Jan 31, 2016

And So The Race Starts

My notes on Economics
I don't remember ever having a period at the University quite like this one. First of all, the period to enroll in the classes was separated only by a week's time from the first tutorials. (Here I'd like to remind all that this University is a D-learning one, thus you don't have weekly classes like in all other universities, but only four tutorials through the whole period: two before the first test and two before the last (or second) test. As it is, you really have to read the material for each tutorial ahead because most tutorials are about answering questions of what you didn't understand from your readings.) This would have given you a really small widow of oportunity to prepare for the tutorial if it weren't for the fact that 1. after online enrolling you are supposed to go to your Study Center to pick up your books, on the week of the enrolling, except this time there were NO BOOKS at the Study Center; and 2. Neither the books nor the schedules of the tutorials were to be available but on the week when the tutorials were supposed to begin. I bet you can imagine the stress this lack of proper planning created in not a few of us.

To be honest, I was quite surprised at first because of the really short time between the enrolling week and the tutorials, but then, as things started to unroll, it just got worse. The Study Centers (these are like the University's local seats, and every student must be subscribed to one of these, for it is at these where they are supposed to do their tests and where they must render their papers, when the classes they take have papers to be rendered in physical format) had no time to prepare, specially since the new order for enrolling was that the materials for each student were to be sent to the Study Centers according to the enrollment for each class. This way the University could control their material inventory better. What's this "material"? Well, at this University, you don't need to buy books for the classes, but the books you'll need are included in the cost of the subject (all subjects for the different levels have the same price, so there's no such a thing as you paying more for some classes for the same level or less for others. For instance, all subjects for Bachelor's degree have a cost of $80). Some books cost more than the cost of the subject, so you can imagine than some of those could cost more on the market. Probably the system was implemented to control possible "missmanagements" of these materials. Normally the material for the classes doesn't change much through several periods, so the books not used up in a period can be used in later periods.

Anyway, even if I wanted to, being that I'm enrolled in a specific Study Center I can't pick up my books at other Study Centers. So the harrassing of the centers began, with a convenient "drop of the lines" right after the enrollment week ended. No phone line worked, and nobody responded to the online chats. The only answer was that tutorial schedules would be posted on January 30th, and books would be delievered after February 3rd. And tutorials began on February 2nd. What if your tutorial was on February 2nd? How would you prepare for it or even follow the lecture of the tutor (some tutors do impart lectures) if you don't have the book? I, for instance, have actually a tutorial on Febrary 3rd.

Anyway, since I knew that a certain Study Center was delievering the books on January 29th, I decided to go to my Study Center and ask if, for some miracle, or by leaning on the many years I've known them and our friendship, they would release my books earlier. So I went yesterday there - after quite a long morning and noon taking care of banking things (paid out my credit card and got HORRIFIED at how much I had to pay. Really, I had expected less, and the amount shocked me to no ends. Thanks Hyne I had some extra money to cover for that, because it really took out my jugular). As it turned out, it was great that I did so, for they had the books and they were willing to give me my books - stamping on my receipt a February date, since they weren't allowed to deliever the books before the official date.

The schedules that were supposed to be posted yesterday didn't got posted until today, where I realized that, yes, I have two classes on Saturday (one Saturday for one class, and another for the other), and on Wednesday. One of the subjects had an e-book, which was also quite complicated to download, and the tutor on charge wasn't really of much help to get to it. It turns out that that book - which was the first I've got - belongs to a subject for which I'll have the tutorials on the second week. Great. So I could advance on the subject for which I had more time to prepare.

On this period I enrolled on two classes for the Marketing career, and one for the Finance career. Finance is my priority, but there was no other class offered from the ones I need to take to complete my degree. That's why I decided to go mixing my classes for both careers. One single class would be so boring. Well, at least for me. Or so I thought until I saw how many projects and papers I'll have to prepare. And on top of all, I have the German classes at the Goethe Center, which are twice a week. Something like this was a piece of cake for me when I was 20 years old, we shall see how the 40 years old me is capable to handle this.

Jan 24, 2016

Body Image and Love

A topic I had in mind when I wrote my last post - but didn't touch - was body image and how that body image affects us. A writer I follow on Goodreads shared a post about how she has always felt about how her body image affected her for quite a long time, reaching into her self esteem. This got me thinking. Indeed, since we are born with a body and live with it through our whole life, often we see our bodies as it is us, and whatever happens to our bodies affects our selves as well. If we are good looking, then we - the whole of us - is desirable, but if there is something we consider a "flaw", then the flaw is also within us. Separating our body from our selves is nearly impossible to a lot of people, even though we are bombarded constantly with messages that tell us that we are two separate things. I mean, think about it, how many times have we heard all that stuff about "inner beauty" and how "the exterior doesn't matter" and so on?

