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The Sound of War…

sound of war

The Sound of War…

A few days ago I was as always talking over the web to my Libyan fiancé.

I am already used to hear gunshots in the background from time to time. And to say “being used to” is kind of weird. I fortunately grew up in a peaceful area and to hear gunshots is frightening me. But I was convinced that they are far away from his house and he is not affected, so I got calmer.

But what happened this night was scaring the hell out of me.

It started with gunshots but in an unusual way as instead of stopping after a few minutes it was getting more heavy and was followed by sounds I never heard before.

He explained that they shot now with weapons used against tanks. While I was sitting frightened in front of my iPad he tried to call some friends to find out what’s going on and to locate the area.

About five kilometers away from his house and all started with a fight about a car which left one dead. The family of the killed was then looking for revenge and it was getting worse and worse. I’m not even sure about the details exactly and if the national security was involved at some point or not, but that’s not the topic.

After three hours of permanent shootings the next stage were weapons normally used against planes – anti aircraft – and that was the time when I was more quiet than ever before. He was a bit nervous and not as relaxed as one could be when he survived war times. The “normal” heard gunshots aren’t frightening him anymore as he is able after the war to locate just from the sound if it’s near to him or not. But for me, honestly, this was a situation where I realized even more than before how dangerous human beings can be.

To hear gunshots at night from afar where your loved ones are is a real nightmare.

Libya fought so hard to get finally the so long served liberty, they suffered more than anyone without war experience can imagine, and now the newly gained liberty is still a mess and has almost the same sound as a war.

Peace should be silent, comfortable and not frightening, don’t they deserve to live peacefully now, after all these struggles?

And it’s not only that there are a few stupid guys going against each other, no, it’s affecting so many.

Has one of them ever thought about the persons who lost their loved ones, about children survived a traumatic time and still not finding rest, all the innocent out there who shiver at each shot and relive cruel memories?

And even me and I’m surely not the only one having a close relationship to Libya from an outside position. We are sitting here, in a calm and safe area, and we are frightened and hope each time that our loved ones will not be affected.

A feeling I never experienced before, being completely helpless, powerless.

Why are humans like this? They gained the power and they won against a cruel dictator but instead of trying to have a better life afterwards they abuse the weapons they got for selfish reasons. In the end they are not better than the one they fought before. I’m not a political person, I just try to use my normal human thinking. What must be in the minds of those who act so cruel? In the end it’s good that I cannot understand because it would mean I think the same way. But from a realistic point of view they bring even more sadness into the country, the families, the people instead of taking the first steps into a better future.

I hope to be able sooner than later to travel there because from what I’ve heard and read and seen on pictures it must be a wonderful country.

Keep the faith that it soon will be safe first for the people living there and second to all those who already love the country without having been there.

If you want to read a bit about the history of Libya I can recommend this:

Tough working week

Tough working week

Hey, I haven't disappeared but this week was one of those weeks you want to skip in your life. Writing here is relaxing, inspiring, a little time out where I just let my thoughts flow. I intended to write every second or third day not to push myself into private timelines. This week unfortunately crashed these plans.

Days without an end where I left my desk late in the evening without having finalized what was planned. Tired, starving, eating what is found in the fridge instead of cooking a dinner and then falling onto the couch to get at least a bit the feeling that it's not only a circle of work and exhausted sleep.

Is this the work life I always dreamt of?

No, a big no. I will not start to complain too much as my job is paying my rent, my food, my clothes, all I need in life which can be bought but what about me?

Where are the times where I just do the things I like so much? After such a week I find myself sleeping, walking senseless through my flat before I start something here and something there not focusing on one action at a time. Is this the modern, busy life everyone is talking about? I'm not sure if I want it like this.

My head is full of timelines, urgent tasks to be completed, budgets, requests from clients and the knowledge about my ever growing mailbox. How did people work before they had access to the world wide web? Was is also stressful like it is nowadays? Sure everyone has times at work where it is stressful but I have the feeling as if there are no longer quiet days. Very common is to offer work-life-balance trainings or workshops, are they helpful? From my point of view they put us into another piece of stress as we have to schedule the daily tasks around them and end up in an even longer day.

So what to change if you are not happy with the current situation?

I would love to have the perfect answer but I haven't. What I try currently is a combination of several rules I made for myself. It's nothing which will fit for everyone but maybe you find some inspiring thoughts in it. I'm not consequent at all with these plans but at least I started to change my way of thinking – for the realization I give myself time to get into a rhythm which is good for me, maybe even cross out something and add something new. Rome wasn't buildt in one day and still have many construction places.

1. Finish work within the contracted time and what's not finalized during the day has to wait for the next day.

I'm improving which is quite good. In the beginning it caused a bad feeling as if I'm not able to do the work I have to. But we all are humans and if you give estimates on when you will have it done and communicate properly people will start to appreciate. It doesn't mean to extend each and every timeline to gain time, it means to stop believing that you have to deliver thousand result on just one day.

2. Find rituals to close the working day and start private time.

This is something complete individual. For me, and I'm working in a home office, it's to start preparing my dinner. I leave the desk, it's out of my sight, and start chopping vegetables for example. A task where you don't have to think at all. It could also be a hot shower, this works also on some days for me as it's just time for myself. I think there are many possibilities on what to do.

3. Take time for at least one thing per week which you want to do constantly.

I fail often with this but if I took the time for instance to sit down and listen to music for a certain time, write or starting to get into meditation I realize that I'm feeling more relaxed afterwards. Even a nap is ok.

4. Learn how you can set your mind on "mute" for a short time per day to get new inspiration.

My biggest challenge nowadays. My mind is constantly running and I'm hardly able to stop it. My plan is to start meditation and I tried already a few but am not consequent enough. I set myself no timeline not to cause additional stress but if I'm able to shut down my thinking mind even for two minutes per day I will let you know. Any tips? You are very welcome to share them with me!

