So I sit and I think.

It is Thursday, or Friday? I don’t know. I have been traveling with my family for the past four weeks and lost track of date and time. I am sitting here in our kitchen back home after another awesome day spent at the beach, with good food and lots of reading and books. Our son is sleeping – totally exhausted of running around at the bookstore and beach. Next to me is a big glass of water and I am enjoying the silence that goes with this beautiful moment and evening. Cicadas playing their little song in the backyard – quietness otherwise. This is my favorite time of the day. Reflecting on the day, me-time, reading, writing and simply enjoying that there is no hustle.

So what comes to my mind first? Happiness. How fortunate I am to live this life – right here – right  now. The previous three weeks spent in Martinique were one thing that I scratched off my bucket list just now. Also swimming with turtles in the ocean which literally made me cry. Jean and I had a long talk the other night about what makes us/you really happy and that this kind of life we are living makes us feel alive. This craziness, the traveling, sometimes uncertainties, the exploring and of course when life throws you a curveball to figure out how to solve the situation without freaking out – all those things.

When I look at our son I know what makes him really happy. He wants to run outside, explore, play. So we just do it; it is just that simple. And looking at my own life this way is actually what I try to do. Sometimes it is awesome to just get up and play. Well I have not always been this way. Many times in my life I simply chose to be around things and people or do things that did not make me happy or did not add anything positive to the bigger picture. I would do the same thing over and over (expecting a different result) and asking myself why this is not working. Now I ask myself what would make me happy and then I do it or figure out a way to get there. Simple as that. For me this happiness thing has been a long hard struggle. Many times I “thought” I was happy but isn’t it more about wholeness than being happy? Does what I am doing right here right now add to my wholeness? Does it add to the bigger picture of my experiences or my life?

What makes me feel alive? Definitely my family. Always has been – always will be. Being with them and traveling, sharing new experiences and this first excitement of exploring something new like this recent vacation to Martinique  is just what I live for. This pleasant feeling of waking up next to my husband, and feeling safe, knowing my son sleeps safe and sound in the next room – this is happiness. Of course the sound of the waves ten meters away from the bedroom was awesome as well. Or as simple as sitting in the kitchen together and just being in my husbands accepting, magical presence while he tries to solve some weird medal- ring- puzzle- something. Add a good book (currently I am reading Joan Didion’s “The year of magical thinking” and the “Journals of Sylvia Plath” by Sylvia Plath). Add a good meal: wine and some cheese and of course writing.

The other day I was complaining about something – not sure what but it was something silly. My husband tells me I should just spend that energy working to change the situation instead of keep complaining about it. I thought about my life and that I really needed this advice many times before. And if I look at my life – just the way it is now – there is no reason for me to complain about anything. Life is not simple – this is clear. Life is magical. I make the best out of it because I only have this one shot.  Sometimes when I just take a step back I can see everything clearer. Today I worked on my wholeness. Little steps, and this is where I begin.

Space Oddity

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”  -Jack Kerouac

So I am sitting here listening to David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” thinking that life is awesome. It just is. Let me start by this morning. I “know” that my husband writes me a little good morning message every single morning but today he did not. I was not worried until he still had not responded to my messages until around noon. I thought that maybe something happened to him – simply because I am so used to this routine of him saying “Bonjour mom amour” every single morning. I believe in souls – and that we all do have one.

For my husband and I it feels that our lives and souls have been intertwined for quite some time now – almost four years and we have already accomplished so much. Time seriously flies. We were set out on a grand adventure from the beginning and I do not want to miss one single day of our past. It was perfect in its own little way. From restaurants where we sat until they closed and threw us out, to New York subway tunnels to discover something new and to eventually explore New York City in its entirety. Museums, Broadway shows, French restaurants or just sitting in a park doing nothing but reading which was my favorite thing by far. Street art and great music, all these long nights out to discover us. And then the baby we created.  😀 Perfection!

Through all the magnificent and sometimes also hard times we found strength in each other and we grew. Grew together. Sometimes I cannot fathom how much we have done so far in these couple of years and how much we have actually grown.

I am looking forward to the future and all that we were, all that we are and all that we are becoming. Always and forever mon amour. It is still hard for me to realize that I have found such a kindred spirit to walk beside. Awesomeness! Life with you is truly magic.

