Tuesday, December 31, 2013

No Voice

No joke. I have lost my voice. I had just arrived at my aunt's house and a couple of hours later ... my voice was gone. Oh my. Sunday was pretty hard on me and my voice. All these people wanting to talk to me ... well, they talked and I listened because it not only hurt to speak but the others were not able to understand what I was saying. Luckily, in the meantime my voice is much better and I've made up for lost time!

Friday, December 27, 2013

On The Road Again

It's time to be on the road again. Can't wait. It has been four months now, since I have come back from America and it's really time to move again.
The one day trip to Milano doesn't count, obviously.

Therefore, tomorrow morning my suitcase and I (and, well, about 10 bags full of presents for my family and also stuff that they wanted me to buy for them - stuff that you can't buy in Italy!), well, as I said, my suitcase, my plastic bags and I will be on the road again.
I not only look forward to travel but also to have 10 days off. That will do me good.
I was just thinking about why I actually hadn't moved these last four months.
Simple.
In August I've been to the US.
September was about ... being back.
October was about ... working (i.e. earning money) to pay for my credit card bill!
November was Milano and more work.
December was work as well (we had some crazy months at the office, let me tell you!).

This will have to change in the first couple of months of 2014 but for now I'm simply glad ... to hit the road again!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winter Solstice

Today is the shortest i.e. darkest day of the year.

Just a couple of days ago I realized how illuminated our world is (even in the night) because, getting off of the train, I stepped into ... a dark world. At first I didn't get it. Something was different but I didn't immediately get WHAT was different. Then I realized that ALL street lights of the township I live in were ... dark. Total darkness all around me!
Wow.
And creepy/scary at the same time.
I had to walk home in total darkness. Luckily, the lights in the houses were still working and therefore I had some light - but not enough to clearly see where I was putting my feet. Luckily, the full moon helped!

This was a new experience to me. Darkness in the city. It was kind of frightening but at the same time the full moon was awe-inspiring. A magical moment!
At that precise moment, walking home, I realized how much our world (at least in the Western hemisphere) is always illuminated. 
Imagine how dark the world must have been back in the days? And still is in some parts of the world?

PS: Happy Solstice! It's getting better now - day after day :-)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Other's World: OWNING A CLOTHING STORE

I've met Dusanka during a brunch organized by a common friend. She then handed out flyers of her new shop and I immediately thought of her being an "interview" on my blog. It took me several months though to make it come true but here I am now.

Before the interview I had never been to her shop and I must admit that I love it (and I'm not saying it just because she agreed to be interviewed). It's stylish. And I love the clothes and accessories she sells. They're stylish as well. What I liked best though is that there were items for every budget. I bought a bracelet (which I have worn often since) which was just perfect for my budget!

Have a look at her webside: http://jobrauer.com/ or like her on Facebook or if you live in Zurich, make time to visit her shop. It's worth it!

Now, let's hear what she has to say about her dream come true. You'll find the English translation, as usual, at the bottom and, as usual, all mistakes are mine.

Enjoy!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Eating Habits

My new life, from a nutrional point of view, is getting along pretty well. I keep "organizing" my meals and find pleasure in trying out new recipes.

What I do like:

I like the variety of my meals.
I like the oatmeal for breakfast (a warm breakfast, it turns out, is not only more satiable but keeps me warm from the inside out - not irrelevant during winter time).
I like to discover new recipes (it's like traveling - discovering new stuff!).

I like it that I spend less money (more money for shopping left).
I like it that I "produce" less waste (this is a very nice and a very unexpected side-effect - not eating convenience food means using less plastic which is good for our world!).

Just one thing I don't like:

LEFTOVERS.More specifically leftovers the third day (total no go) and leftovers during the weekend (boring - weekends should be special - even meal wise...).

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Power of Gratefulness

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (a scientist) once said (I've read this in a paper somewhere - don't remember which one - I simply cut out the sentence):

"Menschen, die mit dem Schicksal hadern, richten ihre Aufmerksamkeit auf das, was sie unzufrieden macht.
Die Glücklichen hingegen haben ihren Blick trainiert für die Dinge, die erfreulich sind."

"People who struggle with destiny focus on what makes them unhappy. 
The lucky ones however set their sights on things that are pleasant."

 I love these words!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Meditation

The last couple of minutes of our yoga class are dedicated to meditation. I have no idea if it's 10 minutes or 15 or less or more. My notion of time during yoga lessons somehow gets ... all blurred.

I absolutely love the part where we get to lie down on our back and get to loosen up every single part of our body. We start with our face and go down our body. I love it. At the beginning it was hard for me "to let go" but with time I learned how to do it.

