…That’s it that’s the intro.
Aaaaaaand it’s February. I’m on the couch with coffee and Dexter episodes right now and since I am not good for anything else tonight, I’d figure I’d try and write a Month in Review thing.
Why? Let’s see if I can do it without boring you to death. Also, I figured that if I want to do a year recap at the end of the year I can just link back to all the different months. My creativity to be lazy knows no bounds. Ok let’s go.
NEW YEAR Started out with my babe Lin and our boyfriends and a lot of champagne. Accidentally shattered a champagne glass (and was more concerned with the fact that there was less champagne to drink than with the fact there was glass on the floor. Priorities, people.)
The next day, this heartfelt connection with alcohol turned into a nasty divorce. With custody battles over my mental health and several of my organs. I spent it on the couch in recovery-mode, watching Marvel movies with Manfriend, indulging in my hang-over cure: Eating ALL the foods.
YOGA Second best hang-over cure? Exercise. On January 2nd I drove to the yoga studio and did a very easy-going class. It was then that I decided to do the Girl Does Yoga series in order to rebalance and normalize my yoga practice.
It’s not always easy. I sometimes find myself unnecessarily procrastinating on getting my ass to the studio, but it is getting better. Once said ass is in said yoga studio, everything is great. It’s about showing up, and I’m learning how to show up in the good way.
PILATES Discovered Pilates Place Rotterdam and Pilates, exercise more focused on training strength and your core while simultaneously stretching. I’m going to take a Reformer class there every once in a while because I find it a really fun and challenging work-out, that lasts only 50 minutes and that is 5 minutes away from work. Practical and saves time.
WORK Finding my way around my new duties and responsibilities, while slowly moving away from my regular tasks. It’s going pretty well. I am going to miss my students for a while, but I still can’t believe I get to do what I’m doing, because it combines everything I love. Which is also terrifying because what if I mess something up oh God oh God be right back nervous breakdown.
BOOKS Within the first chapter I was completely captivated by Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. It’s been a long time since I actually stayed up to read, but for this book I totally did. Very heavy but brilliant and surprising. I’ve also finished Neil Gaiman’s American Gods (weird but good) and a collection of his short stories, but I’m still working on the God Delusion by Richard Dawkins — Not really a light read, that one.
(My grandmother baked me cookies and if that’s not the cutest effing thing then I don’t know what is)
I’m very excited for February.
I get to go to Paris with Lin and EAT/DRINK EVERYTHING, do a lot of yoga, work a lot and write when I can. Oh, and go read the Fault in Our Stars when I’m ready for my next emotional breakdown over literature. All in good time.
Have a great weekend!
Yes, hi, hello, welcome. I’d like to thank to a patient BFF, a good camera,
wine and of course the photogenic purchases for the reasonably-okay pictures featured in this blog post. Below.
The present on the right is for me. Manfriend only put it under the tree yesterday because he knows how much I hate it when people torture me with their upcoming gifts (seriously, dick move). So, it’s only been here since yesterday and it’s STILL driving me insane that I don’t know what it is.
Hi. So yesterday I tweeted: “Not blogging for Christmas because guess what I fucking can”
Which is a legitimate reason on its own, but what helps is that I really want to do other stuff for Christmas. Light candes, play records (Black Keys is a current favorite), watch old movies with Manfriend, drink bubbles and spend time with my loved ones.
I just want to do Christmassy-stuff for a couple of days. That’s what I want to do to make 2014 more wonderful, which was what this challenge was all about in the first place.
So that’s what I’m doing.
BUT. Apparently as a blogger you have to assume
that your blog is the most important thing in your reader’s life and that everyone will STILL make it a priority to visit your blog on Christmas**, so I dove into my archive and looked up some of my old articles that you might like to read while I am away being a bad blogger.
I hope that keeps you entertained for two days.
If not, and you REALLY want to read more of my stuff over Christmas during the little alone-time that you might have, download my other two e-book-thingies (Law of Attraction and Habits) that are only 5.50USD/4.00 Euros each or the combo pack that is 9.00USD/6.50Euros.
After that lists of links and that totally shameless referral to my stuff for sale****, I’m just going to tell you to have a lovely Christmas.
*Click. Such merry and so Christmas, Raffika.
**If you DO visit my blog on Christmas, I think that’s fucking cute. If not, have fun and I’ll see you later.
***Which I still haven’t finished because I’m a dick.
****There is one more shameless plug coming up on New Year’s, but TRUST ME, it’s going to be SO GOOD that you will forgive me for it. And then I’m done until I drop a new e-book. Pinky promise.
Hi Internet Friendz, happy Sunday.
I’m happy today, because I had a lot of cake but also other reasons. So I hereby present my very first real personal gratitude list on the blog: That Whole Gratitude Thing.
