Going On A Self-Retreat

January was tough. I’m still catching up broken pieces of glass and cutting myself here and there. I don’t feel great everyday, but there is an inner knowing that reassures me I’m on the right path. To honour this path, I decided to review here what happened so far this year and why I will be giving myself a time to retreat during the upcoming New Moon (February 4th).

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Sunday’s Chat & Cuppa: My First Week Back in Lisbon

My parents’ cat and new editor of thewellbeingblogger.com

It’s a blessing that I have this moment of silence and quietness to write a few words of reflection upon my first week back in Lisbon.

I’m sitting at my parents’ kitchen table with an espresso cup at my left and an albino naughty cat at my right. The cat is a ‘she’ – and she likes to tap my hands while I type. The only time she let me cuddle her so far was yesterday, and only because I was holding her food. Other than that, she’s mean and always ready to attack. Being a dog person, I can tell you… I’m satisfied with how far our friendship has come. In fact, she became the editor of thewellbeingblogger.com in less than a week. What can I say, she’s clearly an alpha female while I’m a sigma, so she gets to be the boss much quicker than me.

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I Can Breathe Again, Away From The Queen’s Land

I only noticed how poorly I was breathing until I landed yesterday night in Lisbon. How did things become so heavy? At what point did I stop being positive and turned into a grumpy, annoying, all-the-time stressed, little gnome? When, exactly, did I stop being ‘me’ to become a human black hole?

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Book Giveaway Result & Update On My Return to Lisbon ✨

On my last blog post, I announced a book giveaway to celebrate a WordPress milestone – 400 readers. As promised, I randomly selected the winner yesterday night, using a google’s number generator (Google becomes handier and handier!). In total, there were 9 comments, but only 8 were eligible, so that’s why you will see in the picture that I asked for a random number between 1 and 8 and not between 1 and 9.

God bless Google. And the winner was…

*drums rolling*

Bushra, author of the blog Bushra’s Lifestyle

 Here is her answer to the question What is Happiness to you?:

Happiness to me is helping others and watching them grow. growing up my mother taught us “Always do good to others and it will bring you tons of joy”. I couldn’t agree any more as growing old that’s the most peaceful thing for me now. Although the bigger joy to me is when I see my kids, especially being a mother of a girl with Down Syndrome makes me so happy.

How inspiring is this? I love reading people’s perspectives on happiness and life. Helping others and nourishing them is one of the many ways we can boost our own happiness.

I would like to thank Bushra and all the other beautiful people who participated on this very first book giveaway here at The Wellbeing Blogger. Please make sure you visit the original book giveaway’s post and read the answers of all the other inspiring bloggers, because you will love it! I know I did, and I will reply back to each one of them as soon as I can – right now I’m in the middle of packing as much as I can and I haven’t been able to use my laptop much.

Things have been stressful, but G. has helped me a lot, I don’t even know what I can say to express how much he has supported me over these last few weeks in Canterbury. And yes, it will be messier to leave him and I don’t really know what’s going to happen on that regard. He is very loving and I’m not in the right state of mind to see things in perspective.  All I know, and he was the first one to tell, is that I could at least try to leave with some peace and good memories. So that’s what I’m trying to do while carrying bags and getting rid of a huge piles of old papers in my office… and having pizza, and wine, and kebabs, and burgers…

I hope to post again soon. I had planned to start a new series here on the blog inspired by another fellow WordPress blogger. To give you a taste, I will be posting on a daily basis using questions that have been designed to help potential couples knowing each other better. I will explain everything hopefully later today, but if not… you know I got carried away with more bags and boxes. 🙂

Expat Life: The Return To Lisbon

I guess I haven’t shared much about my life as an expat in the UK. Well, some ugly details have certainly slipped away, but I know I haven’t dug too deep on that. There is a whole interesting cycle that I’m sure someday I will be delighted to describe here. For now, I just want to share how excited I am about my return to Lisbon. 

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Vanexit: I Want To Leave the UK

I remember as if it was today, the day in which my British acquaintances couldn’t really look me in the eye. That was the day when we all got to know that UK voted to leave the European Union. What a moment in history to be an expat in this country.

At that time I felt disappointed, even betrayed. All the unconscious bias toward foreigners I had been suspicious of was now supported by a nation’s choice. On that day, I wore my Portuguese flag as a scarf on my neck and joked around: is was not only Brexit that was happening; Vanexit was occurring at the same time. However, things calmed down a bit, after the storm. As we all know, Brexit hasn’t formally happened yet, and my plan to remain for at least 5 or 10 more years was somehow restored.

Something changed again though. Brexit is no longer that big worry, or at least it no longer weighs down on my decision to stay or leave. I now simply want to leave, and probably never return, unless for business purposes. I’m tired of being by myself and feeling like my days are dull and grey. When I come back home, there’s no one there to sit down and chat about my day. I have no one to speak my own language – and I don’t mean Portuguese. UK’s culture and people’s way of being caused me more hurt than joy.

Maybe I just made up my mind some time ago and stopped trying to be happy here. Maybe that’s the actual truth. Nonetheless, I think I have done a pretty good job at living and working abroad by myself – three years is a considerable amount of time. Also, working on the same project for such a period of time when I’m more creative than analytical is also quite an achievement in my perspective. That makes me feel I’m not quitting, I’m simply listening to my body (my sciatica is killing me today) and soul’s (I want to do crafts, paint, write…) desires, which I should have done sooner.

Right now, I just want to go home. I don’t know if I will stay there for a short or long while. All I know is that I need to be there to figure out what the next step is. I need to breathe-in that feeling which I can only find in my home country, the country which gave worlds to the world.