Recent Posts

.Being a Mother is So Easy.

Despite near-constant whining about how impossible it is to be a mother, really, it’s simple: you just have to be perfect. No, not like that. Not annoyingly perfect, like a show-off or something. You need to be effortless and self-deprecating in your perfection. Not that self-deprecating—is this…

.Life Lessons Through a Puzzle.

1. Patience is key. 2. Remember to take breaks for self-care. 3. And don’t forget to go to the bathroom. 4. It’s better to make slow progress with the pieces than no progress on the puzzle at all. 5. Accept the pieces the way they…

.Book Thursday – L’art de la Simplicité: How to Live More With Less by Dominique Loreau.

“Simplicity means possessing little, clearing the way for the bare necessities, the quintessence of things. Simplicity is beautiful because it brings hidden joys.”

This beautiful, soulful book expresses what many of us desire, but often can’t achieve: a life of simplicity and beauty. While I have always valued experiences over things, I still seem to have accumulated a lot of things along the way. The older I seem to get, the more valuable the act of paring down seems to be.

This book is inspiring on so many levels. While I was expecting a “rid yourself of the clutter” type of book, it’s so much more. French-born Dominique Loreau has lived for the past 40 years in Japan, where she has adapted many Asian influences on the art of simplicity.

The book is divided into three sections (home, body, and mind) and by far, the most thoughtful section to me is the last one. If the mind is cluttered, everything else is usually cluttered. The ideas behind “Polish Yourself Like a Pebble” really resonated with me. It’s not simplicity for the sake of it, but rather as a gateway to living more aware and more fully, while integrating your home, body, and soul until the whole shines.

There are some ideas that I just couldn’t agree with (e.g., the idea that a person can possess too many books or that it’s not good to read too much) and other things that just seemed weird (e.g., enjoying a snack of pomegranate seeds while watching a movie at home) or very specifically Japanese (e.g., making a facial scrub of azuki beans. Yeah, I’ve got a lot of those hanging around my house). However, most of the concepts presented in L’Art de la Simpicite (why the non-translated French title?) I found to be insightful and aspirational.

Dominique Loreau combines her French culture and upbringing (which seems to be a direct writing style and emphasis on luxury items and rituals) with insights gained from living most of her adult life in Japan (Zen principles and minimalism), this book is–despite the title–more of a minimalist philosophy than it is a how-to guide. As such, here are some of the ideas and takeaways that I think are worth remembering or reflecting upon:

* People want more time, than to “kill time.”
* Each day is a journey, and everything you need along the way must be carried in your bag. Your bag is an extension of you. It spends more time close to you than any item of clothing. Choose it well.
* Most of the time, people are more exhausted by the *thought​* of all they have to do than by what they actually have to get done.
* Save money to work less, not buy more.
* It’s said that women who wear black lead colorful lives.
* Our environment trains our personality and influences the choices we make.
* No one can take better care of your body than you can yourself — not your doctor, your beautician, or your makeup advisor. We are responsible for our own bodies and at fault when we neglect them.
* Life begins anew each day. You are alive today, here and now. Stop believing the person you were yesterday is the person you have to be today.

I found this book to be a beautiful, meditative, aspirational, as well as inspirational guide to leading a more fully internal life by mindfully choosing a less cluttered outside existence.

.Compendium of Weirdness … at the Gynecologist’s.

Going to the gyno is a necessary part of staying on top of your health…but it’s not exactly what I’d call fun. Besides the obvious, “Wow, I really don’t wanna be here,” there are so many things buzzing through my head on a trip to the torture chamber gynecologist’s…

.Book Thursday – The List of My Desires by Grégoire Delacourt.

“Jo and I are happy, I say, my voice unsteady. We’ve had our ups and downs like all couples, but we’ve managed to get over the bad times. We have two lovely children, a pretty little house, friends, we go on holiday twice a year.…

.The Flu My Colleagues At Work Gave Me.

