Letters to Life

Letters to Life (61)

“Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men”John F. Kennedy

Dear Life,

I couldn’t help but notice how great an analogy baking a cake is for living your life or pursuing your dreams.

You see, as I added more ingredients, the mix became stickier and harder to whisk. At one point I even thought my hand mixer would give up altogether. But I persevered, because I knew I had yet to add my secret ingredient: my separately whisked egg whites.

Eggs are a fundamental ingredient to cake, but simply adding them is not adventurous at all. The trick is to split the yolks from the egg whites and beat the latter stiff, adding them at the very end of your cake-baking by gently stirring them into your mixture.

I could tell you why, but this letter is not really about baking cakes. It’s about you, Life, being just like baking cakes: people who go through you doing things “according to the book”, will never get any spectacular results. Their lives will be a lot like everyone else doing the same things in the same manners.

However, if you choose to stray a little from the beaten path, persevere even when things get tough, you’ll end up with something amazing instead.

For a split second I doubted my trick, as the mixture was very difficult to stir. It felt a lot like trying to get my business to become a success, which feels hopeless right now. The ironic similarity, Life, did not escape me.

But then the egg whites did their job and smoothed everything out, just as expected. The cake turned out super light and fluffy and I was reminded once again: if you want success, you have to work for it.

Trust your own abilities.

And your own secret ingredient ❤

Letters to Life

Letters to Life (60)

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain”Dolly Parton

 


Dear Life,

I once read that after 30 days of trying something new, it will become normal.

Today is day 49 of the Dutch quarantine.

Last Thursday, Life, you found me on a bench outside the local supermarket, waiting for my mother to return from a small errand. Sure, I could have gone in with her, but we’re only allowed into the store with a cart. And two carts for one bottle of milk seemed a bit too much. So I remained outside, in the sun, sitting on a bench more than the specified 1.5 metres away from the rest of the human world.

Meanwhile, a line of people started forming, all patiently waiting for a disinfected shopping cart to take into the supermarket. One girl was burdened with the task of cleaning the carts, one at a time, and handing them to the customers, one at a time. Even if it was taking a lot of time, nobody complained. People laughed. People talked. People were understanding.

I simply stared at the scene in front of me, Life, and felt sad. Despite people’s merriness in times like this, I couldn’t help but wonder what the world will look like post-corona. Maybe I am moving too fast in my thinking, but I know that nothing lasts forever, Life, and this too shall pass. Eventually.

Never one to like the ordinary, the first two weeks of quarantine I surprisingly found myself longing for “normal”. Now, with Quarantine Week 8 lurking around the corner, normal has changed. I’ve actually gotten used to the current state of affairs.

I hope that whatever you have in store for us, Life, us humans will carry it with pride like we do now. And that we’ll keep our merry spirits indefinitely.

Until the new normal will have, once again, been redefined.

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you are all in good health and spirits. Let’s all hope our current normal will quickly be followed by a better version ❤
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 ❤

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 ❤ ❤

Goals

GOAL POST (4) – Step 2: Be Realistic

  • CURRENTLY WORKING ON: Goal 1 – Feel Better


Step 2 – Be Realistic

As I pick up the phone my heart picks up its pace. I really don’t want to do this. Every fibre in my being is telling me to hang up while I still can, retreat NOW.

Well, every fibre but one: my common sense.

I know it takes more than a few people implying I am going crazy to actually go crazy, yet I can’t help but fear today’s attempted visit to the doctor’s office will result in just another let-down. Toss it onto the pile of disappointment: you will never feel better, we won’t help you.

Why was I doing this again? Why did I get my hopes up despite knowing better?

Oof, no time to answer that as the fake chirpy voice of the doctor’s assistant pulls me back into reality (I know it’s fake chirpy because last time I called she refused me an appointment and we got caught in an argument – remember?).

So last blog post I felt better and made a new blogging schedule. Then I started feeling worse and failed to follow that schedule. What else is new?

I’ll tell you what is: I relented. I promised myself no more doctor visits yet there I was, with my phone representing my last resort as I pressed the call-button, hoping nobody would be in, while at the same time crossing my fingers for the opposite.


“Bamboo is flexible, bending with the wind but never breaking, capable of adapting to any circumstance”Ping Fu


Here is the joke: even if everyone is telling you that you are imagining things, that you need to stop acting as if you’ve got the lead in a drama: listen to yourself.

If things do not feel okay, you have every right to find out what’s causing your issues, no matter who’s screaming louder than you that you’re feigning it.

And if you’re like me: relentless, maybe a little too headstrong for your own good, it’s the same voice you need to listen to. If in reality you’re fighting a battle you can’t possibly win without some help: get help. There’s no need to keep your guard up so high: it’s you who’s talking to you. Listening alone won’t harm you.

I spent weeks being exhausted, dizzy (to the extent of not being able to stand or walk), light-headed and in the company of constant headaches. Not to mention my practically sub-zero blood pressure.

I imagined it was my iron running low (it’s happened before) and that I’d be able to fix it myself with extra supplements.

I was wrong.

Unwilling to be realistic about this, I kept struggling for a few weeks more until I had to face the truth: I need help to get through this.

Tomorrow I’m going to have some blood taken. In the end, my doctor decided not only to check for low iron, but for a hormone marker as well.

Which just goes to show: if I had denied myself this doctor visit, I’d never have gotten any wiser as to what’s really bothering me.

Choosing yourself doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. Stay realistic about your situation and ask for help if you need it.

Are you stubborn, too, or do you easily ask for help? Let me know in the comments! ↓↓↓