About the other mothers.

“Parenting is the easiest thing in the world to have an opinion about, but the hardest thing to do.” – Matt Walsh

Oh parenting is such sweet sorrow. Intentionally I wanted to go to bed early today but what can I say. I had a cup of coffee too late today and am all antsy now. So here I am writing what is on my mind. ha! Scary! I just checked on my son if he is not getting too cold in his room. I put the fan directly on him because it is just so freaking hot outside. I do not want him to get too cold at night. Little things like that. Today I just thought about other mothers. I saw too many not to think about them at this point. Many other mothers I just find annoying and upsetting I have to say. I just try to understand how they can be so mean to one another. I mean c’mon, we are all in the same boat. The other day we were out and about but stopped at a health food store. I found this free magazine “Fairfield Parents” and there was one questions they discussed: “Can mothers who use the cry-it-out method be friends with mother’s use the attachment parenting method?” There were just so many crazy responses in the comment section of this article that it made me throw up. Basically the attachment-parenting mom’s said they CANNOT under ANY circumstances be friends with the cry-it -out moms. It is just barbaric to let the kid cry blablabla child abuse etc.

I mean I can just go on and on with this. I have “friends” who sign their 3 months old babies up for a violin class. WTF? And when I question it they look at me like “WHAT, you are not giving your child the chance to discover if they love this?” Yeah…. I guess when the child is  three months old he can play the violin. He does not even know where his nose is. 🙂

The other day someone asked me if I have a picture of my son in my wallet. Well, no, I do not. I do not have 1000 pictures in my phone either. I have a couple. What it all boils down to is that I do most things differently than other women with regards to parenting and I simply refuse to change it or apologize for it. This is just me doing my thing with my son.

In the beginning I really let it get to me however. That I did not use cloth diapers but disposable diapers, that I had my son vaccinated against everything and anything and that my mom helped me out all the time in the beginning. And when he started eating I gave him the pre-made food from the store sometimes instead of home-cooking all the time. But we traveled so much that it was easier but no one cared about that. They judged me. How can you NOT cook for him EVERY DAY?  And the worst again was, that I let him cry sometimes for half an hour before I picked him up.

Throughout my pregnancy I did everything right according to others and the books. I did not touch raw meat, camembert, alcohol, drugs etc. All I did was waiting for this baby. I wanted this baby more than anything else.  Besides that I worried, longed, loved and analyzed. What else would you do if you are German? This is simply who I am. I am imperfect and I like myself. I love myself. And so does my husband. Jackpot! 🙂

I am just wondering why so many parents think that there is only one way to get out of this parenting thing with a well loved and adjusted kid? Who decided that you have to start being some sort of exhausted, selfless perfect person as soon as you conceive this baby? I am just wondering sometimes.

People should  just broaden their pea-brained perception of things and let others live their life with whatever flaws they have. And everyone has some flaws – nobody is perfect. I love Augusten Burroughs. He is just a great author who said, “I like flaws and feel more comfortable around people who have them. I myself amide entirely of flaws, sticking together with good intentions.”

And I love imperfect normal mothers. (Hello Diana!) My husband has taken me to the train station (5 minutes driving) in the morning and left the baby at home  while he was sleeping? Is this okay for you?  Then you are “My kinda mom and I love you!” 😀

Before I had my son I did not know all these things about myself. I actually almost knew nothing about myself. I did not know that I enjoyed to rock my son to sleep in a chair after a while or carrying him around for hours when he was a newborn. Or that it is the best thing ever if they make a poop. These little things once you have a baby … nothing else really matters.

I have heard it before that it is the hardest thing ever to raise a child or that it is tough, but I never got the meaning of it until I had my son. It is a full-time job. Sometimes there is just this fine line. I have given all I can give the entire day. I loved him, played with him, fed him, give to him, give to him for the rest of his life. But I just cannot forget myself throughout this process. Then everyone is okay and balanced.

All I want to say here is: YOU are a good mother and so am I. We do the best for our babies, the best to make them as comfortable as possible and give them everything within our means. Sometimes we are just different as are our families, our lives, and our children. Sometimes love just sounds and looks different.

Thank you for reading .

My family and sharing details with the online community

I started this blog a while ago and have been thinking a lot about what I share publicly and what not when it comes to my family lately. Blogging has become a part of my daily life now. I am planning my next blogs, writing things down as they pop up in my mind, working on my actual blog to make it look nicer and believe me all this takes a lot of time. And as my readership grows it is even more of a pleasure to do what I really love the most – writing.

