Posted in The Happiness Project

Universal Studio

Day 43 of 100 Happy Days:

Universal studio is spectacular!!! Unbelievable! Such a happening place!! What a wonderful experience!!!

Incredible Hulk was my first roller coaster ride and it was incredible!!! WOW! I did it with my husband as I was too scared at first to try alone. Later, I did Dragon Challenge alone, and it was awesome with an awe!!!! Among all Harry Potter world and Harry Potter rides are the best! 

What a day! After so many days I was feeling so different! I did around 9 rides. I was hoping to ride some more but my husband wasn’t feeling good. He had an headache since morning after doing the hulk ride and was having some sickness from roller coasters. So, I didn’t asked him to stay there for another hour. We left after 6 pm and later had thai food. 🍽

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Posted in Recipe, The Happiness Project

Thai Coconut Red Curry Soup

Day 42 of 100 Happy Days: 

Another recipe of a yummy soup while waiting at the airport! Enjoy! 

Ingredients:
Garlic: 3-4 cloves, finely chopped
Ginger: about 1 tbs chopped or grated
Red Thai curry paste: 2-3 tbs (depends on your taste)
Coconut milk: 2 cans
Chicken breast: 1, boneless
Shrimp: 7-8 large, peeled, tail on
Rice vermicelli noodles: 6-8 oz
Coriander: few, chopped
Basil leaves: 3/4 leaves
Chicken/beef/vegetable broth: 0.5 to 1 packet (32 oz)
Fish sauce: 2 tbs
Salt: to taste
Lemon juice: 2-3 tbs
Oil: 2-3 tbs

Direction:
1. Cut the chicken in large cubes and bring chicken, water, and salt to a boil in a pot. When the chicken will be fully cooked, take out the chicken cubes and keep the water to use it as broth if you don’t have the chicken/beef broth/stock.
2. Slice the cooked chicken cubes into small pieces.
3. Separately boil the shrimps with salt, skin off and tail on for 3-5 minutes. Alternatively, you can boil the shrimp with the skin on and remove the skin after the shrimps are cooked. This will prevent the shrimps from curling up and the shrimps won’t become small.
4. Over medium heat add oil in a large pot.
5. Add chopped garlic, grated ginger and red curry paste and sauté for few minutes.
6. Add cooked chicken and shrimps and gently mix for few minutes.
7. Add coconut milk, chicken broth, fish sauce and bring to boil.
8. When the oil will start to separate from the mixture, add basil leaves
9. Adjust the spice, the thickness and color of the soup (add some more red curry paste to make it more spicy or coconut milk/broth/small amount of brown sugar to make the soup milder, according to your taste).
10 (a). Add the rice vermicelli noodles to the boiling soup. The rice noodle doesn’t need to be cooked like pasta. They just need to re-hydrate in hot soup. Add lemon juice and some cilantro for garnish and turn off the heat.
10 (b). Alternatively, put some dried rice noodle in the serving bowl and pour the boiling soup over it. Then add lemon juice and garnish with cilantro.
10 (c). Another way is to skip adding the rice vermicelli noodles and enjoy the soup!

Posted in The Happiness Project

Bangles!

My anxiety attack kicked in again today. It started when me and my husband were having coffee with a friend at Tim Horton’s and the discussion of job search started. Our friend was saying how difficult it is being for engineers to find a job in Canada. Most jobs are 6 months to 1 year contract based and lay off is regular incident. I am looking for jobs for last 8 months after being laid off this April. I am a Mechanical Engineer by profession. Getting a job in this province is being extremely tough. There is almost no job for engineers, specially entry level and intermediate level engineers. Many of my friends have moved to Ontario and most of them got jobs there and others are getting interview calls. To get an interview call it is important to stay in the province where you are applying. My husband is suggesting me to go and stay with my sister in Toronto for few months and look for jobs from there. If I get something, my husband will quit the job, move there and look for a new one. This is really a great idea, but this idea also gives me anxiety attack. The thought that my husband will quit his job for me and he will struggle again to find another one in Ontario really stresses me out. I don’t know what to expect anymore or what I want anymore…. Every day, when I pray to my God, I don’t know what to say or what to ask. So, only thing I ask over and over is to give me whatever is good for me and best for us. As He knows best.

Day 40 of 100 Happy Days: I was having some kind of cravings to wear some bangles. So bought few from Ardene! 5 for $10! Good deal!!!

