Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Time capsule


Have you ever buried a time capsule? I did it once, many years ago, in a period of my life where I was lost and confused. 
Except, instead of 'items from that time' you have to substitute 'angsty letter', and instead of 'sturdy container that will withstand the times' you have to substitute 'ziplock bag'. That was my poor excuse for a time capsule. I buried it somewhere in Wells Gray Provincial Park, and hope to God that nobody ever found it. 

So when I saw one of my favourite bloggers Amber put together a hypothetical time capsule for 2015, I thought that now is the time to redeem myself. 

Here are some items that represent 2015 for me:

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Sunday, 27 December 2015

Style: A winter day in the country



How was your Christmas? I hope you are all pleasantly stuffed, wear comfy clothes and get to enjoy some much-needed peace and quiet. At least that's what my day has been all about, and I absolutely love it. 

As you can see, it's snowing! We get snow rarely in the south of BC, and I for one am thrilled to see the pretty white flakes drifting down. The temperature is teetering right around 2-3°C, which means that the snow keeps changing into rain and back. I got lucky when I ventured outside and hit the snowy phase, which looks much nicer than grey wetness.  

The jacket was a Christmas gift from one of the kids, and I adore it! It reminds me of something a baroness in England would wear for her morning ride, which is why I paired it with riding boots and my new favourite hat. Imagine me on horseback, and you got the complete picture :)



Hat: Old Navy (on sale!); jacket: gift (similar); jeans: old (similar); boots: old (similar)


Tomorrow I have to go back to work, but until then I will soak up every last minute of our cozy house and the knowledge that I have to do absolutely nothing for the rest of the day!






Linking up with Fashion Should be Fun



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Saturday, 26 December 2015

Bringing out the best in each other


One of the best things about marriage is that you have someone to yell at when you're having a bad day.
Oh, that's not how it works? Huh, that explains SO MUCH... 

Joking aside, what I really meant to say is that when you have a good partner, then you have a support system that's always there. Someone in your corner who loves you despite, or maybe even because, all your faults and quirks. 
Case in point: My hermit tendencies. 

You might not guess it looking at me, but half the time when you see me out and about I was more or less dragged out of the house kicking and screaming. What can I say? I'm a homebody. 
An introverted homebody with a Netflix addiction and the need to have live animals in close proximity at all times. 

But I know that it's good to get out once in a while. Some of the best days of my life happened outside our farm! I know, I can barely believe it either. For that reason, and also to live life and not just watch it pass me by, I know that I need to go on little adventures regularly. 

But knowing it and doing it are two very different beasts, and without the gentle (or not so gentle) probing of my husband I wouldn't venture out nearly as much.  


A prime example is last night. 
In a series of interesting events, we were invited for dinner. By people who are not quite, but maybe will be, friends. They don't know us that well, but they invite us for Christmas dinner? I have to admit, I was slightly bewildered. Why would they do this? Did they feel sorry for us for not having plans on Christmas? Didn't they know this was by choice? (I'm sure they didn't, because as I said, they don't really know us.)
Anyway, Rich had agreed to go, and I was left to fret and wonder and overthink it, as is my nature. 

By the time we had to leave I was mentally in my pjs, bra off and glasses on. I longingly looked at my computer, where I had just watched the third episode of Nashville, eager to keep watching. You know the delicious feeling of starting a new series, knowing you have tons of episodes left, and it's so much fun to watch and pure bliss? Yep, exactly. 

But there I was, hair straightened and eyelashes mascaraed, having to go out because my s@#$%y husband was a social animal and actually wanted to do stuff with other people and have me with him. Hrumph. 

You know what happened?

IT WAS THE BEST NIGHT EVER. 

Omg, we had a brilliant time! There was another couple there, and we all got along like a house on fire. Their home was cozy and welcoming, the meal was delicious, the company was great. They even had a couple of dogs to satisfy my need for furry companionship!

Rarely have I been more grateful to my husband for dragging me out of the house. 

The lesson here is this: Sometimes you will find unexpected joy and friendship outside your comfort zone. 
And Netflix can wait. 