(Possible Undertitle: Everyone’s Doing It And If They’re Not They Should Be Because Gratitude Is Healthy And Important And Stuff.)
Including Instagram pictures and Manfriend. Enjoy. (Or not, I don’t know your life and what you’re into.)
Gather around children, and let me tell you a little story about my weekend.
On Friday night, I went to my brother-in-law’s graduation party in a bar in Rotterdam. It was fancy, I wore a blouse and everything. We were in this bar with cool quotes about alcohol such as “I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me” (Churchill) written on the chalkboards on the wall and I was with my boyfriend, his brother and his friends hanging out, talking and drinking.
I was totally planning on keeping it civilized and going to bed at a decent hour, I swear (your honor). But people were handing me a new glass of wine as soon as my previous glass was even edging towards empty. Around midnight I was actually slightly drunk when Lin texted me, asking me where I was and if I wanted to come over and tell her about the party before I went home. She also baited me with prosecco (your honor).
You gotta understand something about me. I can be having tea with the Queen of England. I can be doing push- and pull-ups with Michelle Obama in the middle of the night. It can be four in the morning while I’m splitting atoms with a reincarnation of Einstein. I will STILL go “whoops, gotta go!” as soon as Lin texts me a random invitation to hang out.
“Gimme 15″ I texted. I said goodbye to everyone, as they were going to go to another bar soon anyway, kissed Manfriend goodnight and before officially calling it a night, I was going to make a quick pitstop at Lin’s.
I was more tipsy than I realized at that point, because apparently Lin saw me arrive, swerving on my bicycle and giggling to myself and almost falling over. Total hearsay, but credible. I was also a little loud as I entered her apartment, apparently. After my last glass of wine, I fell asleep with my head in her lap as she tried to make me watch Orange Is The New Black.* Apparently.
I went home and fell asleep at 02:30. The next morning I woke up IN ABSOLUTE AGONY. The unholy mother of all hang-overs had nestled into my brain, causing a headache of migraine-proportions and just all-around PAIN. PAIN. EVERYWHERE. I do NOT understand how some people do this almost every weekend. I was DYING.
Manfriend still sleeping off his own hang-over from the party, I was alone in my pain. Obviously I needed someone to know about it, so after two Ibuprofen and a multivitamin I texted Lin: “SO. HUNG. OVER.” We texted back and forth a little while I was walking around the house grunting like a little zombie and generally hating my life. I hated my life even more when I realized I had all the ingredients for Lin’s brilliant spicy pumpkin soup EXCEPT for the onion. “UGH, I don’t wanna go to the supermarket” I texted Lin, “the only supermarket I would like to go right now is Marqt.”
Brilliance struck me. “You wanna go with me?” Her response: “If I get pumpkinsoup after.”
That is how Lin and I ended up going to Marqt together. While shoveling the free samples Marqt employees kept offering us into our mouths** while scouting for almond milk, popped quinoa and sprouts. Got my onions too.
Afterwards, Lin installed herself at my dining room table with her laptop. Manfriend had woken up too, looking for aspirin and comfort cuddling to battle his own hangover. I got busy in the kitchen with the pumpkin soup, Manfriend put on some records and Lin continued writing her thesis. The weather was amazing outside, and I opened the kitchen windows to let in sunlight and a small breeze.
I started to feel really happy. Even with the hang-over and the headache, I suddenly felt happier than I had been in really long time. I was so happy with my boyfriend and best friend being near, being able to cook something nice for them. Manfriend came into the kitchen every once in the while to give me a kiss or wrap his arms around me while I was behind the stove, Lin was tapping away on her laptop and the house started to smell amazing. G also came over for lunch, and the four of us had the pumpkin soup with some bread.
After lunch the boys left, Lin and I sat at the table writing and talking while drinking tea with a Tony’s Chocolonely caramel-sea salt bar*** on the side. I spent Saturday night with some of my closest friends from high school, Sunday with Manfriend. I generally had a very lovely weekend. It made me so happy, and grateful.
For people. Like Lin, like Manfriend, like G, Angel, my parents, my entire family. For simple things like eating with people you love, writing on actual paper, having chocolate next your tea, having a boyfriend who randomly yells out “I LOVE YOU” from wherever he is in the house at that time, beautiful supermarkets and healthy food in cute packages.
Honestly, I could never have imagined my weekend starting with 2013’s Worst Hang-Over and ending with having gratitude spilling out of my ears. However it started, this was the loveliest autumn weekend a girl could have hoped for. I’m totally happy and recharged because of it, ready for a new work week.