I guess it's normal to see your body and yourself as the same thing, and so when something about our bodies doesn't please us, we feel also displeased with ourselves. It adds to this negatively when we are also bombarded with estereotypes and ideas about what the body should look like, and often these ideas create artificial discomforts in us. Wherever we look we are shown bodies of models that most of us don't have, and which can't be reached by many. This is where pseudo-positive messages (like those images shown so often on Facebook and shared by many) try to convince us that we are good the way we are and that we must accept our bodies the way we are.

The way I see it, we are bombarded with two negative messages. On one side we are told that we have to be tall, sickly thin, young and supermodelish. On the other side we are told that we must accept and do nothing. I've been average all my life. I was thin when I was a kid, but after puberty I've got an average body shape, with which for a time I wasn't happy because it wasn't as thin as I was told I should be. Then I was lucky enough to realize that I was good the way I was and felt happy. Through the years I gained some weight and though I was still happy, it was becoming displeased about not fitting in my clothes. A physician had told me that my weight wasn't healthy, but I didn't listen to him until I realized that either I started losing weight or I'd have to buy a whole closet again. I had tried for years to lose weight, get my old weight back, but it never worked, so not really believing anything could really be done, I went to the nutritionist and started my regime. And I lost weight.

What I learned was that though we can't always separate our body image from our self image, we must start realizing that the body is the body and the self is the self. Yes, we must come to terms with our body and the body we have, but if there is something we don't like about it, and it can be changed, hey, don't conform and change it! Maybe it won't work if you try doing it yourself, but look for a professional to help you. Be it losing weight or gaining muscles or learning to make up yourself, or having a great hair... whatever it might be, if there's a chance to change it and you'd like to change it, don't settle, do something! It's all up to you. And if it doesn't work at first, keep trying until it works. :-)

Your body image can do a lot of harm to you, if you let it, so remember that whatever there is that you don't like, you can always work with it. Love isn't about being perfect nor can you trick yourself into accepting something you are not comfortable with. I don't think love is about accepting if you see this acceptance and resignation. Love is about being happy, and you can be happy when you are comfortable, and you can be confortable when you are at ease with yourself. If there is something you don't like about yourself, think why that might be displeasing or not, and whether changing it is the solution. Use also health as paramether. Make sure your body is healthy, and then, fuck the body and do what pleases you. ^_^

Jan 22, 2016

Those Great Moments in Life

It's kind of bumming to have the purpose of blogging every certain periods - like, says, every week, which is again my yearly goal for this blog - and WHAM! in the first month already missing a post. Or am I being just too maniac about it? Oh well, ain't like I can spin time back and fix it, right? And ain't either like lives depend on this blog, so really, no harm done. And I know that but then againg I feel like "Oh man, I didn't keep it perfect". Do you know the feeling? It's like you are writing this awesome letter to a friend and your handwriting is so nice and so perfect and so readable, and BAM! you make a mistake and now there's a scratch or a blotch on the page. Again, not like it matters all that much. The Broncos also lost their invictus status this year to the Colts - quite a blow for Peyton Manning, I imagine - and that was alright. It stung, yes, but then they took the invictus away from the Patriots, so all was good. :-) And now that I mention it, I think I have come to terms with the fact that I'm now a Broncos fan, though the Colts will always have a special place in my heart.

Anyway, I don't intend to go on talking to you about American Football, because this isn't a sportsblog (though hell knows exactly what kind of blog this is), and also because I really don't know that much about Football. I simply like to watch it. As for exactly what I want to talk to you about this time, well hell if I know. I do have a couple of things I'd like to tell you, and then there have been a couple of topics that stroke some thoughts in me, so - as usual - we shall see where things take us from here.

The first things I'd like to tell you about are my success experiences recently. ^_^ Yay! Indeed, last Monday I had my first German test and I excelled it! Ok, sure, I'm taking the very first, very elemental German class and you might say "Where's the deal in there? You already know SOME German!". Well, first of all, yes, I have been learning German on and off (mostly off), but that didn't really yield me much of a knowledge. I do know a handful of words, but I don't have enough knowledge on grammar to be able to use them properly in sentences. Not like we are making many sentences now, but still, :-) I excelled the test!

