Week in review: Doing it for the family

Yes, I admit there was a slight temptation in naming this post “We are family”. But I wanted to spare all of us the resulting ear worm and also – the true reason, let’s face it – that’s entirely too cheesy and overused for my sensitive 😉 word fiend liking.

This week – like its predecessors – flew by in the blink of an eye. So much too do, so little time. And somehow it still feels like not a lot got done. Oh well. This [perception] will probably never change. Looking back at the past week it was a lot about helping/bonding with family. In food- and non-food-related ways but here’s what it looked like via Meg’s Week in Review.

Week in review

Probably my favourite work achievement of the week was a teaching success. One of the boys not only did what I told him to but got really excited and not even once fiddled around. Apparently, learning the Umlaute – explanation: we have not only a, o and u but ä, ö and ü in German – is a lot of fun. I was so delighted that I sneakily rewarded him with a little chocolate. I’m not entirely for food rewards but he really made me happy with his progress and change of attitude compared to previous weeks of playing the clown.

Worked in my regular job. Seeing as it’s a family business I guess this would count into the title.

Three blogs posts went up once again. And sorry not sorry but I have to mention this Nut and Seed Brittle once again for those who haven’t seen it yet – or those yet to be convinced to try it. Sue me. I need another batch soon. Honey-stly though: Who runs out of the bee’s nectar ever?

Nut cluster_5_ä

I researched, drafted and pulled my hair out for the blog – the latter mostly because my laptop keeps fussing around. Can you tell where my savings from work will go? I’m once again sorry I haven’t been doing a great job on the comment reply front but a constantly crashing laptop just is a serious curveball in getting anything done. Like editing pictures so I hope you’ll forgive me for the ones in this post.

Upon her request I prepared a big batch of these Snickers Truffles for my sister. In exchange for more baby photos, that is. It’s insane how fast that once tiny baby boy is growing.  Are there any aunts who can relate to wanting to keep their nieces/nephews small for a little longer? Not to sound too wistful early on but seeing a baby grow reminds me of how fleeting time is and how we age ourselves – almost impalpable in the moment but so apparent when looking back – every day. Look at me digressing …

Dance

[Just like I degressed above this picture has nothing to do with my writing but I thought it was funny so there we go.]

Cleaned my parents’ fridge. Not the worst task as it never looks awful to begin with and luckily was relatively low on the meat content. At least I’m making sure they’ll miss me when I move out again, I guess.

Cleaned my apartment – minus the fridge, though*.Once again discovering new nooks and crannies to wipe and pretty up. I don’t know about you but I find it impossible to actually clean the apartment spotlessly every week. How long would that take??

* Because one fridge is enough for a week and I need to keep some tasks for the next week, right? Completely talking myself into believing this …

February_until 21st 017

Upon another request – this time by my mum – I swept the stairs down to my parents’ basement. Just two words: dust balls and – spiders. No pictures of said spiders – doing all of us a favour, right?! – but those lovely flowers instead. They’re a gift from my mum that could be either a) for taking care of those nasty spiders and sticky fridge enterior, b) for being the best daughter in the world 😉 or c) none of those but simply because. I like the latter as those favours and gifts you don’t expect are the most appreciated.

Walked, walked, walked every day. More anxiety leads to more walking. I very much welcome the days getting longer again therefore allowing to at least take a short walk outside after work. One of those after-work walks happened with my mum – none with my dad this week.

 

Happiness-inducing today: Starting my day with a walk – umbrella necessary but no geese.

 

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Tell me three [or more] achievements from your past week!

 

 

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Don’t hold back. [Thinking out loud]

Happy first of May!

Just a warning ahead: today’s post isn’t the usual cheery array of random thoughts I usually go with on Thursdays. Instead, I’m taking up Amanda‘s invitation of Thinking out loud to [finally] let go of what’s been on my mind lately.

Thinking-Out-Loud

How are you? Can you recall how often you’ve been asked this everyday question this month so far? This week? Or even just today? How many times you smiled and said ‘fine, thanks’? And: how many of those times you were being honest? Unless you’re in the enviable and – let’s face it – unlikely situation of living the perfect life 24/7 you will probably have glossed over the truth at least a little. Or a lot. Because no, we’re not always feeling fine. Life can be a tough game to play at times throwing you curveballs when you least expect it. Yet we still don’t feel comfortable baring out true emotions towards others. Admitting we’re having a bad day, a rough week or even a general funk we can’t seem to climb out of. Maybe it’s because we’re having stress at work. A serious fight with a friend or loved one that we can’t get off our mind. Changes ahead that scare you. Whatever it is:

 

“But people ask just out of habit – they don’t really want to know how I am.” <- Wrong. No, not everybody wants to or is prepared to listen and give advice to you. Rambling on about personal problems to your boss or the cashier at the supermarket probably isn’t the smartest choice. However, there are people in everybody’s life who genuinely care and will listen – if you ask and open up. Blends were my saving grace these past days once more.

