Some quotes need no explanation. This one says it all 🙂
“Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late”
– Benjamin Franklin –
As week’s come, the last one was a monstrosity! I spent every single free second I had on finishing a project, time I now wish I had spent otherwise, but that’s another story. I am already too gloomy as it is, so here’s what I managed to learn in a week filled with chaos (let’s always focus on the positive, shall we?):
During the least fun times you learn the most about yourself
Such a cliché, but so true. That’s what hardship is for: to form personality. My last few years have not been so great. I know I shouldn’t complain, because there are people whose problems outweigh mine by millions, but even so I can honestly say I haven’t really enjoyed my life during the past, say, two to four years. Maybe even longer. But bad times make you stronger, and when you are faced with yourself, all you can do is try your best and learn.
When in severe stress, write out your Worst Case Scenario and adopt a plan
Stress is awful, it makes you act in strange, un-humanlike ways and your brains can get fried by it, not even to mention all the sleepless nights you get on the side. I was under super-stress last week: I had to finish a pub quiz (the project I mentioned before) with two friends, but one of them kept sending me more and more info with only two days to go and the other one was MIA (she was ill, it later appeared). In the end, I wrote down my worst case scenario and went from there. Not because I actually thought it would all come true (it didn’t), but because I couldn’t sleep wondering if it would.
I learned how to use a car wash
Don’t laugh! I’d never gone to one before, as I’ve always cleaned my car myself. But at the gas station I received a discount ticket for their car wash and I thought: why not. I mean, it’s November. It’s literally freezing outside. I don’t want to be out with a bucket and a cloth to wash my car whilst freezing my fingers off. Or my nose. Or both! (Or is that: “or eleven”?).
In the end, it was hilarious. I went with my mother and we had a blast. Until she left to pee about ten seconds before her car was done :’)
You can like someone and still disagree on fundamental topics
One of my new clients is pro Trump. I am not. She is also pro Wilders, the “Dutch Trump” (if I may call him that for now). I am not. We disagree on very fundamental topics, but somehow I do like her. She’s kind, she’s generous, she’s talkative, and she’s trustworthy. So you see, even if you disagree on important matters, you don’t have to hate each other. People are more than their thoughts, they are also their actions.
If others treat you badly it says more about them than about you
There seems to be a new trend in how people act towards me. When I tell someone I don’t like their behaviour I usually get one of these two options thrown back into my face: 1) The Big Denial or 2) It’s Really All Your Own Fault. When someone tells me I hurt them, I try to apologise and usually explain where I came from. I might not be the best at that, but apologising is difficult as is and even more so when the other party has upset you, too, but you decided to clench your teeth to keep the peace. It feels really unfair, though, so I had a nice, long chat with my mother (who else to comfort you, right?), and she told me how people treat you is their problem, not yours. She’s right. I did all I could do to be fair to myself and others, and if I don’t get the same respect in return it’s not my problem. I am not a terrible person because someone else treats me like that. They are. For treating me like that.
Growth is like a really long journey: sometimes you need to take a break and rest before you can continue on
It’s so easy to fall back into old, familiar behaviour. When I am upset, stressed, tired or all of that I find myself back in self-loathing mode, including hurtful actions towards myself. Stuffing my mouth with junk food and candy, is one. Telling myself I am worthless is another. Seeing the world as one dark, evil place with no refuge is yet another one, and I can go on and on and on. And on. I wondered why, if you grow as a person, it remains easy to revert to old ways every now and then. But life, and growth, is like a long journey. Imagine you’re on a road trip: if you don’t stop every so many hours or stop to spend the night somewhere, you’ll end up all worn out. Life is exactly like that: if you want to keep evolving emotionally, you have to take a rest every now and then. Reload, then get back on track again.
My paper is as wise as ever: If you overcome yourself, there are no losers
I think this captures my worries of this week: “What to do with my thoughts? Am I really such a bad person? How do I handle this awkward situation?” The answer is simple: you try your best. And then when you decide to hold back on the lashing out, you know you did well. In the end, you are your own worst enemy. But instead of fighting ourselves, maybe we ought to try to befriend ourselves.
I haven’t apologised yet for not posting a lot last week. Things were hectic and I choose the wrong way to divide my time. So I am sorry for being quiet.
Having said that, I know the future will be hectic and full of changes, too, so I might have to change my posting schedule around. Although I assume none of you will mind 😉
This week’s Earworm is a beautiful song I heard on TV, as background music of a film. I don’t remember the movie, but this song caught me, because at that moment it said everything I was thinking.
By the way: happy birthday to my beloved furry friends!! Even with their “deficiencies” they managed to make it to 2! :
If only kids would run the world.
Oh wait. They already do.
“The pine stays green in winter… Wisdom in hardship”
– Norman Douglas –
It’s been a strange week. One filled with all kinds of emotions, and one that passed a lot quicker than I had imagined. BUT! I did manage to learn some new things:
Sometimes things are just the way they are
This almost sounds like a Bruno Mars lyric, but it’s true. I have a tendency to think for other people, meaning that if they, for instance, won’t reply to a text, I somehow always end up assuming they don’t respect me enough or don’t take me serious. In the end, though, I always find there is a plausible explanation (too busy, forgot, was away for the weekend) why things happen. Sometimes, things are just as they are and there is no reason to be paranoid.
I find it strangely satisfying to know there will be people whose death I (hopefully) won’t witness
I always worry about the people I love most; my parents, my sister, my nieces and nephew, my best friends. Then a thought crossed my mind the other day: “I probably won’t be around any more when J and D die” and I was happy. I mean, I hope my niece and nephew way outlive me, obviously, but they’re not the only ones out there I care about who might see me go first. For that, I am strangely grateful.