I must admit also that I have a certain facility for language learning. Maybe it runs in the family, as my grandpa and my aunt both are quite good at language learning and enjoy it very much - my aunt speaks like one gozillian languages, which include stuff like Catalan, Swedish and Icelandic - but then my mom and my brother don't like it much, and rather stick to speaking our family's two base languages and don't move from it if they can avoid it. In my case, I'm more like Aunt and Grandpa and am always giddy about the chance to learn a new language (not any, actually, I have these ideas from time to time that makes me take a liking or a disliking towards some languages. For instance, there was a time when I didn't like French because it wasn't challenging enough. Now I love French and feel I just don't speak it well enough), so when the chance came to get really and honestly into German, I jumped at it like a hound on a wounded fox and didn't let it go. Also, truth to be told, I don't study much when I'm studying languages. Not like when I'm studying stuff like accounting or those things, where you really, really see me pouring over the books. With languages I do the homework, and then through the day I mutter to myself stuff I remember. I count to myself, for instance, or out of the blue I ask myself "How do you say 'where are you from?'" Stuff like that. I guess eventually, when my "Wortschatz" (vocabulary) goes richer, I'll amuse myself composing all sorts of pick up lines. ^_^ What? I can do whatever I want with the languages I'm learning. :-) Of course I'll also practice stuff for shopping, though I think I pretty much know that one already. I've been to Vienna several times after all, what do you think? ^_^ I wonder what other people do when they are learning a language. I mean, everybody learns a language for a reason, right? Do other people amuse themselves by composing or planning little dialogues in their heads with funny or outrageous stuff? I'm sure not the only one.

My other success experience also came yesterday as I finally received my final score for the last Graduation Seminar. I've got - like the rest of my lovely team - an 85. Yay!! We passed!! Of course we deserved a much higher grade, but then again we know that the whole group got an 85 - yes, every single student got an 85 as their final grade, don't you find that interesting? - and that's not even the point anymore. The point here is that 85 finally completes our Accounting studies. It means that all we are waiting for now is April to get our diplomas and call ourselves officially "accountants". I'm an accountant!!! Isn't that splendid? 

Of course that doesn't mean that I'll stop studying just now. Oh no, I'm tackling on Finance and Marketing, both of which I feel slightly easier than Accounting, perhaps because Finance stands a little closer to Economics and allows more room for a bit more of theorethical thinnking, and Marketing... well, it's marketing. It's all about getting into people's heads and twist them around.

It kind of feels great to be turning 40 and having achieved so many important goals in my life: I graduated as an Economist, now I graduated as an Accountant, I finally tackled German, I have defended my lifestyle successfully, have lost weight and am back to my beautiful self, feeling and looking like something that should be heavily guarded in Fort Knox, tackled my debts, am saving up, have a great job, love my car, and am surrounded generally by people I love dearly. In an instant then, I feel this well known sort of dread which I can't really explain. I'm so incredibly happy and so incredibly blessed and my life is just so wonderful, and in a second, the irrational fear comes to me, that what if I have made one "wrong" decision in my life. What if I have given in and not studied economics, but maybe Arts, like my grandpa suggested, or if I would have been weaker and bad married one of the guys that through my life proposed to me. Where would I be? Would I have been as happy and accomplished as I am now? Probably not. To get where I am now, at this perfect Apex in life, I worked hard and pushed myself. I made sacrifices, but never sacrificed my happiness. I pushed and struggled until I've got here. Through every step of my life I have been pushed by one thought, which I think is my real motto "I'll do what I like, I'll do what I please and fuck what anyone else thinks. This is my life, my happiness, my achievement and I'll live it in whatever way it pleases Me". Sure, I listen to advise and take suggestions because, hey, I'm only human and I can't think of everything, but at the end of the day, what as always prevailed in my decisions and my life has been what I think and what I want.

I'm fairly aware that I am perceived as selfish by many, and often even rude, but I rather be selfish and rude but inmensely happy and feeling very accomplished and satisfied with myself, than being selfless and nice and yet carrying around a big hole in my chest that never gets to be filled. I imagine that's also why I can sail that much easier through downfalls and failures. Sure, they sting, but I alway go back to my motto and think "Hey, this didn't work out the way I wanted it. Do we try again or fuck it and find something new?", and then sometimes I say "Let's tackle this bitch again and show it who is the boss", and then other times I think "Fuck no, it doesn't worth our time" and walk away. It's not easy, I tell you, don't think it's easy, but I'm quite happy and in harmony with myself (to whom I refer in the plural form of "we" as you all know, though that doesn't mean that we have a multiple personality disorder. It's just the way we prefer it), so I have my own back and feel much more at ease when pushing back into task or pulling away from it. To put it in other words, I'm very happy and ok with myself, so I can stand better by my own decisions, and by doing so I can carry through with them easier. Just think about it, how much of the struggle to do something often also carries the burden of not being sure of your own decision? Me? We don't have that problem. Right or wrong, we are always sure of our decision. :-)

Jan 10, 2016

Weekend With The Girls

I think I actually had a rather interesting topic for this week to share, but I forgot about it. Go figure. It happens, right? Back in 2012 I was a tad more organized and used to have these ideas far better caught in paper, stored in a notebook for whenever I wanted to write but had no idea wht to write about. Oh, what happened to that good system? So sad when we let go of great systems that work for us. But I won't go into that - I'll rather go back into using my notebooks, for which now comes handy my lovely new notebook ^_^ - and instead I'll write a little bt about the week itself.

