Good morning from Doha!
In Qatar our weekends differ from that of the states. Our weekends consist of Friday and Saturday, whereas in the West it’s usually Saturday and Sunday. I always long for Thursday evenings and Friday mornings. The former because I can stay up pretty late into the night without the worries of waking up early for work (Fridays are my only day off apart from national holidays), and the latter because, well, my Friday mornings are pretty fun!
So what does my weekend morning routines contain?
I go driving! Yes, I, Nada Osborne go driving. Nothing special, yeah? No, but it is. See… I haven’t actually obtained a driver’s license yet. I know, right?
I made it to my early twenties and I am just now starting to learn how to drive. But on a positive note: I am driving and my mom’s taking me out in the mornings around the neighborhood and even on some of the main streets to get me used to driving. I like driving. It gives me that much needed sense of independence I long for.
Hopefully by the end of September or the beginning of October I will get my license. Inshallah.
And this morning I went driving as well. Yay!
I got to drive skippy! (Btw: Skippy is the red dodge durango we have)
We-My mom and I- also make it a point to go out for breakfast or coffee early every Friday morning. Normally we’d get up at around 6 am and I will practice driving for a little bit till around I’d say 7-ish? Afterwards we go to Coffee Beanery, its a nice little coffee joint that’s in the middle of the city. We order our usual drinks and chill there for an hour or so.
Why coffee beanery? It’s usually deserted whenever we arrive. It’s a nice, quiet little place that has its own unique charm. I love sitting and lounging on the rocking chairs they have there. Something about being in that atmosphere- drinking coffee, watching the sun rise and seeing all the cars go by-that makes me appreciate the finer things in life.
Although this morning was an entirely different story. We got there at our usual timing, but unfortunately when we started to go by we realized that it was unusually busy for this time of the morning.
*insert sad, agitated nada face*
It’s like people just came out of nowhere. It was definitely wayy tooo crowded! Neither of us like crowded places so we decided to hang out at the village.
The village is this sorta mix between a cafe and restaurant. Its two floors; the first floor is where the cafe part is and the second floor is where all the restaurants are. It’s kinda in a less busy area of Doha, which is what I like about it. I was just a little bit miffed because I couldn’t go to my favorite place. But after we sat down and ordered our food and drinks I realized that I kinda liked it. It’s no coffee beanery but its lovely in its own way. I guess it does us good sometimes to have a change of scenery every now and then.
All in all, I think this morning went perfectly well.
As you all may or may not know, I have recently overcome-and still recovering-from a horrible bout of depression that’s lasted a pretty good amount of time. There was a myriad of things, issues, that I kept ignoring or wouldn’t resolve. I guess I was too afraid to face the past, admit what I did wrong and move on. I am not going to get into that anymore though, bringing up the past is about as productive as watching paint dry.
Luckily I have moved on, albeit it’s not as fast as I thought it would be but I have. It’s not easy changing your whole thought process and it certainly isn’t something that magically happens over night either. It also helps that I have had amazingly supportive friend who’s helped me see the errors of my way. I guess you could say I’ve learned to see my own faults and tackle them. Improvement doesn’t just happen once and that’s that. No. We should always strive to continually improve ourselves and ensure we’re the best that we can be.
If you want change it’s something you constantly have to work at. How much you’re willing to put in and work at makes a world of difference too. You can’t go into something half hearted and then wonder why things never work out. That’s just plain stupid. You want results, yes? Then you’re going to have to work for them. It takes all your effort to make things work.
If you want to come out of depression, you’re going to have to work at changing the way you see your life and the world around you. No, it’s not easy. It’s not going to come instantly. It’s something you’re going to have to work at diligently if you want to be successful.
First thing is detecting when those feelings, thoughts creep their way into your mind. It’s a little bit difficult to do at first, because its basically you re-programming your brain to think in a different way. How do you rewire your mind to stop depressing thoughts from overtaking you?
Best way to describe the scenario is like thinking of a congested route to work every morning. You take that route to work because it’s something familiar to you, even though you land up in heaps of traffic and you often arrive late to work.
