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)

Goals, Status Update

GOAL POST (5) – What The… Take A Moment And Revise Your Strategy

  • CURRENTLY WORKING ON: Goals 1 & 2 – Feel Better & Make Business Successful


Step I-Lost-Count: Whut!? What’s happened? Revise!

The weirdest thing happened as I tried to plan my life: life got in the way of itself. I didn’t even know it could do that!

So what’s new? Well, as I tried to focus on my first goal of feeling better, my second goal pushed its way forward and now I suddenly am working on making my business a success even before I find I am 100% back to being healthy – or at least the state of health I’d like to be at.

I needn’t tell you of country’s lockdowns happening worldwide due to COVID-19, but as it turns out it has some plus sides, too. Not only did it do wonders for my sleeping rhythm, it also gave me exactly that what I’ve been silently asking the Universe for: time off work to focus on my own business.

Don’t get me wrong: I hate this current state of affairs and I’d never thought it was possible to crave “normal” as much as I do nowadays. But going from six clients a week to two also has its benefits: I suddenly find myself with plenty of time to invest in my business.

And this is making zero sense to me at all, since I didn’t feel I was even close to wrapping up Goal 1. Now I am stuck somewhere in between: I’m still putting focus on my health, yet at the same time I find myself making time for everything coach-wise, like following online trainings, updating my website and social media pages and even working on my visibility towards clients.

So what’s happened?

I have no idea, really (but I can tell you I am mortified what this rate of working through my goals means for the third).

Now I can’t really write how you should try and feel better. Although some things seems to work better than others. Getting a good sleeping rhythm is my best advice. Even if you find it hard to go to bed in the evening, make a habit of waking up a set time every morning. Before you now it, that’ll help you to go to bed in time, too.

Right now, I meditate at least once a week, usually I work in my physical therapy’s stretching exercises (the groin still) and a ten-minute ab workout beforehand.

I work out once a week, too, which I combine with my physical therapy’s more intense exercises.

And I go running once a week, again.

In between, everything else I can do I consider a bonus, but this is my “basics”. Seems to work for me for now.

So, I guess, my advice as to feel better is: acknowledge you’re not doing okay, find help if needed, take your time, be realistic about what you can or can’t do (or should and shouldn’t), and try to set a basics that works for you. Then build up from there.

As for the making my business successful, any tips are welcome about how to get more clients. Especially in this corona-invested time where nearly everything happens online 😉

And because I haven’t been blogging for a while (do you know HOW MUCH WORK goes into making a professional website??), here’s a status update in bullets:

  • After Darwin died I matched his new friend Meeko to a new new friend, once of his sons, a grey one. For some reason, naming it Dorian (after the book, yougetit!) felt wrong, but no clue why. Then the breeder called and said she’d made a mistake: she’d given me a female gerbil… Oops! Guess that’s why the whole matching process went smooth as a feather. Meeko had a good three days, I imagine, but I did swap the grey gerbil for the actual grey son of Meeko. And named him Dorian. They go well together, but Dorian seems to have a bit of a food-obsession, where he tries to steal it from Meeko or chases his father away from their food bowl… I am not matching any gerbils any more! They better be nice to each other or else!
  • I was refused from the supermarket two weeks in a row now, as I found myself in between their door policy and my mother’s conviction of everything being “over-exaggerated”. The door policy won. Twice. So I gave up, took my mom’s shouting and just finished my book in the car, waiting for her to come back (The Island Of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells – I recommend it!).
  • At first I was reluctant to believe this COVID-19 thing would become anything severe, but now I am scared how long it will last before the world can go back to semi-normal, or post-corona. I am also terrified my parents will get sick and die, since both of them are over 60 and my mom has a history of physical diseases. I fear her immune system is very weak and that if she would get corona, that’d be it for her. At the same time, it seems like the measures my country’s been taking work… I am stuck between being scared and hopeful.
  • I never knew I’d be grateful for being socially distant by default. Honestly! I always imagined it added to my loserness (“loserity” sounds better, no?) not having a socially active life, but look at me now! Everyone is confined to their homes for safety and is complaining about it, and for me it feels almost normal. It’s no fun, sure, but I can handle it with ease – maybe more ease than social butterflies.
  • I went from six clients to two a week, meaning my income has drastically decreased. This doubles the weight on my shoulders to start performing better with my coaching business, but I am no star in making myself known or visible (see previous bullet). This lead to panic attacks, which scared me because it’s been a while since I last had one. Meditating works, though.
  • I am so bummed out I forgot what Steve Jobs said to me last night! Seriously! I dreamed about him, which I found very silly (even in my dream I told him so), because I am not an Apple person, nor did I ever particularly interest myself in Mr. Jobs’ life or work. We had a good talk, even if I don’t remember what he said to me, and I was happy about all the tips he gave me to make my business work. Can you imagine!? Oh my goodness, Steve Jobs gave me tips and I forgot them all! He’s just got to come back and repeat all of it.

