Every step that led me until here…

Have you ever tried the exercise of taking responsibility for absolutely every decision and every step you took in your life? I know it feels overwhelming. It can make you feel like laughing and crying in the same time, realising the control was always in your hands.

But most of all, it can make you feel. Sometimes we need to make decisions also on our feelings.

There is nothing wrong with us. We are just normal humans who get tired. Let’s fight less and smarter. Let’s remove the words “procrastinating” and “laziness” from the vocabulary. From time to time we need also to not do anything at all.

How can we function properly if our batteries are always depleted? Just breathe and listen. And you will be two step closer to your destiny.

I think the best legacy that we can leave on this Planet is to be happy. This is the only inspiration that anyone needs. That’s it. As easy and hard as it comes.

Such a magical rainy day

Dear daughter, today you are 2 years old!!!

And to make this day (even) more magical, mommy bought you something that will hopefully pay for your college education, 16 years from now. Can you even imagine how the world would look in 2037?

I discovered it barely last night and it literally took me 8h today to figure out how to buy it, through several platforms. I mean, it had to make 33, this is what triggered me. I really couldn’t resist it. I was searching for one month for one to make 33, but I guess I was searching it in the wrong places.

I would like to write more about the exact series of events that eventually led me to its discovery, but I’m not sure I’m able to put everything into words.

Anyhow, in the worse case, I cannot lose more than what I already paid for it and I paid for it just about as much as Amazon took me last week, behind my back, for one year of prime that I’ll probably have no benefit from.

So yeah… Happy Birthday and Happy Easter!

PS:

the first one I see this year

Finally landing

You realize how hard it really was barely when you stop… and allow yourself to smell the roses. And allow yourself to feel.

With passing also the Audit and Assurance exam, I completed my Advanced Diploma in Accounting and Business, which is a degree equivalent in study time, effort and knowledge with a Bachelor Degree in the UK System: 9 exams (one I had exempted) plus one Ethics module. I passed all these exams from the first attempt, while studying all by myself, with no tutors or classes held by a study provider.

Another Degree, 100% in English, all alone, my first exams ever in English, with no English studied in school, 15 years later after the one in Commerce, Tourism and Services in my natal country.

How I really did it? Well, for the first 4 exams I studied in the evenings and weekends, after a full-time job, while playing Hearthstone. I didn’t even have a printed book, I had the study material only online. And having that game running with a timer, kept me alert and focused, otherwise I would fall asleep or even start daytime dreaming, while pretending to study.

And the last 4 exams I did them during maternity leave. By reading from my phone while breastfeeding and between changing diapers, by rehearsing the topics in my mind in the dark while putting baby to sleep at night, by begging and negotiating with my partner for few hours of baby-time in the weekends, by literally falling asleep over the book or over the computer at just 10 in the evening. By levels of stress you cannot imagine and I don’t wish to anyone. All by myself alone, each with a 700+ pages Study Book and an Exam Kit just as big, with the pencil, eraser and pocket calculator, being driven by all the emotional unfulfillment that I lived in the past 10+ years, trying to prove to myself that I CAN do it.

Last year in August when I had the exam for the Czech Language, for Permanent Residency (it was not mandatory in my case, but I wanted to do it, so I can have a motivation to study more), while waiting between the written test and the oral test, a part of me was wishing to fail it.

Why? Because when you succeed all the time nobody sees how hard it really is for you, they just see success and expect even more success. When I left from there at 4 in the afternoon with the “approved” paper in my hand, starving and wondering how I haven’t fainted yet without lunch, the last thing I was thinking was how proud I am… I was just feeling guilty and ashamed that I left baby at home with her dad, while he had also a full-time work day and now I am eating all alone at our favourite restaurant while waiting for the bus to take me back home.

When I wrote on Linkedin that I’m very proud about my part-qualified ACCA diploma, and describing some of the stuff I stumbled upon along the way, I was actually not feeling anything at all. There were no more feelings left in me. I got over 900 likes to that post and over 50 connection requests, majority from other ACCA students. I couldn’t feel anything.

