Wednesday, June 5, 2019

It's Good To Be Back

I've neglected my blog. And I am sorry for it. It's just that ... I haven't felt like writing these last two months.
Maybe because I have been busy discovering and learning new stuff. Do you remember my decision to attend a course (Adult Educator)? It has been intense (I go to school every Friday) and oh soo good. I found new friends, learned a lot of new stuff ... theories about how to learn, how to teach, etc. I even held a lesson about European Art in front of my fellow students. Exciting times.

Then these thoughts (or should I call them doubts?) kept popping up. Should I really continue writing stuff on my blog? Do I want it? Do I need it? Or is it maybe time to change the form i.e. yes to writing but no to writing a blog? And if no to my blog, then what kind of writing? Where? What?

Lots of questions SIGH. And being busy with school gave me the perfect excuse to avoid my blog and to let my thoughts/doubts about its future float around my mind a bit longer.
Hoping that an answer would come up (remember? my intuition works in mysterious ways! haha).
Well, it hasn't ... yet. 
But this morning I decided ... not to decide. I will dedicate more time to this space and see where it'll lead me
One thing though I know for sure. Writing is still part of me today and will be in the future as well!

June Wish

Summer has finally arrived (at least where I live) and with the sun came new energy as well. Suddenly I feel like taking on new challenges. No idea where that came from ... but my intuition moves in mysterious ways (haha). I believe June is the perfect month for embracing challenges. Long days, sunny days (at least, we all hope so) but not yet real summer heat. It's perfect for doing things, going places.
Well, me, anyway, I have decided to take up on ... stand up paddling. It's something I have wanted to try out for at least three summers now but there was always something else preventing me from doing it (too much rain, not enough heat, not the ideal place, not enough money - you name it). 
This has changed now. I found the ideal place to try it out (i.e. a small lake not far from home). I even found the ideal school (because I need someone to explain stuff to me ... at least for my first excursion around the lake). And the costs are okay.
Will I be able to enjoy myself? Or will it be too hard? Am I athletic enough? Does one even need to be athletic? And, most importantly, will I be able to stand up again in the middle of the lake should I fall into the water?
Well, you know what? I have no idea.
What I do know though is ... that it feels good and that I will ... embrace this new challenge!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

May Wish

In one of the many email newsletter I am receving (and sometimes reading), I came across the following sentence:

The future is unknown, so the only thing I can do is to trust my intuition.

Wow. Just wow. While reading the words, I just knew that this is what I wish for (in May and in general, obviously). The text continued with

Trusting the process isn't always easy and it's not necessarily natural, but like with all new things, practicing it makes perfect sense. 

So, dear everybody out there, let's start practicing trusting our intuition ... and let's discover where intuition leads us to :-)

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

About Aging

I don't spend time thinking or dwelling on or worrying about aging. I go through good and not so good months, through wonderful and more difficult years but I never regret doing (or not doing) what I did. The past is the past and I accept that I decided what I decided with what I knew at the time of my decision.
It's not that I ignore or don't like my past.
On the contrary. I like to tell about past actions, funny or sad or embarrasing ones, about cool people I met or cool stuff I did, etc.
But it's not a dwelling on thing - it's more like telling stories. I very much prefer the actual moment.

Then, sometimes, rarely actually, I have a kind of crystal-clear second where I wonder:
where the heck has time gone? 

It happened just this week. I needed information that, at least I thought so, an ex-boss of mine would be able to help me with. He wasn't, but he gave me his daughter's phone number because he thought that she would be able to help.
While dialing her number, I realized that, in my mind, I still saw her as a kindergartner because the last time I saw her was while she visited her dad in the office and she was small. Like kindergarten small. I told her so, when she answered her phone, and we laughed hard. No, she said, kindergarten was quite some time ago. Now it's more about university.
Oh my, what to add? Nothing, right? It's just that it seemed like yesterday...

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

April Wish

Year after year I am amazed about how awesome springtime is. You can literally see how the trees and the flowers come to life again. Amazing, really. Strong. Beautiful.

So, my dear readers, let's copy mother nature and let's blossom as well. Wintertime and its short and dark days are over. We had time to think and we had time to enjoy long evenings spent at home.
The "vita contemplativa" is over, my dears, now it's time for the "vita activa" part.
Time for strong energy, fresh air, new ideas.
It's time to blossom

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Visiting Trieste

It was unfair of me to visit Trieste AFTER having been to Venice. Really unfair. Because with all the Venice Magic in my head, it was difficult to appreciate a cool, clean city like Trieste. While planning my short trip, I hadn't thought of what my feelings would be but then ... you can't predict what you're feelings are gonna be, right?