A Jar of Jam

Usually whenever I am traveling and leaving my parents’ place my mom makes sure I take a jar of jam with me. I believe to most people this would be weird – a jar of jam, or two – but to me it is always so much more. To just get a little idea about this jam-thing is to understand her way of saying that she loves me.  I see my mom picking all the berries from the bushes or trees when it is time to harvest – then proudly going to the kitchen and cooking the best jam ever is amazing. The way she washes the berries first, weighing and measuring all the ingredients will always be familiar; as the smell that flows through the house when the jam cooks is. And of course we always tried the jam with a slice of bread when it was still too hot to eat. 🙂

Then she gives me the nicest jar to take on my flight to wherever. How it is always important for her to make sure my family and I have always fresh sheets, towels, simply fresh everything when we come to stay. With me currently living here of course nothing has changed. Sometimes the feeling is just me reverting back to being 12-years-old when I am here. Of course I am grown up and the situation with me living at my parents place for so long now is definitely not normal but we arranged for the time being let’s say. I know I am their grown daughter and a wife and adult with a child and that this living situation will not be forever. But just the thought that they offered to help me and make me more comfortable I will never ever forget. And I have been telling them that I am very grateful for what they did for me and petit Joel so far; also for my husband when he visited.

It is also nice to see that every time my younger brother is here my dad makes sure his car is all checked before he leaves again. Tapes and fixes it, and fills some oil in here and there. All sparkle and shine. It is the cutting out of any “Sudoku” from the newspaper for him because he loves to solve them.  And the coffee that my mom always makes fresh whenever he wakes up.

Also when my younger sister comes home to visit they take care of her as well. And if it is just by taking her two kids for a couple of hours so she can relax and have a drink outside on the terrace with me at night. 🙂 Also how they let all of us know whenever they see, hear, or read anything that could be of interest to us; call with traffic updates or when they always say “call when you get home and be careful driving”.

These are my parents.  They show us that they love us verbally but also through actions. I have never realized this too much when I grew up because it seemed just “normal” but now since I moved away, came back, all grown up as a mother I can see and understand all this even better. I have been thinking today that becoming a parents after I have been parented all my life is pretty weird. When I grew up I had all these guidelines, models of what to do and what not to do or even more how to figure out how to solve something and what being a good parents looks like. All this knowledge I gained I have to apply to myself and my son now if I wish to do so.  Maybe just some of it – whatever I like best.

I have been thinking about the parent I want to be and the parent I currently am. I thought of my son and how he is growing up – and how  he at some point might look back at me as his mom and at the way I love him and did things for him. And most importantly I want for him to look back at his childhood and just feel happiness. Just remembering the smell of this glass of jam. All of these little things in our daily life like I have his banana in the morning sliced up, his apple juice mixed with water ready when he is having breakfast. All these routines that make him happy. Read to him every night and make sure he has his teddy when he curl up in bed – big love, little actions. 😀

A glass of jam, this all so familiar smell in the kitchen when my mom cooks it – I am looking forward to all these  things I can show my son and this will roll into the larger story of this unconditional love I have for him.

On self-acceptance

“We have a tendency to want the other person to be a finished product while we give ourselves the grace to evolve.” – T.D. Jakes

These days I feel writing comes to me very easily. It is just fun to share my thoughts and grow throughout this experience. Writing for me is fun and exciting. Exploring new territories. I have been thinking about time and its passing a lot recently. I think I am just prone to feeling sad sometimes thinking that time is slipping through my fingers and I cannot stop it. I love documenting thoughts, changes and special moments in my life and focusing on the here and now rather than feeling sad about the past. When I spend time with my family for example and we enjoy a beautiful day together I used to get sad that this day is over soon. This will end. This special feeling of this particular day will last as long as I want it to be though. I have these memories in my heart and they stay there ready to be taken out once in a while to make me feel happy. 😀

These days I am slowly learning more and more about myself. I am opening up.  I am learning to realize who I am or at least who I might become if I am open for it. More important it is for me that I am beginning to truly accept myself. Me and Her – my soul. (Diving deep)

I am feeling good about myself – about the choices I make and who I am. Without having to say I am sorry for anything. I am changing. Maybe this is what it is all about. These changes I am going through when I am looking at successful or failed friendships, the way my life has moved on and changed me into a better version of myself, my insecurities I exhibit – like life ebbed and flowed. Slowly and steady.

