Reflections + recent happenings

If I was giving in to my nagging inner critic paying its usual Sunday afternoon/evening visit to my brain I’d now settle into a reflection of my shortcomings in the week just ending. Yet – today is different. Granted, this is my fourth attempt at writing this intro so much to my dismay I did allow negative thoughts to flow out on paper/a blog draft page. What keeps me from going with it is the book I finished earlier today. A book that- and as exaggerated as it might sound – profoundly changed me. The way I see the world and life. Honestly, if people in this day and age call bread or pancake recipes life-changing I might as well say this about a book, no?
As is the nature of the  human brain I’m sure the self-critical voices won’t just disappear. Hence why I need to constantly remind myself of the messages this book planted into my head and why I’m definitely going to write a review of it. Not today, though, as it’s not the Book in Review but a Week in Review. Plus, my mind is still taking time to process and sort through the many thoughts and feelings evoked by the story.

Onto the positives and the point of Meg’s Week in Review: giving ourselves credit for what did go well in the past week. One overarching theme of it seemed to be – and I may or may not am choosing this with the current situation in the US in mind – one of female power. Read: my dad was on vacation allowing for some more one-on-one time with my mum and my male boss had a full week of working from home which meant the office was ladies’ business, too. This all made for a [as much as busy days allow it] relaxed atmosphere.  Sorry, guys ;).

Week in review

In the past seven days I …

Worked. Not a full five days thanks to a weird mix of stomach cramps [outside the regular cycle if you know what I mean] and sudden sickness throwing me off and making work impossible after not even an hour in the office on Wednesday. I stayed longer on and put an extra effort in to catch up on all the paperwork on Thursday which calmed my mind about the missed day.

Napped for a solid 1 1/2 hours on said sick day. I originally hoped to just lie down without actually closing my eyes and return to work but my body thought differently. I did feel the refreshing effects of the nap, though, so clearly needed it.

Birthday flowers

(Birthday flowers I forgot to show you in my previous week in review)

Had a great conversation with my boss and colleagues. We don’t get to sit together and chat like this on the regular so it was a wonderful opportunity to connect and talk about everything. Our male boss was on vacation this past week which allowed for some lady talk, too.

Cooked lunch for my mum and me on Saturday. This was something I’d been meaning to do for ages already and we finally found a time and day working for both of us. It turned out to be everything I’d hoped for and more. The food was delicious and the conversation meaningful. We had Semmelknödel – a traditional German kind of dumplings made from bread rolls, fried onion, parsley and a few other ingredients; egg-free in my version – with oriental-spiced Sauerkraut. It’s one of my favourite dishes yet due to its slightly more involved preparation not a regular one on the menu. The terrible lighting in the picture does the delciousness of the Knödel and Kraut no justice. That’s what we get for delaying lunch until 6.30 on the weekend …

Semmelknödel and Sauerkraut - vegan

Started and finished the book mentioned in the intro. The review might not come up until the following week or so because it stirred up so many thoughts in my mind.

Bundled up and took a longer walk with my mum on Sunday afternoon. Much needed as I was in a slightly Sunday blues once again and also needed to at least get some of the questions and thoughts about the book I’d just finished out. Walk with mum + deep conversations = one of the most blissful activities in my life.

Prepared another batch of peanut butter as the previous was gone surprisingly fast. I don’t know how that might have happened 😉 …

Peanut butter_homemade

Posted twice: a week in review with some thoughts on happiness and yesterday’s good good links.

Spontaneously went to the cinema on Friday night. Okay, not entirely spontaneous as I’d originally planned to go with a friend in anyway. Yet she’s dealing with a lot in life lately and asked me if we could postpone our movie night again. Fingers crossed she’ll be able to make it this week. Either way, my mum had plans of seeing La La Land and I decided to tag along though it hadn’t been on my list of movies to watch. Verdict: sweet. I was a huge fan of all the dresses – just my kind of clothes -, the music and dancing. So if you considered adding it to your cinema list: go for it!

… and there we are on Sunday night – okay, Monday once you read this – again. Time for me to call it a nght soon but not before I wish you a …

Happy Monday!

Happiness-inducing today:  The walk with my mum.

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16 thoughts on “Reflections + recent happenings

  1. Kristy from Southern In Law says:

    Oh no! I’m sorry you haven’t been well! 😦

    I hope you’re feeling a million times better now!

    I really can’t wait to read your review of the book. It’s so funny that we read it simultaneously but had such different reactions to it!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      It’s Saturday night already and I have yet to start the review so I’m afraid it’ll still be some time until it goes live. Too many thoughts …
      Ah, I didn’t notice it wasn’t clear from the post – I really need to schedule time for proofreading more – that this stomach bug was a one day only issue. Thank you for the well wishes!

