Tag Archives: Life

An Alexander day…

When I was a kid one of my favorite books was Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. At the time, I remember giggling from start to finish as my mom read through all of the funny little disaster poor little Alexander experienced on that fateful day (woke up with gum in his hair, no dessert in his lunch bag, lima beans for dinner and tragedies of that sort, the type of disasters my 6-year-old self could really empathize with).

It’s been quite a few years since I’ve read that book or even thought about it to be honest but yesterday, on my cycle home from work, all I could think was “wow, that was an Alexander day…”

It was one of those days where you sleep through your alarm, rush to get ready, the button on your shirt breaks on the way down the stairs, you change into a new shirt only to realize it has a stain on it but it’s too late to turn back, rush to work, show up sweaty and frazzled only to realize it’s Friday and no one is in the office anyway. Let’s just say the day got progressively worse from there…

After tackling a disaster of my own in the office (with the support of my absolutely amazing colleagues) I just couldn’t seem to shake the anxiety of the incredibly stressful day. I have a tendency to worry too much, especially about what others think, and this day was no exception. As my mind raced with “what ifs” and “if i only did this..” and “now they think this..” I realized I’d totally lost perspective on the situation. As easy as it is to get wrapped up in your own drama, sometimes it really helps to remember, in the words of my fabulous friend and colleague, “you’re only the star of your own night.” And, you know what? It’s true. I highly doubt anyone else was going home obsessing about the day’s events to the degree I was, or at all for that matter.

So, after a not so restful sleep I’ve woken up feeling slightly less stressed, determined to shake it off and enjoy this fleeting sunny Amsterdam summer weekend.

After all, in the words of Alexander’s Mom, everybody has bad days, “even in Australia.” 🙂

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A New Year a New…

The start to a new year always leaves me feeling a bit uneasy. I can’t help but feel pressure to make some drastic change in my life or evaluate my actions over the past 12 months.

Living abroad, without the same support I’m used to, and dealing with the personal tragedies of the past two years have left me with noticeably less energy for heroic action. In fact, during my little annual end of year assessment I noticed that, perhaps as a kind of coping mechanism, I’ve spent the past year merely existing, gliding through life with blinders on- paying little attention to the details and unable to muster and real (although trust me I’ve learned how to fake it) enthusiasm.

To be fair, at least to myself, maybe that’s all I could handle at the time. My time abroad hasn’t exactly been what I imagined. That’s not to say that I haven’t had many amazing and absolutely unforgettable experience, but all in all it was a lot tougher than anticipated. I guess in some ways I kind of didn’t expect ‘life’ to follow me over here. I thought planning weekend trips and adjusting to quirky cultural difference would be the biggest obstacles I’d face. Turns out that’s not the case… Instead I spend a lot of my time worrying about the things I used to worry about back home- bills, work, my relationship and more than ever, the health of my family.

I’ve kind of always been one to fall for the whole “the grass is greener” ruse and this experience has been no exception. I’ve learned, albeit the hard way, the grass is just green. It’s that simple. Life, all the wonderful and the horribly tragic parts of it, will follow you wherever you go. While some places might include a bit more sunshine and familiar faces than others, you just can’t escape all the nuances of this thing called life.

So, that being said, we’ve all got a choice. We can spend our time stressed, anxious, self-conscious and far too preoccupied with the little things or open our eyes (literally and figuratively) and look at the big picture. I have so much to be thankful for and while life’s speed bumps may slow me down now and again, it’s all about keeping the momentum going.

Here’s to facing this year on the right foot, head on with open eyes 🙂

NYE

Bringing in 2013 with the best of friends!

 

A month of milestones

The past month has been an absolute whirlwind. I flew to the States to watch my best friend get married, celebrated my 27th (eek) birthday in Paris and graduated from Business school. Needless to say I’m a bit exhausted…

With my parents on graduation day!

