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About Bicycles And Unconditional Love

My dad’s gout is somewhat better – although it’s not fully healed, yet. My wicked sister has been planning and plotting more evil plans. It seems like she’s unstoppable! I’ve had a successful intake with another potential client and picked up coaching with someone else. And I am very, very excited for my birthday weekend! 25 hours of birthday: here I come! 😀 (We revert to standard time or winter time on the last Sunday of October, giving me an extra hour to feel extra special, hehe)

How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you

• Rupi Kaur •


While deciding what to write about, thinking I’ve had a “dull week”, it hit me: I learned to love myself unconditionally.

Hah! Talk about a dull week. Only I can think of calling it that 😉

Two major things happened: the unconditional love thing, which, ironically, I have my wicked sister to thank for and will mention after Queen.

And I’ve got a new bike!

Now, I know most of the people who visit my blog might not get this, but in the Netherlands pretty much everyone has a bicycle. We ride it everywhere we can.

I know I do.

(Unless it rains, but I am terribly lazy practical)

Here it is, my new city bike:

Simple, elegant, completely new and all mine! (Don’t let the arrow fool you – it’s a screenshot ;))

My dad took me to this giant bicycle store where they even had a “bike-way” running across the shop floor, to take the vehicles for a test ride.

We had two options singled (or is that “doubled”?) out, and I once again experienced the difference between men and women as I left both my dad and the salesman astonished by choosing the “basic” bicycle over the “more sportive, extra features added to it”-one.

Honestly, I don’t care. It has two wheels, a steering wheel, functioning brakes and lights, I’m good. Nothing was worse than what I had before (which, considering the total loss state my poor old bicycle ended up in, might not have been too hard a thing to accomplish for any bike).

So now I am the proud owner of a new bike! My last one stayed with me for… 15 years at least, so hopefully I won’t have to buy another new one before I’m 50 😉

So, yes, the unconditional love thing.

You might remember my wicked sister being, well, wicked. And mean. And childish. And rotten in general, but only when we’re not present.

This week, I told my mother: “if me being single is the only thing she can come up with to hurt me, she doesn’t know me that well at all.

My mother then confessed my sister is always cornering her with questions about me: why don’t I have a decent job yet? How come I keep wasting my time on my “business” (quotation marks intended)? Do I ever intend on moving out?

My goodness, where have we gotten to? That’s what I wondered as I sat down to meditate.

I wish I could find a way to let go of all this negative energy, I thought, because I don’t want her to get under my skin.

Sometimes it’s good that Google/YouTube catches your thoughts and turns them into video recommendations.

I stumbled upon a wonderful (yet Dutch so cannot share) meditation on loving the parts of yourself you don’t love right now.

You are here. You are a piece of me, therefore I embrace you

(translated piece from the meditation)

• Meara Luz •

In this meditation, you focus on feeling an overflow of love in your heart with every inhale, and then exhaling-and-sending that love to where it’s needed most inside you.

For instance: I spent this meditation sending love to my head, where I could sense my frustrations about myself and my reactions regarding my sister were located.

Because, as the meditation-voice said: “the parts of us we do not love (yet) need more love, not less.”

That’s how I found out I love myself unconditionally. With my good sides and all my bad sides.

Because a day after doing this meditation, instead of complaining about my sister the way we now do so often in our family, I started joking about the situation in general.

The air’s lifted, people’s spirits are lifted, and the heaviness in my mind has dissolved.

Unconditional love, people, begins in your own heart and expands into the realms of your soul you’d rather hide from. But once you embrace them, good things can and will happen.

That’s all about my week. How was yours?

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About Flowers, Toes, No-Showmen And Farmer Girls

Since the last time I blogged, my gerbils have moved into a bigger cage, but with the divider still in place. They have more room now, and I feel somewhat relieved – It’s okay this way. For now. Coco is doing fine, my seedlings have yet to sprout.

No one can hurt me without my permission

• Mahatma Gandhi •


I am sorry for the delay in posting, but I took a sort-of week off.

Here’s a bullet summary of what happened in the past 2 weeks, so you’re up to speed:

(Advice on evil sisters as well as how to get new clients is always much appreciated 😉)


1. Let’s Get Floral

This story is about my eldest sister speaking evil of me (as opposed to me speaking evil of her).

What did sis do?

