Heart to Post

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?

Heart to Post

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?

Heart to Post

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?

Heart to Post

About Being Sleepless Outside Seattle

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.

I lie awake, I drive myself crazy, thinking of you

• *NSYNC •


Last Wednesday I saw her again after three months: my psychologist.

I started seeing her for my insomnia earlier this year, and miraculously she helped me fall back to sleep. Little by little.

It’s so weird to realise you don’t actually realise all that’s going on inside you. I mean: you think you know about all that’s going on in your head, when really you don’t.

Stress builds up and my psychologist told me my stress levels are running through the roof: they’re more than 90% full, so every little thing that happens during a day adds to that stress, overflowing me. Which leaves me, well, sleepless in the Netherlands.

Over the past three months, my sleeping has gone slightly back to normal. I say slightly, because I still spasm heavily before falling asleep and wake up every morning at 6 am on the dot.

But other than that, I was doing fine.

So fine, in fact, that I’d decided I was A-Okay!

Only… that stress gauge is still running and my brain is still accepting new stress-entries on a daily (and subconscious) basis.

The first time my insomnia hit me back – hard – was the day my mother had her medicine appointment at the hospital.

As I lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, I felt my head rage. And really rage: I couldn’t stop a single thought from wreaking havoc in my head.

I was mad, upset, lonely, disappointed and immensely sad.

All the hurt and fears from 10 years ago, when my mother had breast cancer, came rushing back as if they’d never gone.

Ahhh, nostalgia 🙂

It took me two attempts at meditation, one melatonin and, much to my deepest dismay, a regular sleeping pill to eventually pass out.

The second night I nearly saw through was right after my eldest sister’s and mine high tea.

Of which I shall never speak again (the monkeys, remember?).

My psychologist was all ears, and luckily all understanding, too.

“If there had been no direct causality for your renewed insomnia, I would have been much more alerted. You will be fine once you deal with this stress.”

She recommended a YouTube video (in Dutch, so no point sharing it here) with information about healthy sleeping, and advised me to take the “sleeping diet” the video speaks of: force yourself into a healthy sleeping rhythm by going to bed at midnight and waking up at 6am.

Seeing as I’m already doing the latter (for no explicable reason), I might as well try the first, too.

The idea is to force your body and mind into getting enough rest a night (5-6 hours of really good, deep sleep for 7-10 days straight) and to create more rest-moments during the day. These moments will actively help your mind work through your daily impressions, so it can prepare itself for full rejuvenation at night.

I hate waking up early, but I hate lying awake more.

And I love myself enough to give this a try ❤

How was your week?

Heart to Post

About The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

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.


The Good

The good this week was found at the hospital. Bit of an uncanny place to find good fortune, you’d think, and maybe it wasn’t all good, but at least it wasn’t all as bad as we thought.

My mother had an appointment with a nurse practitioner to go over her new medicine: what to expect and not to expect, that sort of thing.

Prior tot his appointment, my mother had received a list of the medicine she’d receive, and had gone berserk over the possible side-effects.

What didn’t help was that someone had allegedly told her one of the meds was “like a horse tranquillizer”.

Much like a horse my mother galloped into misery and made my (and my father’s) life quite unbearable too, for several days.

Anyway, the nurse practitioner kindly told my mother that her new medicine might make her nauseous, and, if that’s the case, she can use the second medicine to suppress that.

The good lay in her direct (yet translated) words: “We give these nausea suppressors to everyone with your type of leukaemia, just in case. But, honestly, if you need them, you’re the exception.”

Relief was dressed in a white doctor’s coat that day.

Life is neither good or evil, but only a place for good and evil

• Marcus Aurelius •


The Bad

The bad has a habit of showing up unexpected. You can wait for it and it’ll never show its face, but the moment you turn your head because you’re distracted for a second, it overwhelms you from behind.

Despite the relief regarding the side-effects of my mum’s medicine, I couldn’t sleep that night.

All my anguish came pouring out, as if I were a volcano erupting.

You see, what I didn’t want to admit to myself (read: anyone) is that I am lonely. And tired. And scared.

It’s as if I always have to be strong for someone else. And everyone in my surroundings to whom I turn for comfort, turns me away to cry on their partners’ shoulders.

I felt a strange yet familiar feeling creep over me as I lay in bed.

I’ve always said I’d do it again if I had to, taking care of my mom, and I mean it still. I just never imagined having to, and that thought scared me.

Suddenly I felt very afraid mum would be that exception the nurse practitioner talked about…

It took half an hour of meditation, one melatonin and one regular sleeping pill before I finally dozed off.

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.

• Maya Angelou •


The Ugly

Have I ever told you about the cherry pie incident?

I’m sorry, I mean the Cherry Pie Incident?

Well, in a nutshell: my eldest sister (of all people!) tried to poison me once by dropping a plate with cherry pie in front of my face.

I have hated cherries all my life, disgusting little things they are! Sis is seven years my senior, she knows this. But she pretended she didn’t…

To… prove a point I still don’t get? Probably. Like I said: I don’t get it.

Anyway, that incident, sorry: Incident unleashed an ugliness in myself (REVENGE! – Hey, I’m a Scorpio, it’s what we do! 😉). But, for the sake of our family, I try my hardest to stay polite.

That same sister invited me to a high tea yesterday, in a town not too far from mine. In fact, my town was on her route.

On. Her. Route.

ON!! Her route!

The “I could stand on a corner in one street and literally see her pass by” kind of on her route.

You know, I’m just making sure you get my point here:

I. WAS. ONNNNN. HER. ROUTE!

“Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” monkey-style!

She told me, after I waited for HOURS for a reply to my text “what time do you want to meet up?” that she assumed we’d meet there. Because:

“Otherwise I kind of have to make quite a detour to pick you up.”

???????

Do I have to write in details how this made me feel? Or with what emotions I stepped into my car to make sure I’d arrive late?

I’m never late. I was yesterday. Deliberately.

To prove a point I’m sure she didn’t get.

I’ve decided it’s been enough. People who bring out the worst in you are not good companions, even if they’re family.

I want to be like those three monkeys instead: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

So I’m going to deal with the Bad, avoid the Ugly and focus on the Good this week 😊

How was your week?