any work that would require more than two hours gets pushed onto the next day. I probably get up and go to the bathroom and/or get some coffee. Then I do some more work, hoping for no last minute complications that would impede me from leaving at 5pm.

I don’t know how your workplace is, but where I work people are serious. 5pm means nothing to them. They don’t care if they don’t see their kids, spend more time with their spouses, no, work has to get done because there is not always another day.

So that means that I am usually the first one to get up at 5:00pm. I look around as business chatter continues as if in fact, it is not 5 o’clock in our very own office. I shut down my computer and I sneak out.

I sneak out like a plain traitor that has the audacity to leave work at 5pm! I try not to attract too much attention. I know most of these people will stay at least half hour/an hour late to finish up whatever they were doing. I feel like I am being watched, being judged- “Look at Leah leaving work exactly at 5pm! Who does she think she is?!” So I try to duck down in a way that will get me fastest to my car. I  feel their stares, they are piercing me with fierce judgement but I continue. As the proud leader of the 5pm rebellion, I see some other people follow behind me.

I get inside my car and drive away before my boss comes behind me, chasing me to finish something that can be done tomorrow- and once I am off the company parking lot, I feel like I am winning! I get to go home and see my family even if for the measly 2 hours. I may be a loser that doesn’t work hard and leaves at 5pm, but I am a winner in my family’s eyes!

How about you, readers? Do you also feel weird leaving work at 5pm on the dot or is your company more understanding when it comes to it? Do you feel the peer pressure as well? Leave comments below……and don’t forget to leave at 5pm, sharp!!

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“How was your weekend?”

It is an early Sunday morning, but I already dread everyone’s favorite question at work after the weekend is over.

The mandatory Monday morning question.

The whenever you’re awkwardly standing by the Keurig machine waiting for the water to  heat up so you can make coffee question.

The whenever you spot someone pass your desk and you accidentally looked them in the eyes and you can’t ignore them question.

The question everyone likes to shout as they pass you by and obviously have no intention of knowing the answer to.

“How was your weekend?”

I guess this question  bothers me because I can’t ever answer it truthfully. Can I say that it was:

“Too short.”  “I did absolutely nothing.”  “I slept all day.” “I was exhausted from last week so I sat around all day and watched the Office.” “My weekend was ruined because of the mere thought of having to come to work.” “My weekend was bad because I got a bunch of emails from my boss.” “I had two glasses of wine which got me a little too drunk and I had to rest all Sunday to recover.”

So, meh, don’t ask me about my weekend on a Monday. Mostly it is two days of trying to recover from a crazy work week.

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Area dog more than happy to be a couch potato

“Would you look at her,” said Tanya with a hint of despise. She was referring to her dog Stella who was stretched out across the couch in the living room. “I think when she dies we will bury the couch with her.”

Tanya and I nonchalantly took a seat next to Stella. “Is it really that bad if a dog enjoys being on the couch?” I asked Tanya. “You love the couch as much as the next person.” “I do,” she responded and took a bite of the grilled cheese sandwich she made inspired by the one seen on America’s Test Kitchen. “But this dog, she almost abuses the couch. I’ve never seen anyone so happy just spreading across the thing in multiple ways. She lays on her back, her belly, her side- you name it.”

I looked at Stella. Her eyes gave away content and a sense of bliss. Soft cushions were supporting her big head as her butt was slowly sinking into the couch. This dog was happy, so happy to be a couch potato.

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Friends of a fat turned body-builder woman hope she will lose motivation sometime soon

Buffalo, NY- Perpetually hiding a pot belly in baggy clothes sometimes becomes so annoying that some people actually decide to do something about it. Brittany Quinn, 26, decided to get more toned after she got fed up with her jiggly body. “She started with the simple couch to 5K runs and things like that,” Leah, 25 told us about Brittany. They’ve been friends since high school. “I supported her and even did the runs with her. I knew she hated her body for years and doing something about it was definitely good.”

But Brittany Quinn didn’t stop there. She started complaining about not being toned enough. “She really changed her diet to nothing but protein shakes and lean meat and all that other super healthy stuff,” Whitney, Brittany’s best friend, noticed. “And she started to life weights. She ended up going to the gym for two hours each day.” Her Facebook was drowning with quotes like “I just want someone that will lift, cuddle and drink protein shakes with me” and had tons of pictures of her lifting heavy. “Within a few months you could notice a huge change in her body. The fat was disappearing and she was getting really toned. But she started cancelling on our movie nights because she didn’t want to be tempted by pop-corn and chips, and she spent Friday nights at the gym instead of going out and having fun.”