During the day I have to take care of my son and I just do not have the time to really sit and get things done. I have to wait until he sleeps at night or I work early in the morning. Of course I have some time whenever my husband is around to play and entertain him; however, mostly he is with me.

These days I am thinking about my son and how he grows up so fast and how he will be able at some point in his life to look back at all these articles I have written and see all these photos of him in my little online place here; all these thoughts and stories about our life. I also think what I post about my husband – what I can share and what not.

I am always aware what I post here – when it comes to actual writing or pictures. Just nothing weird or embarrassing or strange stories or inappropriate photos – neither about my husband nor my son obviously. I have seen blogs for example that show how babies are potty-trained all naked and stuff. I mean c’mon! Whatever makes anybody happy, right?! But for me there are just boundaries and things like that are just not okay for me. With my husband it is simple. He is usually proof-reading all my posts and is my best critic. But my son has really no say in all of this. He cannot say yet if he would like these picture of himself  displayed online on my blog. Maybe he will get upset at some point when he is older and reads what I have written about him so far?! Maybe he will have a different level of what’s comfortable for him?

I have always had a diary of some sort and have written things down. However, my generation is really the first to do online documenting this way. When I was in high school there was no Instagram, Facebook or online blogging. Makes me sound old for some reason. 🙂

I am figuring all this out as I go along. When I first started I had no idea what I was doing here at all. I could not even share a link. When it comes to computer stuff and technology I would say I am little “slow”. (ahem… Hello Thomas and Alex from WP Engine!) ha!

So I have been thinking about having my life, or part of my life online here, all on display for everybody to read seems sometimes weird. I do not know most of my readers personally and I guess I worry too much at points. (German!) Well, sometimes I even question the whole blogging thing. Like what happens if I have nothing to say anymore? Or am I not good enough? Or is all this even dumb or pointless to have an online blog? I could just keep a diary for myself as I used to when I grew up, no? Why do I have this feeling that I want to share my life with you out there? Then, the other day there was one email that popped up from a reader telling me that he really likes what I write about  and that he can connect with what I have to say and that it makes sense to him. So just for this one reader it all made sense and it makes me feel okay again. Simple as that.

Lately these topics just came up with bloggers writing about their family, especially kids and it just made me wonder and ask myself how my son would feel about all this because he cannot tell me yet. Am I protecting my family enough by sharing certain things and do I make anybody feel uncomfortable in the long-run? I try to keep as much privacy as possible – being respectful and careful about his little voice and keeping in mind that this is my family I write about at all times.

My husband tells me he loves my blog. For my son I hope that one day when he will be older he will love going back to this blog to read all the articles I put about him or his dad. I just hope he will love it as much as I love writing about it all.

What is your take on this topic? How do you balance it all out and where are your boundaries?

Thank you for reading. <3

 

On Assuming.

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“Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts.”  – Buddha

So, my husband and I had this discussion after dinner tonight. I needed to print something and he said the printer is not working and he will take a look at it. I said: “Okay, I bring the baby to bed and then I would like to print something later”. When I came back down he sat in the kitchen and  I asked him if I can print. He said: “You can print as much as you want!” (not raising his tone or anything like it). I assumed he was sarcastic and angry for whatever reason because the way I simply perceived it. To me it sounded and felt sarcastic. We had an argument about it for half an hour. He said he was not angry, mad or sarcastic at all. 

What I did was I created in a couple of seconds several versions on how he meant what he just said. Is he angry? Bored? Does he think I am stupid for asking this question? My mind simply traveled from one scenario to the next and I started to feel anger. Almost like this little voice inside me said that I am doing it again. I am making up stories in my head. My imagination is just crazy sometimes. (Hello, Jean!) I mean we all do create stories but some of them make my life really miserable for  no reason.

I am certainly not a pro if I write posts on “change”, “self-acceptance” or “balance” for example. I am writing about these things because either I am struggling with them or I am working to improve myself through writing these things down and applying them on a daily basis. I have to say that I am a pro in assuming the worst usually all the time. It is just ridiculous sometimes. There were many times when I assumed a friend just hates me and ignored me on purpose and did not call or write back until I realized that I did send the email to the wrong person. Instantly assuming the worst.

