Turkish Bath Mitten

Let me give you the setting of this post. I just took a 30-minute hot bath. My legs were hurting today and I thought the heat would help. Worked like a charm. After the hot bath, I used a Turkish Bath Mitten to scrub dead skin off my body and took a freezing cold shower.

As I sit here, I’m wearing my swimming shorts and a tank top shirt. I’m ready for summer to arrive. Also,  I didn’t want the boys to feel constricted this late in the night. I say late but its 11:41 on Saturday night.

When the hell did I get so old?

Saturday night, and I’m here writing a blog. Not just that, I’m calling it ‘late’ in the night. It was only a few years ago where around this time we would call the Taxi to go out. Now that I say that I realize how old I am. When I was going out we didn’t Uber to the club. Uber didn’t exist 5 years ago. Don’t quote me on that, maybe it did, but I wasn’t aware of it.

Anyway, I’ve really been meaning to write. I can’t seem to make time for myself. I just told Eliz how important it is to make some time for yourself. Even if it is on Saturday night. I don’t know why I’ve been putting off writing. Maybe it’s for the same reason I’ve been putting off taking pictures for Invictus Beard. Telling myself “Now is not a good time.”

I go through phases in life. I’m either all in on something or I’m procrastinating. I’m realizing that about myself. The last time I woke up to go to the gym was 10 days ago. I’ve simply been putting it off. I’ve been losing that battle in the morning when it’s time to wake up to go to the gym. “I’ll just go tomorrow.” Once that started I saw that I wasn’t meditating as much. Then I realized I wasn’t writing as much either. I think it’s all connected.

The difference between me today and me a year ago is the fact that I realize these things about myself. I take that extra minute to try and understand why I am procrastinating or why I feel a strong emotion. I tend to suppress certain emotions. I do this often to a point where all I feel is stress and I grind my teeth at night. Then I get angry because I’ve been grinding my teeth. I never wear my mouth guard because I feel like I am admitting I’m stressed. I feel as if I need to defeat stress. Thing is, I won’t be able to do that unless I know the root of the problem.

It’s easy to stop and appreciate a great moment. It’s tougher to sit with a strong, negative emotion. To really listen to the cause of the feeling. Try to understand why I’m experiencing it, while I’m experiencing it. When I get angry, I don’t usually stop to think about my meditation practice. However, the other day, I did it. I became infatuated about something. I was alone and I simply sat with that emotion. Meditation is simple, just watch your thoughts. Don’t try to change them or control it. Simply sit and watch.

There are many things changing in my life. I’m moving to a different city. A big house. Mortgage payments. Utility payments. Mowing the lawn, the backyard. Travelling to Toronto for work. Finding a barber. Calling the cable company. Being further away from my parents. Being away from my friends. Finding a new gym to go to.

I don’t stop to think about any of these individually. I let it all snowball in my mind and allow it to cloud my mind. It becomes stress. I know we made the right decision. It’s everything we wanted and more. I’m so happy about the decision we made. I’m beyond ecstatic that we could buy this house, but I still have those thoughts. I think about these things, but not in a constructive way. I let it all pop into my mind as I’m doing something completely unrelated. Then I think to myself “I’ll get to it later.” When I don’t, I become angry with myself. When I’m angry with myself I begin to project on to Eliz and Niko. How unfair.

I’m working on it. Like I said, the other day I caught myself doing it. Apologized to Eliz for it and began working on solving the root of the problem. Writing helps me do this. As I write this I’m realizing that I need to take this move more seriously. I make lists about everything but I haven’t been making list for myself for this move. Maybe it’s because it hasn’t really sunk in yet. The fact that we bought this house. The fact that I’m moving.

I’m not a great planner. I work well under pressure. I can get things done quickly when it is needed urgently. Eliz is a great planner. We are a week away from the move and she already green sticky taped some of her drawers shut. She’s already packed so many boxes. She’s been doing it for weeks.

Despite feeling this way at times, I am looking forward to so many things that we will be doing at this house. Yesterday, we went out with our close friends. We must have been at the restaurant for a few hours. They expressed their excitement for us. Mentioned how they can’t wait to come over and spend the night because we have a spare bedroom. I can’t wait to enjoy those types of nights with them. I can’t wait to do that with many of my friends.

It’s so important to have friends that are genuinely happy when you’re happy. In the world we live in, that is hard to find. Many people have ulterior motives. They smile and pretend to be happy but they aren’t truly happy for you. They don’t want you to prosper. I just typed “They don’t want you to prosper because” but I couldn’t think of a reason. Why? Why don’t they want me to be happy? I can’t understand it. I want the best for my friends. I want the absolute best for my family. How is it that some people that I only want amazing things for, can’t stand the fact that I’m thriving?

I blame society! As if I didn’t already sound like the oldest, grumpiest 26-year-old yet.

In today’s world, I think too much focus is given to the wrong things. Who has the nicest car? Who has the biggest house? Who has the most expensive shirt? We all have to put on a façade for Instagram to show the best versions of ourselves any time we post. As if sitting upright and flexing the arm closest to the camera isn’t enough, we put on filters to accentuate certain aspects. I’m not judging you for it. Who am I to judge? I do it too. I’m simply starting to realize those aren’t the important things.

My advice is to try and catch yourself in the moment you begin to compare yourself to someone else. The moment you say “Yeah, he bought that but it isn’t as nice as my…” I’m not saying don’t do it, I’m simply asking you to try and realize when you do it. Once you realize it, ask yourself why you are doing it? Are you comparing yourself to him because it drives you to work harder to achieve that one day? Are you happy for that person or are you annoyed? Are you annoyed at him? Are you annoyed at yourself? Why?

If you’re genuinely happy for someone and it makes you realize that you can do things differently to achieve what you want, then, I think, you’re living life in a meaningful way. On the other hand, if you’re vindictive or if someone else’s happiness hinders your joy, then you’re missing out on life.

I’m not a psychologist. I don’t claim to be. A friend of mine said I should provide some advice and for this post I decided this may be a fun thing to do. Simply try to realize when you are comparing yourself to someone and try to uncover the reason for it.

I compare myself to my friends and there are so many things they are better than me at. Some make more money. In fact, I’m sure they all make more money. I couldn’t be happier for them, as long as they’re happy. One found a job in a downtown office space that was in the news because of how futuristic it looks and I was excited for him. I compared myself to him at that moment. I realized that my goals may be different than his. I’m in a different place in my life. He was very happy about the job and I am happy for him. The fact that he could accomplish that makes me want to work harder. I’m not looking at it and thinking “Why couldn’t that be me?” Anytime I see someone achieve something I want to achieve I think “Why not me?” If I really want it, I can do it.

You can too.

If you had a moment in the past that you compared yourself to someone and want to share your experience with it, I’d love to hear about it. Message me, leave a comment, email me. Whatever is most comfortable for you.

Work towards happiness.

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Author: Mehmet Akcagliyan

I am the Master of my Fate. I am the Captain of my Soul.

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