Within a year, she entered a body-building contest and won third place. “Of course we all went to see her to support her,” Whitney continued, “but we are all secretly hoping the old Brittany would come back. Like, she doesn’t have to be as fat as she was but we feel like she went from one extreme to another- from being really fat to really fit. Can’t she just be happy with a normal body and still go to the gym, eat healthy and still spend some time with her friends?”

Brittany was not available to comment because she was too busy lifting or die trying (to life it).

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Inspired by The Onion

How is London not the city of my dreams?

Out of curiosity, lack of desire to work and simply genuine boredom I surfed the web the other day, dreaming of my move to London. Why London you ask? I saw a musical there once and it was so good that I generalized that London is the city I should be in (not much of a logic, I know).

I browsed the sites for jobs, and I gasped at the salary ranges. 15,000- 30000 pounds were the most common salaries I saw! Of course, executives and managers had a better pay, but for an average shmo like me I couldn’t imagine living on that salary. I mean, simple room sharing (yay, it’s college time again) costs are starting 600 pounds a month. Rooms! I am an adult and I want to have my own damn studio, even if a tiny, tiny one! And those go for at least a 1000 pounds a month. So you’re telling me I cash in roughly 2000 pounds a month and more than half goes for my rent, not to mention the cost of food, transportation etc? Even commuting to London and finding a place on the outskirts seems so darn expensive. Do regular people in London ever save any money? How is such a low pay possibly worth living in London? You can’t go out and do things because you can’t afford them. So what is it, the prestige of saying you live in London?

As I was browsing this, I thought of the post I saw on Humans of New York, where a guy works 13 hours a day and he can’t save a lot of money. I kept thinking to myself: why do you stay there then? Wouldn’t it make sense to move to a less expensive place and save up there? And maybe work 10 hours instead of 13? Not have your wife worried about how you are going to pay for things?

People want different things in life, but I sadly realized my move to London seems to be unfeasible for time being. I can’t forgo my privacy, the fact I have a house (which, before you chip in, it’s really average sized and nothing fancy and a common thing here in Orlando), I don’t have to live like I am in college again and I save some money in addition to the expenses. Livin the dream, I guess, yeah?

Does you, dear readers, have a fantasy place in mind? Or do you perhaps live in London? New York? Leave a comment below, tell me I am wrong and that I should move to London! 🙂

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Hate running and do it with a passion

Running doesn’t keep me happy. I don’t care if they have cute running clothes to make me look like I am dying less when I run. Nor do I care for the positive brain effects and endorphin that release as I run. Ok? I couldn’t care less.

I have no love for running whatsoever. I do it purely and solely because it is good for my health. There is no love relationship with it; I am not passionate for the sweating and the huffing and puffing I go through every-time. I am not a fan of having to convince myself from not stopping all the time. It is a constant mental battle and constant fighting with my body. Because, I guess, some people have bodies which are in dying need of running. My body is in dying need of couch-ing. When I run, I am like a nagging wife who constantly reminds her husband to do something. “Don’t stop, run faster, don’t stop, think positive, you can do this, don’t stop, pick up the pace, yes you can do another five minutes, don’t stop, didn’t I tell you not to stop?!”

But, as I tell all my friends who find running to be “boring” and hate to do it… You probably don’t like to go to work everyday either and yet…. you go. You make yourself do it. Why? Because you get paid. If you go running, you are compensated with good/better health. It’s boring, yes, but how many things in life are beautifully boring and yet a major part of our lives? So do it, be passionate about your hate for running and go sweat your butt off.

P.S: Thanks for reading my post, now share your thoughts on running with me 🙂

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Note to self: Be grateful. Be more grateful.

I like to think I am a grateful person, but perhaps I am not as grateful for things as much as I would like to be. As Jack Dawson said: “I got air in my lungs, and a few blank sheets of paper” (still one of my favorite quotes from Titanic).

I am healthy, I have a job, I get to find time time to enjoy my hobbies, I have David by my side. I have my wacky family by my side (for the most part). I live in the best country on Earth (‘Merica!) and I have food on the table. Above all, I get to write stories. I should be so grateful. So darn grateful. But I am not. I constantly want more. I want to sell more books, lose weight, travel more, upgrade my kitchen (it is so tiny!) etc.

