What Can I Say…

Welcome to my world of “Happy Moments”. This is what did it today:

Today I came home from a long and exhausting day spent not only in a class (English for Social Sciences, today’s topic: Homelessness), but also in a surprisingly useful talk with a former teacher, research at the library, self-experimenting with learning methods at the self-learning center (today’s specialties: Danish and brushing up my Polish), at the hairdresser’s (always good for a surprise) and, oh, … at the farmers’ market where I picked up most of the ingredients for my Happy Meal in the evening.

After last year’s events and the following burn-out, a day like this truly poses a challenge. Even if I happened to take only half of the class this morning because … errh … I came in late. But, you know, at least I made it. With the new semester I tried to get back into a school schedule. And it’s tough having to be in class at 8:15 am with about 40-45 mins just to get there. *sigh*

By the way, the green stuff on the plate, artfully arranged over the asparagus and under the hard-boiled eggs is a local specialty, a cold sauce made of several different herbs and dairy products going by the name – guess what – “green sauce” (German: Grüne Soße). Usually I would make it myself. I actually enjoy chopping a big bunch of herbs for roughly half an hour (never had enough space in my kitchens to welcome a machine, so it’s a board and the big knifes for me). But today, yes, I was grateful somebody else had actually done the work for me and was willing to part with his product for a fairly decent price.

For those of you picking up the slight suspicion that my happy moments appear to be connected quite a lot with food, yeah, well… let’s face it, food has this amazing capacity. But no, not only food can do it. Have a look at this:

Here’s evidence that I actually managed to clear some space on my desk. Hoping it would keep me from accumulating stuff in this spot again I had – artfully, of course – covered it with a kitty blanket. Sure enough, voilá! – kittycat had mercy on me and took possession of the spot. And isn’t it sweet of her to cover only that far left corner so that I still have enough space left to put … well … a little bit of stuff down … just a little bit?

3 Strawberries

This morning I found myself in the kitchen cutting fresh strawberries into little pieces to be added to my bowl of cereals. Three of them. And it made me happy.

And that actually reminded me of something. Some thoughts I had had when I read my good friend creativemother’s blog post about the journals she keeps. (Forgive me for not providing the appropriate links. For the time being it needs to be o.k. that I am still such a blog illiterate. But I will get back to that as soon as I can.)

I had decided that I needed to journal my positive and happy moments, my sometimes-even-great experiences. Remembering and inhaling and internalising the bad stuff I can do easily without any kind of journal. Actually, I think that was already a pre-installed software option that came with the firmware when I was born.

I still have not found a way to keep this journal. (Would anybody out there maybe have a suggestion?)
But hey, this morning I realised at least I can write a blog post every once in a while about some of those moments.
So here I am writing about strawberries. What’s so big about it you’re probably asking. Ah… How to explain…
For one, I hate to eat breakfast. I’m not hungry, I don’t feel like it. Never. But I have to since I am taking medication for my ADD that sometimes does not settle too well on an empty stomach. So a few weeks ago I had to create a new routine for my morning. It takes me roughly an hour to prepare. On and off, that is, not one continuous hour, soaking lineseed, adding joghurt, cereals, soaking… in between I’m feeding the cats, cleaning the cat tubs … you get the picture.
And by now, I actually realised that I’m liking it. I honestly look forward to eating the stuff. Weird.

The second thing that made me happy was an aha-moment I had had a minute before. Something rather self-evident and quite logical. But apparently I had to get to this point in a different way. The strawberries were in my fridge. I had bought them on Thursday and I had a PLAN with them. A PLAN – to me that’s always a word in all capital letters. A big thing. I mean it’s not as if I had planned something grand with it like a fancy cake or so. No, I had just meant to put them into some mixture of quark, joghurt  – a simple desert. And this morning, all of a sudden I thought of those strawberries, thinking: “Oh, I’ve got strawberries. I can put some of them into this cereal mix.” Yeah right, I can imagine you saying, big thing. Well, to me it was. Yes, I had a plan. Yes, I can change it. Big thing.

