Today I had a rather inspiring chat with my best friend. She has just come back from a three-week-trip in Nepal and apart from a very jealousy-inducing tan, she also brought some wisdom and insight.
She told me that she was suffering from a sort of "reversed cultural shock", regarding the speed of Innsbruck as rather overwhelming and, above all, she was utterly shocked how unhappy everyone here looked. She claimed (and I believe her) that, in the past three weeks, she hasn't encountered one grumpy, grim or nasty person in Nepal, even though most of these people have not even a quarter of the material wealth we people do.
This didn't surprise me, of course. We all know consumerism is a drug we have all been addicted to for far too long, but it was her notion of how the absence of social media has affected her life positively. So positively, actually, that she has decided to forego the whole experience altogether and stop checking her social media portals, and I want to try the same. With shock, I realised that, our of mere boredom, I check my social media threads about ten times a day, which is utterly stupid because most on it is bullshit. The flood of advertisement, promotions and people's updates we couldn't be less interested in we have to filter everyday is insane and it is no wonder we are all so drained of life energy when we are constantly reminded of how we should look, what we should eat and where this and that person has travelled again and you have not.
Enough of it, I say. I have ordered myself a social media break, commencing today. I will go cold turkey for a week and see how it goes, only using the platforms for promoting my articles (which other people are probably entirely not interested in and have to filter out of their threads) and have already deleted my Facebook icon on my phone. I am sure I will benefit from the experience, so if you are interested, why not join me and share your week with us here.
It's only a month until Christmas, folks!
Yes, I am already counting down the days and am uber-excited to celebrate the pre-Christmas season. Actually, I do not enjoy Christmas itself so much because it marks the end of the festive season, somehow, which means we have to wait a whole year to celebrate again.
Pre-Christmas, however, is awesome, as it means drinking punch and Glue Vine, listening to Christmas music (the best music in the world) and embracing an altogether more festive atmosphere.
Over the next few weeks, I will indulge you with little Christmas treats, including list of my favourite Christmas carols, some delicious recipes and, best of all, in early December I will publish a book with some Christmas-related short stories on Amazon Publishing for you all to read, but I will give more updates on that in some time.
Now, let's, sadly, talk about something else than pre-Christmas (while we still can). The other day I watched a report in which a German school for highly skilled students was visited by a reporter. I know I ramble about insufficient school systems and an entirely flawed system for children altogether all the time, but it is matter of the heart, and so here comes another one.
This school is a boarding school and houses specifically talented children, but actually does not trust IQ results (at least not exclusively), but rather incorporates a wide range of talents which are then supported and furthered by the school. Their criteria for a match includes a natural curiosity for the environment, a thirst for knowledge and a specific talent which can be honed at this school.
This sounds all rather good, and still is utter bullshit. Adhering to the above given criteria, EVERY child needs to go to such a school - and, of course, every child should. There is no such thing as a child with no curiosity for the world, a natural thirst for knowledge and a special talent. Every. Child. Is. Talented. And if the thirst for knowledge has already been squandered, it is some adult's fault.
In fact, every human is talented. Each and every individual has a specific gift unique to them, which should be supported and enhanced by a school system in which children can thrive and explore a wide range of interests and talents.
The school was far from perfect. It still had classrooms and frontal lessons, but in its approach to the child, it was very advanced compared to other schools, so I wonder why not every school functions like such a "special" school.
Secondly, which outraged me, was the notion of bullying. Many students there admitted having been bullied in their previous schools for their thirst of knowledge and although it is nice to know they can now thrive in this specific school, it is shocking to realise that this means another school - a "normal" school - allowed a child to be bullied for its curiosity - and it is accepted. The reporter wasn't outraged by the notion of children being bullied for their intelligence or talent. Again, I wonder how acquainted we are to subjects like bullying and how readily we accept it as a part of school. Why do children have to go to a "special" school to escape the horrors of bullying while so many others are still subjected to it?
Thirdly, what annnoyed me about the report - and the reporter - was her question if the students weren't missing out on "normal teenager activities like partying and drinking alcohol." Why is there the assumption that getting wasted on the weekend is a normal thing to do for teenagers?
Well, probably because it is, but why aren't we horrified by this? Ambivalence seems to be key when it comes to dealing with children and teenagers, as you get told repeatedly by your parents to not drink or have premature sex, but still we incorporate and accept it into the "normal teenage behaviour". This reporter thought that not getting wasted with your friends was "missing out" even though these children could pursue their talents instead - which is far more valuable than partying. Especially if you keep in mind that most teenagers get wasted on the weekends because their school lives are so terrible it's one way to cope with it.
It's outrageous to promote such behaviour as "normal" by a country-wide TV science magazine, which shows how acceptable it has become.
OK, let me set this straight. Every child is talented and needs to be nurtured in his/her individual needs. If every child is happy and content, it won't see the necessity to belittle others and bullying will be a non-issue at school which leads to teenagers indulging in healthy activities like pursuing their talents, meeting friends and collecting first-hand experience through internships and such, resulting in a balanced teenager who doesn't need alcohol at the weekend to get through the week.
See, it's really not that difficult when you put it like this. I just don't understand why I, a twenty-five year old woman with no teacher degree, can see that and teachers worldwide as well as politicians cannot...
The last days have been busy as hell!
I have been trying to get up my arse in my attempt as a freelance writer and I can tell you, it is absolutely exhausting, but also exciting. It means daily dedication to writing, editing and sending out innumerable pitches to various magazines and online outlets. But I finally feel like this could work out one day and, of course, I will keep you updated on any progress.
Now to something uplifting in a completely different way - Christmas markets are on! Today was the official start of the Christmas markets and I am SO keen to go. I and my man are planning to visit the markets in Munich, Linz, Salzburg and probably some others, but I will take pictures, if I am there.