How was you Christmas?






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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Your favourite posts of 2015


Happy Christmas Eve's eve! Just like last year, I took a look at all my posts to find out which ones you liked the best over the last 12 months.
If I would be any sort of analyst, I would sit down and try to crack the code for why these particular posts were doing well; but since I'm not, I'm just pleasantly surprised and intrigued. 

Okay, let's get started!

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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

My 10 most popular yoga photos on Instagram


Instagram is a big part of my life. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it's true. I've been a fan since I joined over three years ago, but ever since I became a part of the yoga community, Instagram has transformed my life. Since my very first yoga picture from March 1 (which isn't even a yoga pose, but a photo of me lifting a chair above my head), I have posted literally hundreds of them. 

My blog friend Liz did a round-up of the top 20 photos of her Instagram account (take a look, they are stunning!), and I liked the idea so much that I decided to share my 10 most popular yoga photos. 

Here they are, as decided by you

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Monday, 21 December 2015

The ghost of Christmas past



For a while there I thought I would escape this year. I boasted to everyone who would listen (i.e. my husband) that I had once and for all exorcised my demons, got rid of my old baggage, and was at peace and a-okay.

Yeah, right. 

It took a near-death experience to rudely jolt me out of this pleasant fantasy, and to make me realize:
My ghost did find me after all.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's backtrack and start at the beginning: I'm not the hugest Christmas fan. As a child I obviously loved it, but in my early adulthood it lost its magic, being replaced with stress and worry instead. It's a shitty trade-off, but life is like that sometimes.
Nevertheless, every year I'm determined to make the best of it, and not get caught up in the holiday frenzy.
Every year, I fail. This time around I got closer than ever: Until last Friday I was doing swimmingly, not having had a single meltdown or hissy-fit in all of December.

I realize now it was all going a little too well. There is a saying in German that goes something like this: "If the donkey feels too good, he goes out on ice." Which is an awkward translation, but the saying is awkward in German as well, which must mean I nailed it.
In case you're confused about what I'm trying to say here (I don't blame you), it's that when everything is going really great, we may be tempted to do something stupid just to shake things up.
My act of stupidity was feeling way too smug about having life figured out and having it all under control.
Especially my big nemesis: My personal ghost, depression.

It hadn't shown its ugly face in so long, I felt quite self-satisfied about how things were going. More than once I boasted to Richard about my new-found serenity and peace of mind.
Then three days ago, my so-called peace came crashing down around me.
I woke up in a slightly hyper, yet still somewhat normal mood.

[FORESHADOWING: It wouldn't stay that way for long.
Dum - dum - duuuuuuuumm.]

I did normal at-home things, like walking the dogs, yoga, getting my bangs trimmed, drinking lots of coffee, and feeling anxious.
Huh? Why did I feel anxious? I had been looking forward to that day, to getting dressed up and going out at night. This was supposed to be a happy day, filled with sparkle, laughter, and two parties.
I was a social butterfly! Life was good! What the hell was I anxious about?

But I couldn't help it: the more the day progressed, the more apprehensive I became. I felt edgy and restless, and got more and more worked up. What about? Something I could barely put into words, but if I would have been forced to, would be along the lines of  "I really want to have an EXCELLENT time and be NORMAL and RELAXED, but I start to feel like NOT GOING OUT AT ALL and I don't always want to be the weirdo who cancels everything last minute so I will have FUN, DAMMIT!"

A little piece of advice: That's not an ideal mindset to go out and have fun.

Nothing worked out according to my carefully laid plan: I thought we would leave by 5pm, stay one hour to 90 minutes at our first party, then drive to the second to be there right at 7pm.
Instead, we didn't get out of the house until almost 6:30pm, because my husband doesn't know the meaning of time and has no respect for my neurotic OCD-tendencies.

Here is the thing: The first party was great. The people were fun, the atmosphere was festive, and the dinner was turkey. What's better than turkey? Not much, my friend.
But I wasn't living in the moment, enjoying it for what it was; I kept glancing at the clock, worried about leaving on time. So stupid.
I blame it all on my ghost, depression/slight anxiety, whichever one was present at the time.