Although there has been so much happiness, celebration and time spent with those closest to me over the past few weeks, it’s also forced me to do a bit of long overdue soul-searching. I have to say, this past birthday is the first where I’m actually starting to feel a bit old.. not old old, just older I suppose. Maybe the fact that I spent it honeymoon crashing with my newlywed best friend made me realize that I really am heading into that next stage in my life. My friends are getting married, buying houses and even starting to have babies.

That often dreaded question, “what am I doing with my life?” has been swirling around in my mind constantly. As I find myself teetering closer and closer to the big 3-0, I am feeling a bit panicky that I don’t quite have it all (or anything for that matter) figured out.

As I watched my best friend walk down the aisle on her wedding day I just couldn’t believe the girl that I used to have sleepovers with every weekend, cry about what ever boyfriend of the week had broken our hearts and do serious damage to our parents’credit cards at the mall was actually getting married!

Watching my best friend walk down the aisle! 🙂

I still felt like that 16-year-old girl rocking sparkly eye liner and blasting Brittany Spears on the way to school. Where has the time gone?

Although those that know me well know that I am a bit baby crazy and a tad eager to tie the knot, I am in no way ready to hang up my dancing shoes. A girls still gotta have some fun right?

In order to pull myself out of yet another quarter life crisis I’m going to focus on the positive things that getting (a little) older bring. I’m able to afford many more nice meals out with friends than I could a few years ago, recognize that some colors, no matter how beautiful in nature, are just not suitable for eye-shadow and can finally recognize a good thing when I’ve found it (or him).

After all, if there’s one thing we can’t control it’s getting older right? Well, there is Botox… but, you know what  I mean…

To aging fabulously! 🙂

Celebrating my 27th year in Paris! ❤

On the bright side.

Lately I’ve found it really difficult to separate work and school from my personal life. It’s not that I’m up all night answering emails or studying, it’s more that I allow the stress, and unfortunately dissatisfaction, that I often feel at work and school to follow me home.It’s funny because all day I can’t wait to go home and snuggle up on the couch with Sebastiaan (and a glass of my favorite organic wine) but when I finally drag myself upstairs to our apartment I’m so exhausted, drained and famished (ok, slight exaggeration) that I almost forget that I finally have the opportunity to relax.

Let's just pretend I look something like this...

Instead, I throw my bags down, hang up my coat, mumble “hello” to Sebastiaan and go change my clothes. After a little while and something warm to eat I’m usually finally able to unwind. By this time, Sebastiaan is frustrated and my less than pleasant mood has rubbed off on him.

I didn’t even realize I was doing this until Sebastiaan brought it to my attention last night (yes, we had a small um… argument). I don’t want to come home with a scowl on my face everyday. I don’t think anyone wants that. Not only is it unhealthy for my relationship but it’s not healthy for me. So starting today I’m going to try something new. I’m going to come home, ignore the pile of dishes in the sink or the bag of trash that hasn’t been taken out and take a moment to breathe. In that one breath I will let go of all the negativity that I have carried around all day. That first step into my apartment is going to be like a new day. A fresh start.

I know that this won’t always be possible, and some days taking a breath may not cut it and I might need to throw and/or break something instead, but I’m going to try.

This would be a lot easier if every day was like this...

I’m going to try because spending all day unhappy is no way to spend a day. I may not love my job and I may be counting down the minutes until I graduate but that doesn’t take away from all the wonderful things that I still get to experience everyday. I’m able to wake up everyday next to someone I love, I ride my bike past beautifully lit canals every morning, I get to watch the sun rise over the Dutch countryside from the train, I sit at my desk and listen to the sound of more than 5 different languages mingle in the office air. Come to think about it, do I really have that much to complain about? Not really. It’s time to focus on the positive. Time to get rid of that pesky ‘Negative Nancy’ whispering in my ear and look on the bright side a bit more often.

Afterall, life can be pretty amazing when you give yourself the opportunity to enjoy it. 🙂

“Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.” ~ Og Mandino