Or I look at people and if they do not fit in a certain category that I feel comfortable with I assume they will hurt me, steal from me and assault me or even rape and kill me. All this particular person wanted from me that time was to know the way to the next pharmacy.

There are even times in my life when everything was falling into place just perfectly fine and instead of being happy and enjoying the moment I assumed and wondered what will happen next because life can’t just be that perfect. Something has to happen, no? I bought this book to get an idea how the unconscious or subconscious mind works. All the stories in our heads have been somewhat programmed since the moment of conception according to the book. I just started reading it so I do not get all technical here on how the brain works ha! It just matters that we do make our own reality.  We basically do not know if the mind is playing tricks or if we judge correctly. Simple as that. Damn… I thought there was a different answer. Something easier!

So this is what I am working on these days. Again, I am not a professional in these things. Far from it. I just try to have uplifting thoughts. I try to  figure out why I have these negative thought right in the moment they pop up. Then I question the validity and the origin of the thought. I work on replacing negative stories with positive ones. So the guy who approached me and looked like a homeless person had good intentions. I do not assume right away he is going to kill me. The key for me is to associate with positive people. And even though my husband is the most positive person I know – sometimes I still assume things. Yes, I am weird – but human. Nobody is perfect. If anybody in my life is trying to feed negative thoughts to my mind I just send them away or I leave. I have no time for negative people. I have enough work to do with my own self.

I know that I have to stop assuming things, especially when it comes to the people who love me and are very important in my life. It takes practice and a lot of attention. I read a quote once but forgot who said it. Here it is: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

On Martinique

“If traveling was for free, you would never see me again”. – David Wolfe. 

I love to travel. Always have – always will.  On July 11st my son and I flew to Paris to meet my husband and his daughter Emma to enjoy this great adventure of Martinique, U.S.A. and Canada in approximately 8 weeks. I was excited but also a little worried and sad. I would leave my parents behind with whom I stayed for 1 1/2 years. Leave this comfort and sort of being protected to go on with my own life. It was weird but I hopped on the plane. I am still very thankful that my parents did not have to take me to the airport but my good friend Alex from next door. This made things easier for sure.

So my son and I flew to Paris. Business class (even though it was only 1 1/2 hours flight but still). The food was great:

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One day before my birthday. Awesomeness! We all met at the airport and headed to our hotel next. Checked in, rented a car and had dinner at this place:

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So what would my birthday have been like without checking out the Eiffel Tower? It is just amazing to be right below it and look up. I love Paris. I simply cannot get enough of this city.

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The next day was my 34th birthday and I spent it mostly on the plane which was fine because we flew to Martinique. I knew by the end of the day and after an eight hour flight I will be in the ocean and swim that same day. My son is not two years old yet so he does not need a seat his own seat. Good for our wallets but not good for our legs. He sat mostly on mine unfortunately because he was very cranky and tired and just needed some mommy. We were all glad when we finally landed.

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It was very warm and humid at first but not uncomfortable. Especially not after the cab driver took us to our resort/bungalow in Anse a l’Ane  which is part of trios ilets and we literally changed into our bathing suits and ran to the beach. We haven’t been there too long when my husband decided to take a swim to where the boats were located. It was pretty far out there but he did it because he knew that one of the boats belonged to his sister and her husband. And he said: “They are all on this boat!” (His two sisters, and brother plus the sister’s husband and their daughter)

The boat is just awesome. We all loved it. My son was in paradise with all the buttons, strings and water.  It was some sort of a family reunion which was somewhat planned but nevertheless one of the best experiences I have ever had. All this happiness to see everybody again.

We all stayed in Martinique for three weeks – intentionally we wanted to stay for two weeks but we loved it too much. 🙂 It was one of the best vacations I have ever had in my life – hands down. The weather was perfect, company was perfect, my son had a blast at the beach and even went into the water after only one week. Initially he was very scared of the water for whatever reason but then my husband started to built sandcastles close to the water so he got more and more comfortable to go in and play in the water.