Anyway, by the time we left I was thoroughly flustered. I was the DD, stone-cold sober, but I was driving like I was drunk. After first heading into the right direction, I took a wrong turn. Richard, in a cheerful mood, opened his mouth to let me know that I was headed the wrong way, but I interrupted him testily and told him that I was the driver and he should let me drive, without constantly giving advice. He closed his mouth again.
After about two minutes, he asked me: "Where exactly are we going?" I told him.
"You know that you are driving in the opposite direction, don't you?" I didn't.

Angrily I slammed on the brakes and turned around. "Great, we are already late, now we'll be even later", I muttered. Reluctantly, I asked where to go, and he directed me towards the highway.

That's when it almost happened.

I completely neglected to see the big semi driving up beside me as I was pulling into the same lane. It wasn't until I was in the lane that I saw the blinding lights in the rear view mirror and swerved to the right to avoid being hit from behind. I had been literally blinded by my emotions mental disorder.

The rest of the sad tale is told quickly: We had a huge fight in the car because Richard objected to being almost killed, even though I pointed out that it was an accident. I was completely numb, all my emotions drained out of me. We arrived safely at our second destination, and tried - unsuccessfully - to act like nothing had happened.

I have taken several lessons from this experience:
Depression kills (luckily for us, not this time). Because I'm blaming my temporary blindness on it.
I have a strong suspicion that antibiotics mess with antidepressants.
Christmas will never be my friend, and I'm over it by now.
The importance of living (and driving) in the moment cannot be emphasized enough.

All is well again, but I'm appropriately chastised by my ghost and more humble than I was before.
Turns out, I haven't quite mastered all my demons just yet.

     

   
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Friday, 18 December 2015

Style: Thoughts and a sparkle dress


This has been the most bizarre week. I was sick and had to discuss some bedroom details with a doctor I work with (that was a fun experience). Then I released my first book, got the most wonderful feedback and encouragement (thanks you guys!!!), and have been in hiding ever since. 

In case you're wondering why, let me tell you that my emotions have been all over the place this week. They range from elated to quite gloomy, with everything in between. I have been happy, snappy, and sometimes quite crappy. 
(You see what I did there? Rhyming like a boss!)
I guess it comes with the territory. I'm far away from my comfort zone, and naturally it's uncomfortable out here. I'm winging this thing, figuring it out as I go along, as is my deal, and feel quite unsure of myself. 

But then I remind myself of my word of 2016, BRAVE, and that it would be way too easy to be brave when the waters are calm. They are not exactly choppy either, far from it - I would describe them as murky. I have no idea where this is going, so I'm a bit* scared. 

*With a bit I mean scared shitless. 


But let's move on. Just wanted to keep it real for a moment. And you are all amazing, so this is not a not-so-subtle-invitation to coddle me and tell me how great I am! Just wanted to share my thoughts, because it always makes me feel better. And you know what? It's working already. I feel better!

The other thing that is guaranteed to put a smile on my face is sparkle. Come on, how can you feel down when your dress is twinkling at you? That's right, you can't. I bought this beauty last year for my 35th birthday party, and have worn it several times since. It's sparkly and comfy, which makes it almost perfect - if it had pockets, I would never take it off! Sadly, no pockets, but we can't all be perfect.

I paired it with this amazingly soft cardigan that one of my kids gave me for my birthday this year, which ties the birthday theme together nicely. It's called the "super soft waterfall cardigan", and for once this is not false advertising. It really is super soft! And look at its waterfall-y movement:


Cardigan: Mark's; dress: Luulla; necklace: ModCloth (no longer available; check out all these cute options); shoes: Payless (old; similar)


So much to be grateful for, that's for sure. I wouldn't be me if I didn't freak out a little. 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend filled with Christmas cheer! We have three parties this weekend, which is highly unusual and slightly scary for this introvert. Thank god for alcohol. 

Love, 







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Thursday, 17 December 2015

Word of 2016: BRAVE


It's this time if the year again: Goal setting time! I don't know how you feel about it, but I'm a big fan. Not necessarily in the classic New Year's resolution-kind of way, but more in a "what are your wildest dreams and how can you achieve them"-kind of way. 

Last year I set myself several goals, and then promptly forgot about them. But reading through them just now, I was amazed to find that I tackled almost all of them! *Lists are magical.*

To do a quick recap, here were my goals for 2015:

Become a Canadian citizen.  
As you may recall, I passed the test and interview, but had to sort some paperwork out. As of now I'm sadly not a citizen yet, but waiting for my invitation to the citizenship ceremony. I'm confident that everything has been approved, and that I will become Canadian very soon!

Grow my blog. 
That one is relative, because growth looks different for every person. Did I get more followers? Yes, a few, but nothing huge. Did my blog grow in other ways? I think so. I got a new design, found my direction, and even made a tiny bit of money from it this year. I'm generous and call this goal accomplished! (Sort of.)

Forgive. 
By far one of the most important goals in life, and you know what? I'm totally at peace, with no grudges or feelings of resentment against anyone. It's slightly unsettling, but the best feeling you could ever ask for!

Be open to opportunities. 
I don't know how to answer that. Have I been? I'm not sure. After some consideration, and because I feel in a giving mood this morning, I give myself a half-hearted yes - or maybe? It's tricky judging that for yourself. Can I pass on this question?

Write. 
I wrote a wee little book, so hells yeah! I'm also the self-proclaimed editor and sole writer of our department newsletter, so I declare this goal accomplished. 

Education. 
Yes, I did end up completing a course, and will do the other two in 2016. Knowledge is power!

Grow my hair. 
Oh yeah, that totally happened. 
Look:
Picture to the left: December 30, 2014. Picture to the right: at the beginning of December 2015. 

I have long hair! The last time my hair was anything close to this length was when I was 10 years old and super-tan:

On the right side you see me in September 2012, with one of the pixie variations I rocked for more than 10 years. Isn't hair amazing?


Overall, 2015 was wonderful. I will dedicate an entire post to it, because after this little detour, I want to focus on what this post is about: My word for 2016.
I did that once before, for 2014, and decided on the word create back then. 
Choosing a word is in many ways much simpler than going for complicated resolutions. It gives you more freedom, you feel less under pressure and at risk for failing, and you can interpret it any way you want. 
But make no mistake, it is powerful. I have come to believe that one word can cause more changes in your life than any long-winded resolution could ever do. 

For next year, BRAVE is what I want to be(come). It's part of my tagline (right under my blog's name: "A blog about happiness, confidence, and finding your brave"), because I strongly believe in the power of words. Seeing it every time I open my blog reminds me daily to face my fears and be brave. 
Bravery comes in many forms: 
Standing up for something you believe in. 
Going after a goal that scares the sh*t out of you. 
Knowing that you might fail, and trying it anyway. 
Being honest: Not only to others, but to yourself as well. 
Admitting that something doesn't work, and changing your approach.
Making choices that scare you: Going after a job promotion, moving away, attempting something you have never tried before. 

It might even be something simple like being bolder in your fashion choices, going out in public with no make-up on, or wearing a bold shade of lipstick. 
The opportunities for bravery are endless. 

I can't wait to find out what being brave will lead to next year!

It's going to be amazing. 

Have you chosen a word for 2016? If so, what is it?






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Monday, 14 December 2015

It's hot in here


Let me tell you an amusing story.
Imagine you are going into work, not feeling that hot (but also feeling hot in some places - you'll understand in a minute), and you are fortunate enough to have an expert on hand who can help you. Handy, right? What a lucky break.

Well, imagine this: Your co-worker asking you about your sex life, and you have to answer him.
Which is perfectly legit, because he is a doctor and you are a patient at this moment, but still absolutely mortifying. 
That was my Sunday. Sunday-Funday my ass. 

Before I continue, let me warn you that there is some TMI about to happen. If any guys are reading this, now is your opportunity to leave. Lady stuff is about to be revealed. 

Still here? Well, don't say I didn't warn you. 

Ladies, I got my very first UTI. I'm using the acronym to protect the innocent, but you all know what I'm talking about. 
I managed to get through 36 years of perfectly happy peepee-parts, and now this happened. No wonder the doctor asked uncomfortable questions. 

Since the obvious causes have been ruled out (seriously guys, nothing untoward was going on), I am now wondering what the cause may be.

Could it be stress?
I'm stressed right now. There are countdowns everywhere. That's the problem with Christmas: The countdowns. 
People exclaiming every day: "Can you believe it's the 13th already?" "Can you believe it's the 14th already?" Yes, I can, please shut up now. It gives me anxiety. Advent calendars are all over the place, taunting me. I ate mine a long time ago in an effort to eliminate its accusing stare. (Also, it was a special one with delicious fancy chocolates. But I finished it for the greater good, not for the chocolate. Obviously.)

People keep asking me if I'm ready for Christmas, and I'm not sure. What does that even mean? I still have to buy some presents, haven't figured out what exactly to cook, and have the nagging feeling I'm forgetting something. So I'm guessing not.

Throughout it all I have been neglecting my yoga practice, which made me feel guilty before Google decided to mock me:

 
Really, Google? Was that necessary?

No wonder my lady parts aren't happy. It seems that they have decided that I need to chill out for a bit. (Literally. Ouch.)

Well played, body, well played.




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Friday, 11 December 2015

You got this



I wanted to quickly pop in today and tell you something that's been on my mind lately. It's an epiphany I had that I need to share.
Over the last few weeks I have been consumed with my book. It's almost, almost done! It's in the final stage, only hours (or maybe a couple of days) away from completion. It should be done before Christmas, which is insane and a Christmas miracle to me. Aaahhh!!

Guys, it's been such a wild ride. I have been delving deeply into my past, exploring how I got to where I am today. Turns out, the story of my life is how clueless I was. I didn't know anything: What sort of career I would like to have. Where to live. Whether or not to have kids. I didn't even have real hobbies or passions. 
I knew nothing.

But I realized something. If there is one lesson I have learnt in the first third of my life, it's that we don't have to know. Don't panic if you feel completely mystified about your future, and don't know what to do. You will figure it out.

As long as you remain curious and open to the world around you, you will get little clues from the universe. They come in many shapes: A documentary on TV. People you meet who are doing stuff you never even heard of, but feel intrigued by. You may find inspiration online, through articles, blogs, even Instagram.
Do you know how I ended up finding my passions? It's a crazy story.

It all started several years ago at work. We were talking, and one of the girls mentioned Pinterest. At that time I had never heard of it, and didn't know what she was talking about. She filled us in, and I quickly became hooked.
One day, I came across a pin that would change my life.

That one.

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I had developed a bit of a thing for cellphone photography, and was always looking for new ideas on what to do with photos. I clicked through to the website, and thus got my very first look at a blog: A Beautiful Mess. After the initial confusion ("how the heck does this website work?") I was intrigued. So much so, that I decided shortly after that I would start my own blog. I even mention ABM in my first post! You can tell by looking at it that I didn't know what I was doing. It makes me laugh, and also proud of the girl who just went for it, despite not knowing a thing about blogging. Well done past-Miriam!

Anyway, blogging opened up a new world for me. While it can be a legitimate career for some people, it wasn't that for me. My blog served another purpose: To find myself. It helped me to overcome my inhibitions, and face decades worth of insecurities and self-doubt.
I came to terms with my depression.
I learnt that I'm an introvert.
I found my peace about the baby-question.

And I found two hobbies that would enrich my life in ways I never imagined: yoga and writing.

My blog friend Mary is an avid yogi, and I follow her journey on Instagram. Once in a while I would wistfully comment how much I missed it, having done some yoga classes in the past. She always encouraged me to give it a try again.
Finally, I did. On March 1st of this year, I restarted my yoga journey, and haven't looked back. It has become my passion, my teacher, and a beautiful way to connect with others. I love it deeply.

My writing journey is an open book for you, my dear readers. Literally. It all started here, with this little blog. I've made all my mistakes on here, and continue to do so. I've laid my dreams out here for the world to see. And thanks to my blog, there will be a book out there with my name on it very soon.


