Writing Challenge

About My Top 3 Pet Peeves

“Peeves do not make very good pets”Bo Bennett

I once had an About Me listing the 11 weirdest facts of me as a form of introduction. However, I don’t recall all 11 as clearly. I’ll try to give you 3 original pet peeves, but forgive me if I accidentally repeat myself 😉

#3 – List Your Top 3 Pet Peeves:

From 3 to 1 (because I can!), here’s my top 3:

3. Bad spelling/grammar

So okay, nobody is perfect. And writing in a language second to your native one is a challenge, always. But I recall once researching language schools when I received a letter of one full of spelling errors. It was an official Dutch institute, yet their letter was filled to the brim with the most common mistakes made. You’re a language institute, you should be on top of languages at all time! It took me all the courage I could muster NOT to correct every error and send the letter back (I am a Scorpio, I take things heavy and hold grudges. Love me or leave me alone).

I also do not get Dutch “street language”. I just don’t. Must be a generation thing, because it’s used in many songs teenagers listen to nowadays. Or when people abbreviate words without any reason. How am I suppose to enjoy what you write me if you can’t even find the time to write it in the first place?

2. Spitting on the ground (or retching in general)

More than your average pet peeve, I’d say in terms of dating this would be my number one turn off. I get beyond icky when someone in the street searches their toes for the biggest, worst possible phlegm he/she can muster, then drops the aforementioned ginormous lump of spit somewhere random.

China was hell for me.

Well, obviously it wasn’t (pandas! <3), but it took some time before I was able to walk the streets of Chengdu without nausea rising within me. If you want me to leave quicker than you can spell emetophobia, you drop your spit somewhere near me and watch me flee in horror.

1. Liars

There’s car salesmen and there’s empty liars. The first will cheat you out of money and into a broken vehicle. The second will spin make belief around you like cotton candy: sticky, overly sweet, and afterwards you’re left washing the sugar stains off your hands, face, clothes, hair, teeth, and everywhere else you didn’t think it would hit you.

Car salesmen are bad, but can be avoided once you see through them. Hot air salesmen (as I call them) will try to make you believe something non-existent. Like, how amazing they are, for instance. Or how many college degrees they have. Or how big their head is (which usually is true, actually, but not because it’s filled with the intelligence they claim to own). Hot air salesmen will sell you whatever story they think will make you see them as The Most Amazing Person On The Planet, yet in the end you’re left with nothing but hot air. Not even a broken car to cry over; empty hands more like.

Also, a hot air salesman, when caught with a lie, will only hit you with more lies so as not to lose face. They’ll never own up to their stories being fake, rolling from one lie into another, much like how a snowball turns into an avalanche. They embody my number one pet peeve.

 

 

 

 


What is your biggest pet peeve? Let me know in the comments or take on this challenge yourself – let me know if you do! (You can find the original and full challenge here)

Writing Challenge

About What Someone Told Me About Myself That I Never Forgot

“May my soul bloom in love for all existence”Rudolf Steiner

“You have an animal soul,” his words sometimes still ring in my ear. I cannot tell you who he was, because I don’t know.

It was in 2016, on holiday in Canada, touring through a region that used to belong to the First Nations, when I stumbled upon a wise old man who told me I have an animal soul. I’ll never forget these words, for every time I lovingly stare at my pets, cry over koalas with burn marks or coo over  saved animals in the news, I am reminded of them.

With these words I embark on another writing adventure regarding the 30 Day Writing Challenge:

“You have an animal soul: animals sense your kindness and take a liking to you, as do young children.”

I have mentioned all my nephew and nieces either go through or are having an “aunty Samantha-phase”, right? As did the granddaughter of a cleaning client I only met twice, but who pretended to be me for a long time after (she’d drag her toy hoover everywhere).

Have I also mentioned I sometimes feel what animals feel? In Scotland, at a donkey sanctuary, there was a pony who caught my attention. All of a sudden, while looking into his dark eyes, I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness.

