Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

I am not much into the whole Christmas festivities / Holidays festivities. I like December however because of the lights on all the houses and trees. The days are short, the nights are dark. I love to let the current year come to an end in a smooth way. It's a special time. In January I usually feel like spring could come along like immediately (hahaha) but right now I appreciate them :-)

I love the idea of Thanksgiving Day though. It's not part of my culture and I do not celebrate it in any way but I love the idea of stopping for a moment and saying thanks to everything that happened this last year. To say thank you to all the people that are part of my life. To be thankful for all I am and what I have. Etc. Etc.
Therefore, I decided to dedicate some posts during this last month of 2017 to give thanks. I feel like it's important for me to think about what exactly I am thankful for and to say it out loud.

For today though, I just want to say: HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

Friday, November 17, 2017

When Money Sets the Pace

I had planned on going on a road trip to either Lago Maggiore or Lake Constance (remember my post?) in November but then .. my bank account happened or rather my computer happened.

Buying a new laptop has been on my list of stuff to buy for quite some time now. I kept putting it off and off because there always was something more important to spend money on (mostly travels, what else?). Then one day I realized that my old laptop was ... old. Like really old. The face of the guy in the shop where I bought my new laptop said it all when I told him that my old one was running on Vista! You should have been there. It was hilarious! At least, I thought it was hilarious. He probably thought that I was pathetic. hahahah
Anyway, the poor thing was so old that I was afraid it would die on me without notice. It was updated. And ssslllooowww (you cannot imagine HOW slow). 10 years for a computer these days is an age to be proud of, isn't it? Definitely time for a new one.

To cut a long story short. I am writing this post on my brand new, sleek, thin and elegant new laptop. New technology is really cool, I have to admit even though postponing my road trip wasn't easy at all!

Friday, November 10, 2017


I don't know where you live  but where I live ... winter has arrived. Well (luckily) not the snow and the ice and the below zero temperatures yet ... but the short days, the cold and the rain. Therefore, it was time for me to put away the furniture on my balcony. To put away my short short-sleeved clothes and my sandals and to welcome back my sweaters, my long-sleeves shirts. And my boots. And the candles! Let's not forget the candles because they, and my pretty winter boots, make my wintertime more bearable!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Be Gentle With Yourself

Are you familiar with moments when words said to someone are in fact words meant for yourself?
I had such a moment the other day when I replied to a friend: "I don't know the answer to your question. What I know is that, if I were you, I'd start with talking to yourself in a more gentle way."
Oh my, somehow I had just said out loud what had somehow, unconsciously, been bothering me for some time. Something that I want to do consciously now:
Be gentle with myself (accept my way and my pace).
Be gentle with my thoughts (not brush them aside as if they were toxic or something)
Be gentle with what I think of my body.

It's high time to start treating myself (my thoughts, my body, my soul) the way I try to treat the others:
gently, respectfully, lovingly.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

About Music and Feminism

Don't you think that a little update on my alto flute skills is overdue?
Well. What to say? I'm doing fine. It's fun. Music does me good. I am proud of the progresses I've made. I got over some serious "I will never be able to play the flute" kind of moments with more or less grace. Frustrating moments became highlights! I have learnt that my level of frustration is quite low (sigh!) but I am proud to have kept on practicing.

6 months later I am proud to say that I am able to play short songs. You don't think that it is something worth mentioning? I'm sorry to say: You're wrong!
It's not the fact that I actually play an entire song ... it's that now these songs actually sound like the actual songs (and not just like notes hazardly linked together). I feel like calling myself a musician now. A beginner, indeed, but a musician nevertheless! (See me writing this wearing a happy face!)