What I have learnt throughout it all, is that you have to become best friends with yourself. Get to know yourself. Don't be afraid to look at the good, the bad and the ugly. The ugly is the interesting part! Once you can accept yourself, your life will become indefinitely easier. Other people can't hurt you any more by trying to use your weaknesses against you, because you have come to terms with them already. Once you have gotten to that part, the opinion of other people becomes less and less important.
Many posts on my blog have been written because I struggled with other people. Because I felt so insecure.
Don't get me wrong, I still do sometimes. But it's getting better all the time. I've never felt so at peace with myself like I do now.

And I'm confident: You and I, we got this.

   



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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Big Magic

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If you are a book lover, there will be many books in your life that you enjoy. They will make you laugh, cry, think, sympathize, dream, or simply escape reality for a while.
But only a few will change you. I found one to add to that precious list: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. 
I've been wanting to write about this book for several days, but have kept postponing it for fear that I won't be able to do it justice. Silly me. If I've learnt one thing from Big Magic, is that fear is a normal part of the creative process, and you have to make friends with it. So there I go, trying my best, because that's all any of us can do. 

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Big Magic tells you that you are a creative person. Yes, you. Look down from the screen for a moment, at your hands. Those hands can create. They already do: They bake, paint, make music, can draw a perfect eyeliner line, make elaborate hairstyles, write, throw a ball, stroke a crying child, pet a cat.

Liz states that we are all creative, because humankind has created art for as long as we have existed.
Was there a reason to paint pictures on cave walls? Was it essential for survival? Probably not. But that didn't stop our ancestors to get out their mammoth-hair brushes and start painting.

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Big Magic gives you the permission to start creating. Not that you need it - but if you never dared to begin because you thought it would be a waste of time, there you go go - permission granted!
It's not about becoming successful in the sense that you will make a career out of it, or become rich and famous. Not at all.

It's about enjoying the hell out of it. Because you know what?
Being creative is fun. It gives you a thrill and excitement that is one of a kind. It makes you feel alive and vibrant! It also gives us the gift of gaining a deeper appreciation for life.  



Here is the best part, the "magic" of it. Liz tells us that ideas are not just insubstantial thoughts in our heads. They are living beings who want to be brought to life. So they float all around us, looking for the person who can make them manifest. Before you roll your eyes and move on, think for a minute. Have you ever woken up with a great idea, that came seemingly overnight? That made you jump out of bed with excitement, brimming with energy and eager to get started on a new project?
I hope you have. It's the best feeling in the world, nothing short of a miracle. 
That's part of the big magic.  

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Of course, ideas won't find you all the time. And it's not all fun and play. For the most part it's a ton of work, you showing up day after day, putting in countless hours. It's getting up an hour early before work, to write, or draw, or go figure skating. 
Why? 

Because it makes us feel alive. It gives us joy. Liz says it best: "This is how I want to spend my life: Collaborating with forces of inspiration that I can neither see, nor prove, nor command, nor understand."

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Liz's love affair with creativity is contagious. That's the biggest benefit of this book for me: It makes you fall in love with your own creative side. It makes you feel brave. 
You feel encouraged to explore the depths of your creative soul to find hidden jewels in there. 
It's all exquisitely exciting!

Another important benefit I got from the book is this: Liz tells you to focus on your work, and not the results of it. "The reaction doesn't belong to you."
Most (or all?) creators are worried about how others will perceive their work. Obviously we want it to be liked, and we are afraid of criticism or ridicule. 
But she reminds us that we have no influence over other people's reaction. By the time our work is out in the world, it's done. We produced it, and hopefully had fun doing it. How people receive it has nothing to do with us.

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I loved this book deeply. Can you tell? ;-) I can't recommend it highly enough to anyone who ever wanted to create something. Anything! 
It will inspire you, encourage you, and make you believe in magic. What could be better?

Did you read it? What did you think?





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Thursday, 3 December 2015

Style: Pineapple express


What should you write about when your mind is a total blank and you cannot think of a blog title?

