Tag Archives: live your best life

Beyond Family and Food – Five Non-Typical Things I am Thankful for

27 Nov

It has snowed here, in New Jersey, yesterday and our street has been a true winter wonderland.

Thanksgiving. Today is the day when all of a sudden we take time to be grateful for all the awesomeness in our lives. We thank the Universe/God/ the Source/Mother Nature for our families, friends, houses, cars, food, jobs, money, and health.

I am just too busy to count my blessings, and I am the first to admit that. Moreover, when you constantly count your blessings, they stop, well, being so special. Blessings become norm. Things that are norm becomes things that we take for granted. I am not sure what the ultimate time frame is to count your blessings but definitely not every day. I know, it sounds so anti-self-help!

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for five of a very uncommon things:

1. Electricity. Electricity lets me study, write, enjoy movies, speak to friends, stay warm, and explore opportunities. It lets me do my job well, and be a productive student at Seton Hall. Electricity is the bomb. Have a look at some people in India – zero electricity. Definitely something to thankful for.

2. My mother. My mother has always drilled me: I want my daughter to leave this forsaken country (Russia) and go live somewhere in the West (Europe/U.S.). Well, here I am, for many years now, at least 14. And as much as we do NOT get alone with mom, I am thankful for her pushing me to get a better life. She now resents me for leaving Russia and not taking care of her yet I am glad I live far away. I am my own person.

3. Valentina Nefedova. She is my English tutor and the only teacher I had contact with for many years growing up. I was homeschooled since fourth grade yet foreign languages were the only subjects my mom believed in. I resent her for that because when it was time for me to go to college, my gaps in knowledge for other disciplines were tremendous! But, Valentina really had opened my eyes on the subject that I was gifted in the area of foreign languages and that was my absolute strength. I am grateful that such an individual was put into my path while I was little. She helped me, in her own unique way, go out and get a build a better life outside of Russia. She has sewn the first seeds of my “Westernization”.

4. Myself. I am thankful for myself. I appreciate the way I am and cherish all of the decisions, good and bad, that I have made. All the challenges and difficulties I have faced, all the storms I have weathered out, all the obstacles I had to overcome.  I am grateful to myself for being strong. learning from my mistakes, not being afraid to be humble, and persevering in spite of difficulties. I have a long way to go, and there are days when I still crumble and cry and rage yet I always recuperate, dust myself off, and continue on my life quest.

5. United States. I know, I know, let the comments begin. But I love this country. Although an ethnic Russian, born and raised in Russia, I am honored to be able to live, work, vote, own property, travel all over, and even pay taxes here, in the U.S. I am grateful for the ability to use twitter, to have gay friends, to take doctoral courses, to blog freely, to criticize the President, and ask questions of political leaders. I know this country still has SO MUCH work to do yet it has already made such great strides.

Well, here you have it. Now, what are the five non-typical things you are grateful for this Thanksgiving?

Please comment below and have a very happy Thanksgiving!

Last Week… Picturized

18 May

It all started with a beautiful sunrise on a Monday morning:


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Make this your best day… Ever

22 Apr

We never know whether today will be our last day. Make it count by not stressing because of petty things, appreciate every moment and slow down. Good morning!





Self evaluation – looking back at the passed week

16 Mar

The past week was a great week. You don’t realize how much you do. Let us see…

Apart from teaching all week and tutoring students privately, I have found time to do the following things:

Monday – strength training for 1 hour.
Tuesday – a 30 minute hike in the Great Swamp Nature reserve.
Wednesday – strength training for 45 minutes
Thursday – school work and read some more of NW.
Friday – treated myself to two episodes of the Borgias, then grad school work.
Saturday- 90 minutes of Vinyasa yoga in the morning, in the afternoon- a walk with hubby. Stats midterm for. MOOC from U Berkeley.
Today is Sunday. I have another 90 minutes of Vinyasa, then a movie with hubby, then…. Chores: ironing, TED videos, higher ed reading, and perhaps read some more of my book or go for a walk.

How is your Sunday looking?

Your life is not a dress rehearsal

30 Jan

I used to wait for a “better moment” to experience things. Warmer weather, better people, cushier job, more inspiration… However, life is not a dress rehearsal for the play, you are already performing you play. Right now. So, don’t wait.

I have booked my 32 day trip to India and Nepal this week. Traveling the world is one of my utmost priorities, so why wait to do it? I have the time and I have the money. I don’t need anyone’s approval.

Remember, life is not a dress rehearsal, life is a play.




Daily Dose of Inspiration

20 Nov

Today is a brand new day. A chance to make things right, a chance to say no or yes, a chance to make a difference. A chance to live with passion, a chance to be grateful for all the gifts, no matter how small. A chance to take a risk, to get out of your comfort zone. May my spirit guide me and you with all of the above things.







A New Day

18 Oct


Being an early riser, I have some uninterrupted time to ponder many important things. Today I was thinking of this notion of a “new day”.

Every day we get the new day. We go to sleep, we dream, we wake up and then we get this gift – called the new day. A new day means a new chance to make a difference. It means an opportunity to make things right. It’s a chance to change your mind, make a decision, help someone. It’s a chance to start over. It’s a chance to appreciate the World we live in, it’s a chance to appreciate ourselves and our resilient nature.
It’s a new day. Welcome.

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