5. Having a relaxing sleep

This is one important point as a lack of sleep or restless sleep cannot recharge the energy you need during a day. I had many insomniac nights during times of trouble and am finding back to how it should be like. Before I was used to read, I read so many books and it was always my ritual before I slept. Then came a time where I wasn't able to focus on what I read because thoughts were running and I got into a circle of finding no rest. I put a TV in my bedroom which isn't what I wanted all those years. I was the one always telling others that I will never have it in my bedroom. But TV itself is for sure not calming you down. Next step was to start DVDs so no commercials and well-picked topics instead of randomly trash. Nowadays I have a mixture of reading, watching DVDs and listening to mediations depending on my mood before I sleep and the way is OK to, step by step, reach the nights again where I just lay down and sleep.

In addition to this, make it comfortable for you! The worst thing for me would be a crowded sleeping room. Maybe it's my personal preference, but to ease I need not too much around me. Nothing to distract me from what I want I my bed. Means my bedroom is completely white, walls, wardrobe, bed sheets, everything. You'll find a few books in there but it's mainly the bed, one plant, and indirect light.

That's it for now – as I said, I'm just starting and there may be things I never thought about before which lead me in the end to where I want to be one day but for the moment these are the main parts for me to focus on. It shouldn't end up in a to-do list like at work so five are more than enough.

Take care and keep the faith – no one is perfect on this earth.

Von meinem iPad gesendet

Budapest

Budapest 2010
I went to Budapest / Hungary for business one week in April 2010.
Some may remember this month as it was the start of the ash cloud.
Work was the main part of this trip and in the beginning I thought I may go with colleagues for dinner some evenings or just have a coffee after work. But it turned out that they were not really happy about me being there and checking what they did for several reasons wrong. I had to check the quality and when I started on the first day to detect quality issue after quality issue, they were more than angry. Not my problem as I didn’t had the task to please them, I had to ensure quality, means they did wrong and tried to blame me to be too strict.
Nevertheless, I wasn’t there to make friends and to get at least a glimpse of the city where I stayed for the week I decided to discover it on my own.
Fortunately my hotel was directly on the chain bridge and it was easy to walk in all directions from there. The weather could have been better as it was foggy and rainy the whole week. But instead of sitting in the hotel room after a tough day with only a partly working TV a walk was not the worst option.
I never took so many pictures within such a short stay but Budapest is full of nice spots, even if it’s rainy. The atmosphere hits me quickly because people there are smiling and friendly whatever they are doing. Given the fact that Hungary isn’t one of the wealthiest countries it proofs again that money can never make you happy.
The last night was the most impressive for me as the whole trip turned out to be a mess in regards to work. One catastrophe was following the other and instead of trying to fix it together, the colleagues started to work against me. I was never in a situation like this, handling everything professionell for sure, but it was not as in other countries. This was the attitude from colleagues not being able to admit mistakes, single persons, so not to judge the rest of Hungary because of them.
On my last evening it was almost the feeling as if you walk along the Thames in London so much fog was laying over the city. I’m not sure if that’s common for Budapest or if I picked exactly this time.
I walked across a market place in the centre where you hardly could see the lights surrounding the streets through the thick layer of fog over the city.
A man with a saxophone was playing and it was the most awesome time of my stay.
There I was, completely alone in a country where I don’t even speak one word of their language and in the middle of a city which is completely new to me but I felt at ease at this moment. I was breathing in the atmosphere not to loose one second of it and I still remember the smell of the air. Its always the small things which last forever. A moment to remember and this one moment overlayed all stress encountered in the same city. Thanks for saying goodbye like this, Budapest. I love to think about visiting this city again one day, maybe in summertime… Amazon.de Widgets

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First holidays on my own in Italy – part 3 (Departure)

First holidays on my own in Italy – part 3 (Departure)
One week alone in Italy – was it what I wanted?
On the bus travel back to the airport I was trying to draw a conclusion of what was good, what not so good.
There are many if I’m honest, I just tell about the main for me.
The first and most important lesson learned for me was that you always carry your mind with you, there’s no escape. But if you are out of your daily routine you are able to get another view on it. You have the time to re-think, over-think, search, at least I had the passion to do so and was driving back in a better shape.
Another good experience was not to be scared of traveling alone. If you are a bit communicative you will make contact to others. I kept it on a low level as my intention was not to make friends but nevertheless I had some nice chats with tourists like the two women or my neighbor couple as well as with some of the locals, the poolbar chief who had once a gelateria in Germany, one of his co-workers who proudly showed pictures of his newborn daughter and a farmer who lived near to the hotel.
This was a nice story as I was walking by each day and from time to time I was buying some of his fruits, tomatoes, pepper, and as he was only talking Italian he teached me some phrases. This reminded me again on my wish to learn Italian, unfortunately it’s still just a plan and I haven’t worked on it yet. But it showed me how friendly these people are and they don’t need big houses or expensive cars, they just enjoy there being which is something I took back with me.
Simplicity is often the healthier way to live instead of running after timelines, being stressed or work until you fell asleep exhausted in the middle of the night.
What I missed is someone to share the beauty with. If you are standing at the lighthouse and enjoy the beautiful view of the sea you miss someone next to you to share it with. I took so many pictures and for sure I shared them with others afterwards but the moment itself was just for me.
Also many of these places were romantic and these were the moments when I asked myself what I did wrong to be there alone instead of snuggling up into the arms of someone, but that’s life. Everything which happens in life has a deeper sense.
And it was still better than traveling in a group with a guide explaining stuff you don’t want to know. These guides which hold up an umbrella and you run after it. I think I would have felt even more lonely within such a group.
In the end it was exactly what I needed. I went back with new impressions, new thoughts, ready to do something in my life to change it. I wasn’t completely renewed but it was a step towards myself.
I regained the faith in me, trusting myself, having the ability to change and to live in a happy way.

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Do I have to explain my life?

