Weekend Edition – The Genius of Curiosity Plus Good Reads and Writing Tips

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If you’re like me, juggling between the job you “have” to do, to earn money, and the growing love to writing, then you should absolutely read this post.
Two things particularly caught my mind. First of all, the passion versus curiosity part. This is EXACTLY what I have always been wondering about. How do people manage to be so passionate about anything? I’m more the kind of “Oh yes, this is going to be THE new hobby!” I’ll dive into something, absolutely frenetic about it, then a couple of weeks later, I’ll think “ah well, that was nice, but… let’s go over to something new.” In the meantime, I’ll have stocked up heaps of projects for that passion. Be it sewing, knitting, crocheting, gardening, cooking, or themes like detox, ab training sessions… you see, it is veeeery varied. And I’ll make plans for it. Schemes, excel tables as to how to do to manage to finish the projects by some given deadline.
The problem with this is that I’m driving myself crazy. I’ll then be feeling guilty for not doing what I am supposed to be doing to be good on my working timeline. And this for absolutely unimportant things, basically. But it makes me feel like I’m failing all the time. Failing my self-imposed targets and failing to be perfect in every domain I chose to be.
So the concept of “there is no perfect time” or, which mostly works for me “say yes, and think about how to achieve it later”, is the best concept to live by. I love making strategies, but honestly, they never bring me anywhere.
The only thing that has always lead to unexpected success for me was just going for the impossible, follow some deep inner gut feeling, and steer towards it. No thinking. No planning.
I started my blog a year ago, almost exactly to the date. I wrote for a couple of weeks, probably made some excel chart for the writing timeline as well, and then, well, life happened. And it was a heavy year that followed with difficult periods in the life of a family. I did though manage to get on a little bit with writing my novel, but I caught myself so very often thinking about what the hell I thought I would accomplish. I’ll never send in any novel. I’ll never get published. I’ll always have to do my job till the rest of my life. And that means for still many many years.
But then, one day last month, I was overcome by a longing to share my thoughts. Not with friends or family, but with some people out there, I don’t know, and probably never will know. And I started to write again. No matter how stupid it may seem to write again after a year of silence. I just had to follow this longing to share my ideas, my thoughts, my motivations.
And honestly, it has done me great good! It has made me feel so much lighter these last two weeks, you just can’t imagine. And although I was tempted to start an excel sheet, to plan towards something, I didn’t. I just write. Sometimes a couple of times a day. Some days I don’t. I just follow my instinct and go on with it.
And it feels great!

Found on 4.bp.blogspot.com

Found on 4.bp.blogspot.com

Live to Write - Write to Live

The Genius of Curiosity

pin curious whitmanLast week I started a conversation about whether you should Do what you love. Or, not. Live to Write – Write to Live community members shared some insightful thoughts and keen observations in the comments. This week, I came across a video clip of author Elizabeth Gilbert speaking out against “passion.”She begins her short speech by admitting that the advice she’s about to give is “really weird.” But, after listening to her, I kind of wanted to stand up and cheer.

Have you ever seen the movie Contact? Jodie Foster plays Dr. Ellie Arroway, a young and passionate woman searching for life on other planets. The film came out in 1997. I was ten years out of high school and working for a global promotions company, helping to manage a thirty-person creative team as they cranked out designs for t-shirts, bag, and tchotchkes…

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The moment when reality kicks in…

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… like yesterday evening, when I was trying on several skirts I had bought quickly at H&M this week. I had picked them in size small or 36 European size as usual, and hadn’t time to try them on.

Yesterday evening, big moment of frustration : the skirts were WAY too small. When did that happen? All my life I’ve been that size, except during pregnancy, and somehow, since the last pregnancy, I’ve become suddenly much older as well, and no matter what I do, the extra kilos just won’t come off, and the muffin top and all the other stuff is just stuck!

It’s just not fair! I thought last night. I mean, we’re the ones going through all the pregnancy-body transformation things, we grow huge, we lose some of it, then we work like hell to get rid of it… Honestly, I’m a strong defender of the fact that all this should be rewarded by a really nice and athletic body after giving birth. I mean, that would be the least nature could have given us to give us a little “thank you” note, no?

Well, at least it got me motivated to go on my run this noon anyway. Friday is the “long run” day, where I try to do my 8 km. But as for the eating part… (which is probably where my “not-losing-weight” problem has its origins)… I’m longing for a lazy chips and popcorn evening on the couch… guess those skirts are gonna wait a couple of months more to get worn…

Multi-tasking Mom or How on earth to manage to finally paint those fingernails?

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nail polish

I just noticed yesterday that there’s no “about” page on my blog. Or at least, I couldn’t find it, and couldn’t figure out how I could put a category like that on the page. But before I write this post, a couple of things about me. I’m a happy mother of two, a girl aged 7 and a boy aged 3. I also work full-time, but with quite ok working hours, so by leaving very early in the morning (I know, very is mostly my vision of the world) I manage to get back before dinner-time, where I take over the kid-shift. My husband manages the kids before and after school, thanks to his more flexible working schedule, which means time is always tight. That’s why I also go running during my lunch hour. It took me a long time to actually allow myself to use those 1,5 to 2 hours for myself instead of working, but it was the only way of getting fitness somewhere into my schedule, without taking more time away from being with the kids. And it was the cheapest one, the only I could afford on a long term.

So here we go, as it comes to make-up and things like that, the percentage of my day that goes into it is about, well, let’s say, something below 0,001%. I get up, brush my teeth, get dressed. Sigh. Look at the mirror. Brush my hair. If it looks too weird (I shower in the evening and often go to bed with wet hair, which varying results in the morning), I fix it in a rubber band. I glance at my clothes, and chose an eyeshadow that goes with it. Mostly violet or grey or brown. Mascara. Fitting earrings. If I feel really motivated, I put on other rings apart from my wedding band and maybe even a necklace. That’s for the days I’m feeling bold. On those days, I might even put on high heel shoes.