I hope you had the lovely autumn weekend too — minus the alcohol fumes out of your pores and pounding head, and that you were exposed to lots of things to be thankful for too. Be it your family, your hobby, the great weather, the fact that you DIDN’T have a hang-over this week…Let’s be happy about it. And let’s take it with us into this week to make it awesome.
That’s all folks!
*I don’t know, man. I don’t know.
**My favorites were the brocolli-blue cheese quiche, bacon-date, and seaweed noodles.
***I feel as strongly about that fucking chocolate bar as I do about Nespresso: “What else?”
TEAM/THEME UNICORN ALWAYS
Phew! Hi babies.
I have been meaning to write sooner, but starting a new academic year is always a little nuts. Basically all I do that week is I run around on university campus either to my students or for my students. Everything is getting started, and that’s something that makes me very happy. New beginnings inspire me.
I’ve been sort of without direction for a while, I guess. I want some more focus, drive and plans in my head. So I thought to myself…What do i want to do this year? Not in terms of goals or achievements, but just…What do I want to focus on doing? What do I want to give love and attention to*? What areas do I want to dedicate myself to this year?
I thought about it, and found three major themes I am dedicating 2013-2014 to. It’s not specific results, because that’s not what it’s about. It’s about focus, and about keeping the important parts of you or your life the most important parts of you and your life. Here’s what I want to focus on.
Before you guys think I’m sitting around with my feet on the desk, picking my nose and grading my coworkers on relative attractiveness**, no. I make myself useful. I make deadlines, I do what I need to do and I do it well.
But because I procrastinate, I often do it at the last minute — quite frantically too. I could just have easily done it sooner, and therefore better. Also, I like to give the extra effort that takes a normal thing and makes it great. That makes me feel good.
Which comes down to a basic truth I discovered about myself (and people in general): I am happier when I’m getting shit done. I’m happier when I am productive and spending my time on things that good for me and others. I’m happier when I am reading literature for work, writing, preparing material for students than when I’m slacking off and procrastinating.
So my first main theme for 2013-2014:
“Do the work. Work hard. Do your best, work through whatever to get shit done. Even when you aren’t in the best mood, when you’re a little tired, when you would rather hang on the couch with Manfriend and Breaking Bad episodes, do your work, whatever it might be for that day. You’ll be in a flow of doing things, you’ll get more positive results and most importantly, it makes you happy.”
Over the summer I realized I want to offer up more of my time and energy to my yoga practice. There is so much in there for me, both physically (I will one day do a full-split Standing Bow) and mentally (granting me the definite decrease in ADD symptoms).
The connection I have with Bikram Yoga combined with the commitment to Yoga Maya has created an equilibrium in my head. Although it’s the most crucial part of yoga for me personally, yoga is not just Bikram for me .It’s not just the sweaty battles against myself in a full-length mirror or the mental battle of “should I go or shouldn’t I go**”. Yoga is just yoga. Whether it’s in 40 degrees for 90 minutes, 10 minutes in the living room or an hour long class that ends with chanting: Yoga is yoga. And I love it. It’s good for me.
So I’m making yoga a first priority, in both yoga schools. I’m still working on the details and an exact schedule, but there will be lots of Camels, Downward Dogs and other Yoga Postures With Animal Names in my immediate future for sure.
When I am excited about something (which happens a lot, I love stuff), I get quite happy and loud and my arms tend to move up and down a lot to express my excitement. And when I am busy with stuff, I can also get a little frantic and flailing and loud. You can only imagine the amounts of loud noises and limbs flying around when I’m both busy and happy.
Additionally, if I’m all over the place with my movements and jokes and weirdness, that affects other people too. Similarly as a really quiet person makes you either quiet or talk more, me and my energy have an effect on who is interacting with me. They either get on my level and we end up a bunch of loud idiots or they think I’m too much, become withdrawn and timid and we can’t connect as well. While my intention is the exact opposite.
So for the past few weeks I have been experimenting with a new social setting: Calm and contained.
Sorry to anyone who hates phrases like ‘I don’t like his vibe’ or ‘there is something is off about her energy’ but I know my own energy very well and it’s very all over the place. And now I try to contain my own energy more.
I keep it more within myself. I am still my open, normal self, but the focal point is more on being a calm version. I just try to send out a relaxed vibe, with some funny bits.
So taking care of my inner calm is another theme for me this year. I think it will be really good for the people I meet and interact with, as well as for myself and my own energy levels. I predict they will fluctuate less.
So, yeah. My mantra for 2013-2014: Work hard, do yoga, be calm. I encourage you to think of themes for yourself, but as always, feel free to use mine. Bye babies.
*Besides like, family, friends and various cute fluffy animals.
**While I only do that on Friday
***Unless I’m in immediate danger of dying, the right answer is pretty much always ‘yes I should go’.