I don’t know why that pony was there, but seeing as it was a sanctuary for maltreated animals (mostly donkeys, but they also had llamas, ponies and some sheep) I can only imagine…

And then there was that one horse in Finland, who got upset because I took photos of all the animals and he was scared I’d forget him. He posed when I focused my camera on him. And finally stopped his screaming.

When there’s something off with my pets I can always tell, and even if I can’t put my finger on the exact problem I’ll know where to look because of how they make me feel (anxious, stressed, scared, sad).

And there was that one cockatoo at the zoo a few weeks ago who went crazy every time I passed his cage. Wanted me to pet his tummy (so sweet!) ❤

The list goes on, really. And I DO love animals! A lot!

So yes, these strange and surprising words have an effect on me today still, even if they were uttered over four years ago.

I have an animal soul. And I am proud of it ❤

 

 

 

 


What has someone told you about yourself that you’ll never forget? Let me know in the comments or take on this challenge yourself – let me know if you do! (You can find the original and full challenge here)

Writing Challenge

About Ten Things That Make Me Really Happy

“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it”Groucho Marx

Even if my online priorities are somewhere else right now, I have to admit I miss this blog and the WordPress community. But… I have yet to find some structure in my daily doings to make room for Heart to Follow, meaning I either have all kinds of ideas what to write about but zero time, or tons of time to blog but zero inspiration.

I’m normally not that much into writing challenges, but this one I stumbled upon and it triggered something inside me. So I am going to give it a go, although I won’t post something new every day. I simply don’t have the time for that right now, but one post a week I should be able to manage – I hope.

Without further ado, here is challenge 1: List ten things that make you really happy. In no particular order, those things are:

1. My pets
Those of you that have been following me for a while know I am an animal lover pur sang, and that I’ve have pet gerbils for quite a few years now. After all the past drama of sickness and death, I am now the proud owner of two furry friends called Meeko (brown) and Dorian (grey). Watching them fret around in their massive cage or just observing their beauty makes me (very) happy.

Meeko and Dorian getting comfortable together

2. Chocolate
Really, need I say more?

3. Reading
Trust me I do not lie when I state I am always reading one book or other. I just finished reading Ivanhoe today and already I have two other books waiting for me – and that’s just leisure. It’s standard for me to keep a book of professional interest on my night stand as well as a coaching magazine nearby, and of course I read blogs when I have the time. Really, even subtitles are devoured by my eyes.

4. Music
A good song can make my day or break a bad mood. I am not sure if I’ve ever told you this, but sometimes I experience music in colours. That is to say, one song can “feel green and yellow” while another can make me feel white and gold instead. I love all kinds of music as well, as you can tell from my personal playlist.

5. My family
Did you know “AuntSamantha” is one word? Well, it is according to my nephew and nieces, and I am proud to say all but one of them either have had or are having an “AuntSamantha-phase”, meaning they are seemingly obsessed with me, especially when I am around. I like that.
The only exception here is my youngest niece, who has yet to turn one. But she’ll get there, too, I am certain.

6. PANDAS!
Some people complain when I say I see most of the world in black and white, but then they talk to me for over five minutes and they understand: I am a pandaholic by heart. I love all animals, but these are my favourites.

Pandas, pandas everywhere! ❤

7. Horror
A good horror movie is never wasted on me. A bad horror movie even more so! There is something brilliant in fictitious evil, especially when the storyline is good. I really enjoy this genre, both on screen and in writing.

8. Travelling (MOUNTAINS!)
I love visiting new countries or, if that’s impossible due to, say, COVID-19, new places in general. I recently visited a Dutch isle and had a wonderful time observing sheep and cycling to and fro a lighthouse. Talking to locals, figuring out some history and trying specialties… And don’t get me started on mountains. I live in the only mountain-less country! It’s unfair… All I see is open fields with cows or rows of tall buildings. Bring me some mountains!

9. Writing
Playing with words, trying to find the best one. Creating a sentence with an amazing build-up… I really should do it more. Maybe combine it with coffee, cakes, music and/or chocolate. And some pandas, of course.

10. Revenge
Nothing tastes as sweet as a successful revenge, muahaha >:)

Nah, just kidding. I don’t take revenge. But accidents happen…

The real 10. Coffee and cakes
I feel these belong together. In Germany they call it Kaffee mit Kuchen for a reason. A really nice cup of coffee, a very well made piece of cake (with or without chocolate), with a good book or bad horror movie, must be one of the best combinations to making me a very happy person indeed.

 

 

 

 


What are some things that make YOU very happy? Let me know in the comments or take on this challenge yourself – let me know if you do! (You can find the original and full challenge here)

Aside, Heart to Post

About Awards & Appreciation

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy: they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom”Marcel Proust


I have to admit it’s easy to forget about award
nominations. Not because I don’t care, rather because I don’t see myself as someone who should receive any.

And that’s not because I think I am horrible – I don’t – but more so because I don’t think my writing is that good. Or better put: I always think there’s room for improvement.

So, to Rez in particular (this post was WAY overdue!) and Kamal as well: I am SO sorry for this late reply to making me a nominee for two wonderful blogging awards ❤ ❤

I’ve thought about the nominations and have read about the awards you want to give me, and I find myself torn between accepting out of gratitude and declining because it’s not me. I am going to do the unimaginable and decline out of gratitude.

First of all: thank you. Thank you for giving me a pat on the back, for liking my writings and for making me feel appreciated and worth it. Thank you thank you thank you from one kind heart to the kind hearts of the two of you. I mean it: thank you!

However, I am going to decline the awards (and any that might follow in the future) for the not-so-simple fact that just the nominations mean so much more to me. I don’t need an actual award to fill the widget-side of my blog or to crown a special page when I’ve got people (re-)visiting my blog, liking and commenting on my writings. The award is an award, however valuable, but you are a living human being I’m connecting with. You’re priceless! And that means more to me in appreciation than any award could ever reflect.

So, again: thank you for thinking of me and nominating me. But ever so more thank you for being a part of my community. It just wouldn’t be the same without you in it 🙂

That goes to everyone who’s been visiting my blog, be it for a day or for the 6+ years I’ve been here. And especially to Rez from Rez Scribblez and Kamal from Kamal’s Blogging Cafe. You have wonderful blogs and deserve more attention from me. You all do.

 

 

Letters to Life

Letters to Life (64)

“Don’t stumble over something behind you”Seneca the Younger

Dear Life,

Old habits die hard, or so they say. I am afraid this might be true, as I find myself still questioning almost every move I make as if everyone else has been given the almighty power to weigh me – and possibly find me too light.

What has come over me? I wish I knew what drives that part of me, as I am the first to tell anyone either willing or unwilling to listen that other’s opinions are just that: opinions. If somebody thinks what you did was stupid, it does not make you a stupid person. It just means you did something considered silly by someone else.

Two things happened this week that caused me to experience a few moments of self-doubt: First, I raised my wages for coaching. Although this made me feel a bit icky, it also felt right. I was able to rationalise my move and thus feel okay about it.

Second, I didn’t dare to share that weekly success in my coaching community. Why? I was too scared somebody would travel to my website, take a peek at my new wages, then make the journey back to their keyboard just to tell me I am not worth my prices.

For thirty-plus years I’ve lived in constant fear of somebody telling me I am not worth it, Life.

That has to stop. From this day forward, I am going to show myself the love and attention I am worth. I am going to actively appreciate myself for the next seven days at least (and then some).

Feeling worthless is like a dress that no longer suits me; I’ve outgrown it. It’s old and worn-down and I am tired of the way it looks on me.

I’m going to replace it, Life, finally. Because I AM worth it 🙂

Are you aware you are a worthy being? Or are you still figuring it out (like me)? Let me know in a comment! ↓↓