I stand in the middle of a field full of flowers looking at myself – like a twin. It feels good to be here, to view myself clearly and actually like who and what I see. Sometimes I am trying to see myself through my husband’s or my son’s eyes.  What a gift both of my men have given me – both have taught me that it is important to see myself not through fear or self-doubt but through unconditional love. I am very grateful for that.

So, I know I am the architect of my own reality. I and only I create the rules. And to be able to do that I have to love myself. I had a great talk tonight with some friends about living life. How people choose to do this and that and are okay with it. Some love to have their little house somewhere close to their parents’ house and this is okay too. It is important to allow others to be exactly who they want to be and to do whatever makes them happy. I know that nobody is perfect. I have to realize that when someone is doing something oh so different from what I am doing (clothing, make-up, life choices you name it) all I should think is “GOOD FOR YOU!” It does not really concern me. If you are happy – great!

I get the feeling recently that the more positive I become the more it lifts people up. I am working on seeing the good in everyone. (Okay, this is tough sometimes but life is tough and I give it a try regardless). I want to forgive and move on and strive to be a little light out there maybe to help others? Maybe to give others some food for thought? To just accept that all people are different and to meet new people, things (Hello, Martinique and new life ahead) and ideas with curiosity rather than judgement. (Jean will love this)

As I wrote before, life is not easy. To accomplish all this takes time. We are all judgmental at times. The whole point here is that I am trying to get better at this. To just try to understand and stop gossiping about stuff and have other mean thoughts. In the end it gets me nowhere but makes myself miserable. And in a way, why do I gossip? The answer: Because I am feeling unsure and insecure about my own self so I try to point out the mistakes, flaws and “weird things” I see in others so my own mistakes and flaws are not too heavy or obvious. 😀

I think we are all constantly moving or evolving and are trying to grown and change a tiny bit closer to the best version of what we envision for ourself. Whatever that might be. If I listen deep within I know the answers are already there.

Home

“Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it – memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.”  – Tad Williams

With my life being different than a regular life ( I am not using “normal here because what is normal?) I have been doing quite some thinking recently about home. I believe it is not only because I am on the verge of leaving to go to Martinique to meet my love and his family and spend some quality time there but it is the whole concept of “leaving something behind.” These last couple of months here where just a new perspective – on being back at my parents’ house. I have always always loved it here in Coburg. This is my base; this is where I grew up. This is where I always feel safe. When I was in New York I always felt a desire to be back home. Throughout my entire life I had a hard time saying goodbye to my family for example. Now, I have learned to just let go. I know the people I love the most are in my heart. No matter where I go. Goodbyes are part of my life.

This past year and a half has been the most interesting time and learning experience for me I have had in a while. I believe if we are not changing and growing we are stuck in the same place. I constantly ask myself how I can be better. Kind of like moving forward from where I am and growing from mistakes I have made. And yes, I made a lot. 😀

As I am typing this the world is moving. It seems it is moving faster and faster but sometimes I wish it could just stop at points or go a little slower. Make the walk in the woods with my son last forever. Enjoy ever single second I spent with my husband whenever we see each other. I just want to enjoy these seconds, minutes, days as they flutter by and find beauty in the simple things. Intentionally and slowly.

Now I feel I have to move on and empty my mind and adapt to something new. See  and do something different and new. Give this “kitchen office” back to my parents. I feel that I have grown out of it – I am able to see it clearly now. I am at a point in my life where I am not wishing away my tomorrows or todays. I know I want my family together rooted securely somewhere solid. The best part about this all is that wherever we are – just being together it feels like home. Wherever we are together it feels right.

On simple living and being grateful

Well, simple living – this was not always my motto. Many times I have been swept up in this mindset of getting more and more. Owning more and more. My worst enemy was Amazon online. All these pretty things floating around and everything is just one click away from being send to my house. Awesomeness. So I had this itch for a long time to buy even more.

