The evening before my run I had checked Google Maps to plan a 5k route, but I knew that this was not a foolproof method. You can’t always tell if certain roads are accessible to pedestrians. I memorized the direction I wanted to head in, and hoped for the best.
And indeed, already after about 300m my sidewalk disappeared… No way I was going in that direction. The same happened in a few other directions, and it was clear that a change of plans was needed.
So I took a good look around. How could I make use of my environment? This pedestrian island I was on turned out to contain a few elements I desperately miss in my neighborhood back in Eindhoven: slopes and flights of stairs. The concrete jungle in front of me turned into a playground full of possibilities:
I ran around like crazy. Up and down, fast and slow, all with a great big smile on my face. It must have looked crazy to anyone observing me, especially since I ran the same circle about 4 times. I didn’t care - this was much more fun than the 5k I had planned!
My natural tendency is to sit things out and see what happens. Throughout high school and college I just sort of went with the flow. I went in a direction I was interested in, but I never really thought about anything beyond the near future. I did what I was supposed to do and I got good grades, but I was never the girl that went the extra mile.
Which is all fine, unless you want to actually have a say about the direction in which you want your life to be headed. Back in late 2013 I decided that it was enough. I'm embarrassed to say that it took me a full year of unemployment after graduation to get to this point, but that is a story for another time. From the moment I started thinking more constructively about what I wanted and how I could achieve this, my life started to turn around. I started creating my own opportunities.
I've learned that if I'm not going to stand up for myself and ask for what I want, no one is going to do it. And I've learned that the best way to make sure you actually get what you ask for, is by showing up and doing the work. Going that extra mile. Being proactive, and letting others see and hear you.
I'm still not very good at this, but I'm trying, and I'm learning as I go!
Take responsibility for your work.
For the screw-ups and for the successes. They are both yours. And you know what? Owning your mistake feels super scary at first, but it feels so liberating afterwards. You don't have to worry about what will happen when you tell X about Y, or when you have to deal with Z. And you know what? Most of the times it's much less terrifying than you expected it to be.
Also - celebrate your successes. They are yours to celebrate. Don't come up with excuses for why this became a success. You did the work, and it payed off. BOOM.
When you're done celebrating your victory, file it somewhere so you can find it back when you need a pick-me-up.
Organize your shit from the get-go...
This counts for personal and professional shit.
One of the most important ways to stay focused is to have your things organized. By things I mean your inbox, your desk, your papers, everything. It helps tremendously down the road. Especially since you won't have to clear out 3500 e-mails from the last 9 months... (Woops!)
I'm now pretty close to having my shit figured out at work, next up is figuring out an organizational system at home. Last week Imre and I spent 45 minutes looking for an IKEA receipt that apparently was thrown out. Not helpful.. Clearly this is a lesson I'm in the process of learning :)
Do the things that make you happy.
In my early twenties I kind of lost touch with what I wanted, what my values were, what I liked doing, what made me happy. I lost the connection with who I really was deep down. Over the last few years I have, very slowly, been rediscovering these things about myself. I learned that I like exercising. Say whut?! Yes, me. The girl that hated anything that involved moving your butt, likes to do so now. Loves to, even. I also love to be creative. This took me a while to discover and get comfortable with. Especially sharing the stuff I make has been pretty scary sometimes. But it gives me tons of energy, too. And that's what this is all about - discovering the things that give you energy.
What I've also learned is that you need to keep checking in. Just because something gives you energy today, it might not do so in a few months.
Sleep. It will make you feel better, I promise.
It really is pretty simple and logical, if you think about it. If I get too little sleep, I get cranky, tired (no shit!) and insecure about everything. It seriously took me 26 years to figure out that this gets better when I get enough sleep. And get good sleep. Things that contribute to this are:
- exercising regularly;
- going to bed early (no shit, Sherlock..);
- no screens in the bedroom. This is something I have to keep working on;
- having a clean, organized bedroom - this in on the to-do list for April;
- reading a book before going to sleep. This has been my favorite for as long as I can remember, and it is a ritual that is very dear to me.
For my One Little Word for 2015, I wanted to make a visual reminder for myself. I knew I wanted to use greens, and incorporate my word. So I got to work.
This painting took me about 30 minutes to make, and I love how it turned out. I didn't really think ahead while making it, I just went with the flow. I like how the multiple green bubbles with "feel" represent the many directions in which I'm going with this word. Meaningful and simple. Boom :)
I put the finished painting in the window sill of our homeoffice / craftroom, and I love how it looks with the light shining through. It's exactly the reminder I had in mind.
So... I'm a liiiiiittle late with sharing my February pages. But at least you don't have to wait too long for the next PL post! ;)
Week 6 : 2 - 8 FebruarySupplies used: Odyssey from Studio Calico, Road Trip card set from Big City Quiet, Yes Please printable from Create.Share.Love
Notes: Extra this week are two inserts: one with pictures from my 2 days in Zürich, part of which I spent with Andrea, and one with pictures from Imres trip to Turkey, together with his mom.
Week 7: 9 - 15 FebruarySupplies used: This Magic Moment journaling cards from One Little Bird, Walden from Studio Calico, Studio Calico add-ons.
Week 8: 16 - 22 FebruarySupplies used: Seafoam edition, Conversations No. 2 card set from Big City Quiet, Studio Calico add-ons
Notes: Annnnnd then I forgot to print a picture... Shit happens. I'll print it and add it with the next batch :)
Week 9 : 23 February - 1 MarchSupplies used: Conversations No. 2 card set from Big City Quiet, Little Talks journaling cards from One Little Bird, Sunshine edition, Rain edition. That "love" card is home made.
Notes: Another insert! I decided that for every weekend or few days away I'll add an insert. So far I'm loving them! And for this spread also, I forgot to print two pictures. Just imagine this one in the bottom left pocket, and this one in the middle right one ;)