Monday, 21 July 2014

Under construction




It's been awefully quiet around here these last few months. Due to a lack of inspiration, a lack of time I allowed myself to do something for me, and the emotional rollercoaster you get on when losing a family member. Oh, and I also got a full time job in the mean time, which hasn't been helping either.
Well, that last part isn't totally true. Since I started my new job at the 1st of July, the creative juices have started flowing again. Not only have I been working on my Project Life pages, and started a Radical Self Love Bible, I also have a lot of ideas for this little online space of mine.

But I'm giving myself some time to let the actual post ideas percolate for a bit, while I give this blog a whole new look. I've been going through the Blog (Design) Love course by Elsie and Elise, and I'm about to start on the 2.0 version by Promise and Elise. Inspiration galore, I tell you.
I'm excited to start tinkering, but I'm taking my time - in the mean time you can find me over at Instagram.

See you on the flip side of my little adventure in blog design!

Saturday, 10 May 2014

talking about a tough subject

This post has been forming in my head for weeks and weeks, and last week on the train home from Imres parents I finally wrote it all out in my journal. Heads up: it's not a happy subject. So here it goes.

The story really starts 18 months ago. In late 2012 we found out that Imres father has pancreatic cancer. And that it had spread out, meaning that there was no cure. All the doctors could do was treat him with chemotherapy that would hopefully slow the tumors down. He went through a couple of chemo's, of which only the first one worked. After the last one we were told that his liver was too weak to deal with another batch of poison being pumped into his body. There was nothing left to be done. Months, possibly even only weeks was all he had left. He's still with us now, but it won't be for long. Let's just say, I get goosebumps every time my phone rings.

We're not talking about just my father in law here. I was 16 when Imre and I got together, so for the last 8.5 years (more than a 3rd of my life) he has been a part of my life. It was like I had adopted another father when I started dating Imre. If I had to pick a person that gets the Oscar for best father figure in my life, he would get it.
And now he's almost gone. It is so much more unreal than I expected. I still cannot imagine him not being there anymore, even though I've had 18 months to get used to the idea. Knowing that every time you say goodbye might be the last time, or that he will not be there on our wedding day, or that he will never know his grandchildren... it hurts so much. Too much to think about it for longer that 2 seconds, really.

One thing I noticed over the last few weeks, is how different people's reactions are when you tell them (and by people I mean people that I know, but am not very close to. Like coworkers). And I was (and am) astonished by how many of those reactions are, although I'm sure very well-meant, totally not what you need at a time like this. I'll give you two examples.
The reaction I get the most is that people start to tell you about that time when their grandfather/mother/cousin/sister-of-their-neighbours'-friend died of cancer. And in itself that is absolutely not a bad thing. I am at the moment just not really interested in the details of their funeral. Or the way it caused issues in your family. Or the details of how horrible that persons last days were. At any other time when I'm not in the middle of losing someone close to my heart, I'll listen to your story, and I'll be able to respond in a way that you deserve. But please, not now. Don't ask about my sad story, if it's only to vent about your own.
The other reaction, and this one seriously pissed me off, is this scenario: a person came to me and asked how Imres dad is doing. I said it's all just shit and they asked "how old is he?" I told them "66", and they responded with "Oh, well, I knew a guy who was 21 when he died of cancer". And then walked away. True story.
Excuse me?! Are you telling me that just because it's not the most heartbreaking story in the world regarding cancer, I just have to suck it up? I don't get to be sad or angry at the situation?

Yes, I know that this is probably not what this person was trying to communicate. And I know that the people who start telling about their experiences mean well. I just don't have that much energy right now, emotionally. And the energy I do have, I don't really want to spend telling myself that others mean well. Also, I'm just surprised that all these people that apparently went through the same situation I'm in now, don't remember how tough it is to keep hearing that the worst is yet to come.

For the record: I get much more sweet reactions, that feel like a big warm hug and help me to get on with my day. I have family, friends and also coworkers who pick me up when I am down, and listen to me when I want to talk about it. For this I am so thankful.
This post was written as a way of getting this out of my system and not yelling at the next person who tells me the worst is yet to come. And maybe, just maybe inspire someone to think about what they're going to say before saying it.





Friday, 4 April 2014

Guess what I found


Spring has been showing off last week, and it was glorious. Trees are blooming everywhere, and I particularly like the magnolias this year :)

This morning I had one of my wisdom teeth pulled, and I gave myself the afternoon off to relax, watch some series on Netflix, catch up on Project Life and read blogs. Here are a few awesome things I stumbled upon:

What are you doing? Oh, just taking awesome shots of my LEGO figure.

I hope one day I'll have a bath. Rachel makes taking a bath sound divine.

This post about rejection resonated with me (it's in Dutch, though.)

list of 50 awesome chick flicks? Sure, bring it on :)

 Since I'm hoping to pay off quite a bit of my student loan soon, I loved this article on how to have a great life without spending.

Which nouns describe you best?

If you ready one article today, read this article on why we get hooked on super normal stimuli such as the Internet and fast food. This article feeds my inner nerd :)

Have you heard about Elise's newest project? It's a podcast called Elise Gets Crafty and it rocks.


Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Blocked



Since we moved to our new house, I've been having a bit of a creative block. Especially when it comes to writing blog posts, and taking pictures.. as you probably have noticed ;)

I've been thinking about where on earth that block came from, and many, many options came to mind. I started with things like: my head is just busy with other things, I'm more interested in decorating the house, it's the time of the year. Then things progressed to: I'm not good enough at writing blog posts, my pictures just suck anyway, is anybody even reading this? And then I realised that something I have been trying to avoid has been slowly but surely creeping up on me: comparison.

"Don't compare your beginning to someone elses middle." It's a quote that planted itself firmly in my head when I read it first, and has come up to the surface many times since. Still, somehow I completely forgot about it for a while, and see where that got me: hardly writing and posting at all. I'm trying to be too serious, not posting the quick, fun, quirky stories that happen to me. Why? Beats me!
So I'm trying to be less critical towards my own work. Or at least, not overcriticize it. When I started this blog, I never intended to publish only perfect posts. It was a way for me to share my pictures, document my life and just have fun. So that's what I want to return to. It's been forever since I took pictures for the sake of taking pictures, and it's time to follow my own words: Oh, just shoot!

I'm taking this new found enthousiasm and I'm using it to kickstart two of my 25 goals at 25: grow my blog and let it thrive, and give my blog a massive makeover. I'm excited to get to work :)

Do you have any tips about what you would like to read on this little blog of mine? Please let me know! :)

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Here's to the three moms in my life



Just now I was cycling home from the train station, letting my mind wander after an exhausting journey. I started thinking about my mother in law, then about my own mom, and my dad's wife (my step mom technically, but I hate that word). They are women that I have known for either my whole life, or quite a big chunk of it. All three of them have very different ways of living, and under different circumstances: one is divorced and currently single, the other is married and has been for over 30 years, the third is divorced and remarried. But one thing they have in common is that they are such strong women. Between them they have battled depression, raised children, cared for parents suffering from Alzheimer's disease and cancer, survived divorce and came out stronger, struggled with a very stubborn teenager (who, me?!). And they are still standing strong.

I have learned so much from them. With all of them I've had disagreements and misunderstandings.We've shared tears of both grief and laughter. They have given me advise, criticised me, picked me up when I was down, gave me new perspective on things. Showed me things I want to take with me in life, and things I want to do differently.

I consider myself so very lucky to be able to watch these three women, learn from them, listen to them, love them.

So on this International Women's Day: Mieke, Johanna and Kitty - thank you. For everything. XXX