Yes, I know I still have 4 exams until getting my full ACCA Qualification and I wanted to do also Strategic Business Leader in June, the first one from the equivalent of Master Degree level. I was very diligent, I had a lot of drive, I read almost all study book and made my own notes, in just one month. I had so much drive and, barely now I realize, so much naivety.

When I started to study the specimen exams and the previous exams for this paper, I decided to also type everything down from the answers, to learn the correct spelling for more words, and I had a shock with how much I actually have to write in this 4h exam and how much I have left to study to feel confident about passing.

Suddenly the idea of doing this exam was causing me claustrophobia. I was literally feeling like drowning and I couldn’t gasp for air. There are times when acknowledging the effort implied by a big step like this is bringing me higher energy, excitement and the necessary drive to jump on the other side, but this time I had to face the fact that the hole is just too big. Suddenly I lost all confidence on all the English I know and I had the impression that everything I know is wrong and everyone will be judging me only by my mistakes. By all the mistakes I did during all my life. And no achievement what so ever, as great and hard as it is, can erase those.

So yeah… I take a break for now. I had even booked the exam 2 days before the deadline, just to cancel it in the very last day…

Aside from moving baby into her own (still unfinished) room and closing breastfeeding (proudly celebrating 10 days now papani-free), changes which also caused me a lot of stress, I am planning to make even more significant ones in the days/month to come.

Just for my future reference, I am currently facing the transit of Saturn square my natal Ascendant + Venus + Saturn and Sun + Mercury + Venus + Uranus conjunct Descendant.

Moon over Havana

September 7th, 2023

4:20 AM

Jason is waiting in front of the 10 stories building on the Constructors’ Boulevard with a medium-size suitcase and a small bouquet of 3 strings of Lily of the Valley, in front of a dark windows fully electrical SUV.

She is slowly opening the armed building door, while carrying her own suitcase and a small handbag and she smiles at him. Her face lights up with every step she makes.

At this point he cannot contain his smile either and showing his white perfect young teeth, even if he is past 40 of age, he leans forward to kiss her. After brushing his hand gently through her hair, he leans to help her put the suitcase in the trunk of the car, while the driver carefully places his next to hers.

Under the discreet stare of the driver, they share another long kiss and slide on the back seat of the car, pulling up the separator, while the car starts moving.

  • “It’s been 5 years since I haven’t seen you”, says Jason, but you haven’t changed a bit.

Of course she has. She has way over 20 pounds more than when they first met, but she was barely 20ish then. Now she is a mom of three… from which two are his.

Ok, the first one, Josie, is definitely his. As for Lia, we can say with reasonable certainty that she had a bit of divine intervention in coming on this planet.

Yet she is still looking very attractive in his eyes. Especially now after having her new Business degree and owning her own company. For Jason love was passing too much through his brain…

  • “You don’t look too bad yourself either”, blushes Moon. “I must admit you really took me by surprise with this one week escapade. How’s Meredith, btw?
  • “She is at home with.. (wait I forgot the name of the child that Jason had with Meredith, let’s hope he didn’t also). C’mon you know we’ve been separated for more than 2 years now, since she found out I was seeing Klara. Why you had to twist the knife in my wound?”
  • “Because you don’t admit it even to yourself that you simply cannot be “the man of one woman”. You are just not built monogamous.”
  • “I’m with you, right now. Let’s enjoy it, please.”

And they share another long kiss, with their hands exploring a little bit more, through the clothes.

In the heat of the moment, while carefully trying to take his light jacket off, apparently not as careful as needed, something fell from one of the pockets. Instead of showing signs of being caught off guard, he raises to the occasion and takes Moon’s hand into his, bringing into the light the ring that she had on her finger.