So today, I acknowledge my blessings and I will strive my best to be better at stopping and counting them more. I am lucky. So lucky. How grateful are you for what you have?

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Don’t let numbers define you.

Too often I find myself chained to numbers in my life. I rely on them and let them determine who I am. They tell me whether I am loser or a winner, a good person or a bad person, or if I am a failure in life.

How much money do I make? Why am I not making more? How many pounds do I weigh? How expensive was the holiday I went on? Was it expensive enough to impress other people? Does this dress look like an expensive dress? How many hours did I sleep? Why don’t I have a two car garage? How old am I? (and the inevitable- when did I get this old?)

It’s a scary thing, relying on numbers. They put me in a bad mood because there is always a goal that has to be reached. Sales numbers, performance reviews, even damn dieting is not successful unless the scale budges and shows less!

What would happen in my life if I started to ignore numbers? What if I became happy with what I am making? What if I realized I don’t need a two door garage and that the world won’t end because I do not drink 8 glasses a day like I was supposed to according to every health magazine? What if I was happy with the fact I only sold one book so far on Amazon– someone bought my book, isn’t that something?

What if I, instead, focused on helping others, or making someone’s day by actually having a conversation with them? Or baby-sitting someone’s kids so they can finally go on a romantic date after sleepless nights and dirty diapers?  What if I invited that chatty old neighbor for dinner after five years of knowing her?

The world becomes so much easier when the burden of number disappears- suddenly, the focus is on others, and not on you.

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Dinners on plastic plates

The first time I was ever almost stoned to death because I brought plastic plates for dinner was during my first dinner in France. Growing up, my mother stored all the fancy china Grandma inherited in a special cabinet, while she made all of us use plastic plates. I did not think anything of it- Mom did not have a dish washer and -therefore-logical thinking- we used plastic plates so she did not have to clean the dishes after.

And then I came to France. Study abroad and all, with people from all over the world (which btw, my book on the study abroad is available on Amazon). Anyway, we were almost like representatives from the United Nations or something, gathered behind a tiny table. Trying to be helpful, I brought plastic plates, plastic cups and plastic silverware to eat with. It was not cheap either, so I really thought I was doing everyone a favor. Well, I guessed wrong. Needless to say, most attacks came from the Germans and the nature-loving Scandinavians. I think I had to listen to “how wasteful” Americans are through the whole dinner. I never felt so judged. Is it really so wrong to use plastic plates? Isn’t using a dish washers equally wasteful? Why I am such a horrible person?

The type of treatment I received was more than brutal. Even the Canadians loved to bash my wastefulness and hatefulness for nature. But I did not care- all I kept thinking was my Mom, and how many nights those plastic plates saved her from being the dishwasher. Instead of cleaning the dishes for half hour, she was able to sit down, relax and talk to her kids. That’s worth something too, right?

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Sparta is back in style

Finally! Skinny people have to take care of their bodies too! We are going back to the Spartan times. The times of fit people sweating together and sculpting their bodies. I mean, we should politely disregard the military-style education program with hazing and fighting.. here, we are talking about the work on their bodies, their ultimate obsession to achieve the bulkiest, chizzled and god-like muscles. Men or women, they were all supposed to strive to be physically fit.

Somewhere between Sparta and Twiggy, skinny people strategically positioned themselves to be adored and admired. I don’t know how we let them get away with it, but we did. And as lucky as they were with their genetically given bodies that have metabolisms on steroids, they were laughing at us as they ate chips and didn’t gain a pound.

But now, a new revolution is happening. It is slow, but it is sure. Skinny people can’t just be skinny. Now they look weak. And jiggly. And not toned. It is great! As a person who struggled with being fat my entire life, it is nice that the trend is moving towards a “healthy lifestyle.” Because just because you are skinny, doesn’t mean you are healthy. I have tons of skinny friends who gobble down cakes and hamburgers and almost lose weight.

It’s a new trend of eating food that fuels your body. A trend of working out hard to sculpt your body. No one can get away with being lazy or having good genes. You have to work for it, and you have to discipline yourself. It’s nice. Because ultimately it is about being healthy, and that’s what matters the most.

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