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Photo by Sage Friedman on Unsplash

As I’m zeroing in on the end of my thirty-first year in life, I realized I’ve come to appreciate my birthday as a time to tie a red ribbon on the nearest tree branch to mark my arrival after which I will keep trekking on. A signal to myself that I’ve come this far with all the things I’ve learned in tow.

The thirties are a strange and wonderful decade in women’s lives. Once she crosses off that twenty ninth year, a woman goes through a sort of metamorphosis all while unaware. The twenties start representing a catalog where people, things, occurrences, and places get presented only as ideas to be picked from and chosen, no commitment required yet. The thirties is the deal closure. You’ve picked the components that shape your own personal code and now it’s time to piece them together into an identity. …


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Courtesy of author

In the midst of all that’s happening in the world right now, I decided it would be a good idea to pick up a book that I already read a long time ago; a book that influenced me a great deal at the time but whose impact got so worn over the years to the point where I barely remembered what it was about.

The book is The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.

Realizing that your life consists of tasks all devoid of real quality is a painful revelation to have. By quality I mean doing anything with purpose, attention, and most importantly, presence. This affliction has spanned over my parenting, my career, my marriage, my self-development, my writing, taking care of my home, and myself. I had to be brutally honest with myself here: I was getting by doing the bare minimum coupled with the audacity to feel confused when I’m given criticism or get told the painful truth. I was spreading myself too thin and still doing too little. …


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Photo by Chris Yang on Unsplash

Before I gave birth, I would usually spend around nine to ten hours at work. Not because I had to, but because I got sucked into the culture of needing to prove that work was more than it should be.

A culture where even if you’re a stellar employee churning out amazing work you’ll get side-lined by those too busy kissing big-level hiney to do half the work you do.

Where I work puts great value on work-aholism just like any modern corporation would. They provide you with everything you want so you barely have any reason to go home. …


What weight-lifting taught me about hard work

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Photo by Hipcravo on Unsplash

Before I got pregnant, work was just work.

I grudgingly wake up, get dressed, head to my office and wait for the day to end. I did the bare minimum because I did not see the point of doing more. Just show up, pretend you’re working hard, and then leave. The routine became mechanical, I stopped even wonder why I was so demotivated. Coupled with my pregnancy hormones and day-long fatigue, I was ready to start my maternity leave and just park it for a while. I wanted to do nothing.

After I had my baby and started training daily in an effort to fight off the post partum depression and loneliness, I suddenly couldn’t go one day without doing it. That grueling push every day was everything. I craved it. If you wanted to put a damper on my mood, you’d tell me I needed to take the day off. Training turned from something I used as an alleviate for my depression to its own rewarding autonomous endeavor. …


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Photo by Yannes Kiefer on Unsplash

After a year and a half away from corporate life and thrown into the frightening abyss of new motherhood, I have returned to work last week.

Besides the guilt, anxiety, and excitement all rolled up into one, one thing needs to be mentioned. It’s insane how almost nothing changes while you’re gone. Of course save for all the new faces that look like they’re about eighteen years old making you feel like you’re on the verge of retirement at thirty and some of your friends that have left to pursue other opportunities. All those projects that I lost sleep over or bawled about in the office bathroom? Irrelevant as last week’s local news. Things have moved on without me. It’s only natural but it kind of hits you in the face. It’s cool though, because next time I feel like I’m on the brink of a meltdown (note to self) I’ll try to remind myself that the company can hire a fresh out of high school kid that will do a quarter-ass job and it will slide. …


Can We Stop Vilifying Our Phones for One Minute?

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Photo by Benjaminrobyn Jespersen on Unsplash

A couple of weeks ago I downloaded an application called Moment. What it does is help you set and achieve a goal of minimizing how long you look at your phone. Every time you pick up your phone it lets you know how many times today you had already picked it up. I downloaded it because I felt like I should cut down on my phone time. Although I’m not particularly bothered by how much I look at my phone, it has become this collective obligation that we look at our phone less. Phones are bad but we can’t live without them. Everywhere I found “How to Stop Being Addicted to Your Phone” articles. But am I addicted though? …


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Photo by Yannic Läderach on Unsplash

Yesterday I went on a twelve hour flight with my sick one year old from Cairo to New York. Also, I was sick myself. We obviously caught the same bug who was adamant on sabotaging our trip. I had spent the better part of two days hunched over a toilet with a crying baby in the other room waiting for me to dress him so we can go to the ER. Making our flight seemed like a distant dream for a while. The universe was sending him and myself a gastric signal to stay caput. But am I one to bend my will to the universe’s? Never. We were getting on that plane. This mama needed to get out. But you can only be so steadfast in your decisions while nauseous. …


Being a 30-year-old Third Culture Kid

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Photo by Caroline Selfors on Unsplash

For as long as I can remember I believed I was a regulation introvert. I made peace with the fact that I was an anxiety-ridden stammering semi-socializer that needs to be placed in her solitudinous habitat in order to function. I was more of the reading and writing type, never the speaking type. So over years I resigned myself to my destined cozy introversion where I’d become so good at creating excuses out of thin air not to attend things (especially those that required meeting people for the first time, yikes).

Every once in a while I still had these inexplicable episodes of seamless social encounters which also used to happen when I was in large groups (extremely un-introvert like behavior). It was like all my social skills harmoniously clicked together to do what they were meant to do after long bouts of malfunctioning. But I put that away as the occasional outlier which I guess made sense happening every once in a while. But it felt good to know I was capable of doing something like that. I had it in me to park the introversion at will. That’s how I felt at the time until the big picture came into focus and I realized this had nothing to do with introversion or extroversion. I was culturally stuck. All the time. …


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Photo by Yucel Moran on Unsplash

I only got five hours of sleep last night. That’s it, just five hours mainly because my one year old decided we should start the day earlier. But that does not necessarily mean he’s in a good mood. He’s fussy this morning and everything I do is not sitting well with him. I breastfeed him to settle him down (that’s my remedy for everything), I go make myself coffee. And since we’re starting the day an hour before we normally would, I’m grinding enough beans for an extra cup. I balance him on my hip so I can grab my jug of coffee in the other hand and as I’m walking back into the living room, I bash my knee against the coffee table (bash is such an understatement for what happened to my knee, it felt more like impaling the soft part around my joint with the sharpest table corner I’ve ever seen, but I’ll settle for bash; needless to mention the plethora of curse words that ensued). I put my son down and rub my throbbing knee. He does not appreciate it and starts screaming. I’m shushing him and still rubbing my knee where the pain just won’t let up (accompanied by some more curse words, thank God he hasn’t started speaking yet). He starts tugging on my clothes still screaming. I lose it for a second and scream back at him. He looks up at me with tears still in his eyes and I feel like a monster. What am I doing? He doesn’t understand that I’m in pain. Or maybe he does and that’s why he’s screaming? Is this his form of sympathy? …


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Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

Just write one word after the next and magic will happen.

Let go of yourself to the story, it’s in there. Swimming among millions of thoughts, worries, fears. You can’t help but think about it all the time. It’s in you and it won’t release its grip until it’s fully manifested and living.

It’s a possession that can only be slowly exorcised by the daunting drag of pen on paper. It won’t budge, it will engulf everything that is your day. Your life. Your sleep. Characters will embody strangers you brush past on the street, the elevator, standing up there on a balcony. …

About

Nada Abdelmohsen

Mother. Nutritionist. Bookworm. I write when the baby sleeps. If I’m not cooking. Or eating.

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