  • “I couldn’t take it off. I know he died. I know it’s been more than one year already, but Jesus will always be in my heart and for us flying now to his home country made me even more emotional. You know I loved him and you also know that it’s always been…”
  • “Please don’t say it”, stopping her with a kiss.
  • “Just listen!”
  • “I have waited for too long. From the first moment I saw you, I knew you will be the “last one”. I have always known that you are the one I’m going to grow old next to. I’ve had my share of affairs, yes, some you know about, some you don’t… some more passionate or dramatic than others, but a piece of my heart has always been with you, no matter where you were and with whom. I was shocked when I learned that Jesus died, but in the same moment I knew I want to be Ben’s father also.”

While the car was about to park in front of the airport, she hears him say:

  • “Moon, will you marry me?”

Spring 2021

Too much said spring, it’s 7°C outside and feels like 4°C even if it’s sunny..

Yesterday I had my ACCA remotely invigilated CBE session exam for Audit and Assurance. With baby and daddy upstairs… because baby is sick and day-care is closed anyway for 3 weeks due to lockdown.

As for the exam, either I’m too naive or I really did study the best for this exam (I mean, I did start studying for it in October..) because I finished it with the feeling that I did everything, I mean, I don’t know of anything that I did wrong… but for an ACCA exam if you think you did everything you should reasonably expect a 75-80% result… besides, it was the most narrative exam, zero calculations, and I didn’t have the time to check again everything for spellings and I’m painfully aware that my English grammar is not perfect…

So, in order to tie my knowledge-loose-ends I’m adding to my to-do plan for 2021 to take some English classes and pass the IELTS exam with a C level.

And I also want to resume my Czech classes, after passing the language exam for the residency paper last year I remained with a slight aversion for the language, but now I just installed an app to help me study further.

I’m putting aside the renewal of the driver’s licence and the buying of another car… because I need to prioritise my health. I mean, my weight. I mean, my weight loss… so I need a more fat-burning solution… like finally putting a baby-seat on the bike, I think this year she is big enough for one.

So.. baby started kindergarten in mid january, day-care level… she supposed to go 3 days per week for 4-5 hours a day… but after just two weeks she came down with the pox. Some very small ones… but she still needed to stay home for 2 weeks.

Then, she started again but after just 2 weeks she caught something else, this time with industrial quantity of buggers and coughing and breathing issues… So she is not going again. Both because she is sick and also because all schools and kindergartens are now closed.

I’m also not feeling at my best, I have congested nose and a slight cough and I need industrial quantities of sleep.. but yeah.. I take what I can. Last night I was exhausted, I went to bed at 21 and slept until 6 when baby woke us up (and by woke us up I mean jumping all over us, pulling our hair and asking for attention) and then I started working in the bathroom, in pajama, while brushing my teeth… as I took vacation last week, because my stress level achieved an ATH, I had a lot to catch up, even if I’m supposed to work just 2h/day.

Now I’m writing this with baby watching YouTube videos in Spanish on my chest and literally coughing in my face and stabbing me with her elbows in my boobs.. Welcome to mommyhood..

Thankfully she eats well.. this morning she ate her bowl of cereals and then she ate half of mine also.. she was like… “you are not eating it anyway, you are too busy… working over the breakfast table”.

Last week we had two days with over 15°C when I hanged laundry outside and played with baby with chalk on the pavement, but in the night of the 2nd day she woke up literally pink, coughing her brains out, with 39.3 fever. So yeah, guess whose guilt level also achieved an ATH!

Wait she got pissed off by something and she threw the phone. Perfect mommy’s daughter.

Plans for 2021

So.. the first thing is arranging kindergarten/day-care for baby who just turned 20 months old. Mama needs some time to breathe. Today if possible. She started to like youtube videos too much lately. I know, the rule was zero screen time until 2 years old.. but the rule was invented pre-covid. This is how we will be counting time from now on, pre-covid era and post-covid era.