I had put Trieste on my Travel Bucket List because I wanted to see for myself what a city at the eastern end of Italy would feel like. It was totally worth the trip. The feeling I got while walking around was that the place was clean, rich, understated. It remined me of Turin or Hamburg. They got this "old money feeling" where wealth is not something you show off but simply something you have. It's classy. (And the coffee is wonderful and the pastries are just yummy!)
Unfortunately, it was another of those places where taking pictures was difficult (if not impossible). You know ... how do you even try to put elegant and understated in a photo??? This notion totally escapes me...

While I walked the streets and the waterfront promenade, I kept hearing Slavic languages and saw lots of cars with Slovene, Croatian, Bulgarian, etc. license tags. I really was at the eastern end of Italy. Trieste was part of the Habsburg Monarchy and was the fourth largest city during the Austro-Hungarian-Empire (1382 - 1918). Read it up on Wikipedia ... the history buffs among you will love this place! This is Mitteleuropa at its best (I checked the train schedule afterwards. It takes less to travel to Vienna than to Rome! Understandable that the Chinese want a piece of that port...).
Next time, I'd combine a city trip with maybe a road trip through Istria. Or stop there on my way to Croatia. Oh my, I said "next time" :-)

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Venice's Doors and Windows

I have a weakness for old doors. They kind of talk to me and Venice, obviously, has quite some memorable specimen to offer

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

On The Road Again: Venice and Trieste

It was time to hit the road again. It happened on the spur of the moment because I realized that, with my ongoing course, long weekends or trips would be impossible ... until September.
Oh my.
Therefore, when our teacher announced an unexpected Friday off, I decided on a short trip to Venice and Trieste.
It was sooo good to be on the road again.
I soaked up Venice's energy and discovered Trieste.
I have been to Venice twice already but as I absolutely wanted to visit Trieste (has been on my list for quite some time now) and as the (direct) trains to Trieste are mainly departing from Venice, well, I decided to visit Venice a third time. And honestly, I can imagine visiting a fourth, fifth, etc. time. (I even added "spending a month in Venice" to my travel bucket list. Wouldn't that be great??)

Venice is magic.
I had visited all the monuments and museums the last time, so my aim this time was to walk the streets and to soak up the wonderful energy.
It's what I did (I may have overdone a bit because my app on my mobile phone counted almost 36'000 steps/day! New personal record hahaha) (it was totally worth the aching back and legs though)

I believe that everything about Venice has already been said or written, therefore I stick to some pictures

Canal Grande

Campanile e Basilica di San Marco

no, it's not Pisa


Cimitero di San Michele it's where they bury their dead

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Short And Sweet

We, the mere mortals, use the expression "to keep something short and sweet", whereas a great mind like William Shakespeare used much nicer words:

However you wanna name it, I, for instance, learned all about keeping it short and sweet when I was writing articles for a local newspaper (many years ago). I remember my chief editor's reaction when I sent him my very first article. Well, not much of a reaction actually. He simply sent me the paper back, stating: say the same thing by using half of the words.
Half the words???
How the hell would I go about saying what I wanted to express with HALF THE WORDS??? Impossible, I thought. But then, with time, and efforts (!! oh my), I got the hang of it. I learned a lot in these couple of months even though I decided against a career in journalism because I liked to write but I didn't like to write at the push of a button.

I remembered my former editor's advice this week in my "Adult Educator Course". We were discussing how to prepare for one of our (future) lessons and we had to do it working in groups (and then presenting our "lesson" to the rest of the class).
Well, I don't want to go into the details. Let's just say that not everybody ever heard of the notion "short and sweet".
But then, who would have guessed that I'd benefit from that hard lesson, learnt so many years ago, while on my way to become an Adult Educator? Not me, that's for sure.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

To Trust Life

I just read a wonderful little book: "Les promesses de l'âge" (À 75 ans, ma nouvelle liberté) written by Perla Servan-Schreiber (it hasn't yet been translated into any other language, to my knowledge).
A cute little book about getting older and being "old". Another blogger mentioned the book and I wanted to know more because it's always interesting to read about what other people think.

The book contains plenty of wisdom and meaningful ideas and thoughts. I loved it!

One chapter got my attention. "S'alléger des pourquoi", which basically means: "Alleviate yourself of the whys".
Perla writes that, the older she gets, the more she doesn't care about why she feels the way she feels. She says that it's more and more about how she feels, what she experiences and therefore the whys of her feelings become more and more unimportant.