Looking back at the way I grew up I must say it was very simple. As kids we did not have a TV in each of our rooms – there was ONE in the living room; we did not even have a microwave. My mom grew and still grows most of their vegetables in the backyard or in their second garden. There was no dryer for clothing. Line-dried clothing it is! My childhood was perfect I have to say but as soon as I started earning my first money things changed. I started to want more. I remember I bought a cellphone with my first paycheck. (Nokia 3210 in 1999) 😀

Now things changed again. Life consistently changes. Nothing stays the same. As a mom I feel one of my biggest responsibilities is to raise my son to be tolerant, compassionate and kind. And of course to teach him to love himself the way he is. I had a long talk with my mom tonight and I told her that she did right. It was the best thing to grow up on special moments and activities (and yes, we were allowed to play in the mud and come home all dirty) rather than material things. I remember we did have toys obviously but not too many. We still used our imagination to play which was awesome. On a little side-note: I read recently that there was a study done in a kindergarten where they have taken out all toys for one month. Initially the kids were all weird and did not know what to do. But soon, they started to look for other things to play with. And most of them had gone outside to find rocks, stones etc. to play and just used their imagination again.

Back then I never really knew the difference or what my mom tried to teach us then but I am looking back and I am very grateful. All this being said does not mean that I am getting rid of all my things now but I think it is all about finding a balance. I am just grateful or thankful on what I already have. Activities and memories over things – considering what I already have and just add items I find useful or necessary.

Also, being grateful is basically the ability to be thankful. I mean just the simple fact that I can type this here, that I have internet is pretty awesome by itself. Being grateful can be really hard when happiness is based on the stuff I have, or needs approval of friends, society or family. Or the status I achieve. Then most of the time I thought that I am not where I should be in life – that I need more things in order to be happy. Or the worst feeling I have had was that other people doing so much better than I am. Who the hell cares what others are doing!

I mean living in a society that is basically founded on consumerism and capitalism it is no surprise that there is a structure in place that makes sure that we never ever stop shopping.  Gadgets for everything! 😀

The problem is that there is always more to buy. For anything – home decor (magazines), fashion, you name it. I am just trying to be content with what I have because I realized that this rollercoaster I was trapped in is constantly moving. To get more, better, higher, faster, better looking! I just stopped buying this lie that “things” will make me happier. Plain and simple. True happiness is never about stuff. I am thinking here about spending time with my husband and son in the garden and I am grateful for that. Just them and I, there together. Doing nothing special. Just chilling in the sun. Then I feel connected and I am happy.

On Change

“I never lose. I either win or I learn.” 

There is a new season of my life approaching. Major things will change. It will be busy. I am certainly not the type of person who ever wants to be too busy or stressed out and wear any type of busyness-label. Been there done that. This new kind of busy is a good one however. It is full of positive changes. Changes for our family. My husband will be transferred to Congo soon. I am looking forward to spending more time with him, getting things done together again, just simply chugging along in our  little orbits as we used to.

Looking back, this previous year and a half was an awesome experience. It made me gain more wisdom and knowledge. This tiny bit of time we really had together as a family throughout this time is one of so many parts of life I will look back on with such fondness. Every time we have seen each other again after four or five weeks apart was very special. It seems like a first date every time. So bittersweet.

I have been thinking lately how precious all of these parts of my life really are. We only get that many summers together as a couple with our son at every stage in life so I feel really protective over every minute and second and hour. Time flies. Today for example by itself was so precious even though we did nothing major. My brother was here from Stuttgart and we spent the day outside in the sun. No big thing, but I am aware that this will be the only 28th June 2015 I will ever have with my brother at 28 years old and my son at 1 1/2 years old. Even though we were sitting outside all day long doing nothing special, I cherish that simple little bit, because this is all I will ever get out of this past day, my family, just the way it is – right there. My family – my heart. <3

As my son changes and grows into an older and bigger person, I am learning that this part of me that gets sad over change all the time is actually slowly beginning to see that there is even more excitement to these changes. I love my brother to death but I have to realize that he is no longer this little tiny guy I played with. He has grown up into a very handsome man and does his own thing. He lives and enjoys his life. We all have to do our own thing! All the good things to come, the new exciting adventures, the next things to happen.

In all this thinking I am growing  and I am learning to let life just continue on its way and just be able to enjoy the ride. I have nothing to lose. I have realized so far that writing all this down has become the biggest teacher in my life. All these changes in my life so far, all I have learned, all the mistakes I have made – there is no regret; it is just fascinating in a self-centered way. It is just amazing to see myself grow mentally and spiritually and change throughout all these years.