So there you are, cutting three little strawberries into little pieces made me happy. Oh, and eating my breakfast an hour later was quite nice, too.

3 Days And 7 Years Ago…

So here’s what just sank in this evening: Exactly three days and seven years ago, on April 20, 2004, a lovely Tuesday morning, this guy met me at the city hall and promised to love and honor me for … yeah well, a very long time at least.

A few days later, Saturday afternoon, April 24, 2004, we met again. This time in a church (actually quite a nice one and way to big for our little group of guests of a mere rough 50 people or so) and this time even exchanging very intense and meaningful vows that we had prepared together.

It is a little funny with these dates. When my then-husband-to-be proposed, he did it in his own, rather unique and special way: “When will you marry me?” Yes, dear reader. No question like: “will you marry me?” or – a little bit more pretentious, may be – “would you do me the honor…” or some such thing. No way. Not this guy. He actually pulled this stunt on me before. After we had been together something like, what.. six weeks or so, he asked: “When will we move in together?” And then, roughly three years later, “when will you…” So I picked a date and being the order-loving, numerologically tempted person that I am, I chose April 20, 2004 for our civil ceremony at the city hall – typed in German like this: 20.04.2004. And the perfect match for the church wedding: 24.04.2004. I still love to see these numbers together.

Don’t get me wrong. I was definitely not that naive to believe that this would be a good omen, making sure our marriage would last, no way. I just love numbers. And structure. And things one can remember easily.

So here I am, noticing April 20 approaching. Which is in itself kind of remarkable because for a while I was so out of tune with life, that I missed everything and anything, all the time. Birthdays, anniversaries, special events – all just lost in the great big chaos I was inhabiting at the time.  I mean, don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I didn’t care. To the contrary, I always loved to prepare special little (or sometimes rather big) surprises for the people in my life. Very quickly I got famous with the in-laws for the kind of presents I would give – well-chosen, well-prepared, fabulously presented – no, dear reader, I am not exaggerating. They loved it, they drooled over them. Oh yes. But you don’t want to know how much effort it cost me. The energy it took just to keep a birthday calendar, unbelievable. But I digress…

So, well, I noticed April 20 coming up. And wondered. Wondered what to feel. … Hmmm… Nothing.
(For those of you not knowing each and every detail of my totally unimportant life, he left last year in June, saying: “I can’t do this anymore.” Yeah, right. That’s how married life goes.) This anniversary kept coming up all the time the last few days, especially since I just got a new phone (a smart one for change, we’ll see about that) and was desperately trying to synch my calendar with it trying to get a grip on my appointments, my tasks – yeah, well, my life. So I was seeing dates and calendars all. the. time. But …

Still feeling nothing. Weird, isn’t it? I figured I should feel something, some sense of loss, disappointment, anger, … anything. But … nothing.

Until tonight.

When it hit me.

When I was riding on my bike on a wonderful prematurely warm summer-like evening to do some last-minute-Saturday-between-Easter-holidays-shopping that I should have – as usual – done already hours, maybe even days before. Panicking what to get. What not to forget. Then it hit me. Go figure.

Complete Control

Somebody recently said to me (i.e. wrote in a forum) that she knew that I was a “woman who wanted complete control”.

It hurt. A lot. So much so that I could not answer. I wrote a draft reply and did not post it. I stopped posting altogether. (Again, I honestly have to add. I have been through situations like this time and again where I just fall over and and out of communication at all.)

But today something got me thinking. What the heck is happening here?

Thing is, I don’t see myself this way. Not at all. I am most definitely not a person wanting to be the boss i.e. giving other people their assignments. And checking up on the quality of their work, maybe reprimanding them even. No, that person I am not.
I am also not the kind of person who wants to do everything by herself just to make sure it gets done “The Right Way”. No, I am not that person either.