  2. mylittletablespoon says:

    Wow. When Breath Becomes Air sounds remarkable. Sounds deeply heart wrenching and thought provoking – so to be read at a certain time, I think. It will now definitely be on my list. I wonder what this other “best book I’ve ever read” you have on the go is??
    Ladies week sounds grand. I love hearing how your walks with your mom continue to be a weekly thing and that they are so enjoyable for you (and her, no doubt!). She was extra lucky this week as she got her walk AND a delicious lunch with her fabulous daughter.
    I hope you are now feeling better!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Ah, that’s what I get for writing several drafts one post and then meshing them up late at night. There’s actually just one book here – the first draft was from when I was still in the midst of reading it – but yes, that one is remarkable. I will from now on recommend it to everyone. Because the topic of death is one all of us ultimately have to face and the messages Kalanithi shares are important at any time in our lives already.
      I felt very lucky getting to spend so much time with my mum, too. She’s a blessing.

  3. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets says:

    “All the women, independent, throw your hands up in the air.”
    “Girls just wanna have fun.”
    “This is ladies night and I feel alright.”

    I could go on for days, so suffice to say I’m thrilled you had so much girl time. Also I’m in love with the tulips. Even though this winter has been mostly mild thus far, I’m ready to see some spring flowers and yours are beautiful.

    I need to check out this life changing book, especially if it puts pancakes to shame. 🙂

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Girl/women power! I knew you’d appreciate this after reading your recent post [and forgetting to comment …].
      Flowers are saviours in bringing at least a hint of spring into cold and grey winter days. I can’t wait for the seasons to change.

  4. chasetheredgrape says:

    I love reading about all the extra time you spent with your mum – mother daughter time really is so precious. That’s why I always skype my mum each week… We chat about anything and everything for around 2 hours!
    Hope you are feeling much better now and that bug has gone. Naps really do work wonders for healing our bodies 🙂
    Have a fab week!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Bless the geniuses of the world for inventing Skype/social media in general, no? I think living far away from my mum and hardly ever getting to see her would be hard for me but it’s wonderful you at least get to have long Skype conversations on the regular.

  5. Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar says:

    What beautiful birthday flowers. How nice to have flowers in the midst of winter!
    I’ve heard awesome things about From Breath to Air. There’s a gal in my creative nonfiction writing graduate program who says it’s one of her absolute favorite books–I’d really like to read it soon–so many things I want to read when I finish grad school.
    Eating lunch at 6:30 blows my mind. In the U.S., 2:00 pm would be considered a quite late lunch. I often eat supper at 5:00 or 5:30. But I know this would be more common in Germany, since I studied abroad there. I remember I was always totally starving by the time my host family ate lunch. Those dumplings and kraut look so so good. Your mom is lucky to have such an excellent chef. And daughter. 😉

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Actually, 6.30 is an unusually late lunch time even for most Germans. Throughout the week – when my siblings and I still lived at home – we used to have lunch anywhere between 1.30 and 2/2.30 PM. It’s only on the weekends that lunch either gets postponed until this late or it’s meshed with dinner and we eat a bit here and there between then and breakfast. I’m pretty sure we’re a little odd there ;).

  6. SuzLyfe says:

    I just love the title of that book: When Breath Becomes Air. So provocative! Wow. It makes you feel profound and small, but also so connected to the larger world. If the book is half as deep as the title, I totally understand why you are needing to take your time writing your review!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Dangit, your comment went into the spam folder – really, WordPress?! – which I only check every once in a blue moon. The book is beyond amazing. Even not having read it you’re spot on in saying it makes you and your life feel very small. In a good, thought-provoking way.

  7. Kaylee says:

    That semmelknödel (I hope the way I’m pronouncing it in my mind is right 😅) looks yummy! Got any recipe to share? I’m planning on relaxing with my own mama this weekend. It’s been too long since we’ve spent time together just the two of us.

    Also, I’ve seen From Breath to Air floating all around the must-reads lists on the internet but haven’t convinced myself to pick it up yet. So maybe your review will do the trick! Hope your week is going swell.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Since it’s the weekend already now that I’m replying I hope you’re having a wonderful time with your mum, Kaylee!
      Please don’t wait for my review to pick up “When breath becomes air” because I might not get around to finishing it until quite some time from now but I can assure you it’s so very worth reading!

  8. Emily Swanson says:

    I hope you feel better soon! I know what it feels like to be sick, but sleep and good food is some of the best medicine.

    And finding the best peanut butters to eat in Europe when we were there was one of my favorite things.

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