I’m still breastfeeding (waking up 2-3 times during the night), with the covid paranoia (I mean, other people’s paranoia, as we had the virus and survived it already, in November), and the neverending lockdowns (for more than a week now, we cannot even buy clothes – not even baby clothes -, toys and house items – paints, bricolage – in the shops), with my 2h/day working from home and my ACCA exams, and Leo working up to 10h/day also from home, I am starting to go crazy. It’s like I am always a bottle full of nerves ready to explode, whenever something unplanned happens, is terrible. Like now, when I cannot find baby’s water bottle.

Then, once she is having a routine there, 4h/day at least 4 days a week, I can start working for me more… Like after a month dedicated only for sleeping.

I want to take some classes of driving to refresh my skills and renew my driver’s licence. And buy myself a car, just for me and baby, for the city. I am thinking at a small one, with two doors and automatic transmission.

Where we live now we cannot count only on public transportation… direct buses are only in the morning (too early) and taxi can get a bit complicated since we have to carry also a car seat whenever we have to go somewhere with baby, as I don’t know if they come with car seat included. And if I have to take her daily to kindergarten, we need another car.

Regarding car seat, we also need to get a new car seat for baby. This is kinda urgent, this month or the next one, as she almost outgrew the shell one that we have since newborn. And we have to drive to Ostrava for that..

Then, I want to pass at least two more ACCA exams this year. I’m currently studying for the Audit and Assurance one, that I plan to sit in March, I read everything in the study text already and I’m now in revision mode, doing exercises from the exam kit, trying to get the full-picture ot it.

And I have also started reading for the Strategic Business Leader exam, from the Professional module, I’m at the third chapter from the study book. I would like to sit for this one in June.

And also from June (the latest), I have to get to 4h/day at work, because my parental leave and allowance will be ending in May.

Then, we would like to have some nice summer vacation somewhere exotic. Not too exotic, just some Mediteranean country, maybe Tunisia if we are in the mood for more adventure, if not, maybe just Italy or Greece.

And that’s about it for now. Going to stress Leo to call to kindergarten again to make an appointment for visiting. I really hope we find a free place to this private one and that it’s just as nice in real site also, as it is in online.

So, bye for now. Happy New Year!

Life after covid

Long story short.. after about 10 days I finally got also my smell back and my energy. For the past 2 nights I even went to bed at 22:00 and I felt rested and eager to start the day in the morning.

I even went back to read from my Audit and Assurance book.. That would be the last exam from the Applied Skills module, this is what motivates me…

Otherwise, I don’t know if is the fact that now I have time to study barely in the weekends when baby sleeps (because during the week I work), the covid or my personal attention deficit disorder (not officially diagnosed) but I still don’t understand much from this topic, because I didn’t have any contact with audit or assurance before… Maybe after I finish reading all the chapters I will be able to make more sense out of it.

And to procrastinate even more, yesterday I ordered the books for my first topic from the Professionals module: Strategic Business Leader, because I couldn’t resist the 30% off Black Friday discount. Ok, it was Saturday. Did you know that this exam is 4h long? Anyway, I saw in the contents preview that it has some chapters on some topics I am curious about. I mean, more than audit&assurance.

And what else… not much really, I don’t feel myself in much mood to write lately. And I hate this new blog writing tool/interface from wordpress. I could just daydream all day long. Except from when I have to parent. And work. And cook. And do laundry. Ok bye for now. Today in her 1.5h of sleep already, I barely read one page and remember not even 10% from it. It snows so peacefully outside. Day-dream mode I told you.

I passed Taxation!!!

Yeeey!!!

And I started watching Suits. And it came to me the idea to do a mock LSAT test, I found a practice one online. Just for fun. And for keeping my neurons sharp. I will let you know the result, when I will have time for it.

We are still waiting for baby’s transcript of birth certificate. Because, you know, in Romania it takes 1 month to put a stamp on a paper. More or less.

Anyhow… I’m really hoping we will have where to go back to CZ and they don’t file for total quarantine, considering the amount of reported positive cases lately.