The weather of course! 
After a week of freezing cold, today has been grey, unseasonably warm and very windy. So windy in fact, that our power has been flickering three times over the last hour, making me feel like we are having a race to the finish line, i.e. posting this before the power goes out.
Who will win?

On the one side, there is Miriam, wildly determined, but handicapped by her two-finger-typing-technique and her lack of words. 
On the other side, there is Mother Nature, who can flick out the power with one medium-sized breath of her powerful lungs. 

Who will make it? Who will triumph in the end??

If you are reading this shortly after 6:00 pm PST, Miriam was the winner!



Lace dress: ModCloth (not available any more; similar); sweater: old (similar); denim jacket: American Eagle (similar, but lined for winter!); scarf: gift (similar); shoes: Old Navy



I'm at the edge of my seat with anticipation.   







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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Morning magic


Something weird, yet extraordinary is happening right now. It has reinforced my belief in a benign and wise universe.

I used to be a morning person for most of my life. Going to bed at 10 pm, waking up at 7 or 8 am was my jam. Then I got an evening job a few years ago that had me working the majority of my time until midnight. The adjustment wasn't easy. I struggled to keep my eyes open after 10pm for the longest time, unable to sleep in properly the next day and always being up early despite the short night's sleep.
Then my body adjusted. After some more time, so did my mind (the mind is usually much more stubborn than the body). And I grew to love what was considered a job with bad work times. My life grew around it: I would have leisurely late mornings where I took my time writing blog posts, drinking coffee and catching up with my husband. Later I would do my yoga practice or walk the dogs - or do both on the rare occasion I felt extra inspired.

Going to work when everybody else was done for the day didn't bother me any more. I felt smug, like I had discovered this little secret nobody else knew about: That you can live the life you want before work, and still be able to make a living financing it after hours.
(Of course, millions of artists and creatives have done this for hundreds of years, pursuing their art during the day and making a living at night. I just never thought I would be one of them.)

But then, life intervened. Because she has a wicked sense of humour, and apparently feels that I have become too smug and complacent for my own good.

2016 is shaping up to be a year of change. My job is no longer secure, and there may be a change of workplace on the horizon. I also started to take some extra courses last August, which I will finish next year. With that, everything I have grown accustomed to is probably about to change.

I have known about these impending, not-quite-sure-but-probably-happening changes for some months now. And I had a hard time accepting it in the beginning. Our comfort zones are named that for a reason: They are comfortable. Familiar. Like an old favourite sweater, they have adjusted to our needs. Giving that up isn't easy. I went through all the emotions: Ranting about how unfair it is, feeling sorry for myself, denying that it would happen.

But then, something happened. I swear I have nothing to do with it.

Suddenly, I would wake up early in the morning, wide awake, no matter how late I went to bed the night before.
The house was comforting and welcoming in its darkness, not cold and disagreeable like it used to be. I couldn't help but get up.

Couldn't help but thoroughly enjoy this special, quiet time in the morning. With the smell of the freshly brewed coffee in the air, I would wander through the rooms of our home, soaking up the peace and quiet. Watching the world slowly waking up outside felt like a special treat. I hadn't done that in so long!
I forgot how much I missed it.

Because here is the truth I chose to forget:
Mornings are my favourite time of the day. Always have been, always will be. I love getting up before anyone else, when the house is quiet and all my loved ones are still asleep.

Watching the sun rise, the world looks fresh, full of magic and bright with possibilities. In the mornings, I'm superwoman. I'm full of ideas, energy, and inspiration. As the day progresses, I lose more and more of my super powers, until there is nothing left by the end of the day.

I thought that would fit in perfectly with an evening job. And it does.
But it's not limited to that.

Early mornings are not as scary as I made them out to be. I can get up early to indulge my creative side, and still go to work during the day if I have to.

The universe is showing me right now the beauty of every hour of the day. It's reminding me gently that I can adjust to changes. I have done it before, many times. I can do it again.

So can you. 
Our comfort zones may be comfortable, but they are also prisons. Maybe it's time to break out?



  

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