Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Learning to Say No

I have the hardest of times to say no.
I lie (uuuh shame on me!).
I make excuses.
I over-explain myself.
I put on my noncommitted face and keep quiet.
But actually just say no? Just saying, thank you, but no thank you?
Uh, so difficult!

Time to learn, I decided a couple of months ago. I want to live an authentic life, and saying no, simply, gently, with no lies, no excuses and no explaining more than necessary, is an important part thereof.

Well, easy to say. Not so easy to do for me. Especially the part of "how much do I explain"? Do I really just say thank you, but no thank you? Or do I at least add some reasons for my no? (still unsure about it - I'm always afraid of being perceived as rude ... so stupid, I know, but hey, can't change overnight, right?).

In the meantime, I found out that saying no is easier on guys. I was telling a male friend of mine about one occasion where I wanted to say no, but then thought it'd be rude of me and I kind of said "maybe, we'll see" instead of "no". I didn't find the courage to simply say no. **Sigh** (and now I have a messy situation in my hands - **deep-drawn sigh**)
You know what my (male) friend had to say to all that?
He just rolled his eyes and went: Simonetta, just tell them no. What's so difficult about it?

Yeah right, what's so difficult about it?



Monday, September 26, 2016

Hiking along Lake Constance

Sunny autumn days are ideal to do some hiking ... yesterday along Lake Constance!








Thursday, September 22, 2016

Same But Not

A friend of mine is in the middle of a "who do I want to be for the rest of my life" kind of crisis. Wisely, this friend of mine, not knowing where exactly to begin changing things, started of with the one thing she knows: unfulfilled dreams.
One of these was ... harvesting grapes. You know. The real thing. Where you get to cut and gather the grapes. In a real winery. She wanted to, her words, "doing something with her hands instead of sitting behind a desk all day" and as she is currently in between jobs, why not experiencing it?
(As I am writing these words, she is harvesting her grapes, feeling good!)

Listening to her telling me about this particular dream, made me think of my aunt. The eldest of my mother's 4 sisters. This lady (who today is 80 and lives in Italy) spent many years coming to the French part of Switzerland (the Lake Geneva region) to earn money harvesting grapes. She didn't do it because "you know, I am sick and tired of working behind a computer screen" but because she needed the money for her family. Every year in spring and in autumn she traveled to Switzerland, doing this really hard job (6 days a week, in every kind of weather). She usually stayed 4 to 6 weeks. I know how hard it was on her because I visited her quite a few times when I was living in Lausanne. I saw the fatigue in her eyes. Her hands' condition. Neverthless, she came back, year after year (until her health put a stop to it). Earning (in my opinion by far not enough for this kind of job) money to pay the bills back home.

If I'd tell my aunt about this friend of mine, my auntie would probably laugh out loud. She'd tell her to be lucky "to have a job behind a computer screen" "where you don't have to get up early and be outside in every kind of weather". My aunt wouldn't understand that it's not about earning money. She'd laugh at the notion of "finding a sense to my life". A totally alien notion to her.

I am by no means glorifying the old times here. But I am not glorifying our times either (I know that not everybody in the Western World can indulge in notions like "finding sense to one's life").

It's just the way it is.
I thought it was a nice story to tell. About a job and how it's perceived in a different way.
I am proud of my friend and her courage to live her dream.
I am proud of my aunt. She was (and still is) a hard worker and made the best out of what she had.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016

Sometimes, Change Is What We Need

For the last 4 years, I've shared an office with two other girls. Before that, I used to work at home but when I moved into my one bedroom apartment, there was no longer enough space.

This shared office thing seemed the perfect solution at that time: I wanted to commute to the city center again. I wanted to live the city again. Having lunch around the corner. Going places after work. Feeling the city energy. But, most important, I wanted to share my working days with other people again (after years of working alone).

I was happy.
I was. Really. Until I wasn't any longer.
I don't know exactly when it occured. It happened slowly. I didn't realize it until .... this June, when one of the girls decided to quit. When we started talking about possible solutions for the remaining two of us ... and I realized that ... I wanted to quit as well!
And that made me happy. Very happy!
Relieved even!
How did that happen? I didn't see it coming, I swear!
So I quit. At the end of August.
It felt so liberating (shockingly so).
I don't want to go into all the details of why this place and the people no longer made me happy. Small things but accumulated? Not good for me any longer. But it's over now. I'm just glad that I realized it (and am grateful to the third girl that she decided to quit!).
It felt like when you are in a relationship that, deep down, you know is no longer good for you but you somehow ignore all the signs and your feelings and go on being in it. Knowing better. Doing nothing.

So, here I am, looking for a new office. A different one as I am a different person today. With different needs than 4 years ago.
I want one near my home (attainable by car). The city no longer interests me. Going there from time to time during my spare time is sufficient (isn't this interesting? I really have changed!)
I want a bright and nice office. With natural light!
And I no longer crave colleagues. I am good working all by myself. I meet enough people in my non-professional life :-)

Meanwhile, I work from home. Waiting for my perfect office to turn up!







Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Birthday Present

Last Sunday was my birthday. Usually, like the good Virgo I am (hahaha), I like to organize my day well in advance. Not so this year. With all the stuff that happened these last couple of weeks (I will have to tell you about my moving out from the office community I was working from and about "letting go of things and people) and with my days spent in Cattolica, I somehow totally forgot about my birthday.
Until two days before my actual birthday. Which was way too late for anybody to still have time to do anything with me (people are no good at short-term, don't you agree?).
Well, no big deal. I'd find something that'd please me.
Something good to start this new year.
Guess my choice?

A (short) trip, obviously.
I've always wanted to go on a boat trip on Lake Lucerne (I drive by this lake whenever I go to Italy and each time I think that I want to visit once, not just drive by).
The weather was ideal for a boat trip (hot and sunny) and as I absolutely love boat trips, what better way to spend MY day? And it was a wonderful day!


the famous wooden bridge of Lucern



it felt good to be a tourist in my own country

I love it when the world is made of different shades of the same color!




I so love the color of this lake - so different from the one I usually look at (Lake Zurich)

September light