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How to take a break: crying (or self-compassion)

You’re hurting and you feel like crying. So what do you do? You tell yourself you’re being ridiculous. You make yourself feel guilty for feeling sad: After all there are others who are much worse off. You are so privileged, you’re nothing but a spoiled brat. You tell yourself you don’t have the right to … Continue reading

some days

Some days you give your best. And your best is useless. Some days are damaged from the start. Some days are broken. You’re neither a doctor nor a handyman. You can’t fix it. Trying to fix it just makes it worse. You try anyway. You make it worse. Some days you start off with your … Continue reading

My sister’s Chinese tandem partner plans his life

My sister has a Chinese tandem partner. This is how it works: They meet once a week and they spend half of their time together speaking Chinese (so that my sister can practice her Chinese) and the other half of the time they speak German (so that the Chinese guy can improve his German). He’s … Continue reading

How to take a break: Playing

In an earlier post I said that I envy my little nephew (5 years old) for his ability to be completely there in the moment. This is also true – maybe even more so – for his little sister who is 2 years old. You could also say: I envy them for their ability to … Continue reading

Can you stand doing nothing?

In her post on The importance of doing “nothing” WelliesAndPearls points out that scientific research shows that the brain needs downtimes to regenerate. She goes on to mention a few nice ways of doing “nothing”: taking a walk, reading, watching a movie, doing simple arts and crafts projects. I like these manners of doing “nothing” … Continue reading

How to take a break: sketching

Remember when you were a child: how you were able to completely lose yourself in whichever activity you were doing and forget about the time and forget about the rest of the world? Truth is: I don’t really remember clearly what it was like, but when I see my little nephew walking through the world … Continue reading

small life, small projects

There is nothing wrong with big dreams. In fact I greatly admire anybody who dreams big. And most of all I admire those who have the guts to actually try and fail. But: What I tend to do is use those big dreams as an excuse to not even try. Because I’m realistic enough to … Continue reading

Remorse – Je regrette que… (merry christmas to my ghost)

Two or three years ago I spent a two-week vacation taking a French course in Paris. I don’t exactly remember what kind of grammatical exercise we were doing that day – probably the subjonctif – but each of us students was supposed to construct a sentence starting with Je regrette que… (I regret that…) When … Continue reading

Life: maintenance vs. development

It seems like I’m spending most of the time of my life with maintenance. So much effort goes into just keeping things up and running: Working to be able to pay the rent, doing laundry, washing dishes, cleaning up, cooking, eating, cleaning up again, sleeping to be able to go to work again the next … Continue reading