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Do I have to explain my life?
I recently asked me this question as I found myself in the situation of always explains that it’s not like that, that it’s different, that it’s not as they think…
What was it about. It was because I met my fiancé who’s not German. Even worse, he’s also not fitting into the European picture as he’s from the unknown continent Africa. Mystical stories about people there are in the heads of the common German or even in the heads of the common European. And for my story it’s even worse. Not only that he’s not European, he’s also a Muslim. All cliches existent, you can be sure I heard them already.
Where is he from? From Libya. Oh god, you will soon be sitting completely covered on a camel in the desert. Yes, that was exactly what I planned for my life was my answer. You can only reply in a sarcastic way to stupid comments like this.
But what I realized in myself was that each time I was asked about him I was already answering in a defensive way. Yes, he’s from Libya but he doesn’t want to marry me for a residence permit. Yes, he’s Muslim, but he’s open minded and it’s ok for him that I’m not religious at all. Yes, he has a big family in Libya but they will not influence him not to marry a non-muslim.
I saw myself acting like this and questioned myself. Why am I answering like this? Am I thinking the same way, are these my hidden fears? Definitely no. We talked hours over hours and are both completely aware that we led different lives up to now. I’m living on my own since years and was raised so freely. He was always close to his family and surrounded by them. As long as you are unmarried it’s normal to stay with your family whereas for me it was normal to leave when earning the first own money and to start a life on your own. Religion plays a big role in his life, which is even bigger as we are at the moment within the holy month of Ramadan. Whereas for me religion was present in an easy way from childhood into the teenage years and as adult I decided that Christianity is not my path and I signed out officially. So I am without any religion at all.
But, and this is what we realized very quickly, even if it seems so different from an outside position, we are not too different. My family is so close to me. We are not living together, not even in the same city, but if we don’t hear from each other like we are used to we feel incomplete. There are never more than two days without contact and news or changes or questions are discussed with my family before anyone else will know. And for the religious part, even if I don’t have one it doesn’t mean I’m unbelieving. I have values in my life, which I’m believing in, most of them already taught by my parents, who still are Christians, but I see them as values of life itself. Being honest, truthful, good to others, not cheating, not stealing, not lying, never harm anyone, don’t kill, don’t do something to others which you never want for yourself, and, and, and…
These are common values in life which also exist in each religion.
He met me like this, I found so many good things in different religions but I also found parts in them, where I cannot say that I agree on them. What I try is to live in the most valuable way I’m able too and to find inner peace with myself. Wherever this way leads to, I will see. And he is completely with me as he knows that I’m not worse than one with an official religion. You will find good and bad people everywhere, this is no proof.
He is him and me is me and we are happy that we found each other – so more more explanations why, how, when and where!
Maybe I write some day sitting on a camel, who knows…

First holidays on my own in Italy – part 2 (Stay)

First holidays on my own in Italy – part 2 (Stay)I woke up early on my first real vacation day which is completely unusual for me. But why not – I wanted a change so I took it just like this and went for breakfast. I had no special plans for my day, just walking around, enjoying the sunshine, going down to the beach to see how it is, just drifting in different directions. This plan turned out to be the best I ever had. I’m sure I wouldn’t have discovered all these nice places when booking a guided tour or making tough plans on what to see during the days. Capo Vaticano, it’s a cute, small, one-horse town in Calabria. I walked up to the lighthouse and was already catched by it’s beauty. You have awesome views from there down to the sea. A small cafe next to it served the typical ice-cream for this region called tartufo. It’s hard to describe how I felt but it was a bit like Alice in wonderland, every now and then I saw beautiful flowers, small ways covered by trees with sunshine breaking through the leaves, always the sound of the sea near. Silence, exactly what I wanted. It was not the main season so not all places were crowded by tourists, it were mainly locals walking by and greeting as if we know each other in a friendly way. I was calm, more calm than all those weeks before. From time to time my past was hunting me, mainly in the evenings when it was getting dark outside, like ghosts they were appearing out of nothing but they didn’t brought me down like they did before. There were too many thoughts on my mind which left not much place for them. When I felt them, I just accepted that I couldn’t run away but also I started to search for inner peace to get rid of them completely one day. Thanks to Paulo Coelho here, as his ‘Warrior of light’ was a great inspiration. Another great experience was that I opened my eyes again to all what was going on around me. Like sleeping beauty caught in a never ending nightmare, I was awakening, step by step, back to the person I was a long time ago. Ok, without the kiss, but this was something I wouldn’t even think about. Before thinking about a man I first had the task to get back to myself again. Pushing my self esteem was not on my list but it was unavoidable as blonde in Calabria. I never believed all stories about Italian men but discovered very quickly that there’s a lot of truth in them. Believe it or not, cars were slowing down next me and men from eighteen to eighty were smiling and waving at me. Back in the hotel I relaxed at the pool, reading in the shadow of my umbrella, until one guy from the pool bar brought me a drink I didn’t ordered. With best wishes from our cook, who was standing on the opposite of the pool waving over. The rules that staff is not allowed to flirt with guests weren’t existing, at least not for them. But as long as it was not bothering in a rude way it was fine for me. To realize that I wasn’t invisible was pushing my mood. Servants giving me something extra, nice to have, I knew that it’s not because it’s me as person but who cares, as long as it feels good. When approaches especially from the cook became more I explained there’s no chance at all, I will not go for a drink, I will not drive to a private party, I just finish my drink and go in my room, alone, and sleep. He tried it again each night and in the end he was not saying goodbye like a huffish child not getting what it wanted. Poor guy, the next blonde was for sure there quicker than he thought and some will like it for sure.
The days were passing so quickly that I already thought why not two weeks instead of one. But one was ok, I was relaxing, I was calming down, I enjoyed the landscape in bright sunshine and not to forget the awesome Italian food.
What’s the conclusion of this week? See part 3