Well, she’s already said mean things about our parents, our other sister, some of her friends and then some. All but herself and her hubby-to-be are used as bullseyes for her to throw darts at. Mind you: she only does this when the subjects in question are not in her direct vicinity.

So it shouldn’t have come as a surprise she’s awful about me, too, when I’m not around. It did hurt, though.

After summoning my mother to aid her in her quest on finding a wedding dress, sis told her she would get not one, but two bridal bouquets.

Why?

Well, so she could throw them both at me of course! And therewith increase my chances of catching not only a bundle of flowers, but a boyfriend as well.

“Finally,” at that, too, because: “it’s about time that gets settled.”

Sis and her boyfriend then laughed heartily at their own joke – at my expense.

Even if this hurt my feelings, it also taught me something: 1) I don’t need a man to fix some hole in my life; when I find love it’s going to be a bonus, not a must-have! And 2) I get over hurt easier now than I did a few years ago. If my own sister can treat me like this and I can move on this fast, then there’s nothing that can stop me! 🙂

2. Footloose

My dad had a pretty bad case of gout (if that’s the correct word) in his toes and feet a few weeks ago. Seven weeks ago, actually. And even if he got medicine and even if that worked a little, it’s still far from over.

So back to the GP and she sent my dad to the hospital for some tests.

And then the few tests multiplied into several more tests and my parents were gone for about a day.

My dad’s got an injection IN his big toe (OUCH!) as well as additional medicine to help dwindle the size of his toes and of course lighten the pain. He has more tests upcoming week and will receive the results of them all a week after that.

Fingers crossed this will help him!

Weeeeeeeee, my new favourite choreo! Oof, this is a workout on its own! 😀

3. The Greatest No-Showman

I had my first no-show this week!

Someone requested a free session, which I offer to meet potential new clients before I coach them (or not), but she hadn’t replied to any of the messages I sent her back.

So I phoned her last Monday and she answered on the first ring. We talked a little, and she mentioned she was into the free session, but was a bit anxious over what I charge. I told her we could work something out if needed and “let’s have this free meeting first to see what steps to take next.”

We scheduled an online meeting for last Friday, 9 am (AAAARGH I hate mornings!!) and come Friday morning, a quarter to 9, I am online and ready!

Five minutes pass beyond our meeting time and nothing. But that’s okay, I mean, sometimes someone is a bit late.

Ten minutes after that, however, I get uneasy (who likes waiting??) and I call her, but no answer. I leave a message, but again nothing.

I officially gave up at 9.18am and am now a little anxious myself. Not over what I charge, but over whether or not I should be celebrating this.

My first no show! What a milestone!

I feel like a real entrepreneur right now! With actual let downs and disinterested potential clients. Woohoo!

I know, I know, getting clients is so much better than this, but I feel you cannot ever take yourself seriously until someone else treats you like a fool first.

I am so having chocolate after writing this post! 😊

4. The Real Harvest Moon

This year, for my birthday, I was thinking about buying myself a copy of the newest Harvest Moon game (or Story of Seasons as it’s now called). Yes, I am a nerdy game-farmer during the weekends 😉

But apart from the present I want for myself, every other silly plan didn’t grow into anything more than, well, a silly plan.

I always celebrate my birthday in style by using the day itself to do something I’ve always wanted to do. Like go shooting, getting a tattoo, or seeing pandas in real life!

This year, nothing I came up with worked out and by the end of September I was in a slight mode of panic: what am I going to DOOOO???

My special day is on a Sunday this year, which means if I don’t get out my family is coming to barge in! (And in case you haven’t realised how our family relations are doing, may I remind you of point 1 of this list?)

During a meditation I thought: the only thing I want is piece and quiet. I don’t want to be at home, I want to go somewhere, hike around, have a nice dinner, be out in the open and relax. Be away from it all.

I told my mother and she loved the idea of hiking a trail somewhere. I then proceeded to tell her I maybe wanted to build the whole weekend around it, and she got even more excited!

I then found a really nice farmer’s hotel offer: three days, two nights, including breakfast and one dinner, in a forest area with hiking trails everywhere, castles, quaint villages and, best of all: far, FAR away from where I live.

I booked it!

I am officially set for my birthday, 2021! Bring on the 35th year of my life – Harvest Moon style!

That’s my update for the past two weeks. How have your weeks been?

