Friday, March 28, 2014

Genova

I've been neglecting you. I'm am so sorry. I have lots of stories in my head to tell and to write down but somehow it never seems to be the right time.
March has been busy ... so busy. I hate being busy all the time but on the other hand life is also about ... enjoying it fully.
So I have been enjoying life and the stories remain stored in my head. Fortunately, they're not lost but writing takes time. At least for me. So March was certainly not the month with the most posts but I am sure that April is gonna be better :-)

For the time being I am packing my suitcase again.
I am leaving for Genova (Liguria, Italy) tomorrow morning. Can't wait. I have wanted to visit the city for a while now and now is the time, fortunately.
I don't know if I'll be posting a lot during my stay (just 3 nights!) as I am not traveling alone and when I am not alone time goes by even faster during travels and there is rarely much time left to sit down in front of my computer!
You will read and see more about the city next week. Promise!

In the meantime - ENJOY!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Volunteer Work ... Suite

I took a step forward in my intention to do volunteer work. I met the lady who is responsible for the volunteers at the various Internet Corners in the city's nursing homes. You remember? They were looking for volunteers that would be responding to the elderly's questions about the Internet, e-mails or computers in general. Every two weeks and for two hours, at least two volunteers are available to the residents of the nursing home. The residents can come by and ask their questions.

After the nice chat I had with the lady (she asked a lot of questions and me too) I am still positive about this idea of mine. I will do a first "taster day" in April and then I'll decide.
I am really looking forward to this new experience. I'll keep you updated anyway!

PS: leaving the nursing home, I passed the cafeteria. It was noon and the residents were eating lunch. I had to smile when I saw all the wheeled walkers parked outside the main entrance.
It's true. Every age has its own means of transportation and need its specific parking spaces.
Schools have parking spaces for scooters.
Offices for cars or bycicles.
And nursing homes for sheeled walkers.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Shopping ... Again

I've spent my Saturday shopping (again). This time with two 15 year old girls. The goal was to find an outfit for a special occasion for one of the two girls (accompanied by BFF). The mother delegated this duty to me because she knew that she and her adolescent girl would spend their time fighting instead of looking for the perfect dress. I was pleased to accept this "duty", firstly because shopping is never a duty to me and secondly I like these two girls. They are bubbly and intelligent and love fashion!


Many 15 year old girls are convinced to know EVERYTHING about fashion. They are quite stylish but due to the chain stores they tend to look all the same (let's not talk about long straight hair!). I love chain stores myself and shop there often but I think own little touches are totally required in any outfit.
Well, 15 year old girls are totally NOT interested in "own little touches". They don't want to be different. They don't want to stick out of the mass. They want to be like their BFF or like the girls in school. And they have NO IDEA about the value of money. NO IDEA. But this is another story, for another post!

It was fun. She tried on many many clothes but finally she bought the kind of outfit that was foreseeable.
A black (short) dress. Black high heels.
I hadn't expected anything else.
We're talking 15 year old girls here, right?
But she was happy.
AND her BFF said she looked so thin and so sexy in this dress.
All was wonderfully well in their world.

In mine too as I got to spend my day with what I do love: clothes!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Friday, March 14, 2014

Massage

I've been going to the gym regularly, to my line dance and yoga lessons - being pretty happy (and proud) of my fitness "schedule".
What I tend to neglect though, I have to admit, is the stretching part at the end of any lesson. I KNOW that I should stretch my muscles but... you know??!!

My body accepted my laziness ... at least until recently when my back started aching. I stretched and stretched and even went to see my shiatsu therapist.
Nothing really helped. It helped for a short time but then the ache came back.

I decided that it was time to change my approach (inwardly I was becoming afraid that my problem wasn't due to muscles but to my spinal column): I booked a 45 minutes massage at my gym.
Let's just say that they were the longest 45 minutes of my life. The longest.
It hurt.
I am no cry baby, I swear, but it hurt.
It hurt ... so much!
Especially when she worked on my ... derrière. Oh my.
Driving home after the session of hell, I swore to myself that I would never ever go back there again. Is it really necessary to work on my tense muscles with so much ... violence?