Why are you going to take the same way route to work every day if it’s not beneficial to you and jeopardizes your job? Isn’t the logical thing to find a better way to work, even if that means venturing out of your comfort zone and into the unknown?
It’s the same thing with negative thinking. Why are you going to let these feelings control and get the better of you? What do you gain with repetitive negative thoughts going over and over in your mind? Absolutely nothing. It affects your mood, feelings and outlook on life.
You have to learn to stop them before they begin to fester in your head and affect your life. When you feel like your sad, angry or upset about something you should try to find what’s making you feel this way. Once you do that, then and only then can you tackle it and try to refocus your thinking. Shifting focus is very important and is something that you’ll come to learn over time.
Cure for depression? Go out and do things you love! Doing things you enjoy and love make a world of difference. Take up a hobby, learn another language, join a gym… etc. Basically you need to break yourself out into the world. Get out of your comfort zone.
Here is a list I complied of things that help elevate moods.
Nothing beats exercise. It’s been proven than even a half hour of walking does not only the body some good, but essentially helps the mind as well. When we exercise we raise our serotonin levels. Serotonin is chemical in the brain that makes us feel good and uplifts our mood.
2. Read a good book.
It’s always nice to get a lost into a really good book. It’s a form of escapism from the world you, even if its just for a little while.
Smiling is infectious.
4. Take up a hobby.
In taking up a hobby that is both interesting and enjoyable, you place all your time and energy into something productive. It makes you shift all this negative pent up energy and feelings into something positive. When your focus changes you’ll see that you’ve become more productive. Petty things lose importance as your harnessing your energy into something else.
5. Sleep-restful night’s sleep.
It’s been proven that restful night’s sleep is not only important to for our physical well-being, but that of our mental one as well. When you feel invigorated after a good night’s rest you’ll be in a more positive frame of mind and less susceptible to feeling down.
6. Setting goals for yourself.
When you make goals and strive to accomplish them you’re changing focus in life. So instead of worrying about whatever it is that’s causing your depression, you can focus on doing things that will improve and make your life more fulfilling and happy.
7. Confront your problems, acknowledge and resolve them.
By hiding away your problems you’re really not doing yourself any favors. We all mess up, we all make mistakes. No one that walks this earth is perfect, that’s something you got to remind yourself. We’re all imperfect. We all have problems. You need to confront whatever it is that’s bother you, if you don’t you’ll only end up making things harder on yourself. You have to acknowledge them and come up with ways to resolve them so they’ll never be able to disturb you again. You want to live a fulfilling life, not one that’s constantly consumed by the past!
8. Look for ways to improve yourself!
Whether it be style, education or anything else you can think of- there’s always room for self-improvement.
9. Stop looking at the world so negatively.
You don’t own all the problems in the world, so stop acting/feeling like you do. Stressing over everything really isn’t conducive. Just smile, be yourself and tackle your own problems one step at a time.
Instead of pining over the negative look at the positive in every situation. Nothing in this life is entirely bad. Even things that we think are so horrible at the time, are really just learning experiences. It helps give us life experience in dealing with others and situations that are not always pleasant.
Libba Bray (The Sweet Far Thing)
There’s something so hauntingly beautiful about fall and all that comes with the season. For one, I am absolutely in love with the weather change. It’s nice to finally have a reason to bring out my old knitted scarves and fur boots again, and the dip in temperature at night requires that you dress warmer and cozier. Then there’s the fact that you can actually walk around outside without the fear of having your hair, make-up and clothes ruined or ruffled up from the heat and humidity which is quite troublesome during the summer months. I don’t like summer, I actually loathe it with such a passion although I was born in mid-August making my hatred for the season all the more puzzling.
To me, fall symbolizes all the great yet simple pleasures in life. When I used to live in Michigan, this would usually be things like having my mom drive us up from Detroit to Port Huron to visit our Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving. Of course the occasional trip to grandma’s wasn’t the only thing we loved about fall. There was a multitude of other activities that occurred during the September-November time frame. This would normally include trips to Ruby’s tree farm, pumpkin patches and trick-or-treating and all the other things that we’d do.
