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Sunday Summary

(Week 8)

sunday_summary_new“I am not someone who is ashamed of my past. I’m actually really proud. I know I made a lot of mistakes, but they, in turn, were my life lessons”Drew Barrymore

February is almost over already. Just one more day left to make 2016 a leap year, and an extra day to learn something! Here’s what I learned this week:

  1. If you dread something, it usually turns out better than expected. My gynaecologist was supposed to phone me last Tuesday to talk about my new medication. I positively loathe this man, because he’s all talk and no action, which I hate. Plus, his talks changed every time we had an appointment, and that’s something I hate even more. A little consistency is highly appreciated here, thank you!
    Anyway, I was playing with the thought of calling his assistant and cancelling our phone-date, but then all of a sudden my phone rang on a Friday late afternoon, and it was him, Mr. Gynaecologist himself. As always he sounded charming (he’s a really smooth talker. He should have gone into politics if you ask me), and our chat was not half as bad as I’d imagined. And very short, too. Which was due to me, but still.
    Dreaded the conversation, but in the end it was okay. All that stress was totally unnecessary.
  2. Happiness is the only thing that doubles when you share it. I heard this on TV and totally loved it! My late grandmother used to tell me that if I had something worth sharing, I should, because it would make not one but two people happy. So I always share my food or candy, and it’s a pleasure to see someone else enjoy it, too. If you’re happy, why not make someone else share your feelings?
    *EDIT – This is actually a famous quote from Albert Schweitzer, a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Thank you Micah Le Lann for sharing this info! You made me yet a little wiser :)*
  3. It’s better to have something on you that you don’t need, than vice versa. This is for all us women out there, and all those men not understanding why we always bring a bag everywhere we go. Or why we put so much stuff in said bag. It’s not like we need every single item in there, but maybe we do. Or maybe we come across someone else who would be very helped with something from our bag.
    In my handbag I always have a pen. Nothing too interesting, and I never really need it, but a few weeks ago the check out girl at the supermarket was in desperate need for one. So I handed her mine.
    Band-aids? Always have some on me, you simply never know. A nail file? Ditto. What do you do when you damage a nail at work and there’s no file nearby? Aspirin, same thing. Imagine being stuck in traffic and you feel a migraine coming up but you have no aspirin on you. Which brings me to the bottle of water: how else are you to consume the aspirin? You see? It’s always better to be prepared. Just in case.
  4. I’m not sure if I’ve ever shared the following wisdom, but it was proven valid again throughout this week, so: When opening a stubborn bottle/jar that won’t pop, think of someone you really really dislike. Works like a charm. There’s quite a few people I don’t like a lot, but there’s only about two or three that get me so angry just by thinking of them, they give me super-strength. A jar of pickles is easy-peasy for me. I think of my awful aunt, her demonic offspring or my crazy sister and voila! Pickles for everyone! Apple compote? Same story.
    An evil bottle lid that hurts your hands trying to open it for the first time? Don’t just picture the evil person in your head, but shout out their names while twisting. Works. Every. Time. Trust me.
    And that’s how you put anger to good use! 🙂 (I also wrote a post about Anger).
  5. You can tell a horse’s age by his teeth. Teeth that will never stop growing all throughout the animal’s life. I admit: I watch too much TV. But when The Incredible Dr. Pol came on and Dr. Pol talked about horse’s teeth, it all came together. That’s why the saying goes: never look a gift horse in the mouth. It completely makes sense, now!
    Of course, I could have googled this years ago, but why should I? Do you research the origin of all sayings and proverbs you’ve ever heard? I think not. So thank you, Dr. Pol, for teaching me something I never knew before. And good job on saving that horse!
  6. Listen to yourself and not someone else. The guy that screwed me over last year texted me again a while ago, and it still kind of angers me (maybe I should try picturing his face next time I open a jar). Seriously, just let me be already! In a nutshell, this is what happened over the course of about four years: he liked me, I didn’t know if I liked him back (it takes longer for me to open up to people), he got impatient, found a girlfriend and broke off all contact with me until he had broken up with his girl, after which he tried it on with me again. To my shame I have to admit this happened twice, and that I totally saw it coming the second time but never listened to myself. Instead I listened to his sweet talk.
    So that’s the thing: always listen to yourself. There’s a difference between speculating about the future and being 100% sure of what’s going to happen. In case of the latter, no matter how difficult it is, no matter how tempting ignoring your inner voice is: forget what the other party has to say. If you know better, and I mean if you KNOW better, why listen to someone else? Save yourself the heartache, save yourself the drama. Just listen to you.
  7. Wisdom comes in all forms, and number seven is always from a teeny slip of paper. This week’s paper-wisdom reads as follows: Don’t be afraid the world will cease to exist today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.
    I didn’t know papers were allowed to have a sense of humour, but alright! It’s true, though. At least for people not living in or near Australia. A new day will come, complete with new possibilities, hopes and dreams. Let’s never give up on any of those. Because if you don’t succeed today, there’s always tomorrow.
    Or Australia. If all else fails, go there. At least they have great weather!

    AND mountains!

That’s it for this week for my personal learning curve! I hope you had an insightful week as well. Now, as for the Earworm Of The Week, try to get this one out of your head before midnight! Muahaha! Hah!



Whatever (aka Introducing My New Mantra)

[interjection; ~ Pronunciation: /hwuht-ev-er/]

  • Definition: Whatever is often said to show you couldn’t possibly care less about something, and is also a popular stop-word among teenagers (commonly shortened to an uninterested “whatevs”). I would hereby like to introduce a new meaning to this otherwise so negative a word: by lack of a magic switch to stop your brains from overloading on negative thoughts, stress and anxiety, as well as bad memories that surface every now and then, simply say to yourself “whatever” and move on. It’s seriously that simple. Whatever ought to be everyone’s personal mantra.

“In war, events of importance are the result of trivial causes”Julius Caesar

Have you ever heard of Occam’s Razor? Basically, its general statement is that in the case of competing hypotheses, if both are validated (or rather: not falsified), the most simplistic one is to be accepted. Cut away everything extra, hence the razor part, and you are left with a basic, valuable essence.

I’m kind of applying the same concept to life. There may be no competing hypotheses in my existence, but there are important and less important matters to worry about. In order to see clearly it’s necessary to stop the train of evil thoughts and negative energy that blocks your personal growth, and focus on the important things in life. The big things. Not everything else that comes extra.

For example: my mother has a tendency to over-think everything, to come up with theories on how people function and speculate on their do’s and don’ts. Her and my father can spend a lot of time on this, all throughout dinner, for instance, and really worry about this as well. So much energy wasted on nothing but air.

I simply don’t care. I could, but I refuse to. It’s no use to try and think of what someone might or might not do in the near future. It’s not healthy to come up with theories on how the new gym is or is not going to be a total flop. There’s only one way to find out, and that is to wait and see.

But it’s not just that, think about what’s really important in life! I often wonder what my third item would be if I’d wake up in the middle of the night and my house was on fire. Imagine you only had time to grab three things, what would they be?

I’d grab my stuffed panda, the one I’ve had since I was three years old, my passport/purse for practicalities, and then… no clue. There’s nothing else I couldn’t replace one way or another. Photos, maybe. My college diploma (although I assume I’d be able to get a new one if I’d phone them and explain the situation? Surely I’m in their system somewhere as a graduate). Maybe a necklace or my blessed rosary?

I honestly don’t know.

(I do know that at this point I would like to state that I am thinking in objects only and that in no way do I see pets as objects. If my house was in fact on fire, my pets would be the first two living souls I’d save, provided my parents would be physically capable to get out by themselves).

The morale of this story is that we shouldn’t spend so much time on thoughts and things that don’t really matter. If you’ve got bad friends, don’t stick around, just cut them loose and find better ones. If your car has a scratch, don’t fret too much: at least you’re still okay.

Life is way too short to live it with too much worries, so grab your knife and cut away the least important ones!

And that’s the essence of Samantha’s Razor: cut off every fickle thing and learn to care about the big, important things in life. Ask yourself if that what’s on your mind is worth being there. If not: whatever. Don’t care too much about it and it will pass. You will have seas of time left to spend on more important matters!

And me? Well, I stopped thinking about the third item. I mean, whatever, right?