I love this notion. Very much so.
What a relief not to always think about the whys of my feelings but to just accept them.

She continues with:
"J'ai appris à faire confiance à mes sensations, mon flair, mon intuition, ma dimension animale. Et à la vie."
(I learned to trust my feelings, my flair, my intuition, my "brute" dimension. And to trust life.)

To trust life.
To feel without necessarily understand the why (acceptance is implied).

I will try to make this my life's new motto :-)

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

March Wish

Usually, at the beginning of a new month I almost immediately know what my monthly wish is gonna be. A word / an expression pops up, I go looking for a picture and I share it with you.
This month though, and it's a first, NO words came up. NOTHING. Nada. Niente.
What I kept seeing though was this picture of the tree pose (yoga) that I saw on Pinterest a couple of weeks ago. And even though I now know that I'm not the visual learning type (remember this post?), my March wish is gonna be the exception that proves the rule; no words, just a picture.
Pictures have their own language and this one is strong.

Let us all be like a receiving station on the one hand and, on the other hand, let's remain anchored to the earth.
No storm can blow this tree away! That's for sure.
Happy March everybody. Namasté

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Goodbye Winter?

February (at least where I live) seemed more like April (season-wise, I mean). Sunny days, warm temperatures, awakening nature. I even saw some people sunbathing (and I don't mean turning your head towards the sun. I mean sunbaths where you don't have many clothes on...) and I saw people taking baths in the lake (and I am not talking about the usual crazy person who thinks that swimming in the lake during winter time is good for your health). 
Crazy, said the ecological-minded Me. 
Wonderful, said the summer-loving Me.
Unreal, said the yesterday Me.
The Me who left home early in the morning to spring time … and not 2 hours later parked her car in this winter wonderland:

Crazy, don't you think? But then, 2019 feels rather crazy … and not only weather-wise.

PS: I had a wonderful day but, honestly? In the evening I was glad to drive back to my "spring is all around us" place I call home :-)

About This Blog

Should I continue writing posts for my blog?
I have been asking myself this question over the last couple of weeks.
Should I?
Or should I not?
Why do I even have a blog named after me?
Why do I do this?

Well, I've come to realize that this whole blog thing is about … keeping my thoughts in line.
Being a person who often reflects on many hows and whens and ifs of (my) life, my brain sometimes feels like a beehive. And, as in any normal beehive, my brain is everything but not calm and orderly.
Therefore, writing is an excellent way to help my thoughts NOT to get out of hand.
It's not so much about how many people read my words.
Nor is my aim to become famous or something.
Oh my. No thank you.

All I want is to bring some kind of order in my busy (and some days messy) mind. This platform is therefore ideal for me and my restless mind. And if by some chance, there are some readers somewhere out there who agree (or not) with me, who feel (or not) like me, who laugh (or not) about the same stuff as I do? Well, then I am even more blessed.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Some Thoughts About Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a big word. We give it, we receive it but what does it really mean?
What does "to forgive someone"/"to be forgiven" imply?
Does it mean: I hurt someone, I say "I am sorry" and live on?
Or: Someone does me harm, says "I'm sorry" and everything is fine?
What about the wounds in our souls and minds?
Cicatrized and forgotten? Or cicatrized and NOT forgotten?
What about the open wounds?

We all have offended, hurt or wounded someone. Consciously or not. We all have asked for forgiveness. It's part of life.
But when is "something" really forgiven? When are you really forgiven for what you did?
Is hearing "I'm sorry" enough? Are there situations that are "unforgivable"?
Is something forgiven when it no longer hurts? When it's forgotten?
What about the wounds that no longer hurt but are not forgotten?
Oh my. It's complicated.

I can't speak for everybody but I know my wounds.
Hearing "I'm sorry" helps.
Time certainly helps as well.
Understanding why a person did what he did/said what she said, too.
Accepting my soul's wounds as part of life also.
What about trust though?

I had to turn 50 to understand that to forgive someone doesn't automatically include trusting again.
What a big relief to realize that I could indeed forgive someone but that I could, at the same time, decide not to trust this person any longer. I may trust again in the future. Just not for the time being.

I don't know who Henry Cloud was but he certainly was a wise man :-)

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Learning Types

On Friday, in class, we talked about the different kind of learning types (auditory, visual, motor, communicative) and our teacher suggested that we take a short quiz to determine what kind of type we were.
The results of my test were mixed, as it's the case with most people. One result though made me laugh. The line where I had to insert the answers related to the "visual" type … stayed empty.
Zero, nothing, nada, niente.
That made me think of my flute lessons and I had to restrain laughter.

