Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Saying No

Yesterday evening, I was walking along the river Limmat, enjoying the setting sun and the sprouting trees (aren't they wonderful in springtime? I just love it!), when suddenly I hear someone call my name. It took me a bit to put a name to the face but then I remembered. A fellow student (back in the days!).

I had to smile because he was the fourth person from my past that I came across the last week. I didn't talk to the other three but him, I couldn't avoid (yes, I admit it. I avoided the three others!). We had a short talk, it was nice to meet him again and to catch up (at least a bit) but at one time I, kind of, got the impression that he would have liked to meet again and spend some time together, catching up more (hey, not in THAT sense, he is gay hahahaha).
I stood there and suddenly I knew for sure (like 100% sure) that no, I didn't want to meet him again. It was nice to have this short chat but spending more time together? No thanks. Not because I am pissed at him or because I don't like him. No. It's just, no. The past is the past. And as in April I am all about living in the moment (remember my post?)...

So, I was friendly but set: Hey, it was nice meeting you. Have a nice evening. Ciao. 
And there I went, pretty proud of myself. Proud because, you know, I have this ingrained way of handling situations like this. Deep down I know that I don't want to do this or that but then comes my, also ingrained, way of not wanting to hurt, to offend others and I usually end up doing things I don't really feel like doing. 
Not this time though. This may be the reason why I met all these people from my past this last week. Apparently, there was a lesson to learn. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Me, My Travels to France and Strikes

I am off to Bordeaux and Arcachon (that is in the southwestern part of France) next week. And guess what? SNCF's employees (France's national railroad company) are on strike.

(Not that I have anything against workers hitting the streets. On the contrary, my heart always beat and always will beat for the "underdogs". Always. I strongly believe in standing up to our rights. What I don't agree on though is when it's done at the expense of other workers, other underdogs. But then, what do I know? I don't want to judge. The right to strike is part of who we are.)

Anyway, the are on strike and I find it hilarious because I have been to France twice in the last 1,5 years and both times it was a close call, strike-wise. The first time I was in Marseille (traveling by train) when I found out that SNCF would be on strike ... the day after my departure.
The second time was last year in Nice. That time it was the airport's ground staff. Super close call because all flights before and five flights after mine were cancelled but NOT mine. I still see the monitor on my inner eye with all the red written CANCELLED on it. Was I lucky or was I not?

This time though I am taking the plane to Bordeaux (luckily not on Air France because those guys are on strike as well apparently). Then I planned on taking the train from Bordeaux to Arcachon. I could have rented a car but as I try to travel as eco-friendly as possible, I decided on taking the train.
Oh well.
It's gonna be an adventure. Apparently, on the days of the strike (2 days every 3 days or something like that) not all the trains are gonna be cancelled. I will have to check on their website the day before. The journey there won't be a problem (as of their website). The return journey more so.

Bienvenue to the world of traveling! SMILE
And as the Gods of Travel were with me the last two times, I hope they'll show up this time too :-)

Thursday, April 5, 2018

April Wish

As March has been all about expressing ourselves (what a month!), I feel that the energy in April has changed with last week's full moon. I obviously can only speak for myself but last weekend I suddenly realized that I wanted to live more in the present. It's nice to think about or to work on something that will happen in the future (ideas imply the idea of future). But now ... it's time to dedicate my time to the present. To be more conscient about my words, my thoughts, my acts ... right now.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

About Sunny Days

Looks like spring finally made it!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Keep Going

Doesn't this picture perfectly show one of life's aspect? I think so.
(Note: Success, in my opinion, has nothing to do with having money, power, fame. I see it more as in "succeed in doing something that, just some time ago, was a simple idea". This can be related to "big" things like a job, a new way of life or smaller things like a new hobby.)

