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My laid-back (Italian?) self

How can I live with chaos when abroad but not at home?

My sister (mostly lovingly) calls me a pedant …
I am an organized and tidy person. I make my bed daily. My dirty laundry lands in the laundry basket to be washed. Clothes I’d like to wear again are folded and put on the tub in the bathroom. Dirty dishes are never waiting in the sink to be cleaned, but stowed in the dishwasher right away. Paper and books are neatly stacked in my office. I daily fold the blanket on my sofa before I go to bed, even though I use it daily. My cosmetics are in their designated place in the bathroom, nothing lies around. Trash is put in the trashbin. My shoes are in the shoeshelf or put neatly one next to the other. I definitely dislike looking at chaos.

Italy brings out my chaos-embracing side?
At the moment, I am on a school trip in Florence, Italy with a colleague who is also a friend. And I find myself being more relaxed and less paranoid about cleaning, tidying up and organizing. I thought that was impossible…

Of course, others might not consider this chaos, but for me it is kinda huge. Some things I am able to let go….

I still make my bed daily (and fold my pijama), yet I can let dirty dishes wait in the sink to be cleaned for later. The rented flat is spacious but was not really cleaned, yet it was my friend who hovered on day 1 (I cleaned the kitchen a bit). It is ok for me to have my clothes lying around (still neatly folded though) without a system to it. Papers on the desk are not stacked, there is more chaos on the kitchen table than I am used to and my worn socks have carelessly been tossed next to my shoes. By me. For days I was puzzled when I saw them there, but only picked them up today.

How come I do not feel this maniac need to tidy up here? How come I see chaos but feel it belongs there?

Maybe it is because we are in Italy, and nothing ever goes as planned here. 🙂 Maybe I find this chaos relaxing- since it is impossible to be controlled, I needn’t bother try. 🙂 Maybe I just enjoy being laid-back for a change… ? 🙂

I hope this laid-back me survives the trip back home, however dormant, to surface there every once in a while. It is sure relaxing.

Press pause #3

or… what do I wish to do and feel and be in these next weeks of summer? 🙂

Here is what I have come up with: 

–  Forgive and heal
(here I have started Laura Malina Seiler’s free online Mini-Kurs Heal & Forgive)

– Only contact who I would like to see and listen to with an open heart

– Enjoy time in my hometown in Germany with old friendships and family (check ♡)

– Explore the area of my Austrian hometown with my amore once I am back and create new moments and memories (bacio :* )

– Stay with what I want and dream of and let these dreams surface

– Do more of what makes me happy, i.e. really establish my routines and rituals (yoga, meditating, going for walks, riding my bike along the lake, …) without putting them in my daily schedule; establish them in such a way that they are the first things I yearn to do once I have leisure time (challenging, but working fine so far)

– Reduce watching the news/ reading them (see: routines instead)

– Reduce tv/ screen time (see: routines)

– Do not write to do lists (I know, ridiculous 🙂 🙂 )

Apart from the last point, I feel confident. 🙂 What are things you would like to establish this summer?

Licht und Schatten

Diesen kleinen Text habe ich direkt vor unserem Urlaub auf Kreta geschrieben, als ich irgendwie nichts wirklich fühlte. In mir spürte ich nur das Gefühl, dass mir alles zuviel ist und jeder irgendetwas von mir erwartet – inklusive mir selbst. Doch wie sollte ich das bitte abschalten und den Schalter umlegen und plötzlich- juchu, mich auf den Urlaub freuen???

Es ist ok
wenn ich keine überschäumende Freude aufn Urlaub spüre
meine Freude ist leise und zart

Es ist ok
wenn ich gerade überfordert bin mit den Anforderungen an mich
mein NEIN zu anderen lässt mich zu mir JA sagen

Es ist ok
wenn ich gerade gern alleine wäre und doch nicht einsam
mein Alleinsein stärkt mich

Es ist ok
wenn ich gerade nicht in die Zukunft schauen kann und möchte
mein Herz kann sich dann für JETZT öffnen und es annehmen

Als ich am Tag vorm Urlaub dann aus mir unerfindlichen Gründen zu Tränen aufgelöst war, habe ich diesen Text geschrieben und mir immer wieder gesagt ES IST OK. Unglaublich, wie sehr das mir selbst den Druck rausgenommen hat und auf einmal spürte ich wieder mehr: Erleichterung, Hoffnung, ein kleines bisschen Vorfreude.

Jetzt und heute, nur ein paar Tage später (und unzählige Stunden am Strand später, und etliche Kilo Sorgen leichter) erscheint mir diese Person, die das geschrieben hat, Lichtjahre entfernt, ebenso wie das Gefühl der Überwältigung. Faszinierend, dieses Gefühle annehmen – schöne und nicht schöne. Beim nächsten Mal geht’s vielleicht etwas leichter. 🙂

We’ve all got both light and darkness inside us. (J.K.Rowling, Harry Potter series)

Value 3/7

3:) Kindness

Only in the last years did I notice this character trait in people. Before, I suppose due to youth or my age or a lack of depth on my side, I never really saw kindness in people. It seems to me they are often overlooked, because their kindness is often not something loud. Kindness is quiet, sometimes unseen, but leaves me with a warm feeling and a smile on my face.

I have come to appreciate small acts of kindness a lot, maybe since they are usually given of free will, so they truly come from the heart and sometimes the desire to do something for another person. Just because.

It is these little things that often touch my heart. My parents usually buy my favourite kind of sausage whenever I drive home for the weekend. As a teenager, my father usually bought me the new BSB album and the latest Harry Potter book without asking. When I arrive at my parents’ place, 9 of 10 times my Mum and/ or my Dad are waiting by the door to welcome me.My sister always remembers important events in my life and wishes me luck. Plus she notices sidecomments I make and always buys me perfect presents. A friend once gave me a blanket when I was lovesick because she was not around to hug me. Another friend once picked me up to fetch my car from the mechanic and saved me a tenuous 50-minute bus ride. Two friends once just stood in front of my door and hugged me, because I needed it. I received a lovely letter and a handmade bookmark by post that totally brightened my day. A colleague brought me tea because I had mentioned I was feeling a bit sick. Once when I was driving home in a hurry because my Mum was not well, another colleague texted me “drive safe“’.

Neither of those acts were a big thing. Yet they made a big difference to me and in some ways cemented relation- and friendships, as they showed care. So, sincerely, thank you.

Some people are just kind. I have been wondering how they show it, apart from these small acts of kindness listed above, but I must say I am failing. Partly they just listen, like really listen to you, I think. Partly they have an open heart that wants to give. With some I felt they were kind even though they had not “done“ anything for me, but there was a sincerity in their way that seemed to be rooted in kindness.

I wanna be like that.