Anyway, that’s about it. As for the whole goals thing: I am not sure what to do. I guess I’ll just roll with it, then. See where this takes me. That’s a first, too, by the way: me consciously giving up control and going with the flow instead. But who know where this will take me.

How have you been doing? I hope you are still safe and healthy and in good spirits! Stay brave and let’s sit this corona thing out together ❤

Letters to Life

Letters to Life (60)

“Sometimes it is better to lose something than to never have had it at all”Random Paper Wisdom

Dear Life Corona Virus,

What IS your problem, exactly? What have I, or any other living creature, ever done to you to be treated this way?

I know it’s not your doing that caused a dear client of mine to die. No, that was cancer (and I’ve tried pleading with cancer many times, but always in vain). I was grateful I got to say goodbye to her in person, albeit illegally regarding the strict rules you‘ve forced our country to employ, but hearing of her inevitable passing actually happening still made me sad.

I know it’s not your doing either, COVID-19, that forced me to say goodbye to my dear pet Darwin, for that was a seizure. But it was painful all the more so since I wasn’t even allowed to hold him when the vet ended his suffering. Because of you.

And I know it’s also not your doing that caused my aunt to die, either. That was cancer striking again with its ever so terrible timing.

I know none of these happenings are your fault, Corona Virus, but you do make it worse. Because funerals and cremations are now a big no-go, as you might spread swiftly among the mourning people, causing more damage than their grief alone ever could.

You force invisible barriers between us and make it more painful to deal with Life’s already unfavourable events. You layer the hurt with more hurt.

What we have done to deserve you, I will never know. But I do know that you will not get me down! Because all the people I’ve lost this week, all the souls I’ll have to miss from now on, live on in my heart ❤

And there’s no place for you there, COVID-19! Instead of the fear you’ve unleashed upon this world, my heart is filled with hope, gratitude and love.

Forever ❤

 

 

For J., Darwin and G. ❤ ❤ ❤
Goals

GOAL POST (1) – Don’t You Just Love A Good Pun

  • Currently working on: Goal 1 – Feel Better

Goal post… Get it? I thought it was funny. Funniest thing that happened this week anyway.

Seems like every day something stressful happened and I am not sure this worked well on my goal to feel better. On the other hand: it did put some things in perspective.

  • Sunday – My stamina escaped to lordknowswhere (I reckon it’s taking a break from all the hard work it’s been put through this month), leaving me exhausted. Spent most of the day asleep on the sofa and watching TV, hoping Monday would be better…
  • Monday – Just as the F, the L and the U made their entrance into my train of thoughts (“Now THAT would make sense!”) I got home to find my father sick. Sick as in “his-friends-from-his-wood-chopping-class-called-the-paramedics-because-they-thought-he-had-a-heart-attack” sick. He didn’t have a heart attack, don’t worry. His organ of balance got, well, out of balance.
    I am 33 years old. In all those years, I have never seen my father ill! NEVER! So at this point, my stress levels picked up pace while ascending to their peak.
  • Tuesday -Nothing too exciting happened. My dad did a little better and I remained exhausted.

“Be brave enough to heal yourself, even when it hurts”Bianca Sparacino

  • Wednesday – When visiting an old client of mine I was negatively impressed by her state of health. Pneumonia, a severely bruised hip and loss of speech… All things she had been checked for (and is constantly being checked for), but it got to me.
    That evening, weeks after my last one, I got another one of my infamous attacks. Just as I started thinking I’d passed that stage, it came back… But it was different, somehow. No stomach lock-down and it didn’t last as long as its predecessors did. I am starting to think maybe the stress is a bigger incentive for these attacks than I care to admit.
  • Thursday – My pet gerbil Waldo has an inner ear infection for which he is being treated. But because I cant explain this to him, he keeps scratching his right ear in an attempt to make the itching and hurting stop on his own. All this scratching made him look like he escaped a gerbil horror movie, as right now it looks like half his face is gone! I found him, all bloodied up, in his cage and my stress meters immediately went berserk! I’ve now taped his hind leg so he can’t scratch (he still tries it!) and have added painkillers, cleaning sessions and honey creme to his list of medicine. How I am going to fix this, I am not sure… Worry Fest 2020 was now in full swing.
  • Friday – Today I learned my blood pressure is low. Which is kind of funny, because with all the stress you’d think it was so high you could climb it to pluck a few stars from the sky. But no, it’s low. It explains the exhaustion and the headaches and maybe even the attack, so for a strange reason I am happy about this.

I have set upon doing breathing exercises (at least) twice a day to help let go. I drink more in general, and licorice tea (yuck) in particular, and eat more salted snacks to up my blood pressure. When I feel worried, I visualise a beautiful colour or happy thought into the worries, to make them more bearable. I keep feeding my father tea and check up on Waldo every chance I get, knowing that even if he doesn’t like what I do to him, it will help him more than if I’d do nothing.

And I’ve stopped telling myself I don’t do enough to feel better.

Because I do ❤

How have you all been doing on your goals? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

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! 🙂