Well ... I changed my mind.
I have made a new appointment for next Monday.
You know why? Simple. Because my back felt and still feels better. Much better.
I will suffer my way through some more sessions of hell (big girls don't cry, right?) if it helps to get a flexible and pliant back again.
And now at least I know that my spinal column is doing just fine :-)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Finding Your Style

I spent my Saturday with my twelve-year-old goddaughter ... shopping! A wonderful day :-) But we not only went from shop to shop, from dressing room to dressing room, we talked a lot about fashion in general and style as well.
It was pretty interesting.
She asked a lot of questions. "What is style?" "How do I find my style?" "How do you become a stylish person?" "How do I match the different pieces of clothing that I have in my closet?"
Pretty clever questions, I thought.
How do I find my style? This question, I figured pretty quickly, was what she wanted to talk about. She somehow had this strange idea that being stylish was ... innate.
I quickly reassured her that NO twelve-year-old has found her style (sometimes even forty-year-old "girls" haven't found it but I wasn't about to tell her that!!).
I added that finding your style is all about ... trying out ... and to love doing so!
I also agreed that some people have a better eye and "instinct" for fashion than others. Nothing that can't be learned though.
I also mentioned that some people simply aren't interested in fashion at all (seems impossible to me SMILE).

If you are not part of the latter category, finding your style is about going from one outfit i.e. one style to the other. Sometimes you wear what you think looks great. You dare to combine that shirt with those trousers, for example. Sometimes you copy your girlfriends or sister. Other times you get your inspiration while shopping or skimming a magazine. In my opinion, it's a work in progress. It never stops and if you love fashion you are happy that it actually is a work in progress!
I emphasized the importance of becoming your own person - even fashion wise. To listen to the girlfriend's opinion is good but sometimes you just have to wear what you want to wear! Be bold. Be brave. Be yourself. And getting older will help you with the latter: you'll get to know yourself. And your style will mirror this knowledge.

Long live fashion!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Volunteer Work


I have been wanting to do some volunteer work for the last couple of months now. I like the idea of giving something of myself "for free" and at the same time experience situations that wouldn't cross my path in my everyday life.
The question was though: what kind of volunteer work?

I have been checking several websites regularly but nothing caught my eye. Not until yesterday when I saw this ad where they were looking for someone helping elderly people with the internet and the e-mail.
I got excited.
That is for me. I am good at that. I have been giving similar lessons on and off to friends (or friends of friends), mostly people of 50+, who were really glad that I could explain to them the Internet in simple words. It makes sense to do volunteer work on something I am good at, don't you think?

I slept on it before calling the lady at the nursing home.

This morning I was still excited.

Time to make a call.

Words of Wisdom

Keep your thoughts positive
because your thoughts become your words.

Keep your words positive
because your words become your behavior.

Keep your behavior positive
because your behavior become your habits.

Keep your habits positive
because your habits become your values.

Keep your values positive
because your values become your destiny.

(Mahatma Gandhi)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Forgetfulness

I can't believe that I am coughing and having a running nose again! No, please! Not again!
I went straight to the drug store and bought some herbal pills to get better. I am sick and tired of ... being sick! The lady at the drug store suggested that I may try some vitamins/minerals as well as some ginseng. "You may be running low on energy as you've been sick not long ago. And ginseng will help you with your memory."
I had to smile at her words.
How did she guess?
These last couple of weeks I was getting a bit worried about my ... forgetfulness. I keep forgetting the most banal things.
Fancy an example? I've got two for you.

Number one
I was at home, on a Sunday, getting ready to go out. My windows were wide open because it was a wonderful springlike day and it felt good to get dressed with the windows wide open. A couple of minutes later I headed to the train station. While waiting for the train to arrive, I had a sudden doubt. Did I close the window? Oh my, I couldn't remember. Really. Impossible. What I remembered is thinking about having to close the window but did I actually close it or not? My mind was blank. Totally blank. I got a bit anxious there on the platform while imagining my window wide open and no one home. I did some deep breathing and thought that it was too late to do anything anyway and that there would be no breaking in as I live in a good neighborhood (my imagination goes crazy sometimes!).
Well, I HAD closed the window, lucky me!

Number two
...happened yesterday evening. Before leaving the office, I sent a client a document via e-mail, then shut down the computer. At the platform (again!) a sudden doubt "crept" into my mind. Had I actually attached the file to the e-mail? I remembered the words in my e-mail, also thinking that luckily I was able to send this e-mail before leaving the office (it was an urgent matter). But actually attaching the file? BLANK. Total blank. Some deep breathing again and thinking that the client would understand, in the morning, had I not attached it. Nobody is perfect, right?
I HAD attached the file, lucky me, again!

Why do I keep forgetting the most banal things? Am I getting old(er) or is it that I am not doing my "routine gestures" with great awareness like I do other, more "special" things? I have to work on my being more aware. Even with everyday stuff.
With the help of my new good buddy ginseng :-)