It is not up to me to solve everyone’s problems
One of the things going on in my head this week was how I despise myself every now and then. I always seem to know better in a way where I think I can solve everyone’s problems. I can’t. And even more importantly: I don’t have to. Sometimes people don’t need me to solve their issues, they have to figure it out on their own. All they need is time and space, not a blonde neurotic woman breathing down their neck.
Having said that: I hope my friends know that if they have problems, I’ll be there to listen to them and (but only if they want to), help them solve whatever is bothering them, if I can.
The World doesn’t revolve around me
Talking about relief! Whew! This was a big one, right here! Sometimes I get so caught up in my own head, I forget there’s a whole world out there, with all kinds of people who have all kinds of thoughts as well. When things go seemingly wrong, it’s not always because someone is out to hurt me, it could actually be about someone else’s life. My life is not the only life. It’s good to be put right back into place. Thank you, Universe 🙂
All is well that ends well
In continuance of number four, I’d like to add it’s good to hear from people. My insecurities grow when I get radio silence from friends I reached out to (for whatever reason), so it’s always good to talk things out and get things out of your system. The friend I am working with for a project? She was too busy to send me the requested files, but did so eventually. The friend who is very ill and didn’t call? She phoned in the end and explained how tired she constantly is. She wants to meet up soon when she’s in good enough shape. She also sounded very upbeat on the phone, which caused me to drop more weight off my shoulders (I swear, worrying about people is a heavy burden). So you see: all’s well that ends well. Don’t automatically assume the worst.
(Don’t know which friends I’m talking about? Read Disrespect)
Jamie’s ear infection is chronic 😦
My little gerbil man really got back to his old self, but then this morning I noticed him shaking his head in a funny way and walking as if he’d been drinking. It wasn’t as bad (yet) as the time I took him to the vet, but my whole system was on red alert: that’s my intuition yelling at me that something’s wrong. I had read online that his condition could be a recurring one, meaning that the choleasteatoma (swelling) in my pet’s inner ear can cause ear infections every so often, and the only thing to cure these is by antibiotics. The swelling itself cannot be cured.
I had secret hopes I’d been wrong about this and it was a one-time thing, but unfortunately it’s not. I better put my vet under speed dial 😦
Paper-wisdom: This paper brings you luck. Keep it in your wallet to save
This week, for no apparent reason, I’ve been very sad. I thought it was because of C, my adopted sister with cancer, or maybe all my worries combined. Plus, sometimes I just feel bad and need a break to reset myself. But even after hearing C on the phone and feeling a bit better, I was still low on spirits. It occasionally happens that I am sad without a reason before something bad happens, so maybe I subconsciously knew Jamie’s health would worsen? I am not sure. What I am sure about is that I am in desperate need of a break. I am in desperate need of some luck.
Universe, seriously, you work in mysterious ways. Now please make C (and my Jamie) better 😦
There is only one song that best describes what I felt like the past week. And since I’ve been busy finding violin/classic editions of well-known songs for my project, I had to pick this version.
Enjoy the Earworm Of The Week!
[Noun; ~Pronunciation: /twelv/]
- Definition: They say misfortune never comes alone. I say: shock never comes without an after-wave. Or Two. Or eleven. My recent shock came in twelve-fold, actually, as I learned not only does Icelandic have three different gender-forms regarding their numbers one to four, they also have four different cases each. Thus: there are twelve ways to count to four in Icelandic.
“I do like to shock and surprise people. When it’s all in good fun, of course.”
– Ruth Warrick –
Surprises. I hate them. As a true control freak I don’t like being surprised at all. In fact, I rather plan all surprises, whether it’s for someone else or for myself. Basically, if I don’t know what I’m up against I get squeamish. You know, shaking all over and foaming at the mouth a little, that kind of squeamish.
Learning Icelandic is difficult. After having had no time at all to do any studying for about two weeks, imagine how happy I was when I finally had a few hours off to open my text book!
Now imagine me nearly toppling off my chair after reading page 93 (see picture).
I had just settled for “Funny, there are three ways to count to four in Icelandic! My language only has one”, but then the declensions entered the game and my brain was offered two options: struggle through it or face a complete meltdown.
Sometimes in life you unsuspectingly meet up with a bad surprise, one that leaves you with a bitter taste of shock in your mouth. But only after the initial effect of shock, your brains losing the ability to function, slowly dies down.
This happened to me when I learned my Canadian sister, C, has cancer. I don’t know why it took me so long, but the news finally started to sink in: she’s never getting better. Never.
I don’t want to talk about it, because it is her battle and I don’t want people to feel sorry for me that I might lose a friend. I don’t want people trying to comfort me, because I feel she’s the one who needs all the comforting right now. This story is not about me, it’s about her.
But it’s eating me up inside, though, because what can I do to help? Nothing. I can be there for her when she needs me, but that’s about all I can do for her right now, and even though I know that’s enough, it doesn’t feel like it is.
So I keep my mind occupied by staying busy and learning a language that’s way more difficult than I ever imagined. Do I quit? No, because everything in life that’s worth having is definitely worth the struggle.
C knows that. I know that. You know that. We all do. So we keep on going as if we have no other choice.
And if, at times, life gets too complicated and the weight on our shoulders is pressing down on us too hard, we can always take a breath, reset ourselves and continue our battles. Count to ten and try again.
Or count to four. I mean, there’s twelve ways to do that, so why not try that?
What have you been shocked about and how did you deal with that?