All of this takes about 5 minutes, maximum. Oh yes, and no, I rarely put on any day cremes. I have them. Lots of them. I just am way too lazy for it… And tired… Oh no, that’s not correct, I do put on some wannabe magic stick against rings under my eyes. I have no idea whether it works, but it makes me feel a little less crumpled in the morning.

You notice : nowhere ever would there be time for painting fingernails. And don’t even mention toenails. Ever tried doing that in full daylight when the kids are around? No? You have to, it’s really worth the experience and it’s gonna be a complete mess.

So, for times when I think I should try and look a little bit more presentable, I grab my nail polish, put them in my bag, and do the nails at work. Sounds bad, right? But no, it isn’t really. Because the only time you can actually multi-task without endangering your nails is when you’re typing.

So I use the time early in the morning at the office before the phones start ringing (a tip to other early risers : NEVER tell anyone you start working earlier than others. They’ll start calling you at 7 a.m. and honestly, although you might be ready and fit to work on your e-mails or writing some documents, nobody is ready to enregister some serious phone conversation that early in the morning.)

I put on the base coat, type away, let it dry. Second coat with colour, same procedure. And even the top coat, it all works out, and it made me lose, what 3 minutes at the most? Hell, most of us spend looking out of the window (if you have one in your office) or surfing around or even at the coffee machine for way longer than that.

Lemon hot water makes starting the day sweeter… or hotter?

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Thermos hot water

I don’t get it. I simply don’t get it. There I am, trying to take up on my good habits again (the ones from half a year ago… yes). It’s my second morning where I manage to spare the extra 3 minutes it takes me to boil water, press a slice of lemon and pour it in a mug.

As I’m still very late the whole week for work, my getting-up-early scheme not entirely working out yet, I decided on the great idea to put it in a thermos mug and drink it on the drive to work. Good idea, no?

So there I go, hands full and ready to walk out. I still have my thermos to pack somewhere, so I put it in my bag. Upright of course. I’m blonde, but not THAT blonde. Then I bend over to fetch something on the ground and “ouch” : a big slurp of hot lemony water runs over my back and of course into the bag. I don’t care much about the bag. It’s falling to pieces anyway. But hot water is, well, hot! Luckily it was only lemon water and not coffee! Guess that’s the positive thing about that new good habit?

I checked the lid, sure that I hadn’t closed it well enough. I remembered it said on the packaging that it wasn’t entirely leak-proof. Well. It isn’t. Absolutely not. The lid was completely closed and I had just as much as held it on the side, not turning it upside down or anything. Crap, I mean, why do they do something like thermos, and it leaks? I don’t get it. Noone walks around perfectly straight with a cup in his hand, right?

Keep your calm and look at the good sides

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This morning I woke up already feeling grumpy. Not because I’d slept badly or anything like that. Just because I knew I had to get to work for a couple of hours this afternoon. It would break up completely my day, and annoyed me to hell.

Mostly I was also annoyed because I knew that my presence at the event this afternoon was absolutely superfluous, and the few hours lost there would feel even worse, because it was just a waste of time. Furthermore, I was supposed to be holding a coffee and cake gathering with some friends this afternoon, and going to town and work would make the preparation way more complicated. So the whole morning it was as if there were a grinch running around the kitchen, preparing stuff, shoving the kids out into the garden to be able to get the cakes done…

And on my way to work in the car, I suddenly thought to myself. Damned. You did it again. Let something that was no real catastrophe at all ruin your day just because you decided it would ruin your day.

It happens to me so often, I moan and complain about something I have to do that I don’t want to, and instead of getting it done, planning it into my schedule as there obviously is no way around it anyway, I let it put me in a bad mood. And all the other people around me unfortunately have to suffer as well.

Now as I had supposed, it was a complete waste of time. And yes, the kids have managed to mess up the kitchen and living room in the two hours I left (that I had mopped and cleaned yesterday till late in the evening). And yes, I should now be cleaning it all up, get the table ready.

But hey, the kids are happy, they’re building a fort with all the living room cushions and covers (half of the play kitchen is outside as well… oh but right now I see that the soccer ball is also making its way out which is actually a very good thing, rather than having it in my kitchen). And there’s still half of the day left, time left to write a little post for my blog, time to fix myself a coffee and eat some chocolate before my friends arrive, so : looking at the good side of life, after all, it IS weekend!

 

Smile – it scares people!

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Sometimes, little details in everyday make you smile.
Today, on my lunch hour run (I wasn’t really too hot on doing it, being still sore and frustrated from the bad run the day before) I had an unusual encounter.

Suddenly, a man on a bike cycled next to me and tried to catch my attention. He was around 45 years old, and had some paperwork in his hand, so I was rather sure he was going to ask for directions to some public administration or other. To my surprise, he asked : Are you in a hurry?

I just smiled, waiting for his question.

He continued : Do you want me to pick you up on my bike? It’ll be less tiring that way!

And hadn’t I been running and trying to breathe evenly to avoid any side stings, I would have laughed out loud. The sympathetic man cycled on, happy as a peach, as if nothing had happened.

Strange ways sometimes.

In the meantime, I had lost a bit of the thriller I was listening to on my iPod, and to finish the run, its battery ran low just 10 minutes before the end of the run. I’ll really have to get it going tonight and continue during the cleaning or ironing session tonight, as I was THIS close to knowing who the murderer was.  Kay Scarpetta rules!