Heeeeeey! What’s uuuuup? It’s me! The flu your colleagues at work gave you. Are you gonna let me in or what? You’re hoping I leave you alone? Impossible because everybody comes to work sick as a dog. Sneezing and coughing around you and I am inside of you. You booked a trip to the zoo this weekend? A show by Ildiko von Kürthy that you already have tickets for? The deposit is nonrefundable? Fuhgeddaboudit my friend! You are not going anywhere!

Listen, I just KO’ed two dozen other co-workers like complimentary chips and dip at Senhor Vinho (this is a Portuguese Restaurant down the road in Vienna btw which you won’t go to for a while), and now I want my entrée, capisce? Vis-à-vis for the next week or so, you are my house. And let me tell you something—Michelangelo had marble. Da Vinci had paint. I have fever, a body rash as red as your local fire truck, vomiting, and diarrhea. And in three days, your GI tract will be my magnum opus.

Even if I wanted to, which I don’t, I’m way too contagious to pass you by. I’ve literally spent a millennia evolving my DNA to inflict maximum carnage on your system. The fact we’re even having this conversation means I’m already prancing through your upper respiratory system, painting the walls with flu.

What I’m saying is the chain reaction has begun. There’s no stopping the shitstorm descending upon your world. Think of me as Franz Ferdinand, the flu.

Not a WWI nerd?

Okay, or picture me as crappy music flu. Write me off as underground, then boom: I’m headlining Rave Parade, encoring my crappy hit “All Who Live at Your Address Are Getting the Flu” on repeat 1.

I infect everyone. And everything. I’ll straight-up give your belongings the flu. I’m talking inanimate objects. Your chair. Your brown shoes. Your favorite T-shirt that always seems to fit just right. All about to come down with a raging case of flu. I out-pizza’ed-the-hut (I have a thing for food and restaurants) and gave it the flu.

To be clear, you’re a rich kid, and I’m the Bahamas bonfire spreading out of control throughout the entire island. This is the place your parents always take you on their private plane. And all your friends. Daddy can’t stop this flu.

It would take an act of God, whom I infected with flu, by the way, to keep me away from you. The laws of physics would have to be rewritten. The theory of relativity would be null and void. The universe as we know it would have to be altered for you to get through this week without catching me.

Get the picture?

Look, I’ll be real with you: I get no joy from seeing your family watch you suffer in such explicit and demeaning ways.

I’m kidding. That exact scenario brings me joy. SOOOOOO much joy.

Aw, don’t look so down. You and I, we’re gonna have fun. You’ll see. When was the last time you suffered vivid and utterly terrifying fever dreams? Some people pay good money to hallucinate like that.

Think of it this way. This one colleague at work gave me to you (you know the one who sneezed and blew his nose constantly? Yeah, this one. I think his name is Ralph). I show you the fragility of your mortality by keeping you nude on the bathroom floor, cycling between fits of indescribable humilities; you tell your God he has forsaken you.

Because make no mistake, for the next few days, I am your God.

.Book Thursday.

‘Unless I’m cured, normal people will expurgate me.’ Sayaka Murata’s novel Convenience Store Woman is a darkly comic look at the life of a 36-year-old woman working in a convenience store and the many ways she is looked down upon by ‘normal society’. Having surpassed a…

.Signs You Should Give up on a Book.

You may know by now that I love to read. There are so many good books out there and time is limited to read them all. Every day thousands of new books get published. So what can you do? Usually, I will give a book…

.Book Thursday.

Psychologie interessiert mich brennend. Ich liebe es mein Wissen zu erweitern denn nach oben gibts es keine Grenzen. Das Buch welches ich heute rezensieren möchte ist von Sandra Konrad und heisst “Nicht ohne meine Eltern”. In diesem Buch findet der Leser heraus wie gesunde Ablösung all unsere Beziehungen verbessert – auch die zu unseren Eltern.

Um was es genau geht:

Gesunde Bindungen durch gesunde Ablösung?

Das Verhältnis zu den eigenen Eltern ist nicht immer leicht. Manchmal ist es das genaue Gegenteil. Vorbelastet, schmerzend und vielleicht sogar gefährlich.