Today, though, it's not about success. It's about the part in between, the "do", "do again", "and again" and "keep doing".
Usually, when you hear someone talk about succeeding in whatever, you probably get to hear about the thinking part, the idea part, the trying part and, obviously, the success part. The doing part, at least in my observation, is usually just something you get a resumé of. A success story kind of implies that "it wasn't a big deal to get there".
Well, some part of me gets it because listening to the "do again and again and again and again" part (or talking about it) can be boring and unfunny. It's not what makes a great story great. The part of the journey where doubts, crying jags, frustration, mantras consisting of "I will never be able to do that" and more doubts are not what we want to hear. Too close to our own fears, right? We prefer the happy ending.

But please, let's be honest here (if not here, where else??). The "do again and again and again and again" part is the most trying and long part of everyone's life. The shitty part of everyone's journey. It's the part I tend to forget myself ... when I either finally succeed or when I give up because ... well, because.
I have learned that, sometimes, it's simply "the natural selection process". If I do not have the energy to "do", "do again", "and again" and "keep doing", then my idea was not worth it. I have learned to let go of ideas and to trust in the next one that's usually just around the corner.
Other times, I find the energy to go on.

It's like, right now, with my learning to play the flute. I thought I was finally on my way to the "success" part of my apprenticeship, but oh my, how wrong I was. Still way to go. wwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy to go.
Luckily my love for music keeps me going ... even though, every other day or so, these days at least, I want to throw this piece of wood that is my flute out of my window

Have a nice weekend everybody!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Guided Tour in Einsiedeln (Switzerland)

Last Saturday I tried something new: I organized a guided tour for a couple of my friends.
Usually, when I have an idea of some place I want to visit, I go there alone or ask one friend to accompany me. With this idea though, one friend wouldn't have been enough...

I had heard of this guided tour of the Einsiedeln monastery done by one of their monks. I had wanted to book up for such a tour for quite some time now but the problem was that the monks only do this for groups (of 15 or of 30). In addition, the tour has to be booked well in advance.
One day (I wonder why I hadn't thought of it earlier?) I knew exactly how I'd be able to go on such a guided tour. I'd organize a tour for friends and acquaintances who'd be interested in knowing more about the church of Einsiedeln and in visiting the library as well. Like many monasteries, Einsiedeln has quite an impressive library. It isn't open to the public though. You can visit only with a guide.
No sooner thought than done (to my amazement!), 12 people were thrilled and happy to come along with me.

We had a wonderful tour (it lasts about 90 minutes). Einsiedeln is a power place, the church is amazing in all its barock abundance (the pink stucco work is really breathtaking!). The monk's explanations were interesting and I could spend days in their library, discovering their treasures. I'd recommend it!

My friends were enthusiastic about the tour and some of them urged me to come up with new ideas. And you know what? Why not? Let's see what other ideas pop up :-)

Monday, March 12, 2018

Turning Fifty

I am turning fifty (yes: five zero!!) in September. I can't believe it! And I don't mean it as in "oh my, I hate getting older". No, it's more something along the lines of "where the hell has time gone?".

When I was in my twenties, I never thought about getting older (what normal 20 something does that anyway??). It was something for the (oh so far away) future! Something I'd deal with once I'd become an adult. And for the 20 something Me being an "adult" meant that I would have "reached the target" (not more defined, obviously... hahaha). I'd be someone who'd knew exactly who she was and that would be it. I'd wear my adult coat and never take it off again.

Hilarious, don't you think? Who I am today has nothing to do with what my 20 something Me thought I'd be. Still not "found it". Still not arrived. Still no life's target ... besides living every day at its fullest (or at least try my best!).
It's so much cooler than I'd ever thought it'd be! I am zen. My brain waves are not in permanent state of agitation. My inner voice guides me through the ups and downs of my life. I know my strength and my shortcomings.

In some ways though I really have "arrived" but in many others there is still so much to discover, so many new paths to walk on, people to meet.
What helped a great deal all along this wonderful journey so far is that my happiness never depended on the "outside Me". At one point along the way my hair turned gray. Wrinkles became part of my skin. Age spots as well. C'est la vie. It's certainly not important because, to say it with other's words: