Heart to Post

HEART TO POST – About Coughing In Elbows And Being On National Lock-Down

“If courage is contagious, ignorance is pandemic”Unknown

So this is what the apocalypse looks like: empty streets, empty shelves, empty conversations. All I hear is corona this and corona that, increasing people’s fears for this invisible fiend or the contrary – my mother, for instance, is convinced it’s all a storm in a teacup.

Last Saturday I went jogging and I found myself either alone in an otherwise busy place or with people avoiding one another. One man walking his dog even crossed the street the moment he saw me heading towards him. Are we collectively losing our minds or are we being careful?

Or both?

My country is on lock-down, as most other nations are, too. This is day 3 of the National Quarantine.

These are the rules:

  • Stay at home if you show signs of a cold or the flu
  • Do not go somewhere unless you really need to
  • Work from home if possible
  • Businesses and schools are closed
  • Don’t meet up with friends or go on outings
  • All events with more than 100 people are cancelled or forbidden
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow (just don’t forget not to cross your arms afterwards)
  • Wash your hands after pretty much everything you do and do so for at least 20 seconds
  • Don’t hamster food (which is the Dutch verb for hoarding, but I like the sound of it so there you go! You just learned some Dutch!)
  • Don’t visit people who are more at risk, such as elderly people or people already sick

My Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday clients cancelled due to colds or fevers. This morning, I started coughing and had a sneeze-session of 6 in a row (a new record), so I cancelled my Thursday and Friday clients as well. I don’t think I have corona, but I don’t want to risk getting anyone sick if I have. Considering most of my clients are 70 or above… I pass.

I am scared, yet fascinated. As my cousin said it: “This, by far, is the most bizarre thing I’ve ever witnessed in my entire life.” I feel like we’re all in this together, but at the same time handling it differently. This virus is connecting everyone in the World, as we’re all dealing with the same “enemy”, yet it divides us because we’re scared to catch it off one another.

I just feel like posing a few questions here to raise awareness, keep each other hopeful and maybe even laugh a little.

So:

  • What is your country’s take on COVID-19?
  • What’s been happening where you live?
  • How do you deal with it?
  • How does corona affect your life and the lives of those around you?
  • How do you think all of this will turn out?

Anything you want to get off your chest corona-wise? Let me know in the comments ↓↓↓ Let’s discuss this. It’s not like we’ve got anything better to do, what with all the lock-downs and all… 😉

Please stay healthy and positive, everyone ❤ ❤

Heart to Post

HEART TO POST – How Fear Can Help You To Focus

“The brain may be regarded as a kind of parasite of the organism, a pensioner, as it were, who dwells with the body”Arthur Schopenhauer

Sometimes I fear I have a parasite, while in fact I know I don’t.

Do you recognise this? Maybe not the parasite part (at least I hope you don’t!), but what about that panicky feeling that rises when your health might be in danger?

I know I overthink. I know I over-worry. I know I get crazy at times and let that craze carry me away a little too far.

I know ALL this, yet I can’t stop it from happening occasionally.

It’s the struggle between thinking and feeling. How do you know if your mind is right? And how do you know it isn’t?

As far as parasites go, there are empiric ways to verify if your mind is pulling one on you or not. And I am happy to say my gut feeling’s always been right about this one so far (“You got nada”).

But what about the more important matters in life?

For instance, I was excited when I decided to simmer my business-building activities and focus on boiling out my health issues first. But even if I currently put in minimal work regarding my coaching escapades they still eat away at me by telling my head what I do is not enough.

I know I made the right decision – you cannot take care of others if you don’t function properly yourself – but sometimes it feels as if I didn’t.

I guess the trick is to find a certain balance between your head and your heart in everything you do.

And when that doesn’t stop your inner critic from complaining, tell it you’ve possibly got a parasite. See how quickly that shuts the little sucker up 😉

I’m kidding! Parasites are not funny. But the fear of having one swiftly put my mind back into priority-mode.

First things first. Always.

