This category contains 13 posts

How to take a break: Let yourself be

When I was a kid I always assumed that once I am grown up, I would be somebody. Not necessarily some great or famous, just someone who has found her place in the world and knows what she wants and what to do with life. I thought that this would happen automatically in the course … Continue reading

How to take a break: mindfulness

After having taken an 8-week course in mindfulness-based stress reduction, I still haven’t quite figured out what exactly mindfulness is supposed to be. I do have a vague idea, though, that I find rather sympathetic. For my amateur understanding, mindfulness is about being (and staying) in the moment, here and now. Paying close attention to … Continue reading

How to take a break: sleeping

Insomnia has been a loyal companion to me througout my entire life. I have tried to terminate our relationship numerous times, but insomnia simply refuses to take the hint. Insomnia faithfully sticks around through good times and bad times. In a bad night my inability to sleep culminates in feelings of despair and hopelessness, and … Continue reading

The duck in the park must be photoshopped

Going for a walk in the park and looking at a male mallard duck with its shimmering green head, my first thought was: This duck looks like a children’s book illustration. Then I quickly dismissed this premature thought and corrected myself, my next thought being: No, this looks much too photorealistic for a picture book … Continue reading

Today I discovered that clouds are three-dimensional

Not such a mind-blowing discovery, you say? Everybody knows that the world is not flat and that clouds are three-dimensional? True, insofar that I know that clouds are three-dimensional when I think about it rationally. But I tend to stumble through life so dulled by the daily grind that I hardly take notice of the … Continue reading

How to take a break: nature

Going outside, sitting down: I feel the warmth of the sunshine on my skin. Occasionally the cool breeze. The damp grass I’m sitting on. I hear a small animal rustling in the shrubbery. A bee buzzes by. A blackbird scolds noisily. I watch leaves flicking against each other in the wind, ants crawling around purposefully … Continue reading

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

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