Just a quick reminder how our day looked: We got up pretty early for us (7-8am!!!) and usually went for a swim in the ocean. Classic! Then came back to have some breakfast. Usually some local fruit:

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This here is Guava and Dragon Fruit which was so yummy. We also had coconut water almost daily (freshly made and sold at little stands on the side of the road!), mangoes (so sweet and delicious), bananas (they tasted different than the regular bananas so my son did not want to eat any at all and he usually has ONE for breakfast, weird son!) My favorite was by far: Maracuja!!!! This fruit is just so delicious!!! I have never had it before but every time I ate it I felt like a million bucks. 😀

This is how Maracujas looks:

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You like to go there as well now? Here are just some more things we have done throughout the vacation that might make you actually buy the ticket right now. My top five:

  1. Les Salines Beach

This beach was the most awesome beach we have been to on the trip. (see title picture). It is the longest beach on Martinique and has very calm, clear blue water and sandy beach. All the little food vendors that came by give you the option to chose some local food as well. We had some coconut ice-cream with cinnamon and lime sold by an elderly woman. The whole experience was just amazing. No preservatives added :). So this beach is just a nice place to spend the day. In a hammock if you wish. You are surrounded by palm trees.

 2. Habitation Clement/Clement House

I do not like rum. I am usually a wine-person. Hello! Married to a Frenchi! However, I made an exception here and had some rum – rum in Martinique is just the real deal. The Clement house is a restored rum distillery and sugar plantation. How they restored the grounds and the old Creole house is just astounding. All the painting on the walls, the porcelain and silver and in every room of course one glass of rum poured on display. I love books and this house was full of them and old telephones and typewriters. Everything in excellent conditions which gives you a great idea how life was back then in a sugar plantation. We did the audio guided tour and all thought it was truly amazing. Rum tasting at the end 😉

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3. Rocher du Diamant/ Diamond Rock and Grand Riviere

We rented a car to just be independent and we enjoy road trips. We started early in the morning and headed to the Diamond Rock. It is an island south of Fort-de-France and the main port of the Caribbean island of Martinique. It is famous because of the reflections of its sides cast during a certain time of the day. It is also very famous for its role in the Napoleonic War.  It was truly breathtaking and we have not even been on the island. We continued our road trip all the way up north to Grand Riviere. There, we had lunch at Tante Arlette which serves the best Lambi I have ever had on this vacation.

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(photo credit Joel Henry)

4. Musee de la Pagerie 

This museum was a former sugar estate and the birthplace of Marie Joseph Rose Tascher de la Pager, the future Empress Josephine. (I did some research prior to our visit on wikipedia and google about her). We went on a guided tour that lasted approximately one hour. There is not much to see anymore because a lot had been destroyed but the guide told as plenty about the history of this place. (In french… mmmm so I bothered my husband with all the details I did not get). The formerly family kitchen has been turned into a museum that describes Josephine’s childhood – her bed, many letters to Napoleon as well as some of her clothing. Across the street there are the ruins of the old mill that you can access for free which we also did. We had Joel in a Child Carrier the entire time which was great.

5. Pottery Center

This is a great place if you are looking for something local or souvenirs to bring back home or to eat some awesome food in one of their restaurant. In one store they sell their hand made soap and it just smells so good in there. Of course I bought some. There are many shops to buy pottery (hence the name) so you can go all crazy. In one of the jewelry stores my husband bought me a ring that my son lost in the car. (yes, I gave it to him to play with….) And there is one store with local spices so we got ourselves a bunch.

These are just my top five of the trip but we did so much more. However, because my husband’s sister Evelyne and her husband live in Martinique they showed us the real deal. We attended her birthday party with the most awesome local food. Evelyne is crazy into sports for a long time. She is giving sightseeing and hiking – diving and snorkeling tours in Martinique. So she proposed one day to pick us up early in the morning to show us the nicest spots and the best views. So with our baby carrier as mentioned early we all left at 9am. She had all the equipment needed for a trip like this (nordic walking poles, backpack with water supply through a tube etc.). So I have to say the trip was tough but insane-reaching-my-limits-awesome. We ended up at Anse Noir – a beach with black sand. There we had lunch that she brought. Sandwich with sliced spicy cucumbers, carrots and a cod fish vegetable salad on a baguette. It tasted like heaven, especially the workout we had done previously.

Fort-de-France is also a great place to visit. Nice city to spend a morning or late afternoon because it was very hot when we were there at noon. Visit the local market there for spices and local food. There is a plethora of clothing stores if you want to go crazy in that direction. Having had a taste of what the local food cuisine had to offer: DO try Acras crevette (or any other type of Accra – they serve it as an appetizer and it is perfect with your rum), Labmis and Chatrou!

Thank you for reading.