My health comes first. Always.

 

Heart to Post

HEART TO POST – From A Secret Admirer To Her Secret Cellist: A Lyrical Letter

“One good thing about music: when it hits you, you feel no pain”Bob Marley

Dear secret cellist hiding in my street: you need to practice more.

Your notes sound off-tune and you cannot play a recognisable song decently. The force behind your strokes is unbalanced and they often sound weak, as if you miss the willpower to show your musical instrument who’s in charge. The melodies you play are too light and easily hide behind the Summer winds or go astray in the Autumn skies, fleeing upwards, eager to escape their earthbound destiny.

And their destiny, I am sure, is to make my heart beat with happiness.

Hearing you play makes me want to close my eyes in silent rejoice, letting your music fill my soul with an instant happiness and a gratefulness for being under your spell.

The colours of your music find their way into my head and heart, pushing out every bad memory of the day, week or even the year. For when I hear you practice, I lose track of my burdens and my only desire is to enjoy!

To me, it doesn’t matter you restart countless times in order to get it right. It doesn’t bother me that the music notes coming my way are muffled through numerous walls or are impurified by traffic noise in the background. The sweet sound of your cello makes up for everything. Even if it’s merely a hint, a glimmer I catch of it, it leaves me longing for more.

The first time I heard you practice was on a lovely Summer day and I can’t descrive how delighted I was when I first recognised the deep, warm sounds of your cello. You made my day perfect and I was quick enough to discard my book, lean back and close my eyes, thinking only how lucky I was for having someone who would undoubtedly play my favourite instrument often and make my heart sing equally frequently.

However, the second time I heard you practice was only a few days ago. Through my bathroom wall the faint remainders of the notes you must have been playing a few doors down waltzed in. I don’t even remember what I was doing, because the moment my ears picked up on your exercise, that’s all that mattered. Pure joy.

It’s the simplest things in life that cause the most happiness and you working to grow your talent is one of my happy flaws, I am ready to admit.

So yes, your notes are unbalanced and your strokes sound weak. Your melodies easily escape into thin air, but they are never quick enough to escape my ears. And even if you have a long, long road ahead of you of becoming better and better still, I like what I hear. I like how you make me feel.

Unknowingly, you make me a happier person. And there is always room for more happiness in my life. Therefore, I appeal to you:

Dear secret cellist hiding in my street: you need to practice more.

Heart to Post

HEART TO POST – Trying To Fold My Life Into (Preferably Not A Frog) Shape

“Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay”Simone de Beauvoir


If life was measured by origami skills, I’d have a serious problem.

The other day I did the unthinkable: I searched out an old acquaintance on social media.

There are numerous reasons never to do this, the main one being it’s only going to make you feel bad about yourself. Because comparison always does.

A quick memo on comparison:

  1. You compare yourself to someone else and you lose: their lives seem better, more fulfilled. You think it’s just this one person leading a better life? Think again! Clicking through on their page is only going to make you believe every other person you come across has a better life than the one before. It’s a snowball effect of misery waiting to play avalanche on your self-esteem.
  2. You compare yourself to someone else and you win: or so you think. Ask yourself why you picked this particular person to measure yourself up to with. Possibly because you knew, deep down, you’d look better. Which is merely a sad way to cover the fact you’re displeased with your life as is. This rush of “look at me being superior!” will run off quickly, only to be succeeded by default unhappiness.

Either way you spin it, social comparison leads to despair. I know this, yet I fell for it as I recognised someone on the background of a TV show and suddenly wondered how they’d ended up.

Well… Let me put it this way: their life evolved itself a little different from mine. And by little I mean a lot!

After the initial shock (and familiar the-whole-world-is-moving-forward-and-I’m-standing-still-feeling) wore off, I realised we’re both where we need to be in life, her going her way and me going mine.

And don’t need to prove anything to anyone (although I wish I could run 10k in under less than one hour like her).

If life was an origami paper, she’s folded hers into a different shape than I did mine. In all honesty: I don’t even know what shape I am aiming for! The only bloody thing I can actually fold successfully is a frog!

-Ribbit, ribbit - I am a frog
You have to admit it’s a pretty decently folded frog, right! Sadly, it’s the only thing I can fold out of paper…

And I don’t want to be a frog, I want to be something else.

Something delicate, something special. The kind of origami you can only create after years of trying.

Because what’s the point in being like everyone else?

So I keep trying to fold something special, failing, and unfolding again. I keep straightening my paper down, drumming my fingers on the table impatiently before trying out something new.

I refuse to listen to how others folded their papers. And that’s where this woman and me went different ways: she followed instructions and created something beautiful. An origami creature that matches that of many others, but makes her (and many others) happy.

I don’t want something beautiful. I don’t want my silly frog! I want something exceptional. Something incomparable.

Because comparison never made anyone happy, and I want to be happy, but happy my way.

 

 

 

 

 


OH MY HEAVENS it’s a panda! It’s got to be a panda what I’m trying to fold! How could I not see it? If anyone’s got the secret instructions on how to make an origami panda, please share them with me! 😉
Heart to Post

HEART TO POST – Little Things Can Make A Big Difference

“Little things mean a lot, appreciate what you got” Boys II Men (from: “Little Things”)

And so we meet again, Sh*tty Mood. You always surprise me by jumping me out of nowhere. Is it coincidence we meet right after I evicted (most members of) The Frustration Family? I doubt it.

I did the maths, Sh*tty Mood, and here’s how things are right now:

  • 85% of how I feel is due to my crap hormones. I knew they had a knack of making me miserable, unfortunately I underestimated them. But okay; nothing I can do besides sitting it out.
  • 10% of my feelings are made out of stress. Yes, the moment anyone uses the S-word, my stress metres run wild.

I mean Schiphol.

Schiphol is the largest airport of the Netherlands and the most hated place in my existence. It’s always crowded, noisy, and filled to the brim with owners of less patience than me.

Guess where I had to drop off my parents last Thursday. Uh-huh. Now guess where I’ll be picking them up again coming Saturday…

  • That leaves 5% to causes unknown for my guard to drop, although I suspect it’s got something to do with my hormones – why not just blame the whole lot on them, right?

I first noticed how bad a mood I was in when I visited the supermarket. During my hunt through this evil place (I can never find what I need! I swear they keep moving items around to drive customers insane, one hidden item at a time), my mood went from bad to worse.

Then the massive chocolate bar I had grabbed as a secret weapon against the thunder clouds slowly emerging above my head broke in half. My mood went from worse to downright terrible.

Also, a little side-note here. What’s happened to store clerks?? When I was one 17 years ago, we were instructed to greet every customer we saw. Bosses were very strict about this and would penalise the people who appeared lax: they got severely yelled at. Eventually, every store turned into a merry collection of hellos.
Today, I think I’ve passed at least a dozen clerks before making my way back home, and nobody as much as acknowledged I was alive. Is this the new normal?

With a broken chocolate bar, a bag too heavy to carry charmingly and both my cardigan and leather jacket wrapped around my waist  – WHY does the weather keep changing so drastically every ten minutes?? – I stumbled home.

I needed a drink. I needed a lot of (broken) chocolate. I needed my laptop, a comfy blanket and Breath of Fire. I needed the World to quiet down a little (or a lot), so I could wallow in my misery and wake up tomorrow without my Sh*tty Mood.

Instead I walked in and saw Waldo tearing up a cardboard box.

My Sh*tty Mood was gone.

Instant happiness ❤ That’s what my pets give me. No matter how awful I feel.

Boys II Men were right: little things mean a lot.

Waldo and Darwin sleeping it off after having shredded down a cardboard box
Waldo and Darwin sleeping it off after having shredded down a cardboard box

 

 

 

 

 


PS: WHOOT!

Thank you everyone who follows me! I can’t believe I’ve got 1,000 followers! ❤ I never thought I’d even have one! 🙂