Addiction (aka Using A Stereotype To Help An Old Man Gain Self-Confidence)

[noun; ~ Pronunciation: /uh-dik-shuh n/]

  • Definition: Anything you need to take/use/consume in order to keep your body happy, while in fact most addictions cause health damage. Talk about a paradox…

addiction“All sins tend to be addictive, and the terminal point of addiction is damnation”W. H. Auden

My lips are doomed. But before I come to that, let me open this post by explaining the title with a cute little anecdote in which I make fun of French people only to help an old man grow some confidence (no offence to the French, though – you have a lovely country).

Once I worked in a store where we sold all kinds of household appliances and items. Among those items were drinking glasses. Long-drink glasses, but also glasses for juice, water, wine (red, white, pink), champagne, everything.

One day an old man entered the shop and asked me if I could help him find the right glass to drink port from (that’s what us Dutch folks call wine from Portugal, but I couldn’t find a decent English translation. At least now you know what I mean if I write “port” in this post).
I showed the old man the right glasses and thought he’d be happy. Instead, he had a sad look in his eyes as he stared down at his future purchase. I asked him what was wrong and he explained his worries: “My doctor tells me I have to drink a glass of port every night, as it’s apparently good for my heart, but I am afraid that will make me an addict. Do you think you’re an alcoholic if you drink wine every day?”

I told him if drinking one glass of wine every day would make you an alcoholic, the entire French nation would be so.

Which is probably not true, but at least it made him laugh. He was obviously relieved, especially after I confessed I’d rather have to drink a glass of port each day than take pills for the same purpose.

But his anxiety set me thinking about addictions. Which is funny, because this happened at least five years ago.

Something else happened, though, and only a few weeks back. I talked to my eldest sister about how my (doomed!) lips are constantly dry and painful, and she asked me if I use lip balm. I confessed to doing so “even more since they hurt so bad.”
She told me to quit using it. I told her I thought she was nuts. She told me lips produce a natural form of balm but stop this when you use a lot of chapstick. I told her I saw an item on TV explaining this was an urban legend. She then asked me who I believe in more: the TV or someone with a real medical background? (She’s a dentist).

At this point I stopped arguing, thinking to myself she’s wrong anyway.

But my lips didn’t get better and suddenly I remembered the old man in the shop. He clearly wasn’t an addict, but it made me think of what an addiction is, exactly. Addictions come in all shapes and sizes, but you know you’re addicted when it’s something you can’t stop doing, because your body (or mind – but that’s part of your body) keeps asking for more.

I then realised I am a lip balm-addict! I’m burning through chapsticks as if I’ve got nothing better to do, and my lips keep asking for more and more. And more.
They’re like two tiny sponges sucking up all balm within seconds, only to proceed to beg for more and repeat the process.

So now I am trying to lay off the lip balm. Which is frustratingly difficult (I never realised how much of the stuff I actually use on a daily basis! It’s ridiculous!). Even taking the photo for this post was heinous, because I really wanted to use some (my lips are in agony!), but I told myself I can’t. I’m cutting back on the balm, people! I have let go of my arrogance and decided to listen to my sister for a change.

I am not sure how long it’ll take before my lips are painless and naturally moist again, but I’m relentless. I refuse to enter W. H.’s mentioned damnation because of something as silly as lip balm!

Chocolate, on the other hand, might be worth being doomed for. Maybe I should try that, instead.

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Sunday Summary

(Week 7)

sunday_summary_new“Human behaviour flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge”Plato

Another week has passed, and it’s time for this week’s summary. Here’s what I learned these last seven days:

  1. Gel nail polish is crap. Apparently gel nail polish is all the rage nowadays. When I went out to buy myself a new colour to paint my nails with I noticed how all bottles had “gel” on them. It’s supposed to last longer (the bottle stated so explicitly), but it turns out it’s just another lie. I think I spent more time creating some cool (and poorly executed) nail art than actually showing off said nail art. The polish literally cracked a day later, blistering off huge pieces. So much for my faith in gel nail polish…
  2. It’s funny how much you can forget in just two years. That’s the time span for my Body Pump adventure, which is to end on February the 29th. Almost two years of going to class and eventually being an instructor myself. In order to leave in style I compiled a special pump, containing at least one song of every class I ever took. I started when 89 was live, only to move on to 90 about three weeks later. Normally, my memory is impeccable, but when sifting through songs and exercises I only started to remember things when I hit the 91st pump. Take in mind one pump lasts for three months, I forgot over three months worth of movements and music! That’s just not right… I fully blame it on the weather! And my almost-flu.
  3. I’ve been blogging for two years now! I completely forgot, because I was too busy hiding under my rock for Valentine’s Day, but February the 15th is Dictionary Dutch’s birthday! Two years (and a bit) ago, I thought I’d give blogging one more try, never imagining I’d actually keep doing it. But I’m still here today! So: happy belated birthday to DD!
  4. What makes you happy and what’s best for you is not always the same thing. I know I talk about Body Pump a lot, but that’s all going to be over after next week anyway, so what do I care? The thing is, our gym is now slowly being turned into a new one, and the vibe that’s been going around is one of negativity, change, and insecurity. People either dislike the new concept, they are confused by all the changes happening around them, or they are unsure what to do. Do they stay, do they leave?
    I really like being a Body Pump instructor, and lately I’ve been wondering if I’ve made the wrong decision, because the new owners would definitely have sent me to the course (on their costs). The only drawback would have been having to work for them and only them until I’d earned my course back (which is why I turned them down. Well, that and because the woman interviewing me was a complete cow). But the truth is: no matter how happy Body Pump makes me, I would never have been happy in the new gym. Short-term happiness is different from long-term happiness, and what I really want doesn’t combine well with what I’d really want right now. Sometimes we have to realise that in order to make the best decision possible.
  5. Your body is the boss. Don’t ever doubt that. It doesn’t matter how strong-willed you are: if your body doesn’t feel like cooperating, you won’t go anywhere. I was supposed to go out to lunch today with my two best friends, but one of them cancelled last Friday. She had a bad headache and knew what this meant: if she didn’t stay calm during the weekend, she’d end up with a migraine. Too bad for us, but there’s only one golden rule when it comes to bodies: always listen to them. I’ve been giving 60% max the past week, because I felt like I was coming down with the flu. My body was not in the best of shapes, but lots of rest, water, and more rest helped make me feel better. You might think your brains are in charge, but nothing is less true. Your body calls the shots, don’t you think otherwise!
  6. Compliments about my work make me feel proud. This needs a little explanation: I don’t handle compliments too well, I just don’t. I’ve been bullied way too much to believe in anything good someone has to say about me. Except work-wise. I know I put in the effort, and when someone compliments me on something I have achieved, or done, it makes me feel really good. A simple “You should blog more, seriously” can make my day. After class last Saturday a woman came up to me and asked me if I will be teaching Body Pump somewhere else. I told her no, and she said: “Aw, that’s too bad. I really enjoy your classes.” Now that’s how you get little old me humble and happy 🙂
    (Please note I did not write this to receive more compliments! In general, they still make me feel uncomfortable, and I wouldn’t believe them any more if suddenly everyone would shower me with words of praise).
  7. Paper wisdom! This one is lovely (and again very accurate): You can be annoyed all day long, but you are not obliged to. Whenever I am stressed about something I keep playing situations in my head, all day long, over and over again. A lot of times these “situations” are worst-case scenarios or negative thoughts about what someone might or might not say/do to me. They’re not even true! But I keep thinking about them throughout the day, and they use up a lot of energy (hey, maybe that’s why I’ve been so tired lately…).
    What I needed to hear was that I am not obliged to make myself think these thoughts. Maybe they randomly pop up into my head, yes, but I don’t have to play out these bad fantasies I know aren’t close to reality. It’s time to allow myself some piece of mind 🙂

That’s it for this week! The Earworm Of The Week of week 7 goes to The Killers, whose song I’ve used as my special pump’s squats track, and which stayed put in my head ever since.

Which I don’t mind at all, because I love this song (which is why I chose it for my farewell-pump).


Status Update

Heavy Mood

My legs feel like they’re made of iron (I couldn’t even finish my jog this morning :(). My head feels as if it’s about to explode. My eyelids seem too heavy to stay up, and I swear there’s a whole horde of tiny gnomes having an extended drum session on the inner parts of my ears, shooting flames down into my left jaw with their tiny flame throwers while at it.

And I think I just broke the record for most sneezes in a row. Anyone ever had more than seven? At the rate I’m going, probably me, tomorrow.

I cannot get the flu now! I have spent a LOT of time creating a “goodbye pump”-lesson for next week, and I am going to give it, darn it! Dead or alive!

Preferably alive, though.


Okay, fluids, tissues, and sleep might work. In that order.