It gets more difficult with the part where we have to let our thoughts go. Oh my. We are sitting on the floor, cross-legged, and our teacher tells us to concentrate on our inner being, to the light, feel how it gets warmer and brighter. Sounds pretty good, doesn't it?
This is how it goes with me (short version of my inner dialogue):

"How wonderful is the light in my belly. It feels so warm and bright. You see, I can concentrate on nothing but my inner light."

"Thinking of lights. Have I turned down all the lights in the office? Mmmh, I think I did.

Oh shit, my dear, you are supposed to feel the light in your belly not thinking about the office."

For a second or so my attention goes back to my belly.

"My landlady is coming home tomorrow. I need to park my car on the street - she won't be happy if she finds my car parked in her parking space.

Simonetta, Simonetta, please feel the belly.

Where do I buy the presents for my nephews? Where do they sell nice sweaters for kids? I could try...

THE BELLY!

Next week I am gonna put some "spaghetti al tonno" on my weekly menu. I haven't had spaghetti al tonno in a while and I have an appetite for tuna."

The second I tell myself to stuck with my belly and NOT with my to-do list for tomorrow ... the gong indicating the end of the meditation session goes off.

Oh hell, that went well, didn't it?

Friday, December 6, 2013

About Full Bellies

I was just reading an article written by Angelo Sica in Grazia Italia. It was about a trip he did with Fondazione Francesca Rava to Haiti to tell about their doing in this devastated country. In Haiti Angelo met a priest (Richard Frechette, an American) and quoted him as follows:

"Quando mangiamo, il sangue dalla testa va alla pancia: diventiamo meno reattivi. Nelle società occidentali abbiamo sempre la pancia piena, per digerire cibo, comodità, cose superflue. Ma è quando si digiuna che i sensi tornano all'erta, nell'uomo si risveglia l'istinto primitivo del cacciatore pronto a sentire quello che gli dice la natura, i suoi simili, quello che gli dice Dio."

"When we eat, our blood wanders from the head to the belly. We become less responsive. People in occidental societies always have their bellies full - digesting food, comfort and superfluous things. While we are fasting though our senses get back to being wary again, the primitive hunter insticts awaken and we are ready to listen to what nature, the like-minded and God has to tell us."

I am not into fasting, I have to admit. But I like this idea of "abstinence of food" (could mean eat less food for instance - one hasn't got to fast necessarily) to become more responsive.
It's worth thinking of...

Monday, December 2, 2013

Trip Down Memory Lane

What an afternoon yesterday! I indeed sorted out my photo albums and my shelf looks quite nice now (new space is always welcome - you know that I have only a one bedroom appartment and therefore space is precious to me). Most importantly though, I stumbled across my old diaries.
Oh wow.
I had forgotten that I kept them with my photo albums!
I read my very first diary, written when I was 12 years old. So funny (reading it today - back then life was not always funny - it's hard to be a 12 year old girl - nowadays and back then!) and so interesting. Interesting because some of my girlfriends back then are no longer part of my life today. I don't even know what they have become or where they live. If someone had told me so back then, I wouldn't have believed them - I'd even called them liairs. It was unimaginable to me. They were sooo important, so vital to me and my life.
Some other girlfriends though are still my friends. The unexpected ones, I'd say. The ones I called "strange" back then. Funny, don't you think? And somehow foreseeable.

I didn't read all the diaries - the afternoon was too short. I had to read the one written when I was an au pair girl in Paris though. My first really big adventure (well, maybe my second - the first being my four weeks around Europe with a friend doing Interrail!). Never homesick. Full of energy, new ideas and impressions. I remembered the person I was back then (not so different from the one I am today - fortunately!). Fortunately, also, I am wiser today. I realized that while reading my words.

I don't believe in living in the past. I want to live today, right this minute (at least I try). Stepping into my past for the duration of one afternoon though wasn't only fun but reminded me of where I came from and that ... THE JOURNEY IS THE REWARD. (DER WEG IST DAS ZIEL.)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Lazy Sunday

It's Sunday. My mind tells me to:

- go to the gym
- if not to the gym, then at least to go for a long walk to take advantage of this sunny winter day
- do some laundry
- do my nails

My heart though speaks another language. It tells me to stay at home (and enjoy the sun through my windows) and to tidy up my shelf where I keep all my photo albums.
I've postponed doing it because I told myself that it wasn't urgent. NOT URGENT AT ALL. The thing is I have all these albums and not enough space any longer. I need to sort them out and to decide how to classify (digitize?) them.
I know I should go to the gym. I know it! I am just not in the mood today. I am totally more eager to spend hours looking at my old pictures! Therefore... hell, let's spend the afternoon enjoying my old pictures ... and I promise, I will go to the gym tomorrow, do my nails then as well and postpone the walk to another Sunday (it won't be the last sunny Sunday of this winter, right? Hopefully not). I can handle the laundry at the same time though (luckily the washer doesn't need my help!).

From time to time it's soothing to just let the heart decide what to do :-)

HAPPY SUNDAY