Posted in The Happiness Project

The Day I Got Laid Off….

I still remember that day so clearly. The day I was laid off….

The moment I stepped into the building I had a weird feeling. An unusual uneasiness. I felt like something bad happened and I don’t know about it. The lobby was empty and didn’t understand why it seemed a bit dark, even though all the lights were on. I checked my watch. 8:20 AM. Very few people come this early. Usually everyone comes around 9:00 AM. With that uneasiness I took the stairs to go to the second floor, where my cubicle was located. While passing the corridor, I tried to ease myself by thinking that I always have this feeling when I come back from a long vacation. As I don’t talk to my colleagues when I am away, I feel like something terrible happened in the mean time. May be I have been laid off and nobody told me because I was in a vacation or may be my supervisor has excluded me from the big project I was supposed to work on or may be they are really pissed off as I went to a vacation. That was the first day at work after I came back from 2 weeks of vacation. I went to see my sister in Toronto. I had awesome time there. We had so much fun. This was the first time I went there after I started to work and I was there after two years. So, I was happy, I was proud, and I was feeling self-dependent. I got a lot of gifts for my nieces, my sister and my brother in-law. Also while I was there I bought whatever my nieces wanted from me. Well, my sister was not very happy with the spoiling, but I was really happy to see my nieces after long time.

As I entered the second floor, the uncomfortable feeling kicked in again. I noticed Dave’s room was dark. Dave usually come to the office around 8 AM and leave early. I turned and saw that the door of Norma’s room was ajar. I wondered why her door was open, as she was in maternity leave and the room was locked for last few months. I came to my desk and I was the only one on the floor. I checked my e-mails, but the anxiety was not going anywhere. So, I took my purse to go to the cafe to buy something to eat. In the stairs, I met our Director, Ralph. I smiled at him and said, hi. Surprisingly, he didn’t smiled back, was blank for a moment and then asked me how was the vacation, and quickly passed me. On the ground floor, while leaving the building, I met Iant. I said hi to him, and there was a pause. I said something again to him about holding the door, then he said, “oh hi.. yeah, sorry”. I was wondering, really, what happened to everyone?

With that unusual feeling, I bought a muffin and came back to the office. On the second floor, my cubicle was located just outside Ralph’s office. When I was passing by his office, I saw my boss Anthony was there, talking to Ralph. Our eyes met, so I gave a nod and smiled. Anthony quickly looked away without smiling back. I came back to my cubicle and that moment I knew something was not right. Then I realized Anthony and Ralph were coming out of the room, and they stopped in front of my cubicle and said, “Samantha, do you have a moment? Lets come to the meeting room to have a chat?” I quickly took my diary out of my usual professional etiquette and replied, “sure”. In the meeting room, I sat beside Ralph and Anthony took a sit in front of me. I saw on Ralph’s hand there was an envelope and a card. I knew the logo of the card. It was the wellness and counselling service card for mental health, which comes as an employee benefit. And I knew what was going to happen.

Ralph started to talk, “Last week was the toughest week of the history of our office. Because of low oil price for this long, our primary clients and oil companies decided that they won’t spend any more money for research purposes until 2017. That’s why we had to let go 25% of our employees, which is 21 people”. I looked down and said, “and I am one of them”. Anthony said, with a sympathetic voice, “unfortunately, yes”. I sighed. They said some other things too, who else were laid off, not to lose hope, there will be many opportunities in next few years, as a severance I will get one month salary and I have one month to finish my works…. blah blah…. I wasn’t paying attention anymore… I don’t even remember what was I thinking. When Ralph said, “if you want to go home, we can call a taxi for you”, I then remembered that there was a lot of work to do, specially the work that had been piled up while I was away. I calmly said to Ralph, “thanks but I’m alright. I need to finish a lot of work, I want to complete all my responsibilities before I leave. Plus, I also have to work on the conference paper which is due next month”. Anthony quickly said, “we are not sure if we will be able to pay your conference fee”. I was really surprised this time. The conference was going to held in our city, so only payment would be the registration fee which was few hundred dollars. Also, I knew my paper holds some very important results that directly interest oil companies for new investments. My boss already mentioned many clients about the results of my paper and they were interested to get a project proposal based on the results. So when my boss said they won’t pay for the paper, I didn’t know what to say. Ralph said again, “you sure you don’t want to go home?” I said, “no, I am fine, and you said I have one month access to finish my work, so I would like to work today”. They said, sure and left the room. I came back to my cubicle and unlocked my computer. I looked up to the computer screen and realized that everything had changed in last 5 minutes. The computer, the chair, the desk was not same anymore. The cubicle was not mine anymore. I looked around. The photo of me with my husband in the corner of my desk seemed out-of-place. I looked at the wall of my cubicle, where I stuck a drawing, a cartoon of me, which I drew few months back, portraying how stressed out I’m with all the works and deadlines. The cartoon seemed so unrealistic. I snatched it from the wall and started to squeeze it. I felt like I can’t sit there even for a moment. The place was not mine anymore. Everything started to look strange. An overwhelming sadness started to engulf me. Before realizing what was I doing, I took my coffee mug, the muffin, and my angry bird toy car, put these in my bag, and stormed out of the building. First I thought I will take the bus then realized that I don’t have the patience, so I called a taxi.