This week I shipped my stuff from Hungary to Costa Rica, flew back home with my brother and then we went back to the office. I don't suffer from jetlags, but still all the tiredness of the trip came in bouts at night, when I've been falling dead to the world at night. Work has been feeling ok, quite reflreshing, if I must say so. Work actually feels nice, and it feels good to go to the office everyday, which I enjoy and feels my heart with gladness. It is horrible, though, at the same time to see my country start falling in shambles, the company I work were also start shedding into nothing as wave after wave of unemployment hits it, throwimg more and more people to the streets to starve.

However, before we even go into political conversations here, let's move to a nicer, lighter topic. As part of our little holidays, the girls and I decided to rent a room at a nice hotel and hole up in it to organize a sort of slumber party. We had movies - mostly Sherlock of the BBC - and then drinks and long, funny chats and laughter and free snacks and so on.

The hotel to which we went is one that belongs to the Barceló hotel chain, and I must say that this is the second time I come here on a "geek retreat", as the girls and I call it, and I'm just as displeased. I mean, the place is nice, the room is beautiful, the view and the facilities are wonderful, but the service, dear Goodness, it's dreadful! Truthfully, it's amazing how the service goes out of their way to be unserviceable. Not all of them, but it's amazing how you call for an extra towel because there are only two in a room for three people and you have to wait HOURS for the towel to arrive. And call again and again for it.

This time around, however, the girls and I also decided to make use of the pool this time around. I again forgot to pack up my bathing suit, so Lau and I went to a store to buy me a new one. It was quite an experience to know I could get myself a two piece bathing suit and wear it confidently. ^_^ It's good to know that hard work and discipline has its rewards, and such great rewards.

The girls and I had a great time at the pool and then went and relaxed at the jacuzzi. We spent two nights recharging our batteries, hardly leaving the hotel, enjoying the soft beds and the Club Premium.

Little breaks are needed to make our daily lives more bearable. You don't need to fly anywhere, don't even need to leave town, just move out of the usual, spend a weekend at a hotel, pamper yourself and have fun.

Jan 1, 2016

New Year Resolutions

Isn't it exciting? It's January 1st, an actually very normal day, nothing truly special from any other day, but it's yet something fantastic! It's the begining of a a new year and with it the chance to set to ourselves new goals, review the year that has passed (though some did all that yesterday and today are nursing a mother of hangovers), and so on. ^_^ It's very invigorating! Yes, haters and trolls will go around mulling and bitching on how "it's a day like any other day" and "there's nothing special about it" and "the world hasn't changed because it's a new year" and so on. It's ok, take a moment to pity them, but then go on and be happy and excited! I mean, "Friday" doesn't exist as such exactly, but don't we love it when it comes? Let bitter people be bitter, and concentrate on being awesome. :-)

Our lives are a long chain of cycles, and these cycles help us improve and move ahead. Something that motivates us are our goals. They are like little hopes and promises we set to ourselves, like a candle we set to light the path to were we want to go. Like what? Well, our big goals are like getting a degree, or finally opening our own business, raising kids, buy a house and so on. A lot of our goals take quite some time to achieve, and when we fulfill them, we usually feel really good about them. Smaller goals can also be set, which we can achieve in shorter periods of time. Resolutions are like these. This custom is about taking this date to set goals for the year to start, with the finality of fulfilling them within it. The good thing about this is that the New Year Resolutions give you a foreseeable time frame to fulfill them.

Several articles and posts talk about how New Year Resolutions can be positive or negative, or how they are good for nothing or very valuable. I guess it depends on your attitude towards it. These resolutions are as good or as bad as To-Do lists, not holier not any more evil.

Last year I set myself 18 goals for 2015, from which I completed 8, and one... somehow. This year I decided to go with 13 goals, which are the following:

1. Keep track of my finances, along with improving my accounting system and making a bigger effort to follow a budget.
2. Save money
3. Get fit. I no longer need to lose weight, but I'd like to start improving the shape of my body.
4. Complete the scrapbook project for my Mom.
5. Blog weekly in here, monthly in my Hungarian blog.
6. Make new friends
7. Write more
8. Read 24 books
9. Journal more
10. Spend less (this will be tricky)
11. Meditate
12. Work on my BoS
13. Have an art ot nature experience monthly

:-) Like a yearly, wonderful List of 13.

Happy 2016, and may the odds be ever in your favor!