Music is also something that connects me to my nephews / to my niece. We talk about music a lot. They show me their favorite songs/videos of the moment (keeps me updated!). We talk about which groove / beat is cool and which not. Sometimes I explain some cultural background to a certain song or the meaning of the song's words to them.
Pretty cool, I must say!
What's not so cool though, is that almost EVERY SINGLE video shows a barely dressed woman. Thankfully they are still of an age where they go all "ick" when seeing a girl (and my niece is too young to understand the notion). Their luck is that their Zia (Italian for aunt) is a feminist and always says stuff like "what is this barely dressed woman making there? Makes no sense!" "Why is it always an almost naked woman and never a man?" etc. etc.
I want them to realize that almost naked women are not a normal occurence. Same goes for four-letter words that often denigrate women. I want them to be conscious of what they see and what they say!

I know, I know. Barely dressed women have been part of videos ever since (or maybe not ever since but for a very long time) but my perception of this fact has changed since I watch videos with my young nephews/niece.
Is this what we want to teach them?
Is this how we want them to perceive women?
Isn't it time to change things? It is! Please, dear producers, dear video makers, think of other ways to entertain us. Be part of the change!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Old and New Travel Destinations

I was grocery shopping yesterday and saw ... Panettone on the shelfs! (For those of you who are not familiar with Panettone: it's a baked good that in Italy is eaten around Christmas time). November is not even there yet and already the shelfs are full of Panettone? Have they gone crazy? Is it possible that the Christmas craziness starts earlier every year? Or is it just me?
Seeing the Panettone made me realize that 2017 is almost over. Where did time go? A busy year (in the good sense). Busy meeting people, going places, taking up new challenges (remember? I play the alto flute now! Will have to tell you more about my progresses), having a fulfilled life in general (with its highs and lows) and (obviously!) I traveled a lot. Lisbon, Costa Rica, Mexico City, Cattolica, Lago di Como, Greece, Nice and Turin

Thinking about my past trips, inevitably, brings me to my next trips. Or ideas of next trips. (Ideas of next trips don't necessarily lead to an actual trip. Sometimes an idea is just an idea :-))
On the spur of the moment I come up with
Vienna (because I have some miles I need to use)
A road trip around Lago Maggiore or/and Lake Constance (because I have never been on a road trip in Europe)
Visiting my family in Italy (because my aunts aren't getting any younger) + day trip to the Conero region (because I have been told that it's wonderful)
Berlin (because I haven't seen my friend who lives there for some time) + a train trip to Stralsund and RĂ¼gen (because I have never been to the Baltic Sea).

The big unknown so far is my once-in-a-year-for-three-weeks kind of trip. The US comes to my mind, particularly the Southwest. In June maybe. But that is totally work in progress.
And you know that I love the work in progress part of a trip, well, maybe not as much but very much so, as the actual trip. Therefore:

Friday, October 20, 2017

About Confort Zones and Certainties

We all love our confort zone. Same friends. Same job. Same everyday life. No hassle. No fears.
We also love the certainties of our lives. The certainty of why we do something the way we do it (because we have always done it that way, because our parents thaught us, etc.) or why we never do something (because we can't, because we have never done it and won't start now, etc.).

Although I have never lingered too long in a confort zone or I am known to question my certainties, the last couple of years widened my perception of my way of handling these situations.
Am I lingering in a situation because I love it or because I am lazy or afraid of change?
Am I stating this or that certainty because it mirrors who I am now or who I was 10 years ago?

Let me give you some examples to make a point.
Take my yoga lessons. Some asanas are hard to do for my body. I am not athletic enough, not agile or thin enough, etc. I have learnt to accept the limits of my body. Then sometimes I am doing an asana "my way" while thinking ... Why not give it a try again? Maybe your body has changed in the meantime and you are now able to do the asana like the teacher is showing?
And you know what?
Sometimes my body moves or bends like it never had. If I wouldn't have questioned my certainties, I would never have realized the change!

Same goes for the confort zone. I love my friends but getting new ones from time to time? Does me good. Makes me realize how I interchange with people. Same goes for everyday life actions. Taking another road to work? Maybe you'll get there sooner or you'll spot a new bakery or shop!

I want to keep on lingering in my confort zone and I want to have certainties in my life but questioning my actions from time to time peps up my life!
It's worth a try, don't you think? You can always go back to your confort zone or your certainties. They won't go away, that's for sure!