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About Creepy Creepers, Hairy Biters And Dirty Bloody Fingers

After last week I’ve decided to quit Facebook ánd LinkedIn. It’s just not worth it if I never spend time on there anyway or when all it does is give me a head ache and a feeling of anxiety (something about panicking over being behind in life). Anyway, the only social media platforms I’ll be using from now on (and officially from 2022 on) are Pinterest (you are welcome to follow me – I always follow back. Stalking goes both ways, you know ;)) and WordPress (duh! Can’t miss you guys!)

Animals share with us the privilege of having a soul

• Pythagoras •


My avocado plant is called Coco. I somehow thought it captured her true essence, my mother merely rolled her eyes.

My mum might be the person who does all the planting and watering around here, but I am the one who lovingly talks to everything green (or fluffy – I don’t like to make a difference).

Coco needed some soil in her new, bigger flower pot and I needed some of it for Experiment 5 (or is it 6?) from Pam Grout’s “E2”.

My mother was happy to apply, yet I had to plant my seeds by sticking my finger into the dirt to make a hole for them (EW! How can we be related? Am I secretly adopted? My mum’s happily shoving both of her hands into that giant bag of soil and I shiver when I get a little dirt under my index fingernail – oh, the horror!).

Coco went back to her place at the back of the house, my new seedlings got a place at the front window where I usually sit. So I can, of course, talk them into growing strong.

The next morning a sea of roaming, smaller-than-fruit-flies-yet-equally-disgusting miniature creepy creatures were having a ball all over the floor tiles at the back of the house.

And after vacuuming them twice, after which they simply re-emerged out of seemingly nowhere, yet with a vengeance, we discovered their cousins were having a ball at the front of the house.

I’d told my mother I didn’t want to stick my finger in that dirt, because “who knows what’s living inside it.”

Well, now we know.

We got new soil, and everything is now so(i)lved. (Sorry, couldn’t resist).

Tiny critters, giant consequences – yes I just made that up. I simply like this song 😉

So that was one index finger’s tale. Now see what happened to the other one this week:

It got stapled. Heavily.

There’s even some bruising around the holes my grey little hairball Dorian made in them with his immensely sharp teeth!

What I did to deserve this?

I had Dorian in my left hand, Meeko in my right and thought, after months of being in the same cage, but separated from each other by an ingeniously built divider made out of double layered chicken wire and wood, they would like to sniff each other face to face.

And, maybe, share a few seconds sitting together on one of my hands.

Well… My left index finger concluded it didn’t quite like how that plan worked out, two bite marks with accompanying bruises richer.

My right middle finger, however, has threatened to leave me if I ever do that again, seeing as its top was practically lacerated…

Poor Dorian, he never bites! He must have been so scared… 😦

And so I’ve learned two lessons: always trust your instincts when it comes down to soil or dirt (EW EW EW), and: do not upset tiny creatures with sharp teeth.

Ever.

I need to build patience for my gerbils and I have two aching fingertips to help me remember that.

Nevertheless, I hope to see them reunited one day soon ❤

How was your week? Did you learn (or teach) anything new?

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About Being Social On Media: To Link Or Not To Link, That’s The Question

Meeko’s eye is slowly improving, but he keeps it glued shut the moment I take him out his cage. He’s also gone from gnarling and grinding his teeth at me to desperately escaping my grasp and letting our panicked shrieks. He knows I am a sucker for sad, high-pitched squeaking… But I am relentless and as determined as ever to fix his tear duct!

If you’re always trying to be normal, you’ll never know how amazing you can be

• Maya Angelou •


I am not sure what caused my weakness: was it the wine, the exhaustion, the low blood pressure, the momentary self-doubt or a combination?

Whatever it was, I did something stupid. I did something I never imagined I’d do.

I looked up my old friends on social media.

The ones who made me feel small all the time, only so they could feel bigger.

The ones who made me believe being different is wrong, only so they could feel happier with their boring “normal” lives.

The ones who taught me it’s okay to say goodbye to people who no longer fit in your life, for whatever reason.

Because some friendships just don’t last forever – thankfully!

For some reason, though, last Friday I couldn’t resist any more and I had to know: how many kids do they have already?

(I always imagined one of them turned total b*tch due to pregnancy malfunction and the other one would finally experience not everything in life is as easy as you’d like it to be – time to find out if I was right!).

Of course, having blocked them on Facebook was no help, so I turned to that other platform I use: LinkedIn.

(Through an anonymous window, of course – I am not that stupid! LinkedIn tracks everything and everyone, don’t want them to know I’ve been snooping around).