After 20 minutes, I came home. I went to the bedroom, changed my cloths and called my husband and said that I was home. He said were you feeling sick? I said, no, I was laid off. He was shocked, didn’t know what to say, then I told him everything. He said, “okay, no problem, take some rest, you need this”.  Yea I knew I needed that…..

My angry bird toy car is still in my purse… I havn’t taken it out yet. This bird is my friend, whenever I need one.

P.S.: I wrote that conference paper with my own initiative and my own money. I know that they will use the paper for many proposals. But that doesn’t matter anymore. Because I am proud that I have completed it.

Day 38 of 100 Happy Days: My Angry Bird

Posted in The Happiness Project

Ubuntu

I don’t know for how long I was looking outside the window. In a white and gloomy road the lights of the house were looking like golden ornaments… So beautiful! Driving around the city to see the Christmas lights is one of my favorite things to do in Winter! 

Day 36 of 100 Happy Days:

I have installed Linux in my old laptop today and so far Ubuntu is listening to me. Lets see how far it goes….

Posted in The Happiness Project

Snow Strom!

If you go out when it’s snowing
And look up at the sky,
You’ll feel lots of icy kisses
As the snowflakes flutter by.

~ Barbara Vance

Day 35 of 100 Happy Days: 

It’s snowing since last night. Strom warning was issued for the whole province. The city is back to it’s original color…. 

Today was the snow day for the whole city. Almost everything was closed. But my husband don’t get snow days for his work. So, I spend the whole day working…. It was better this way. I need alone time to concentrate. I’m working 9/10 hours per day for my part time work and job search. But by the end of the day it seems like I haven’t done anything productive. I feel guilty, unproductive and angry when I don’t work on any weekend. My another tension about the Florida trip is that I won’t be working for 6 days. Why is this happening? Why can’t I manage time and work like I used to do before? There’s so many things to do….

  • I have to solve the programming problem I’m trying to figure out since last month. 
  • There are about 100s of openings I want to apply. 
  • I need to apply for the professional engineering designation. I haven’t fill out the application form yet. 
  • I should clean the whole house, but I don’t. I wait till the weekend for my husband to help me out. 
  • I need to book all the theme park and museum tickets for the trip and complete the planning.

There are so many things I want to write in this blog. But I can’t even manage to spend an hour to think and write. I usually get the time to write the daily post when I come to bed at night. I don’t call home regularly now a days, because I fear I can’t spend 20 mins to an hour on phone everyday. I don’t watch TV when I’m home alone. I’m even spending a lot less time on Facebook (well that’s a good thing)! 

What happened to me? When I was working full time, everything was in line, in a system. But now? I have no idea how the time is passing so quickly. I know that looking for a job is a full time work, but I can’t apply for more than 3/4 jobs per day. I am learning a new programming software which is keeping me busy more than it should, as there is no guidelines. By the end of the day I feel mostly hopeless and stressed! I can’t fall asleep fast because of anxiety. For being stressed I wake up multiple times in the middle of the night. I wish I had Hermione’s time turner!

Posted in The Happiness Project

100 Followers

Day 34 of 100 Happy Days! 

Do I need any other reason to be happy today?? 100 followers! Wow! I am so happy and so overwhelmed! Thank you everyone. This blog and you all are helping me a lot to fight my depression and anxiety issues. Whenever I start to feel bad or feel that the depression is kicking in, I open my WordPress, and either start to write something or start to read you blogs! This is keeping me busy, keeping me occupied and keeping me inspired. 

Love you all ❤