Normally people don’t get all that worked up about visiting their grandparents. But for us, and for where we lived, we actually longed for it. The area where my grandma lived in Port Huron was filled with woods and wasn’t far off from Lake Huron. As kids, we, my siblings, cousins and I would always go exploring the woods that were behind my grandma’s house. We’d often find little green or red tree frogs, the occasional squirrel and the blue jay (the state bird). Maybe to most people, that isn’t anything exceptional, but for us as kids it was like a sort of an adventure. Even the hour long car trips back and forth from the two cities were always amusing. Boring? Never. Arduous and time-consuming? Perhaps.
The route our mom normally took while we’d go up to Port Huron was always a scenic one. It showcased the best of Michigan foliage. All I remember was seeing an array of colors before me, jade green, faded auburn and yellow leaves flourishing before us. It was indeed the epitome of beauty.
Can’t forget Ruby’s tree farm, a family run farm that had small attractions such as open air tractor rides through the beautiful bucolic area, little carnival like rides and an indoor arcade for children. Oh, and I can’t forget the pony rides. I loved the pony rides. They also had a barn-turned-cafeteria where visitors could go buy apple cider and donuts to clench their thirst and hunger. IT. WAS. AMAZING! I still cling to the few pictures I have of my siblings and myself at the place.
When we were little, we’d always rake up leaves in both the back and front yard and jump in the piles. Which child could resist? Of course we’d always have to re-rake them afterwards but we had so much fun that we thought it was well worth cleaning up. We also had a family tradition of sitting on our front porch late at night, sipping on hot coco with marshmallows, counting the stars and watching the moon dangle high in the sky.
Fall, well mainly the month of October, has always been a very significant month to us. We’d always go to the cemetery to visit my brother’s grave in October, usually a little bit before or after his birthday. And just like the amazing scenery of surrounding forests and open country that was near Port Huron, the Cemetery where he was laid to rest was located in beautiful wooded area right next to a little lake.
And right afterwards, to lessen our sadness, we’d drive up to the pumpkin patch that was a mile or two down the road from it. We’d buy pumpkins to take home and carve for Halloween. Halloween…it was one of the holidays we loved most in our house.
Our family has always been sort of close-knit. The things we’d do to amuse or entertain ourselves weren’t what today’s kids would see as ‘fun’ or thrilling in any way. It wasn’t a lot. But of course kids from today’s world wouldn’t think so, most of them will never understand what it was like to be outdoors and enjoy the simpler parts of life. There was no smartphones or any other sort of mobile devices with internet connections, or anything else that kids these days are glued to.
The big thing back then was going outside after homework was done and swinging on swing sets and riding our bikes up and down the neighborhoods. Then of course going inside after the streetlights came on, grabbing hot coco and watching a couple of shows on Nickelodeon before hoping on to bed. Oh goodness, how I miss the 90s.
We were never rich or had a lot, but we made due with what we had. And the love that emanated from our household made us rich in spirit. Materialism has never been a big thing in our little family and has always been highly discouraged.
Since moving from the states to Qatar though, my perception of what makes fall so uniquely fall has changed. But it’s still hasn’t lost any of it’s charm, I’ve come to love the fall/winter season in Qatar so much.
Now what I consider fall is dramatically different, though some things surpass geographical differences. Chilly nights, knitted-scarves and hot coco are central to both seasons in both places, or at least to me they are.
In Qatar, what conjures up in my mind about fall is slightly different.We might not have any of the foliage that I was used to back in Michigan, but we have other spectacular events and places that make fall in Qatar just as equally or even more so amazing than Michigan. We have The Pearl island, which is awesome during the fall/winter season. There are many outside cafe’ and restaurants that are right next to the marina. And with the pleasant weather making its way towards Doha, what better way to spend the evenings than sitting outside and enjoying your favorite cup of tea or coffee?