Dennoch ist die Ablösung von den eigenen Eltern oft nicht einfach. Warum sie aber unglaublich wichtig ist und auf welche Arten wir und unsere Beziehungen davon profitieren können, zeigt Konrad in ihrem Buch ›Nicht ohne meine Eltern‹.

Vor allem aber berichtet Konrad, wie gesunde Ablösung überhaupt funktionieren kann, in welchen Schritte diese erfolgen kann und was dabei hilft. Dabei setzt sie sich unter anderem mit Schuld und Schuldgefühlen, kindlichen Erwartungen, psychischen Erkrankungen und Geschwisterkonflikten auseinander.

»Es erklärt, wie der Grad unserer Ablösung unser ganzes (Beziehungs-)Leben beeinflusst. Vor allem zeigt es Wege aus der Verstrickung. Es stellt Ihre persönliche Entwicklung in den Vordergrund, ohne Ihre Familie in ein schlechtes Licht zu rücken.«

›Nicht ohne meine Eltern‹ will durch eine gesunde Ablösung helfen, Frieden zu finden und eigene Beziehungen zu gestalten. Dafür geht das Buch auch der Frage nach, ob man seinen Eltern verzeihen muss und untersucht unterschiedliche Rollen. Auch Selbstfürsorge spielt für Konrad eine zentrale Rolle.
Konrads Buch ist kein Anti-Eltern-Buch. Es geht nicht darum, Menschen für ihre Fehler zu verdammen, sondern zu schauen, wo mehr Ablösung notwendig ist und wie sie auf gesunde Weise gelingen kann. Ablösung muss nicht den Kontaktabbruch bedeuten. Dass die Eltern-Kind-Beziehung sogar an der Ablösung wachsen kann, zeigt Konrad vielfach.

»Ich spreche von wachsender Selbstständigkeit, von altersgemäßer Unabhängigkeit, von der Fähigkeit, eigene, selbstbewusste Entscheidungen zu treffen, kurz: das eigene Leben zu leben. Das eigene Leben zu leben – nicht jedem gelingt dies.«

›Nicht ohne meine Eltern‹ ist sensibel und klar geschrieben. Konrad ist eine gute Beobachterin der verschiedenen Eltern-Kind-Beziehungen und der Probleme und Herausforderungen, die daraus erwachsen.
Im Regelfall ist die Eltern-Kind-Beziehung die erste Bindung, die den Menschen wirklich prägt. Es überrascht nicht, dass damit allerlei Hürden verbunden sind und dass die Konsequenzen sehr weitreichend sein können, wenn es hierbei zu Problemen kommt.

»Abschied von den Eltern zu nehmen bedeutet, sich von elterlichen Erwartungen und Aufträgen zu lösen. Sich von ihrer Zustimmung so weit unabhängig zu machen, dass eigenständige Schritte überhaupt möglich werden. Was sich so sinnvoll und einfach anhört, ruft in vielen Familien Konflikte hervor.«

›Nicht ohne meine Eltern‹ ist für mich ein wunderbares und tief gehendes Buch über die Ablösung von den Eltern. Ich habe lange an diesem Buch gelesen oder eher damit gearbeitet – nicht wegen des Umfangs, sondern weil ich vieles erst einmal sacken lassen wollte. Vermutlich werde ich es zu gegebener Zeit noch einmal lesen, um so viel wie möglich aus diesem Buch mitzunehmen. Sehr viele Passagen wurden unterstrichen, annotiert und hervorgehoben um auf diese nochmals schneller zurückgreifen zu können.

Dieses Buch fasst wunderbar zusammen, welchen Anteil ein Kind und ein Elternteil an Ablösung haben kann. Besonders gut fand ich all die Beispiele. Diese regen zum reflektieren und nachdenken an.

Fazit: Hilfreich und inspirierend für die eigene, gesunde Ablösung – nicht nur von den Eltern.

.Emails From My Dentist that Would Actually Make me Schedule an Appointment.

I hate going to the dentist. Hate it! With a passion! And I am always scared and avoid appointments like the plague. There were times when I was in so much pain but I still didn’t go. Every thought of going to a dentist’s office…

Follow by Email