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First holidays on my own in Italy – part 1 (Arrival)

First holidays on my own in Italy – part 1 (Arrival)
Did you ever had the feeling of being totally worn out?
It was last year September when I had the feeling the only thing I really need is silence, time for myself, lots of it.
This year was full of stupid bad stories and I was tired, soooo damn tired of everything.
I never went on holidays alone, it was always someone around me to share things with so I was a bit scared first of booking something just on my own.
What if I feel completely uncomfortable during the holidays or got homesick?
But the urge of relaxing and calming down was bigger than the little fear in the back of my mind. Not to over stress myself I decided to split my two weeks of holidays and start with a visit of family and friends, they can bring me back on track whenever I’m unsure, and for the second week I booked my first “just me” holidays.
I chose Italy as I’m loving the country.
When I was there for the first time I instantly fell in love with the landscape in Tuscany.
The food is one of my favorites and I’m also addicted to old buildings. But instead of looking for Rome or Milano I picked a small town in Calabria.
My aim was to relax and not to go from one big city to another and even if I like shopping so much, the need of silence was bigger.
Calabria in mid September meant still up to over 30°C and the sea was just a short walk away from the hotel.
Italy welcomed me with blue sky and lots of sunshine when I arrived in Lamezia Therme airport and the women from the travel agency was waiting for me to guide me to the bus driving tourists to their different destinations.
As I thought, there were so many German tourists, like the cliche with white socks in sandals, that I quickly turned my “I’m not German” mode on. After many travels I’m not too bad in pretending as I’m really almost running away when hearing my mother language in a foreign country. The last thing I wanna do is making friends somewhere. I have friends, thanks, and I’m fine just on my own. Even better than with groups of persons who order German food in Italy or expect everyone to talk German just because they are not able to adapt.
I sat down at the window and put music on my ears. It would be an one hour drive through Calabria and I just wanted to enjoy the view.
The music was not too loud, I was still able to hear people talking behind and in front of me and it proofed quickly that I wasn’t wrong with my assumptions.
“How dirty, did you see? They just put the garbage on the street. Plastic bottles, they need to put them extra in a separate trash can. This would never be possible at home.”
“Hey, there’s a German restaurant, remember the name so we may go there one day. Honey, our hotel has a German menu, I checked it upfront.
“It’s too hot here, I thought it’s around 25°C, hopefully it will cool down a bit during our stay.”
“Oh, did you see how the houses look like? Cannot imagine to live like they do. Awful.”
“Each car has big scratches, the decision to fly was the right, not that ours got damaged here.”
You wanna more, I still have many sentences in my portfolio.
I know that not everyone is like that but honestly, most of the tourists are annoying me wherever I have been.
I experienced the same in Hungary, Greece, Malta, UK, Spain,…
Maybe it’s me, sensing it, but in the end I try my best everywhere to get out of sight very quickly before I’m getting mad.
When we stopped in front of my hotel two women were leaving the bus together with me. I was the first at the reception for checking in and the receptionist was directly talking English so I communicated with her that way until I got my room keys.
The bad thing of traveling alone was the time of breakfast and dinner. I skipped lunch as I didn’t want to stay near the hotel each day to be in time for lunch. But there were still the mornings and evenings where I had a singe table just for me. And I was the only person there traveling alone. It felt strange the first evening, I had the feeling as if everyone is watching me. And not only watching, also like feeling sorry for me, sitting there so lonely.
Not to feel to uncomfortable myself I started to analyze the people around me.
The couple in the room next to me was, who thought it, from Germany and the wife said hello to me when I first stepped out on my balcony. They had a table on the other side of the room and she was smiling from time to time, saying cheers across the room. He just turned once to see to whom she cheered and then they were talking to each other like couples do when eating outside.
Next to me were the two women I had on the bus. They were also saying cheers in a nice but unsure way. They were talking a bit but nothing really interesting, just about the trip itself, that it seems to be a nice spot they chose and what to plan for the next days. The rest was only looking and from the different expressions on their faces you could start to assume their thoughts.
The young couple with the baby, he was staring from time to time whereas it was for me like he’s dreaming about something completely not related to me, I was just sitting in the same direction. She was looking at him as if she was jealous not realizing the situation at all. Maybe he was just tired, and she not feeling comfortable after giving birth with her own look, who knows but I wasn’t the reason for the silence between them while eating.
An old American couple where both were chatting as if there’s no tomorrow, where you saw they are not listening to what the other one is saying. Two people living in separate worlds but still a couple. They seemed as if they arranged and it was OK for them.
There was another old couple in a completely different style. She was only serving her husband, not saying anything without being asked. From time to time you saw in her face thoughts running but before she was starting to talk she held herself back with a sad face. He was only ordering, can you give, could you go and ask, will you bring, not even a please.
Interesting but also scary, how would I be one day? What I saw there was nothing I would love for my life.
After we finished dinner and just had our drinks left in front of us my room neighbor was waving me over to join her and her husband. She told me it’s hard to see someone sitting there alone although I was not looking sad or unhappy.
A nice gesture and it was ok. I wanted to travel alone but that doesn’t meant to avoid each human contact.
The two women who arrived with me were more than surprised and stopped on their way to leave the dinner. “Are you German? We just heard you during check-in and we’re both sure you must be from UK or US, what an awesome English you are talking.”
Not too bad as compliment because it was proofing that I really can pretend to be anything but German if I want to.
The first day was coming to an end and the first hurdles like eating my dinner alone were taken. I was tired in a good way and just sat for one hour on my balcony, reading Paulo Coelho’s ‘Warrior of light’, listening to the chirping of crickets, enjoying the sounds and smell of Italy.

My ten guilty Pleasures

10 guilty pleasures

My ten guilty Pleasures

I read an article about guilty pleasures and tried to put a list of mine together. It’s not as easy as I thought in first place but in the end I succeeded.

1. Shoes&bags

Seems as if I’m a typical woman but honestly, it was the first coming to my mind. And seeing my lack of space for them it has to be true. I already sorted out shoes I’ve never worn but still can’t walk by a shop taking at least a glimpse.

2. Cake

…with lots of cream on top and I melt away. Ok, I have luckily no weight problem at all but sometimes I feel a bit guilty because we all know that fresh fruits or vegetables are the better food and too much sweet stuff isn’t healthy but if you put a piece in front of me I can barely resist.

3. Sleeping long

When I hear friends or colleagues they think sleeping until ten a.m. is long. No, I mean really long, which is lunch time or even worse. From time to time I feel a bit guilty here as well as the early morning hours are really nice especially in summer when it’s not yet too hot and the sun is rising over the city but these moments are not too often seen by me. And if seen just because I just went to bed by then. I’m a real night owl and wouldn’t I have a job which forces me to sit on my desk in the morning I would switch my life to the night hours. When everything is quiet outside I’m active and also productive. Most inspiration is hitting me in the middle of the night.

4. Hot chocolate with cream

Another sweet stuff. But what is more calming on a cold winter day? I also like tea but the hot chocolate is the yummiest.

5. Romantic movies

Oh yes, I’m a totally romantic. Give me everything from Jane Austen, Charlotte and Emily Brontë but also new romantic comedies. I’ll watch them all and can’t get enough of it. Why a guilty pleasure? Because sometimes the feeling hits me and I start to think if I’m getting stupid with only watching stuff like this. Where are the high intelligence movies with so much deep sense in them? But then I quickly decide I don’t need them. Most of the movies I watch are in original language means English, so that is already a proof for me not to be too dumb headed. And even if not in original – who cares, it’s one of my pleasures and I love it!

6. Magazines

Women magazines, this pleasure started to get worse when I began to travel so much for my job. What else should you do while waiting for the next flight? Ok, many are working during waiting hours and I had my laptop with me but after already eight or more hours at work I decided for myself it’s time to calm down the mind. And for sure these magazines are also feeding my pleasure topics one, seven and eight with lots of information about what’s new, what’s a must have, what to try soon and maybe to stop by the duty free to catch something.

7. Buying clothes

Here I’m really guilty! I started a few weeks ago to clean up my wardrobe and what I realized is really insane. Do you also have double and triple layers of shirts, pullovers and many other stuff? Every style and every shade of my fav colors is present, long sleeve, short sleeve, no sleeve, print on and without print, lengths varying, in the end far too much. I have two wardrobes, a small one and a big one and both were completely full. What I promised to my fiancé is to empty the smaller one for him and I’m not yet there. At least I’m improving as I see free space now. But only because I want to minimize the amount doesn’t mean the fashion industry stops designing and selling. My aim is now to only buy one new piece after I took out at least five old ones.

8. Beauty products

Yep, creams, body lotions, make up, nail polish, perfume, I love it all! And they promise to make me looking brighter, shiny, rosy, tanned, young, sun kissed, natural, so I have to try if it’s true. Who doesn’t want to get the most out of the own beauty and smelling like an exotic jungle queen, an erotic lady, a sporty women or like a flower. And samples are not making it better, some even worse if the result is great and then you realize how expensive the original product is and that you are not buying it. This is a guilty pleasure circle as you will find more products each day. Some are now in my daily use and for all those thousands others just send me samples, haha, I promise to give them a try!

9. My two unique tattoos

To list them as ‘guilty’ pleasure is strange because they belong to me nowadays like my right leg or my nose. But there were a few short moments before I decided to get them under my skin where I was thinking if it is something where I feel guilty in the end. Getting a tattoo is a decision which is not reversible. At least not easily reversible. My fear, which vanished quickly, was to be stamped. But who would stamp me, only people who don’t know me, my life, my way of thinking, so I don’t care. I love them! They are what I am.

10. Staying up too long

This may be a reason for number three. I am a person who has to force herself to sleep. It’s not that I’m insomniac, not at all. I lay down and normally it doesn’t take two minutes and I’m in the land of dreams. It’s more that I like the nights. It’s silent, it’s dark, and it’s the time to focus just on myself. No phone is ringing, no emails are dropping in, I have free time to do whatever I like to do. There are so many things I like during the night. Writing is one of them, but also watching old black and white movies on TV, putting a mask on my hair, reading, having candle light around me which only shows its full beauty when it’s dark outside, checking the web and read stories there or shop online and just let my thoughts run in every direction, getting inspired, making notes of things I want to do or to see. I’m completely calming down but with my mind fully awake. Sleeping would also calm me down but I would miss the hours to think about my life. So I feel guilty because I have a lack of sleep and then I feel guilty because I slept so long the next day but in the end it’s what I am.

15 Things you should do once in your life

15 Things you should do once in your life
 
Things to do once in your life
 
You will find thousands of these listings in many women magazines and they differ. I just tried to start some of them and these are the results and what I think about it so far.

 

1. Make a compliment or honor someone

– That’s really easy and something we should do more often as it put a smile on faces. Just think about yourself, we all like to hear compliments.

2. Consciously breathing

– Interesting as it makes you aware of purity again. I did it as part of a guided meditation and it’s astonishing how breath techniques can help to relax and calm down. I can recommend to give it a try.

3. A lazy day in bed from morning to evening without TV, Radio or Internet

– Here I failed up to now. As long as I haven’t muted my phone and iPad I’m too curious if it’s beeping, checking Facebook, emails…something to put also on my list to work on.

4. Getting rid of ballast – an old radio or cleaning up the cellar

– I cleaned up my wardrobe, each piece which I didn’t touch during the last 3 months was put out. What I did then is selling all on eBay and the nice side effect was that I got so much for all these clothes that I was able to buy me the iPad where I was too stingy before as its just another toy. But with this extra money I made myself a gift.

5. Cook your favourite food just for yourself and enjoy

– In my opinion a stupid one. I never cook something for myself which I don’t like, so this is daily routine.

6. Build something with your own hands

– Thanks to my neighbor I really did it a few weeks ago. I thought this will not happen and I could never check this task but one of our neighbors children turned six and we built a small theater out of everything we found, painted it colorful and put little dolls and sweets in as birthday surprise. I felt like back in kindergarten but it was really funny when you finally look at the result, even if I still think children can do it much better than adults. They have more fantasy than almost all adults nowadays.

7. Dive into the idyllic world of childhood (watch movies you loved as child, read children’s books)

– Perfect relaxation for me, I think this depends on how your childhood has been. I took one of my favorite books I read as child and it was like a flashback to the age of six or seven where you were free of problems and where your parents gave you good night hugs and kisses and checked if the blanket is covering you before you sleep tight. I recommend this one for a rainy Sunday afternoon.

8. Travel the world (all continents)

– I stepped on two continents so far…if I win the lottery one day I will let you know if I like this task or not.

9. Go consciously into nature – sense details (flower, grass, insects)

– Just stroll around and breath the smell of trees and flowers, watch ants carrying leaves six times bigger than themselves, it’s a bit like a meditation. You are just watching and breathing and not thinking, makes the mind free.

10. Not to buy new clothes for the next six months

– I’m pretty sure it was written for men. They will succeed easily but I am a woman! No way, even if I would try it I would fail, that’s 100% sure. Do you think I can walk by a shop if I see something nice which isn’t yet in my wardrobe but soooo cute and the colour is matching and it’s on sale and and and? Even if I stay at home for six months, there are so many newsletters offering us daily new stuff. I have to admit, yes, I am weak in regards to shopping. I can’t resist for such a long time.

11. Admit you made a mistake and say sorry

– That’s not too long ago and something I do whenever needed. I can’t understand people who are not able to say sorry. We are all humans and humans make mistakes, no one is free from it as no one is perfect and always right. So why should I bother myself with negative thoughts longer than needed? If I realize I was wrong or mean for sure I admit and say sorry.

12. Travel alone

– I did and you will soon read about it here (that’s how I keep it thrilling, haha).

13. Don’t talk one day

– Is talking to myself counting?

14. Watch an opera

– I listened around seven minutes to one where I don’t even know the title. Sorry, but this kind of music is nothing for my ears. Call me low-brow, I can live without. (But for sure only my opinion!)

15. Afford a cleaning woman/man for your home

– As long as I’m living on fifty five square meters I do it myself. This is another pair of shoes which is more important for me than someone doing the cleaning for me. If I move into a palace I will over think this item.

Bye for now, hope you enjoyed it a bit.

I have a tattoo and am not a bad girl

I have a tattoo and am not a bad girl

Believe it or not: Not all tattooed people are possessed by the devil.
It’s fashionable to have a tattoo recently. Many get new tattoos to be in style or feel like a rock star.
You see them printed in almost every magazine and it’s almost uncool to be without.
But is that the right reason to decide if you want one? I don’t think so.
It took me thirty-three years until I decided to have a tattoo.
I was thinking and thinking and thinking because even if the news want to assure you that celebrities change their tattoos like their underwear, it’s not easy to remove one if you don’t like it any longer.
I’m happy that my parents gave me the gift of judging wisely so I’m not having the tramp stamp which was so common in my teenager years and also no butterflies on my body or hearts or, beware, names written on my skin.
My first one is my design as well as my second, so it’s unique as nobody has my handwriting compared with my thoughts.
If one then it should be unique, that was the most important part for me.
Also important, as I’m a working woman, was to be able to hide it during business meetings or when it’s inadequate.
The only person knowing the deeper sense of my tattoos is me, I’m not explaining what exactly was on my mind while designing them and also no one has to like them as long as I’m happy and I definitely am.
Shortly after I had the first one on my skin I met my fiancé and realized that our culture, or let’s say the western culture, is easy going with tattooed people but it’s not common all over the world.
His first question was if it can be removed.
No, it cannot and I was thinking about how to explain him that this will not be last one. The second was already planned to kind of finalize my personal artwork.
He was rubbing my wrist and told me that he doesn’t like it all and me having a second one was one of our first fights.
It took me so much time and thoughts and changing and over thinking until I knew exactly what I wanted just for me and now the first part of the two part unique tattoo was on my skin and the second had to follow.
That was me and even when he wasn’t understanding it, if he wanted me as woman he had to accept it.
Take it or leave it, my decision was made before he stepped into my life and I’m not canceling the second part now. I felt incomplete as the meaning for me wasn’t finished yet.
I was convincing him that it’s not the devil in me, that I’m not possessed or insane, that it will not change me as person with him, it will change me as I’m doing it for myself and that I would feel complete afterwards, it is as if you have a part of your life lived and now it’s time to move on with this first part in a locker or in my case inked under my skin.
The sense should be present in my life as it’s part of me. Not to be forgotten, to be remembered and as a reminder for myself.
As I wrote, there’s even a more and deeper sense which I won’t explain and which would only be understood by a person which walked the exact same path I walked – so nobody else than me.
Harsh sentences and tears rolled but in the end I did what I needed to do.
What I liked is that we were fighting in an emotional way, which meant we cared.
The first signs of emotions going deeper than we imagined.
Nevertheless he was ignoring it first and didn’t want to see it at all. That was not too complicated as we were only communicating over Skype. The long distance between us was not only bad, during this time it was OK.
It’s easy not to show it but we were already planning and booking our holidays on Cyprus. If not before, he would see it then as I wasn’t planning to cover it for the rest of my life.
What happened then while we were together is that on the first evening when we undressed to get rest after long flights and travels I tried to avoid him seeing it. I was just tired and exhausted and starting another discussion was the last thing on earth I wanted that night.
He got a glimpse on it as I put on my sleeping shirt and asked me to show it completely.
My fear of a fight instead of relax into sleep was within one’s reach.
“It’s really nice, honey. And not as big as I thought it would be. You don’t have to hide it from me. I’m the one who loves you, you don’t have to hide anything, never forget that.”
So how to unwind differences?
Don’t leave your main path in life. Sure you can step to the right and to left and make compromises but always stay yourself. Being honest and authentic is important because it makes you the person you truly are.
Keep the faith!

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Holidays to remember

Holidays to remember
Cyprus
 
After traveling a few places already I still have many vacation spots on my list to visit one day.
But the best things always happen unexpected.
After my year of struggling to get back on the feet it happened that I met my future husband. I wasn’t even thinking about a new relationship. My aim was to get along peacefully again just with me in my life.
Concentrating on a second person too was not my plan. But as I already wrote in a former post, there he was, entering my life without me being able to deny it.
 
To see him again we had to plan where and when.
As we both didn’t want to make it too complicated we just took the middle of the distance and decided that we meet on Cyprus.
No big hotel or all inclusive, we wanted to share daily life to see if we really are able to go along together in a near to normal surrounding.
We booked an apartment with a small kitchen, no restaurant, no breakfast buffet, nothing extra than in normal life also.
 
These holidays turned out to be the best we ever had although we both weren’t sure about it when we entered Cyprus from different continents and cultures.
Seventeen days to try daily stuff combined with holidays, relaxation and all of this in a nice surrounding.
Our apartment was in a small cypriot village and not in the tourism hotspots. It was interesting to discover routine things like stocking up the fridge, what to cook today, how do you drink your coffee in the morning, what may be bad habits the other one doesn’t like.
We met before but that wasn’t the same as the period was much more shorter and the main part for us was to become acquainted at all last time.
After our first meeting we were daily on Skype and talked several hours per night. This was the time where we shared our stories about childhood, how and where we were raised, when we started to work and as what, and also which aims we have for our life and which values count. I already thought during this time he could be the one.
I told him nothing about my feelings because struggles in normal circumstances or while living together should not be underestimated.
What we discovered on this small island is that we both like so many similar things, we have so much in common and most things were really easy going.
But the most important of all was that we indeed do love each other.
A feeling which cannot be described.
It was there and we felt it deep inside and it didn’t vanished up to today.
It’s growing each day.
 
On the last day we sat in a cafè and knew exactly what we want – a life together. Whatever we will face, as long as we are together, we will manage it.
 
You can think now how blue eyed Miss Faith maybe is…
First I’m green eyed and second is that we for sure have many things where we have to discuss, to make compromises, to even have small fights as our opinions are so different in some points.
But as long as we are talking and as long as we can say I love you it will not stop us from going this way together.
My grandmom told me one day that difficulties in life are there to manage them instead of running away. Giving up too quickly will never make you happy. And she was married more than fifty years to my granddad.
 
And what is important?
 
Here we go again…to keep the faith!

 

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If you plan to visit Cyprus yourself – check this guide, it helped us lots to find the beautiful hidden spots on the island.
 

Fighting my perfectionism

Fighting my perfectionism
 
 
I’m cleaning up my life.
Trying to get rid of old habits is not as easy as getting rid of old stuff.
I cannot sell my bad habits on eBay.
 
Who wants a piece of my perfectionism?
Maybe some people would say directly yes if they don’t have it all. But if it would be so easy…it wouldn’t change me. It’s something you have to work on.
 
If I ask friends or tell them what I don’t like in me it’s common that they don’t understand it at all.
For them my life is near to be perfect.
But who wants to be perfect?
At least not me – it’s more an insult than a compliment for me.
 
So the first step is, what is my perfectionism in detail, splitting it into its various details.
These are only a few examples. If I list each single item I could write a book of thousand pages.
Just a small example on how things influence us and if we become aware it’s the first step of changing them.

Cleaning – I cannot sit quietly and read something or relax if I have the feeling that my flat needs some cleaning.
Problem: it’s only me seeing the dust on the cupboard, water drops on the mirror or dirt in the corner behind my couch, people who visit me just see a complete clean flat.

Solution so far: I started now to set rules for my weekends.
Weekends are cleaning free days from now on. For sure I’m not keeping it too harsh but I try my best to remind myself if I want to start a “cleaning-action”. Just sit on the carpet and read a book or start a meditation and even if I see the dust on the TV, just leave it. I could clean it later or during the week. There will always be something not perfect, as I’m living here, it’s not a sterile area, it’s my home.

Work – having the complete overview. Being aware of every step my staff is doing and detecting the need of additional work or problem solving directly before anyone is considering it.
Problem: I have no twenty-four hour days and even if it’s not my task. Sure I want to deliver quality but the first thing to learn is to trust others that they are doing their jobs and second is to delegate. Delegate with checking it again in depths afterwards, I could have done it myself if I feel the need to check it.

Solution so far: Letting go and trusting, that’s on my to do list for work.
I work with professionals so why don’t trust. I started to let go at least a bit and one of the results is that I’m really stop working after my contracted working hours. And not as before with a bad feeling as still so many things need to be done. No, with the feeling, that things are fine and my leisure time can start. I’m not feeling as exhausted as I felt weeks before. Just get some time for yourself to be with yourself, friends and live. Work life shouldn’t be the major part of your life. We work to live, not we live to work!

Look – everything is fitting, the nail polish is chosen to meet the colour of my shoes, belt, handbag, my shape is completely underlined by the clothes I’m wearing. My hair is shiny and perfect but should look a bit undone, not too perfect. No spots in my face or lipstick on my teeth. Skin needs to be slightly tanned.
Problem: No one is perfect and no one is looking like women in magazines – and I know that, there’s no photoshop in real life and it’s good that we are all unique beings, so why am I like this?
I have to relax!
All these small things bothering me are not realized by anyone around me. It’s just my mind pushing me into this direction. Simply be and don’t think too much.