Now, let's turn to the actual topic for today. Timing. I have been thinking about timing lately and it is generally assumed that everything in life is down to the right timing. If so, I am not very good at it because I feel I have always been really bad at timing. Many blessings have been brought into my life, but mostly at a time where I wouldn't have considered it good timing at all; however, the question - becoming quite philosophical here - is whether the timing really wasn't good, or if I couldn't appreciate the event happening in my life, leading back if it was the right time to happen in the end.
Ouf, plenty to take in. Let me explain this thesis regarding my life. When I graduated school, I was eager to set off to England, marry an Englishman and work as a writer/director/superstar (dreams of the little ones). I wanted to slut around, embracing my newly acquired freedom when, TADAM, I met my man.
We met at a party and after an initial flirting phase in which I considered him to be merely the start of what I would call a "queue of men", I fell deeply for him. I knew I didn't want to start studying right away after school and wanted to go abroad as an au pair, but with my new love in my life, I became increasingly reluctant to pursue my initial plans and ended up working as a teacher at a private school, taking up a course in English in the summer semester at university.
Sometimes I wonder what might have happened if I had gone to Britain so much earlier, but I will never know.
Now, my man and I lived together, but we were out of the right timing, too, as it seemed. I was studying, he went to evening college, which meant we mostly met at the weekends. Then he started studying and I started working before he started working and I went abroad. We hardly ever had the same routine until the last six months of this year.
I am not saying I believe loving him is wrong, not at all, but timing does not seem to be on my side, really.
When I quit my job, I could leave at the end of August because I still had so many vacation days, which was perfect for our upcoming journey; however, the car we drove with was only ready in early October, which meant I sat around in Innsbruck for over four weeks, waiting to commence this new chapter, now being terribly late with planning my new chapter because we only just returned from the trip.
Ah, it's agonising. I don't want to fuss, but for once it would be lovely to have my life fall into plan just perfectly and not be a giant, enormous struggle all the time...
We'll see, probably timing will come around eventually - or my appreciation for how my life unfolds...
There is this land, you all know, and you slightly dread,
The land in which you get off the sofa and early out of bed.
Procrastinators’ dream it is, no frenzy, fear or hurry,
For in this land the rule it is, tomorrow’s time to worry.
The bills piling up until the ceiling, nearly tilting,
Your favourite TV show on tonight, you’re so happy you could be lilting.
Updating your CV is on and letters you should write too,
But when you’re feeling oh so tired, rest is good, it’s true.
Your gym bag is already dusty, you should really go,
A friend is writing, coffee now? You can’t really say no.,,
You could of course sit down and write the things you really should,
Or you watch Colbert and Co on Youtube, it’s too good.
From there you find the puppy videos and kittens all galore,
And when you check your clock again, it is already way past four.
You could practice guitar and practice down until your bones,
Or…you could, you know, as well watch the latest Game of Thrones.
The flat is grimy, you just sigh, it really does need cleaning,
But then your evening show’s to start, again it’s intervening.
The bank needs calling, the doctor waits and you should sort it out,
Today you’re tired, back is hurting, tomorrow’s time, there’s no doubt.
Tomorrow you will be your best, get early up and work,
You’ll clean the flat and read a book and meet the bank jerk.
You will play the guitar and write about all the things you should,
And if there’s time you’ll cleanse your skin, a mask also would be good.
Tomorrow will be fine, you know, the day you’ll sort it out,
Tomorrow creativity will flow, the end of our drought.
Tomorrowland has space for this, the tasks you always dread,
Like reading the police’s letter because you ran a red.
In it you will meet with the lawyer or go to the bank,
It is the land of angst and pain, if I must be frank.
So, don’t you worry about it now, tomorrow there’s a fix,
And, who knows, tomorrow you might be working late till six.
It is the land of all worries, fear and sorrow,
But don’t fret just now and remember, you can always deal with it tomorrow.
Halloween is officially over, which means we can equally officially acknowledge that SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN (soon-ish).
Yes, you heard right, Christmas season is on and I am so excited about it. As soon as the Halloween decoration was stuffed back in boxes, the Christmas decoration was out and I am slowly starting to put bits and pieces here and there, the full-on frenzy of course only starting in December (by which I mean tree, garlands and ONLY Christmas music allowed anymore). Now I am looking forward to the Christmas markets opening and get myself into a pre-mood by listening to Kate Rusby's Christmas music, as well as other Christmas music.
You might think it's a bit early, but I don't think so. I will never understand people who say it's too early to start Christmas...Seriously, how can it be too early to get cookies out, lovely scented candles and listen to wonderful, uplifting music about love, peace and happiness? How can anyone like festive atmosphere and wouldn't like to expand it into the longest period possible? I will never understand and as soon as the weather allows it and Halloween is over, I am full-on Christmas and I LOVE it! For me it is truly the most wonderful time of the year as I am not what you would call outdoorsey and the cold weather allows me to pursue my favourite activities: drinking tea and reading a book, tucked away on a cushy armchair, a blanket embracing me softly into its ever comforting hug. I love reading the Christmas editions of Country Homes and magazines like that as you get the cosy feeling and you never want it to end. I love when it gets dark, too, and I know I might be the only person, but it means I can cosy up earlier, which means I can procrastinate better, which is, practically, my life.
So, certainly Christmas is some miles down the river, but isn't pre-Christmas much better than Christmas anyway. After all, Christmas marks the dire end of the festive season, so indulge in mulled wine, enjoy a hot chocolate, get out your scarves and woolly jumpers and embrace the fact that Christmas Eve is only 50 days away...
Writer. Editor. Blogger. YouTuber. Freelancer. Traveller. English fanatic.