For me, it’s been a rather long-term turbulence I have yet to sort out completely. However because I was worried that others would judge if I opened up towards them or think of my problems as inane I kept silent. Or tried to switch topics when it came to talking about my current situation. And sure: that strategy of avoidance works for a certain time. But as the problems and the anxiety persist it becomes hard to keep up a cheerful mood. Don’t feel like you had to – others aren’t expecting you to be the strong person all day every day. There are many reasons why – taking a clue from Amanda’s motto for today’s link-up – saying it out loud* is a wise choice:

1. It helps sorting out your thoughts: Sometimes we’re stuck because there are a million and one thoughts flying around in our head and we loose ourselves in them. The mere act of telling somebody else forces us to bring them in an order and can help us see the facts more clearly.

2. Getting a new perspective: Allow others to assess your situation from their standpoint. They might be able to see points you overlooked or – if you had an argument with somebody – understand the others’ perspective and lay it out to you in a different way. It’s never a bad idea to get a variety of outlooks on your situation to find some clarity and structure.

3. Knowing you’re not alone: Whatever is keeping you from being your happiest self might have – in one or the other way – happened to others, too. Simply hearing that somebody can relate and (!) knowing they were able to work their way out again can be a huge relief.

4. Give and take: Maybe somebody else needs somebody to talk to right now, too. And if you open up towards them offer to listen to their problems, too. Actually, I’ve often found myself able to get to the ground of my own struggles better when trying to help others with their worries.

5. Distraction: Even if there’s really no way others can take the urden of your struggles off your shoulders a chat about whichever random topics is a great way to get your mind off of them for a while. Never underestimate the powers of some beauty or recipe talk in times of change and worry :).

 * sorry to all Twilight fans but I’m not going to post that picture you’d expect here. Go and ask google. (:

I’m not posting this to ramble about how hard I have it or for sympathy. My intention in sharing these thoughts to encourage you to reach out. Because I know for a fact I’m not alone in holding back and thinking I had to work things out on my own. Tell others how you’re actually doing. Don’t bottle up your feelings because you want to seem like a strong and happy person on the outside. It only works for so long and then your feelings will overwhelm you. Call a friend. Mail somebody. Write a blog post about your feelings. Find your outlet and let others know you need some help. I’m here to listen, too.

 Happiness inducing today: Sleeping in thanks to a national holiday.

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No questions today – just your thoughts on the issue. And: How are you [really] doing today?

The Waiting Game

Where to start? I’ve been a bit wary of writing this post. Putting the idea on and off again until ultimately deciding that I want to be honest about what’s going on in my life on my blog and couldn’t hold back anymore.

One question I’ve been asked a lot lately – and not surprisingly – by people both in ‘real’ life and the blog world is: How is the the job search going?

The honest and not quite awesome answer: I’m still playing the waiting game. As you might have guessed from me not mentioning any success I haven’t found a new job/internship yet. All I’ve done is search. Apply. And – wait. Checking my e-mails even more often than usual probably doesn’t help reduce the anxiety. Doubts about whether I made the right decision to quit and not simply stick with what might not have been a great placement but a job after all arise frequently. Not having any job at all feels worse than a bad one right now. Having people ask me how I was, if I was looking for a new job or else I can’t help but wish I could turn back time. I can’t handle this situation of insecurity about my future. At all. As mentioned before I’m a planner – and this isn’t going according to plan so …

Granted, I haven’t been sending out applications by the dozen. For one because I’m not good at that “selling myself as the best ever fit for the job” part which means I’ve only applied to jobs that I feel I could really be a good fit for. But also because job opportunities [in my field of profession and similar ones as well] are far from abounding where I live. Also, I called many companies I’d meant to send unsolicited applications to in advance. Only to find they didn’t currently hire or mail and didn’t hear back yet.

In case you’re wondering: Moving to another city would be an option in general. But after my previous experience I’m not ready to change places for a job that I’m not feeling totally sure about. That’s why I started applying to coffeeshops, too. Certainly not a way of gaining experience in my field but right now I’d truly be happy to just have any job in the city I live in.

Source. Easier said than done but I’m trying.

Unfortunately, I’ve always had the tendency to let my mood influence my life in general in a vicious cycle. Still searching and while not being rejected not hearing back from companies is seriously scratching on my self-confidence. And when I’m not feeling good about myself I become reclusive which I know deep within is counterproductive. Feeling like I wouldn’t be able to contribute much to conversations or be the cheery person I really want to be. It’s not easy to push aside my worries and I’m sorry for the ramble. But I just wanted to give you an update and be honest on my blog because I value honesty in others, too. Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and I’m not going to pretend it was.

All of this being said I’m not a constant Negative Nancy. I’m still making sure to smile every day  – it just takes a bit more effort some days.

Happiness inducing today: A nice long chat with my sister.

Thoughts? Experiences? Ideas on how to deal with this? I’d appreciate any advice.