The future belongs to smart people

While doing my EPSM module from ACCA I had a small revelation. I was saying more than a year ago that school systems as we knew them are bound to slowly dissolve, even faster now thanks to this covid crisis.

And to add something a bit more tabu, aka astrology, we are in the middle of a Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto transit in Capricorn which means a significant transformation of work systems for the better. But you can google this if you want more details.

So.. as the traditional school systems will dissolve, kids will start to embrace online curriculums which will give the opportunity to be followed at each one’s pace. So the smarter you are the faster and farther you can get. The advantage is that intelligent kids will not be bored in class anymore and the slower ones will not develop anxieties and be bullied anymore based on their results. Specializations will be much easier to follow from young ages because there will be no more standardised school subjects and no more national tests on all disciplines for all kids in primary schools. The borders from countries and languages will also dissolve, thanks to technology will be able to understand ourselves in real time with basically anyone.

The problem will be for us to adapt to the new times, not for them. My baby surprised me today when she was touching a button on the screen of my laptop and I had to explain to her which tools are touch screen and which not. At 1 year old.

We bought her a mock play phone and she liked that she has songs but when my dad wanted to pretend with her that he is talking on the phone she looked weird at him and she brought him my smart-phone: “Gran’pa, if you want to call someone use this one, that one is not a phone. Is just a lousy toy.” 20 years from now, the smart-phone that I’m using now will be the “rotary phone” for our kids. Can we even imagine the future?

And something else, the governments and the school systems have no interest at all to introduce subjects like “healthy eating”, “sexual education” and “financial planning”.

We, as a race, we failed just about when we started to make advertising campaigns for medications and vitamin supplements. I haven’t watched TV for a long time but now being back in my home country for vacation, I’m shocked to see how many commercials we have on… drugs. I will not be surprised in the future to see commercials on TV for drugs that are now prescribed for ADHD and spectrum disorders just to enhance kids abilities. More drugs more money more drugs.

But to conclude in a positive note: the best skill that we can steward in our kids is genuine curiosity. Curiosity is the best vitamin and energiser.

Mai stăm o lună

Au trecut așa repede două săptămâni, nu am avut timp nici să mă duc la coafor. Așa că mai stăm. Are birocrația grijă să ne îndeplinească cele mai subconștiente dorințe. Adică trebuie să mai stăm, ca să așteptăm niște acte, de care depind alte acte.

Pe scurt: ca să pot să-mi reînoiesc buletinul meu trebuie să depun certificatul de naștere al bebelinei în română. Adică originalul în cehă cu formular multilingv atașat nu e suficient pentru autoritățile noastre române. Pentru că, în Cehia se pare că nu e suficientă cartea de rezidență permanentă, pentru a-mi face buletin acolo. Sau Dumnezeu știe.. Adică mi-am mai omorât mii de neuroni și pentru asta… mai mult sau mai puțin degeaba.

De fapt am început postarea asta voind să scriu că mă simt mai bine din punct de vedere emoțional și nervos… așa că trecem repede peste aspectul legislativ. Eu am făcut tot ce mi-a stat în putință, acum lucrurile se petrec în afara zonei mele de control, deci nu mai am de ce să mă mai stresez.

Azi m-am trezit cu poftă de croșetat. 😄

La ACCA am început modulul de Etică și Abilități Profesionale (EPSM), care trebuie parcurs și absolvit înainte de P-uri.. E interesant dar luuuung.. Într-o săptămână abia am parcurs 6% din el. Apoi mai am de dat și Audit and Assurance din F-uri, dar poate acest modul îmi face tranziția mai ușoară (adică eu tot sper că am făcut suficient la Taxation cât să-l trec… abia pe 20 Octombrie aflu rezultatul).

În rest… cu munca, pregătim fișierele de raportare pentru FY21. Și mi-aș dori să mă plimb și prin București cu bebe vreo 2-3 zile înainte să ne întoarcem. Că de mers la mare nu cred că se mai pune problema…