 

 

Health is The Most Important Thing We Have

Hello! 

“Health is not valued till sickness comes.”  – Thomas Fuller

This is the music I am listing to while writing this. I am in love with it ever since my husband listened to it in the car on our way to Canada. My days are filled with change – constant change. Even though it is better now that I am in Germany, but the future is uncertain. The future is mostly uncertain – but with my family these days it is different.  We do not come home at night and have dinner together, let’s say. However, we all do have to keep in mind that no matter how awesome a plan for the future may look – it could all change in one second. We do hear stories of someone going to the doctor for a routine check-up and leaves with the most horrible news. 

I would consider my lifestyle as healthy. I could exercise more of course – I could eat healthier, but guess what? I feel okay this way.  I believe that being healthy is just tied into everything else. I am writing about this because I try to stay positive and focus on solely on my husband since he told me he is not feeling well. Currently, he is working in Kinshasa/Congo for the United Nations. Previously, he worked in Bamako and Gao/Mali. Yep, crazy, I know. Jokingly, upon his departure, we gave each other “the promise” that we won’t let anything happen to us while we are apart. He did not feel 100% himself since Mali actually, but just carried on – he is very strong. How long can you “go on”? Only to a certain extend. At some point, the body tells you to stop and slow down. Last year in July I was a little worried how he looked when he picked us up at the airport in Paris. Not scared or anything – just surprised that he looked pale and just not the way I remembered him. I know my husband and when he admits not feeling well, he really must feel horrible. 

To know that he is there and I am here has given me a whole new outlook on life. I have so much time to think and sit and miss him, you know. It is so different to have a relationship like mine. If your partner would be home in the afternoon every day and you could make him a hot soup and a cup of tea if he is not feeling well seems is just not possible for us these days. I think that we do put so much importance in useless stuff or worry about things we cannot change. I close my eyes for a bit and my husband’s face pop’s up. We are indeed very close – even though we are so many miles apart. He really is my best friend and I want him to feel good. I want him to be healthy. I am able to talk and share things with him for so long now and we created this special bond that I don’t want to miss anymore. He is dealing with my bitching (Hello, I am a woman!) sometimes and did not lose his mind yet. Isn’t it sad that we only really wake up, once something bad happens? Do we only pay attention to the love around us when times get rough? To realize that health and family are so important is key. Also, all this negativity is a waste of time and pointless. I keep in mind to treat every days as it would be my last. And my husband will be fine. I know he will! 

Je t’aime mon amour.

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Thank you for reading my blog. 

On motivation

How do I motivate myself to consistently write? To just sit here every evening and type along? Simply – because I love it. It makes me happy. This is my creative outlet. My portal to share how I feel and think. I have to admit I have a limited time. During the day I just have no peace to write when my son needs to be entertained and wants some Mama time. So once he is in bed, this is the time I have for myself. Then I decide what I do. Tonight I watched  a movie with my husband just because I want to spend as much time possible with him until he leaves for his mission. Sniff!

And I have to admit it is easier to stay on this couch and being comfortable and keep on watching movies with him.  Or just lots of different easier things than writing that I could do with my limited time. So I have been thinking that I had so much more time to do anything before I had my son. I went to the gym whenever I wanted and stayed out for as long as I wanted. And I wrote for as long as I wanted whenever I wanted. Things have changed slightly; however, I know that for me to be the best mom ever I have to take care of myself. To motivate myself to carve out some time in my day to better my body, mind and spirit. Once I do my Yoga I feel better, happier and healthy and it just makes me feel good. I just want to be a good example for my son and I really think this is my responsibly and what it all comes down to. For him to be healthy there have to be healthy role models in his life I believe. All I want is to see him grow up healthy and live a long life – and maybe even be a grandparent too one day.

For myself I hope to live my life full of travel and activity and I want to go to bed at night and know that I just got the most out of every day – that I just did everything to be a good person, positive (mostly, yes, I know Jean). I know I can change the climate in this house in a second. If I am not happy nobody is. Sad, but true. I am working on this. I know that my son even feels that I am in a bad mood and he is not even two years old. Sometimes it is just a good thing to motivate myself to do something just for myself and treat myself. And everybody knows these excuses that one comes up with: I will do this tomorrow, I will go tomorrow, It is not really important so I do it tomorrow so I just sit in front of the computer checking Facebook updates for several hours.