What I am is this: I am a teamplayer. I like to do things WITH people, I am actually curious about other people’s ideas and interests and requests, not to mention the skills they have and I don’t. I find feedback necessary and a beautiful tool allowing me to learn from past actions (my own AND others’) and improve what I am set out to do in the future. I always worked best in flat hierarchies where my bosses would give me the feeling that my input was appreciated and where people of all hierarchy levels would bring to the table their respective skills as needed for the tasks to be done.

Being “in control” of something means that you know how to handle this “something”. Mostly, it means that you have worked on, and mastered maybe even, the skills or resources needed to make  “something” happen or “something” change according to the result you aimed for.
Now, in my book that’s a good thing, striving to master your skills (and/or resources), aiming to achieve a good result. Personally, I don’t like being faced with a situation where I am lacking due to my specific want of the particular skills (and/or resources) needed to handle this particular situation.
I guess you have noticed (and been probably tired by) my insistent add-on “(and/or resources)”. But that is what this is about. I would not dream of thinking that I could handle everything by myself. But I know that there are people out there who most likely can bring something useful to the situation. So here they would be my “resource”, bringing in more skill, more power, making the task manageable and the result satisfactory.
Me being in control of this situation would directly translate into: I know what I can do and I know what others can do and together we can make it happen.

So there, if that makes me a control freak – feel free to call me that anytime.

(I am sure that the “you’re a control freak” issue still needs quite a bit of further contemplation. But I can live with that. For now. I’m learning to downsize.)

Stagefright

What a chicken I am!
For months and months I have been wanting to write a blog. For some reasons I still can only partly fathom, I knew that this is just the thing I want to do.

To be honest, I am not the most faithful and thorough of blog-readers out there, I get way too easily distracted and lost in the shere wealth of fascinating and worth-to-be-read blogs as they already exist. On the other hand, when I first made some serious and lasting contact with the World Of Blogging I was ever so intrigued by this … oh dear reader, how to describe it properly? … this fascination words can have for me. (I guess language and my love for it will get their own blog post somewhere in the not so distant future.) I so admire people’s unbelievable ability to present often little and rather meaningless-to-the-rest-of-the-world details of their lifes in such an interesting manner that people in other corners of the world actually bother to take the time and read it. Not to mention, of course, the big blogs, covering “real topics” or presented by “really important” people – well, I like those too. But I just love the other category, stuff written by “normal” people, especially women with their (still and rather unfortunately) woman-assigned issues like keeping up a household, knitting garments, experiencing their children’s experiences etc. etc.

But I’m getting carried away…
So what is it about me and “my blog”? Like I said, for months I wanted to start writing … then … well, of course I had to start thinking -writing about what? To whom? And how? Why at all?

And now, that I actually found a focus, named the baby, decided on the language, picked a provider, hey, even accepted a layout (which definitely needs some serious consideration), now… I’m still … what … too scared to write? Too scared to be read? And seen and noticed? And in all probability: judged?

Yeah, I guess, that’s it. So there you have it – what a chicken I am.

Starting an Experiment…

So this is what this is about: I’ve got stuff in my head. All the time.
Sounds actually quite healthy, because if my head was found to be empty at any given time that would be quite inconvenient, wouldn’t it?
But I digress…
And that’s just the whole point of it. It’s just too much. All the time. Stuff keeps popping up, distracting, diverting, always getting in the way. Rather inconvenient when you’re supposed to focus on … well, maybe just living your life. Maybe just function in a way that people can relate to. Not starting  passionate debates about world-moving issues at any given time – unasked, unwanted etc.

So I decided to start an experiment: In this spot – kind of unlimited by time and space and context issues – I will do just this. Blab, gab, chat, nag, gush, preach, lecture …  on whatever my mind feels like right then and there.
Uncensored, unlimited.
Well, not quite. After all, I do have a conscience. I do have ethical principles.

Still, this is about me. Totally me. And my view of things. And how finally after a diagnosis of ADHD I’m struggling to become Me – ADDamantlyMe.

But, of course, I’d be absolutely delighted if anybody actually read this stuff. And maybe even cared enough to comment.