Car Conversations

Yesterday, I was in the car with two of my kids, when Jonah (boy, 7 years old), proclaimed he was going to be a writer. I smiled and told them I also have that dream since I was five.

Baukje (girl, 10 yrs old) was surprised and curious. So I reluctantly told them about stories I’ve written when I was their age (a never ending fairy tale about a magical flower and a series about a flying teabag. I know, I was a brilliant kid, haha).

I admitted it was still my dream and they were very interested in what I was writing now.

The conversation went something like this

Me: ‘It’s a story for teens about a girl that is half devil/half human. Her father is the devil (who’s retired for the time being) and her mother, well she’s a bit of a criminal. ‘

Jonah: ‘Cool’.

Me: (surprised they were still interested) ‘The girl protects the gate to hell which is in Paris and only has to do this for a couple of days, because she has done it for years. But then a terrorist starts bombing sites in the city.

Baukje: ‘Really?’ Does this really happen?”

Me: “No love, it’s just a story.’

Baukje: ‘Isn’t it too scary to write?’

Two things happened:

  1. Summarizing your story can do wonders for your understanding of it
  2. I realized children are the best. And I love them so much

 

bauk jo

(Jonah and Baukje being cute, standing on the Eiffel Tower).

 

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Note To Self

It’s been a while since I wrote an entry for my blog. I was off to a flying start in January with the things I like doing. Studying/getting fit & healthy/reading/positive attitude/writing (blog post)/bullet journaling.

And then: not so much anymore. I struggle to exercise enough. I didn’t write. Some days I drink plenty of water, other days I barely manage to drink one tiny bottle. Why is it so hard to do more of what makes you happy?

Maybe it’s too much. Maybe I ask too much of myself. Maybe we all do.

I like my house to be clean and tidy. I like my kids to be happy and learn them how to deal with life. I want a healthy relationship with my partner. Spend time with family and friends. I have to work 4 days, and want to like what I do.. I want to feel comfortable in a bikini and feel fit and healthy. I want to be a writer. I want to travel. I want to learn Russian.

So here’s a little note to myself and all others who struggle with the same things.

IT IS OKAY.

if you eat a Snickers because you had a crappy day

IT IS OKAY

if you don’t vacuum your living room every single day

IT IS OKAY

To feel overwhelmed with all the things you want/have to do.

IT IS OKAY

If your kids walk in pyjamas on Saturday. They don’t care, so shouldn’t you.

IT IS OKAY

That you didn’t write a story. You’ll always come back to writing, or it to you.

IT IS OKAY

(…)

It really is. Just breathe and keep on keeping on.

We are all so very lost

When I was feeling out of place at a party this weekend I was wondering what went on in the heads of the people attending it.

Did they really enjoy their work so much?  (They went on and on and on about it. I can’t fill three minutes talking about my job).

Is their life really as easy as it sounds? (A lot of times Sometimes I wonder what the &%#!@ I’m doing or what I’m supposed to do)

Are their kids really as well behaved as they say they are? (mine are not)

It felt like I was part of a play and a thought popped up in my mind. A thought I can’t seem to shake.

We are all so very lost. And we are all pretending.

Sipping our drinks, hearing but not listening, talking without actually saying anything worth saying.

At that moment I felt strangely connected to everyone at that party.

Because it’s better to be lost together.

I know.

I should sleep more.

Step Into the Future

Imagine you’re trying to lose some weight and you’re about to forget what you were trying because your primal senses have picked up the scent of a Snickers bar, hiding from you behind a closed cupboard. The beast in you roars and your body is making happy hormones because it knows it’s getting sugary/fatty food.

What do you do?

A. Attack the cupboard. Rip paper from bar. Swallow whole (some chewing allowed). FEEL BAD AFTERWARDS

B. Ignore primal need for Snickers. Drink water instead. Eat a healthy cracker. FEEL GOOD AFTERWARDS.

Most of the time A. is what happens. Call it lack of discipline, call it sugar addiction. Call it weakness.

You’d be right.

Because if you go for B, you feel good afterwards. And if you go for B often enough it will become your default setting, and opting for A. isn’t so bad when it happens, because it’s an exception.

It’s a matter of self-discipline. And self-discipline is a muscle that can be trained. The only thing you need to focus on is the AFTERWARDS FEELING.

To do this we must learn to stretch our imagination into the near future and focus on the feeling yet to come.

Having trouble starting your story/drawing/whatever?

Imagine how you’d feel when it is finished. Got that feeling? Yes? Try to keep focusing on that.

Cut the goals in easy pieces. Want to lose weight? Then you only have to make sure you eat healthy today. Make choice B and forget about the Snickers (well, to be on the safe side, don’t buy Snickers, because Snickers ARE NOT EASY TO RESIST).

Want to write a story?

Write a page today, or scene today.

Want to exercise more?

Skip the elevator today. Walk around your block today.

Want to think about the environment more?

Recycle something today.

Everyday you self- discipline will grow, it will get easier to make decisions and you will become more confident.  Step into the future of today and focus on the feeling you want to end up with.

Today is all you have.

 

 

 

 

Let it Go

The last couple of months I’ve gotten very good at holding on tight.

Anger is one of the things I’ve been keeping close lately. After some serious soul searching I realised I’ve picked up the strange conviction that holding Anger close  (yes capital A) is good for warding off enemies. The enemies being: Disappointment. Hurt. Sadness. And Shame.

Other emotions I seem to be able to let go pretty easily. Pride is felt for just a second, Happy and Joy can linger for days, but will inevitably be pushed off by Anger, because Anger has guard duty. Needless to say, this is getting tiresome. I’m not a negative person, on the contrary.

I do however have a problem with boundaries. I usually have no clue where they are.

One of the reasons for this is that, at heart, I’m somewhat naïve. I don’t tend to be suspicious of other people’s motives. So when someone crosses my boundaries and is stampeding through my personal space, my first thought is that he/she doesn’t know or doesn’t mean what they’re saying or doing. Or worse: I think it is my fault. So insecurity is also playing a role in this. After he/she is gone and I look at the ravage that’s left behind, I set my boundaries closer to home, where I can see them. And I appoint a guard.

Hello Anger.

The Anger guard is a very expensive one, it costs tons of energy. And to be honest I miss my naïve self. I like not worrying about other people’s motives. I have my hands full worrying about my own and how to be true to them. Anger has a function, it shows me I have boundaries and I should protect them. But I’m not protecting myself hiding behind Anger, by building walls around my vulnerable core.

So here I am, at my computer typing this post. And drawing a line in the sand in my personal space for my old friend. Anger is a veteran, he knows this battle is over, but there will be another, and another. For now he can enjoy some time off, admire the coastline, see me rebuild myself, touching around and feeling where my boundaries are and if they’re where I want them to be.

Emotions are useful, they protect us, show us what our values are. But when we’ve felt them, and know why they’ve popped up, we should release them.

Let them go and there will be room for all of them. Hold tight and the one in your grasp will make you forget the others.

They’re what we feel. Not who we are.