Of course, useless information was my part and I laughed at myself. Then I clicked on my own profile and…

On a sort-of-random note: I’ve heard this song on the radio a couple of times. Brought back memories of my 90’s youth – and I still love her voice! The title seems appropriate for my misdemeanour-ish LinkedIn excursion, too 😉

I realised the last time I logged onto LinkedIn was… several months ago. I think.

And the last time I’ve used it for anything productive was…

Never.

Literally never.

Be it the wine, the exhaustion, the low blood pressure, the momentary self-doubt or a combination of it all, but I suddenly couldn’t find a decent answer to the question: why am I on LinkedIn?

I am not a fan of social media in general. It tends to give me headaches. For instance, every five minutes I spend on Facebook, I feel myself getting stupider.

All those advertisements in between news updates make me frustrated and yawn a lot, as they’re all the same. You’ve seen one, you’ve seen all.

January 1st, 2022 I will be Facebook-less. I have yet to check and/or back-up all my photo’s, but then it’s bye bye Mark Zuckerberg – FINALLY!

Why not go a little further and wave goodbye to LinkedIn as well?

I am really starting to feel happy about this idea… I’ve never been approached by a recruiter or have found a way to gain clients through LinkedIn – I don’t spend enough time on the platform to really make it work for me.

And I am too disinterested to try.

What about you? Are you on LinkedIn? Why (not)?

Please let me know how you feel about LinkedIn (as Facebook already lost this battle for me) and help me decide whether to stay or leave 🙂

Hope your week was great ❤

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About Pets, Vets, And Animal Cannonballs

From now on, I’m going to post once a week (I’ve got WordPress added to my action list!). About my life, because that’s how this blog started: as a diary. By going back to the basics, I’m hoping to learn more about myself – and the world I live in.

An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language

• Martin Buber •


It all started a few months ago, when I noticed one of my gerbils squeezing his right eye.

A few trips to the vet left me with an antibiotics-type of eye cream and a very upset little gerbil.

You see, my Meeko doesn’t like to be picked up, let alone be tortured back into health – which is what I imagine he must think of it all, seeing as after two weeks of wriggling about fruitlessly in my hands, he started menacingly grinding his teeth at me.

Which in gerbil language means bad business. Very. Bad.

Meeko also steadfastly worked his way through 4 (!!) oven mittens and 1 welding glove (my dad’s), but only after having perforated my left hand in more ways than you can imagine with his tiny yet incredibly sharp teeth.

Maybe he grinds them to sharpen them…?

After 2 weeks of antibiotics, 4 oven mittens, 2 perforated fingers, 1 gnawed-on thumb, and NO eye-improvement, I had had it.

I went to a “specialist in small rodents” aka a “gerbil doctor”.

Meeko (on top) in healthier times

Well…

What can I say?

It cost me a rib and then some, but at least the woman knew what she was doing.

Outside the fact, of course, that Meeko managed to escape her examining table a whooping 3 times, twice within the first ten minutes.

Then once more by literally LAUNCHING himself from his travel box into the air and onto his path to escaping all those awful hands. Like a teeny tiny, furry cannonball he shot out!

“That’s the first time I’ve ever seen a gerbil do that!” the gerbil expert exclaimed, baffled.

I had to agree, baffled.

The vet concluded Meeko has an inflammation of his tear duct and needs other meds than the ones he was getting.

Those meds not only cost me another rib, but I fear will cost me a few more sets of oven mittens as well, considering I now have to administer 2 droplets into Meeko’s eye, three times a day. That’s 5 more torture-moments for him than before!

Oh, and the good news? (For the gerbil doctor, at least.)

If this doesn’t work within 2-3 weeks, I have to come back so she can perform a CT-scan on Meeko.

Which will cost me all my remaining ribs.

I love my pets. Let nobody ever think otherwise!

I try my hardest to give them the best care in the World.

But if this new medicine doesn’t work, I consider moving to Switzerland to become one of those screeching mountain marmots, seeing as they best vocalise how I’m feeling right now:

The best part of last week, of which my gerbil’s health issues and my emptying bank account were really the least of my frustrations, was this song:

I need more of this on the radio, please! So I can wake up every day, even if it’s going to be a bad one, with a smile on my face and the knowledge I’ll make it through somehow.

Plus, it helps to drown out my inner screeching marmot.

How was your week?