I have realized that all this is some sort of snowball effect. If I postpone something until tomorrow the cycle just continues for some reason. It just goes on and on. So I just do what I have to do on a daily basis. I write my post on a daily basis. I do my Yoga and Meditations on a daily basis. This makes me feel good and happy. Simple as that.

This can be applied to everything and anything in life – just get up and do it. Do not waste time. As I have mentioned many times before we only have this one life. You are the only one who can make this choice of change for yourself and always keep in mind “why wouldn’t you”? I think I deserve to be happy and be the best I can be and also deserve to treat myself to a little alone time during the day to clear my mind and head and to focus again. Also to exercise my body through mediation and yoga and my mind through writing. I remember I even took the stroller with my son when he was still tiny and walked for literally two hours a day – sometimes three- I worked out and he was sleeping and breathing in the fresh air. It was awesome. I just took the stroller and went. The journey is the key – not the destination! 🙂

 

 

On balance

“What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter – a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.” – Henri Matisse

What is balance? Balancing things out in life…. I have been thinking about it for a long time. Especially today and I realized that things can be balanced but there will never be a routine of some sort. One phone call from someone and everything in your life can change. I talked to my father today via Skype. My grandfather is in hospital since yesterday and I do not know if he is making it out alive. He is almost 86 years old. Wow, if I will ever be that old? If I will ever make it that far? Hearing this I realize again that I have to balance out my life. That I cannot go to crazy in either direction. Life can change or be over so soon. There is not need to stress too much.

I know I have responsibilities in life and I know there are expectations from others that I live my life a certain way. Well, I just cannot balance this all out anymore. Life has changed. My life is a constant change and I love it the way it is. Others might think it is crazy and that there is no “routine” but it is okay with me. I am working on not feeling too bad about leaving my family behind  in Germany and not having enough personal time with them that I can spend anymore. This hurts me so much still. I lived with my parents for almost two years with my son and now things changed. My son and I are back in the U.S. and waiting for the next change. The Congo-change.

Life changes constantly and you never know if you even wake up the next morning. I just have to do what makes me happy.  If I am 100% into something it is hard for me not to give 100%. I like to do things how I envision them. When life throws you a curveball you have to change – your expectations need to change. Even your life has to change sometimes. I just do not like to run around with this sense of guilt all the time that I haven’t done something, haven’t called someone, haven’t done something according to someone’s expectations. My life is not perfect. Far from it. Life will get busier and busier and I will have to adapt and change – my perspective has to change.

No matter what anybody tells me, I know one things for sure. I know for sure that  I go to bed at night with this feeling that I was present as a good wife and mother. Even though there are points when my husband and I argue (mostly because of me I have to admit) but I know I am doing a good job and I am balanced. When I make mistakes I am aware that I can change the situation by improving so my family which is my biggest priority in life never gets pushed aside or down any ladders. I also know that I have to live up to MY expectations and nobody else’s. Everybody lives their own life. And to realize this just feels good. I realize that this is helping me fixing my feelings of being so un-balanced at times. I simply realize that I have a priority list for MY life and some things are higher up there and nobody needs to worry about those things but I!

With me stressing sometimes about all kind of things I have to just balance things and chill. Being married to a Frenchi it should be all clear. I mean, all the French people I met so far are so laid back and stress-free it is amazing. When my husband is having his coffee and breakfast in the morning he can just chill, sit, and relax. I on the other hand try to find a cure for AIDS and split an atom. Trying to do everything at the same time, stressing – because this is embedded in my mind. Why? Because this is how I have been raised. Always worrying about everything and stressing. I try to please something, someone, balance things out to simply please. I have to realize that if I cannot finish something there is always tomorrow. Simple as that. Many times life is just difficult and things do not get done on time. But it is all okay. I always try to remember that I only have this ONE shot on life.

To realize this and apply it on a daily basis – tough but manageable with time.

 

 

 

On being in the present.

Yes, I signed up on Pinterest. I refused to for the longest time but finally got hooked. These apps on the iPhone, I am telling you. My step-daughter Emma showed me the “Snapshot-app” for the iPhone today. Man oh man!

Could this quote on the piece of paper above be more right on? I found it on yep, Pinterest and wanted to share it here because I really love it. It is just a simple reminder to be in the now – to be in the present. We all have made bad choices in life. I mean, this is why life is life. Hopefully we learn from our mistakes. However, I am working on not believing that these – let’s say missteps were bad choices I have made. They have not ruined anything or stopped my progress at all. They haven’t even slowed things down. We are all in this journey called life. All these experiences are just part of an open-ended journey. This journey is just huge and awesome and full of good stuff.