Here I am now. Hopefully 34 years in two weeks, a mom of the most handsome boy I can ever imagine and a stay-at home mom for now.  Sometimes in life that’s just what we have and get. Change! Routine is nice for many people. Doing the same exact thing over and over. But I simply cannot do it. I need change. I want to take this step into uncertainty and learn to grab for another ladder to show me new ways and steps. Open my horizon and perspective. And yes, I want to go on a Safari. 😀

Many times my plate was not full and I was searching to find what belonged but then there were times where I have found this particular plate to overflow but with all the wrong things. With all these changes that will be in my life soon I can just happily look back and say simply “yes, this is just right, this just feels right,” and enjoy this full plate, full of love and family and change, and growth and this special kind of uncertainty that makes everything sparkle with fulfillment.

Thoughts while doing laundry.

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“I woke to the sound of rain.” ― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Today I played outside with my son. Yes, finally the sun is back and it was so beautiful to sit outside and smell the warm grass and even more, smell my son’s hair after he had been running around for a while. This smell of his little sweat with a mix of sun is the best ever I think. The little things.

The other day I sat on the living room floor, surrounded by felt tons of laundry. All I did was ironing, folding, stacking, Ironing, folding and stacking. I thought about these little sweaters, T-shirts, pants I folded and little socks I matched. Little things. Little things for my son.

After I was done with all the laundry we went shopping. All stressed out because I had to get lunch ready – he was hungry, I was late. At the supermarket in one of these isles an older woman approached me and said, “This little guy is so handsome. How precious he is and smart. Hold onto these days my dear – they go so fast. They grow up so fast and this is the time you will miss the most. I am speaking out of experience.” So right there I started tearing up a bit. Right there in the middle of pasta and flour and sugar, just trying to hold it together while I watched this woman leave. She walked away slowly and turned around to give my son and I one last smile and wink.

While I finished shopping I thought about what this older woman told me. This little advice.  Over the past years and a half I felt like I have learned so much about life and about myself. I cannot say I have figured life out, however, sometimes when I have a lucky day it simply feels like I have flipped over a puzzle piece I did not even know was overturned, and find its place among the rest of the pieces that now make total sense. I can put this puzzle together slowly even though all the other pieces are all over the place, that this one piece, this one lone piece, it has a place. 

When I left the supermarket and my son looked at me and I noticed his dark blonde curly hair and his brown eyes that he squeezed tight whenever he looked in the sun I realized that I just have to take a moment and appreciate just every little bit of every little thing in that little tiny moment – like this puzzle piece that flipped over and slid right in.

I thought about this season. One day it is cold and one has to curl up inside next to a fireplace but then the next day is really warm. Everything changes constantly.  Thinking about tiny things, my son, and this house here that never seems truly quiet since we are here. My son is growing so fast, he is sprouting and learning – learning constantly. And one day, when Jean and I have done this job and he is all grown up, this old lady from the supermarket is right. I believe these are the days we will miss the most. His little innocence and this passion when he is trying to something new.

I folded laundry again today and thoughts came and went. Feelings, happy, sad, bittersweet. Bittersweet is usually how I describe it when I think of my son growing up. Usually I have one foot in the excitement of tomorrow but the second trailing behind just a bit longer, just lingering for a moment in the afterglow of everything we have done and been through so far. What we felt, experienced. All the laughters, all the tears. And what will happen in the future. How things will change.

I try to be present – in the moment here and now. I have to realize that I will never ever be in this moment again. It is entirely possible to find joy from the simplest of things. Whatever I do, I try to BE in this moment. I try to BE the moment.

On caring what people think of me

“Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

I was wondering today why I sometimes still allow other people’s expectation, opinions and judgments to  affect my life in any way. I guess I am just programmed like that – always have been. Like when our parents tell us that we do something wrong; when they start disciplining us – telling us that our behavior is something that others will disapprove of. For example I have learned from a young age on that when I make my parents look bad, I am bad. I believe that this early instruction is reinforced by parental influence over and over – throughout all the kindergarten years, years of school and decades of societal interactions. So why do we have to fit in? According to society, fitting in becomes a major driver of making sure that we adhere to other people’s standards and sadly their expectations of our behavior.

