Heart to Post

Money Money Money

Unfortunately, money still makes the world go ’round.


Wrapping (aka Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover)

Pronunciation: /rap-ing/

Gift wrapped “I’m a total stationery fiend – I have drawers and drawers of lovely printed cards and wrapping paper”Keeley Hawes

Do not judge a book by its cover. Or rather: don’t judge a gift by its wrapping. Especially when it comes from me, heheh 😉

I have a dilemma going on here: I am great in finding gifts, but horrible at wrapping them. And yes, in most stores you can have your presents taken care of for you, but just because I suck at it doesn’t mean I dislike doing it! I like to spend just a little bit of extra attention on the wrapping of my gifts. I go all the way with different kinds of wrapping paper and use tape abundantly. Why? Just because I can.

This doesn’t mean it always ends up looking good. In fact, usually my presents look like crap.

But that’s not the point. It’s what’s inside that counts. And I may not have many talents, but buying presents I rock at! And it’s really simple, honestly. There’s only three rules to follow if you want the receiver to love your present:

  1. Make it personal; Try listening to your friends’ stories and remember what they talk about. Work related anecdotes, talks about items they’ve seen on TV and wished they had, memories of holidays, personal preferences regarding food/candy, etc. It’s really easy, honestly. You just have to listen carefully and pick something they talk about, remember it until their birthday (or any other occasion) and give it to them. Instant happy surprise.
    For example: my mother once complained about her old and beaten down coffee, tea and sugar-storage jars. She said they were in desperate need of replacement, but never once realised I’d buy new ones. So she got something she asked for without even remembering she did. (I also did the same with my running mate – pun! But her birthday is coming up and I don’t want to risk her finding out what I got her beforehand. But trust me, it’s great!)
  2. Give them something you know they’ll like; This one seems straightforward, but in reality it’s harder than it sounds. In case people don’t unknowingly tell you what they want to receive, it’s time you rake your own brain to see what gift would be good for them.
    My best friend, for example, asked for “something for the back garden.” I knew she’d said this to everyone she had invited, so my creative juices had to get flowing if I wanted to be original. I also knew she likes to cook and she often talked about having her own herb garden one day. And I remembered my other best friend had bought her special tea herb seeds she could grow herself. Result: I bought her a massive tea-cup (including saucer) which functioned as a flower-pot. She can now grow her tea seeds in a giant tea-cup, which she can keep in her back garden! I say: amen!
  3. Buy them something they asked for; If points one and two failed (i.e. no inspiration, nothing came up during conversations), simply give them something they asked for. It may not be as as fulfilling, but it sure will leave them happy.

Finally, I think wrapping whatever you bought up yourself gives your present just that extra hint of personal interest. Even if it means it ends up looking wonky like the one in my picture. But that gift is for my niece who’s turning one this weekend, and she won’t mind about the wrapping at all. She only cares about the important stuff: that what’s inside (and probably about ripping the paper off and playing with that, too).


Heroes (aka You Can’t Learn To Fly Without Falling First)

Pronunciation: /heer-oh s/

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles”Christopher Reeve

The past weekend was tough, but it also brought me a lot of perspective. I learned that people are, in fact, quite predictable (and still nobody has proved me wrong on that). I learned that some people and creatures always put a smile on my face, even if I have no intention of enjoying myself. But each time I visit my nephew and niece, it’s pure magic. They’re just so adorable, they manage to break even my strongest cranky barrier. And my pets, who are beyond cute and who seem to increase their crazy, funny actions in times I am feeling down.

But no thanks go out to the weather, though. I wish the stupid rain would stop already!

Anyway, I am feeling better and happier. I realise you need to fall a few times before you’re able to appreciate the things you have (instead of longing for the things you don’t have). It is, ironically, just like the Dutch weather: they keep telling us things will get better, and sadly that’s the only truth. Because it can hardly get any worse.

It’s the same with my life: sometimes I need to feel incredibly down, only to realise there’s only one way to go: up.
I am terrified I’ll take a wrong turn in life and will end up lost, so maybe this is my safety-net (be it a strange one). I can’t make a decision what I want, so instead I sit around and wait. And then when nothing happens I get moody and cranky and have a minor breakdown, only to get back up again and redo the whole thing.

I am seriously weird.

And impatient. Because I have a plan, and I’ve had it since the beginning of this year. It’s just that once I know what I want, I usually can’t wait to get it. And what I want is another sign from The Universe on where to go with my life. Do I stay in this wet country or do I start packing again for another foreign adventure (after which I return home and the process of finding a job, saving up, and travelling starts over).
That’s what I do: in times of doubt, let The Universe decide. It minimises the chances of making big life-time mistakes. At least, that’s how I justify it in my head. The reality is different, of course.

I want to travel. I want to spread my wings and fly (what was my secret superhero power again? Oh right, being inexorable). I want to get away from all the lying, deceiving, energy-sucking people who drain me emotionally, every day. I want to be free. I want to enjoy my life. So maybe it’s a good thing nobody wants to hire me! 😉

Honestly, my life isn’t that bad. It could be better, but it could also be a lot worse. But sometimes it’s allowed to feel a bit under the weather (especially during a time that just won’t stop being another prolonging of the rain season). It’s okay, because everyone has bad days now and then. We’re all “dancing with the demons in our minds” (wooahahwooaoahoo) every now and then. But we make it through. We fight back and continue down this road. Because we’re heroes. Relentless, strong, and mighty super heroes!


Heart to Post

Summer Is Here (Somewhere)

“To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring”George Santayana

(Mr. Santayana obviously never witnessed the changing of the “seasons” in The Netherlands… it’s just rain, rain and more rain!)

Anyway, happy summer everyone! 🙂

Status Update

The Return Of The Hormones

If my hormones had a face, they’d look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Because no matter what I do, they keep coming back.

Maybe this needs a little more explaining: a while ago my hormones caused me so much physical inconveniences, I had them removed (it sounds so much better when put that way). What happened was, I got a shot of hormone-killing medicine and it left me in a state of menopause for a good three months. But the medications have worn off and now my hormones are back, and with a vengeance! (Oh wait, that wasn’t Arnie in Die Hard).
Well, whatever. I am in pure agony again. Slowly my “inconveniences” have all started to reappear one by one, and I swear I am going crazy. I have come to the point where I am seriously considering becoming a man. Or trying out some surgery on my own.
Either way, I am feeling exhausted again. I am tired from feeling pure desperation, as well as from working too much this week (and then I am not counting the remaining stress of family/friend issues or the stupid weather that won’t make up its mind – it’s nearly summer, give us some SUN already!!).

After finishing The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year (and two other books), I am honestly considering of doing the same. 2015 has been terrible thus far anyway, and I have strong suspicions it won’t improve over the next six months. Plus, I find myself waking up with weak thoughts each morning after switching off my alarm. Thoughts such as: let’s go back to bed! Thoughts that make me quite happy. And who would miss me anyway?

Bottom line: the last week has been major blah. It’s hard to stay happy and positive when you’re a born pessimist like me, and it doesn’t help when each time you visit the restroom you just sit there for five minutes and cry. Because your stupid physical problems are back and you know nobody can help you any further (hence the pure desperation).

Plus I’ve run out of books to read 😦

Sorry for this rant. I guess a part of me wanted to explain why I haven’t been blogging the way I usually do throughout a week, and a part of me just wanted to get everything out of my system. Sometimes nagging helps, you know. More often it doesn’t…

Before I go to bed and leave you all thinking I am a hopeless case, I hereby promise I won’t stay in bed for the remainder of the year, I will get up tomorrow morning, and it will be a better day than today 🙂