Many times thoughts came up that I regret certain things in my past. This mantra “do not have any regrets” is sure great but if you really think about it, in reality it is not always that simple and easy to do. But looking at my life now, right now, the way it is – well, here i am now. Right here. Right now! And of course I would not be right here with all I have without my past and my experiences. All incidences in my life – good or bad led me to today and I love where I am now. In a way I have to thank all of those sad, bad times that were just part of my trip. So thank you bad relationships in the past. Somehow you made me realize that there are good guys out there and that there is something very special if you find the “one”. Simply, if I do not value myself, no one will. I have just no time for garbage anymore. Life is too short.

I also want to thank an ex-friend. This person ruined many good memories and I just realize that once someone says “they are there for you” and when shit hits the fan and you see their true face and they are busy – it hurts. But I learn. I live and learn right?!

Thank you previous job that you sucked so badly at points that I started looking for something new. Thank you past city that this constant need of rushing around and noise made me look for something else and made me enjoy quiet and solitude again.

It is all good. I am grateful for all these memories and times. This is all a path, a road or map if you will that leads me to somewhere else. I do have this main idea where it will takes me next but who knows. Things can change so quickly. I always try to remember all the work I have done to get me where I am now. To just accept this and appreciate life the way it is now is just priceless. Always remember, things can change in a heartbeat and cursing the past only tarnishes the future.

<3

 

 

On Memories.

“Sometimes the best memories are sad because you know they will never happen again.” – Unknown. 

Today was a good day but at the same time it made me a little sad. Sad because of many memories that came up that are very special to me. I was at my workplace today and met a lot of my former colleagues and friends and I realized, since I am gone, things will never be the same again. When I used to work there on a daily basis I was miserable many times. Angry, upset, tired… you name it. Now I have gotten some distance from it all and I miss certain moments. Certain memories, like how the coffee tasted in the little cafe where I used to smoke my cigarettes. (I am not smoking anymore for almost four years but still… these memories you know!) Today I had a cup of coffee at work and simply the taste of it brought back a ton of memories.

It is weird sometimes and my husband clearly states: “Whatever is in the past is in the past. You cannot re-live it.” This is certainly true but I am getting sad remembering all the good times. And usually this is all you really remember right? All the bad stuff just vanishes. I can still remember the beginning of my career. This nervous anticipation during those classroom weeks of introductions and lessons. The work itself afterwards, the long hours of standing sometimes. But you know what? I only remember the good stuff. Not the pain in my legs! Not the hours of waiting in the car sometimes.

Today we walked around New York and we visited many places where I have been with my husband. The beginnings, the long talks at this particular sushi place. The long walks through Manhattan with a camera and just taking pictures – stopping once in a while for something to eat or to discover a new bookstore. All these memories came back today. His touch on my arm when I was too close to the street to just make sure nothing happens to me while the cap driver is driving like a nut almost hitting me and cursing at me afterwards. Hello, this is New York. This was the beginning of our relationship and it was awesome. Even as we say, the smoking and muffin breaks “behind the tent” (insiders are great for those who know ha!)

Everything is so fresh in my mind again since today. Since we have visited many of these places together with our son. I walked by where we used to live, seeing the windows that are still from the 17th century and have never been replaced. When we sat in our living room freezing and curled up in blankets in the wintertime. Now it all seems too good to be true – everything was falling slowly into place somehow. Our marriage, the pregnancy, the house we moved into after we figured out that our old place is just too small for the three of us. Me trying to relax when I was so so nervous and was constantly worrying about everything. (I guess this is a German thing ?)

All the trips we have done together, the long road trips that were so awesome talking for hours in the car. All this seems so long ago and it feels strange in a way to go back to the beginning of us. It will be already four years this year that we are together and parts of it seemed so distant.  There are so many details since today I can remember again in such crips detail.

We walked through the garage at work when we parked our car and I clearly remember losing my scarf that one morning when I was late for work and my husband picked it up running after me because he was late himself. Weird coincidences that are impossible to plan out. I even remember what he was wearing. And immediately I remember his crazy alarm clock sound when we woke up for work in the morning – falling out of bed because it was so annoyingly loud. Me getting up making coffee getting ready for work walking across the stress but still having our little philosophy breakfasts at home.