I’ve also learned to replace hot chocolate, a fall staple in the US, with ‘Karak’, a local milky tea that everyone here goes crazy for, myself included. It’s simply delicious, inexpensive and relatively easy to get anywhere in the city from any little cafeteria or coffee shop. We have the corniche which is right next to the water. It’s the perfect place to hang out during the cooler months if you want to walk, or just hang with family/friends or just want to watch life as it passes.
Personally, nothing is better than sitting on the corniche, grabbing a cup of hot tea and watching the beautiful glistening water. It’s so soothing and puts me in a more relaxing frame of mind. And I can’t wait for the next couple of weeks when the weather will start turning cooler so we can enjoy these past times that are so unique to us here in Doha.
Michigan might have magnificent foliage, but Qatar has something magical about it in that it has the ability to captive and retain my heart. I am not sure if its it beauty, the pace of life or just a combination of many different things. But Qatar and fall are two things that will always seem to have a hold on my heart.
I have absolutely no idea what I am going to write about. Curse you O’ blasted writer’s block, why must you plague me with your evilness?
It’s not like I am new or anything to the blogging thing, far from it actually. BUT.. I realized that I did have to make some adjustments, changes to the way I present myself as blogger and pretty much change and/or get rid of some of the content I posted. Basically, I had to reinvent myself. If I would have stuck with the status quo, people wouldn’t be interested in reading anything that I post. They wouldn’t care. No one’s ever going to take me seriously if everything I write is drab and depressing, right?
And honestly, when looking back at some of the things I wrote, I wouldn’t have either. It was either way too depressing or about a particular person. We have enough depressing writers out there. They’re a dime a dozen. So I came to a point in my life where I said I needed to change, no. I came to a point in my life where I wanted to change. I had rid myself of all this negativity because that’s what keeping me from moving in all aspects of my life. And being a depressing writer only really hurt me. No one’s going to see my awesomeness if it’s overshadowed by sadness and melancholy.
We have enough of those out there anyway. I want to present myself as a mature, happy-go-lucky person. That’s who I am by nature. I am happy, happy person. Happiness attracts happiness. If you’re a positive person, you’re only going to attract positive things and/or people.
See over the last couple of years I have been severely depressed. I guess it was a bunch of different things that I allowed to get me down for far too long. Luckily though I have had an epiphanies of sorts. That and I guess I have surrounded myself with the right kind of people now. I guess it takes someone else to point out what you’re doing wrong before you can actually see it for yourself and fix it. I was blinded for so long… but now… now I have seen the light.
I have found peace, inner peace.
I never really paid attention to where I was going, I was kinda lost. Drifting? Yeah, that pretty much surmises how I felt about life. I felt hopeless, angry, resentful and sad. And none of those people that my anger and resentment was directed at ever felt anything. They never suffered from it, but I did. My emotional suffering was self-inflicted and it was only hindering me from living the life I wanted. I was my own worse enemy before.
Now looking back in retrospect, I can acknowledge my faults. I have allowed too much of my life to be engulf by all this negativity and pettiness that it made me lose focus on what’s really important: My life.
I realize now that if I am ever going to get ahead or accomplish the myriad of things I’ve set my heart on doing, then I got to quit living in the past. And that if I focus on the things the others have done to wrong me, wouldn’t be able to do what I was intended to do. I wouldn’t be able to live the life I want to life. I wouldn’t be happy. My life would be destroyed. And my detractors and all those that have hurt me would have won.
And I can’t have that, now can I? I realize the best revenge is to live a good a life. I am setting up short and long term goals for myself that I am working diligently on as we speak, so that I can be a better person, a better version of myself.. so that I can be the best Nada I can be.
So I can finally say now that I have successfully moved on. I am super stoked about starting this new, exciting chapter in my life. Hopefully, I will accomplish everything-or almost everything on my to-do list.
Life is amazing, sometimes we forget how amazing it is…. but I promised my self that I will never forget again, now that I am starting over… I will make everyday of my life count :) <3
I agree. That’s why I cling on to it as much as I do.
The trees make this so special.
My dream house <3