Author: elenahj

Less hate, more peace

So you have someone in your life you dislike. With passion. Ok, it’s more than dislike. You hate them. And even though it gives you a feeling of righteousness because that person must be a jerk to be hated, it sucks the joy out of you. Hate is not a nice feeling. Even when you have every reason to hate someone, ultimately you’re the one suffering. Ask yourself: if you were that jerk, how much would you care about being hated? Probably not that much. And that must make you hate that arsehole even more. Alas, hate is the problem of the haters. So if you’re fed up hating someone, you can stop and move on and find some peace of mind at last. I’ve been trying to do this for months now, and I’m finally at a point where I can look at the source of my hate and think to myself – you know what, I don’t hate you anymore. And that’s when I feel like I’m back in control over my life, …

120 changes in 2018: May

Become a British national I am cheating here because my application for British citizenship is done and the decision is out of my hands so I’m not really pushing any changes on myself. But it would be nice if the UK’s Home Office sent me an approval letter in May so that I could celebrate my birthday as a dual national. Be less angry about certain people There is one person in my life that I dislike.  Occasionally with passion. Sometimes I catch myself thinking that I properly hate them. Unfortunately, I’m stuck with that person for some foreseeable future and that future sort of depends on them so I need to find ways of letting go of my feelings towards them. After all, my anger is my own problem and it’s up to me to deal with it for my own sake.  Meditate longer I was away on a business trip last week and met a girl who talked about her meditating experience, how she mediates for 30-40 minutes and it helps her sort out …

120 changes in 2018: April – results

The end of April can only mean one thing: checking where I’ve ended up with the 10 changes in April. Let’s go. Switch-off weekend Yes, please! Here you can read what I’ve learnt from my offline weekend. Long story short, it was so good that I will repeat it this coming weekend and will continue to do it on a regular basis. Nothing has ever cleared my mind as well as avoiding mental digital pollution for 24 hours. Verdict: continue. Pay off all debt Done! And OMG it feels good. I used my savings to pay off the remaining debt, which goes against the general advice that you should save 3-6 salaries before rolling up your sleeves to tackle your debts. I disagree. Interest rates on savings are so rubbish that it makes sense to pay off debts as soon as you can to save money from not having to pay outrageous interest fees on debts. If that sounded complicated, here’s a simpler version: not saving can save. Do save what you can but do …

The only family you choose

God gives us our relatives. Thank God we can choose our friends. Ethel Watts Mumford wasn’t wrong, but there is one relative we choose. Only one. Obviously, it’s not our parents. Parents are the riskiest genetic lottery everyone plays before birth, where you hit the jackpot if you get just normal people who love you and are able to raise you into a decent human being. It’s not our children. I don’t have kids myself but all of my friends say their children were “like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”. It’s definitely not our siblings. God knows how two same people can sometimes produce two very different offsprings. My sister and I may look somewhat alike but our characters are anything but. I also have bigger breasts, ha! It is certainly not the wider family with all the grandparents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, cousins and all the many in-laws. Don’t even get me started on that lot. The only relative we ever truly choose is a partner. The one …

What I learnt from two days of digital detox

Two weeks ago during the long Easter weekend, I went offline for a couple of days. I still had my phone with me but reduced its use to the most basic functions – making and answering calls and text messages, checking directions and weather forecast and searching information when I needed it. And that was it. No camera, no social media, no online shopping. Before I started, I thought it would be difficult and I would have withdrawal symptoms. Nope. It was surprisingly easy. It has now been two weeks since normal digital use resumed but I am already looking forward to my next weekend offline. Because here are the key five things I’ve learnt from the two days of digital detox. I have more time than I thought. In the two days of staying away from my phone, I: finished two books; read one new book; fixed three buttons on two garments; tried two new recipes; wrote to two friends to catch up; made a haircut appointment; paid off and closed a credit card; …

120 changes in 2018: April

Switch-off weekend When this post goes up, I am staying away from my phone, tablet and laptop as much as I can and I am immersing myself in non-digital activities – readings books and magazines, having a walk around my city, watching passers-by, taking notes on paper, cooking, talking to my friends and to my husband, watching films – you know, all those old-fashioned things that people used to enjoy before we became slaves to devices. I know I won’t be able to fully get away from all technology – I rely on my phone for maps, information, music and sometimes camera – but I am giving up on social media, news, e-shopping and just brainless browsing for a couple of days. Pay off all debt I got a grip on my finances and spending habits last year, and my savings are comfortably above my remaining debt. The latter sits on a 0% ARP card, and I slowly pay it off, but I just want to get rid of it so that I can focus solely …

120 changes in 2018: March – results

About twice a year and without any warning, I get moody and unhappy for no apparent reason: there are no big or negatives changes in my life, and yet many things just feel wrong. I was 16 when I first noticed these moods; I was going home from school and realised that I’d been in this dark state of mind for a couple of weeks. It wasn’t destructive – I was still nice to people and I didn’t have any bad thoughts, and back then I said to myself to just wait for it to pass. And it did – back then and then many times later when these mood swings happened again and again. They never last for more than 3 weeks, and they happened this March. I am beginning to feel my usual self again, but throughout the month I didn’t have any will to push myself to stick to my 10 changes so I guess I have failed many of them. But let’s see. Exercise at home I was alright at this, actually. …