So you try to fit in and make everybody happy but yourself? This pressure is insane and insidious. Simply, it will stop you from living the life you want to to life, it stops you from being you and it most certainly will steal your happiness. I do not think I am exaggerating because I know many people who just followed some sort of career path that the parents chose for them and they are unhappy ever single day. Many of my friends went down the road of having children, debt, marriage or even still dream of living a happier life and they did not want this path for themselves and are unhappy.  Or how many buy the latest fashion to try to fit in? Make-up? Creams? Whatever society tells you is fine and good for you you buy just to try to fit in and not disappoint society’s judgmental little game.

How about you try to be YOURSELF? Do you know yourself? I am working on this myself but I am getting better. Who am I?

Just to not go with the flow is already helpful. Anybody knows this crazy App where you can “make yourself look perfect”? (I think it is even called like this). All I need to do is upload a picture of myself and take away all the “mistakes” and flaws to make myself look like I could be on the next Vogue Cover. (Exactly what they do to all these models on the VOGUE covers and other magazines btw. – These women do not look like that in real life) 😀 Just a little reminder.

I do not have control of what other people think of me. I have to have the best perception of myself and all the answers I am searching for are within me. I think it is important to just love myself and create my own rules.  Nobody else can do this job. I create the rules I live by. And comparing myself to others never helps. I am unique.

It took me a long time to get over my own people pleasing behavior. It is a prison of sort. I just have to be brave to love myself no matter what. There is nobody else like me on this planet and I am the architect of my own reality. How can I fail if I am born to shine? 😀

On time

“Like as the waves make towards the pebbl’d shore, so do our minutes, hasten to their end.” – William Shakespeare

Have you ever looked at your watch and wondered where the day went? This happens to me all the time. Time! What is time? Usually we are always in a rush. I have written to a friend of mine today and she told me how busy she is doing this and that and having no time really do all her work she needs or wants to do. Then sometimes at work  she looks at the clock and realizes that it is late afternoon or early evening and she is still in the office. Often I hear people say that they will do “this and that” to save time. Well, you cannot “save” time I think. You cannot just hit “pause”, do our tasks while everybody else stops as well until you are are ready to continue and join the world again.

I thought many times how awesome it would be to just stop time for a while. Imagine how much I could get done! Well, in any case as mentioned we cannot save time but we can use time or properly utilize it. I do not think about time as long as I am okay usually. Until something gives me a sharp reminder or kicks me in the back to remind me of my fragile human life. Today I have been at the doctors office. He could have told me anything .. he found something… I am not healthy, I need this and that treatment. Well it turned out I am okay. This is awesome! I can still play along. 😀

It is increasingly difficult to shut off in a world like this. We are connected 24/7, we have emails, smart phones, Whatsapp, Facebook you name it. So how do we find balance, how do we find actual human interaction as well as time for ourselves? What I have learned so far is that it is important to  simply be in the present moment. Meditation has helped me a lot to figure all this out. Meditation stills the mind and brings presence.

I have read a great book recently. It is by Eckhart Tolle called “The Power Of Now”. He describes that we have this constant mental chatter within us,  however, we can learn to switch it off by simply allowing us to be present or just to focus on the moment. The past and future have just not bearing on the now. Who cares what happened in the past. It is gone. We cannot turn back time. We just have to move on. Even if it is difficult sometimes.

One way I can experience presence is when I am just doing ONE thing. Like watching a sunset or playing with my son for example. Or mediation. I am focusing on  the task and activity. Nothing else. So why can’t I always be in this present stage? Every minute, every hour of everyday? Well, there are always things going on. There is no routine. Things change. We have to adapt. I am rather reading instead of watching TV. I am reading a lot to my son. I find my presence there while reading. And guess what? My son KNOWS and FEELS when I am present or not. When I have a ton on my mind or I am doing ten things at the same time he is all confused and is annoying and stressed out himself. Like me. Same thing. Kids feel the restlessness and stress. Always!

I am not really planning anything major (this is husband’s territory), however, I am planning my next weekend for example or my next day even asking myself what I would do today if it was the last day of my life. Whatever the answer is, this is what I should be doing. And I try to apply this to everything in my life. Vacations, my time with my precious family and everything else in my life. I do not think it is important to focus on the fact that I will die at some point (hopefully in the distant future), but rather to appreciate and accept my time on this planet as finite. I have to ensure that I focus on what is important rather than on what is most often unimportant or “urgent”. Maybe at some point science will find a way to manipulate time and make it slow down or explain relativistic time better – I just do not want to waste time waiting for this to happen.