A few month into my flute practice, my teacher tried to explain "the rhythm" of a song by telling me how "this part of the song is like a dot", continuing with "and then comes a part that is like a wave and the last part is more like a straight line".
I remember trying very hard to "see" what she was talking about but I couldn't. No dot nor wave nor straight line made me understand how to play what we were practicing. I trusted her judgement though and I kept trying … and trying … and trying. It was only after a couple of lessons that I admitted defeat. She tried a different approach that made me (finally!) understand.

Therefore, my Friday's quiz results made totally sense to me. Explaining music by visualizing dots, lines and waves felt like something out of space :-) Now I know why :-)

Monday, February 11, 2019

February Wish

We live in a time (at least it seems to me) where everything has to go or to be better, faster, bigger, greater. No period of apprenticeship is allowed. We need to be ready to take on the world right away.
And if we do not succeed immediately we either blame the others, our bosses, the world, society, the immigrants, our parents (you name it).
But we (usually) never think that, maybe, just maybe, we didn't give "it" enough time.

Well, yes, because, you know, we tend to forget that achiving something takes courage, perseverance and ... time.
Yes, time.
Rome wasn't built in a day kind of time :-)

I decided that February would be the perfect month to get more conscious about ... giving time time.
It takes patience and faith but the results are so totally rewarding :-)
It's worth giving it a try!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Going Back To School

I spent many moments, these last couple of years, thinking about how my life … kind of was missing something. Something I couldn't put a name on. I was happy with my life but … Aah, if it weren't for the frigging BUT. A but I couldn't for the life of me define more specifically. My loving and well-meaning friends often suggested that, maybe, I needed some radical change like a new job or apartment, maybe a new look, a new hairdo? It was kind of them to want to help but it wasn't that.
I was looking for something to add to my life (that I love). I knew that no new job, no new apartment and even less a new hairdo would make my inner "but" go away.
I kept repeating to my (wonderful) friends: I want something in addition to what I already have. Something that makes sense. Something that fits.
But what, they'd ask.
Well, I don't know yet, I used to reply. But I will know when "it" will present itself.

"It" presented itself last autumn. And it made sense. And it fit. It was a "why didn't I think of it earlier?" kind of moment.
[Proof that life is ready when it is and not a minute earlier]

I want to put my language skills to good use. I want to hold lessons/teach classes to adults. In order to do that I first have to go back to school. The course is called "Adult Educator" (Erwachsenenbildner in German) and I'll learn how to teach languages to adults.
Some of you may think: what??? That's it?? Nothing more spectacular?
Well, no, nothing more spectacular. because I'm not looking for a spectacular life. I want an authentic life. One in which I recognize myself.

Therefore, I'll keep my job, my apartment (and my hairdo hahaha) and will hold German, English, French and Italian lessons in addition. There are already a couple of ideas buzzing in my head but first I'll put my time and my energy in my weekly classes to get my diploma (course lasts until mid-July).
I feel energized and happy!
Folks, I am going back to school. Isn't that exciting??

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Good Attitude

January is almost over, can you believe it? And I haven't shared one thought with you all. This start into 2019 has been calm; patience being the key word.
I was waiting for the green light for some classes I decided to take (I will talk about it in my next post) (I've been on the school's list for two months now but the term for applications was only last week hence my waiting).

So, I kept calm ... with a good attitude ... until the go-ahead to the class happened and here I am, writing again ... happy and thankful for this first step of my Plan A for 2019 (Plan B would have been okay as well but, you know, the first idea is always the best!).

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

January Wish

The older I get the more I realize how important it is to start my year gently. The new year will unfold itself anyway ... therefore, no need to try too hard "to get things going" these first couple of days. Go for it (whatever "it" is for you) but do it gently, with grace.
I feel like (and wish for) taking my time and accepting the unexpected.

Well, you know, the year is only 9 days old but it already confronted me with the unexpected.
Small things, good things, but unexpected nevertheless.

Like the time my landlady handed me a free ticket to a concert (Vivaldi's Four Seasons). That evening it was raining and I wasn't really in the mood to go out (you know, the usual haha). In addition, the Four Seasons weren't my first choice but on the other hand why waste a free ticket?
I went and guess what? I ended up enjoying myself very much because, unexpectedly, during the Summer part of the piece, they replaced the first violin with a saxophone player. Wow. Just wow. So cool and so ... unexpected. haha

That was the moment I decided that this would be my monthly wish for this first month of 2019.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Happy 2019!

I can feel it. It's gonna be a wonderful one :-)