I also remember the night when Jean asked me to marry him, the food we had before and the restaurant. The way the stars shined brightly and it was just an awesome night. And when we drove to his little apartment after. I remember the long hours of talking and drinking wine in our “wine lounge”. The cigarettes we smoked outside and all these little things making every evening special with awesome stories getting to know each other more. In my relationship there is just so much togetherness – all these vacations and tips and the good talk. I know that life has a distinct marker; there is a before and an after and for me it is just amazing to think about everywhere we have been and to imagine everywhere we are going.

Today I realized again that memories are just funny things that shift, adapt and change over time. I know I cannot turn back time. Things will never be the same anymore. Sushi Time will not be the same anymore. Whatever we want to keep we keep and all the rest – all these small segments of our days dissipate into some sort of fog and eventually we do forget them. I am holding on tight to the things I do want to remember. Like today, waking around and meeting all these people that I shared so much with – I try to capture it all.

And today, walking the streets of Manhattan it took me all the way back to the beginning. My beginning with this city I love and hate at the same time. Me arriving here with my two suitcases creating this life for myself. Good times, bad times – this sweet melancholy of past memories I had today.

Let the adventure continue. Congo next.

 

 

 

 

On Consistency

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle 

Do I need consistency in my life? For me, when it comes to doing anything new, anything out of the ordinary it is all about creating habits. Usually it is something healthier than what my everyday norm is. It is hard to do anything consistently without setting any type of habit but then again it is hard to make anything a habit without actually doing it consistently. Weird? Like the old egg before the chicken and chicken before the egg debate I guess. So what worked for me so far is that the only way to make anything in my life a habit is to just start doing it, jumping right into it and start doing it consistently. But then for whatever reason I used to take “breaks” from being consistent.

Running/Sports and me is a pretty good example. Running/Jogging is all about consistency really. Like with any type of sport, once you are consistently doing it you improve. Simple as that. So I practices running every single day throughout my police career. I tried my hardest and I tried keeping it like that and all this was for a good reason. I loved it. I changed the way I ate, ran ever single day and of course improved. All I wanted was to run the big Marathon in Berlin. I truly loved my practice. As soon as school was over I put on my running shoes and I was out of the door. But then I let up on the consistency a little which totally screwed things up. For instance, friends invited me to party with them or hang out with them after work. It was raining after class or cold, snowing … blah blah excuses so I ended up only practicing  once or twice a week. This is really great still and many would say this is better than nothing. But I missed so many days in between when I usually practices and I felt it became easier and easier to talk myself out of it. Sometimes I used to go running early in the morning before anyone was up in the academy. But then this switched to some sort of relaxing afternoon with some books and coffee. Nothing wrong with that, but it just became my new habit which in the end just did not feel good. I did run the Berlin Marathon however in 3 hours 34 minutes by the way. 🙂

I mean, honestly, we all know that living more sedentary and relaxing comes pretty easy and naturally. Like doing nothing and still craving this slice of pizza and those cookies at night. This is the reason why I need to make something a habit to just keep me away from this tendency of vegging (it is an action) out in front of the TV every night.

These days it is not so much the sports that I am consistent in. I practice Yoga and meditation at home almost on a daily basis which feels good and I love doing it. These days however, it is more about consistently writing on my blog. I found my true passion. Reading was always #1 for me but I think it has been replaced by writing for sure. And here I try to be consistent. My family and friends ask me sometimes how I can just consistently write and publish posts. Like how I find the time to do it or how I take the time to do it. Well, it is very simple. I love doing it so I find time. No matter where and when. I love writing – I really do.  At night when everything is calm and my son is in bed or in the mornings, when it is even calmer and I have more energy after a good nights rest are my favorite times to publish something. Writing in English for me is also a practice that requires consistency to keep at it, to learn new words, to figure out different structures and sentences, to simply keep it a habit.

I am consistently and constantly learning these days how to improve this blog, my writing techniques and all this makes me happy and I need it in my life. It fulfills my days and all this is reason enough to keep going and keep up with it on a daily basis. Basically I think the key to success – or a big part of it at least is consistency.

I would like to know what you are passionate about. How important is consistency for you? Or what do you do if you fall off the wagon once in a while and end up on the couch every night? How do you get back on it?