Solution so far: I tried it with tiny steps.
Hair undone and I go for shopping, once you realize that no one is looking in a strange way at you, you become more confident with yourself. Only because the nail polish is not matching the rest of your style doesn’t make you a person which looks weird or strange. The truth is nobody is realizing but you. Instead of needing at least fifteen minutes before leaving the flat I go out now without checking and re-checking. A more relaxed way and also something others will like in you. You aren’t the one to wait for any longer.

Others – what may they think about me and my life?
Problem: fortunately no problem.
Solution: I changed already and not recently, no, years ago. When you are young you think about what others think of you. You try to adapt just to fit into the picture others want to have of you. It’s not like this in life. I grew into myself which means whatever decision I made, I made it for my life. So don’t care what others think. It’s your life and you should be happy. It doesn’t mean that you deny other opinions, no, as they are essential, you just judge for yourself if you follow them, took parts out of them into your life or just ignore them totally. For sure I care about what my loved ones think, but this a small holy circle in my life and they don’t expect me to be perfect or to be like they want me to be. They take me as I am. For the rest: I really don’t care what they think.

And again my motto is matching a blog post – keep the faith in you and you are fine.

If you want to fight your perfectionism – check this book, it is a great help to start.

City or countryside?

City or countryside?
City or countryside?
 
I will turn thirty-five in November and luckily met a man who’s thinking in the same direction as me about life.
 
I have a small flat in the middle of the city.
Perfect if you wanna have the complete city feeling. Cafés and restaurants are just around the corner as well as supermarkets and the green stripe of the river where you have the feeling to be in nature.
That was exactly what I ever wanted when I moved to this place.
My area has grown during the past years and is nowadays one of the hip places to live in Munich.
But why am I not satisfied anymore?
It’s not that I don’t like my flat, it’s still my home, my place where I’m feeling so comfortable but I’m starting more and more to miss the silence.
Not silence like taking earplugs and shut down the world around you.
No, silence like hearing no cars outside twenty-four hours, like not closing the window just to hear what they say on TV, like being outside and having only birds and bees and wind around you which makes sounds while hitting a tree.
A place to step out of the door and being in peace.
A place to slow down and also a place where you can imagine to raise up a child freely.
 

Am I getting old or is it just the normal way to settle down at a certain age?

 
On the other hand I will not completely loose the comfort a city has.
A wide spread variety of different restaurants, we have almost each country here and it’s always exciting to try some unknown food.
Shopping is also so easily done as you will find everything you can think of.
Meeting friends in a café especially in summer is awesome. Sitting outside and just watching the busy people around you is something I like so much.
But would I like it if I always see the same persons like in a small village?
For sure not because this was one of million reasons why I moved.
 

You have to decide what you want…

 
I want a quiet place with a small garden and nature around me but it should only take me no more than fifteen minutes to be in the middle of the city.
Also important is that it’s near to an airport as we will need in more often in future.
I need it from time to time as I’m not traveling too much nowadays but my future husband will not move completely to Germany.
He has his job which he likes so much and we may be able to start our life together in 4-5 week rhythms.
So what to look for?
I’m a person who always wants to plan and organize and know where to be when. But that’s not what life’s about.
 
Perfect would be a small house around Munich where we live and raise our children one day?
No, because where is the father – just there every four weeks?
 
Perfect would be a house in Libya?
No, as I haven’t been there up to now and I cannot imagine something I never saw.
 
Perfect would be moving to a country we both can imagine like UK?
No, as we don’t know how it work out with our jobs.
 
Too many No’s at the moment but where we have a big YES is the question if we want to travel the path of our life together and wherever it will lead us, we will make it hopefully or how libyans say, inshallah.
 
Keep the faith!
 

What is high society about?

What is high society about?

Fame and fortune, money and sex, drugs and Rock’n’Roll, many think these are the key words for high society.
I see it differently and say it is superficiality.
 
Superficiality?!?
My impression and experience are saying definitely YES.
I had a very bad year in Munich.
(Ok, it were two but the second was a hard way back to myself, that’s another story.)
 
The first year had the overall theme “how to distract myself from the messy life I’m leading”.
 
A relationship where I wasn’t sure if it’s better to stay or to leave.
In order not to think too much about it I was putting myself in a surrounding of ‘so-called’ friends.
Friends who are always happy and smiling and who have no problems at all in their entire life.
 

The first superficial sign!

 
Any human being around the globe has good and not so good or sometimes really bad days. The ones who are hiding who they really are behind a certainly bleached smile are the persons I am writing about.
 
Of course I can only write about my experience. This is no social report about people in Munich, but I think you can find this phenomenon everywhere.
 
As long as you meet these society’s expectations you are very welcome on each and every occasion.
 

What means meeting expectations?

 
They want you to be perfect.
Perfectly dressed, stylish, educated, on the top of actual discussion topics, intelligent, always in a good mood, funny, slightly sarcastic, successful in your business (even better if it’s your own business), interested, and that is how the list goes on and on.
You should have, or at least pretend to have, the money to live an above average standard.
 
Adapt to these expectations is much easier for women, you only pay the drinks once and show that you could afford it and from there on it is definitely a self runner.
You will be invited most of the times – the only money you need is for the taxi back home (if you want to go home alone). It is not that you are invited by men who expect something in return, it is more that you become part of this society. Several persons just book half restaurants to celebrate something and you are invited. As soon as the “group leaders” know your name you’ll find yourself on guest lists for events, openings, charity concerts and more.
 

That sounds awesome, does it? But believe me, it isn’t!

 
I have to admit that I really had lots of fun in the beginning – me, grown up in a small village, in the society of “top” people, which are all successful in what they do and the world is just so easy. Just enjoy life to the fullest.
The dark site of this game is quicker there than you think.
All these people live something which they a.) cannot afford or b.) is a fake or (and this is the biggest mistake) c.) they think life is all about.
 
It’s a big society of pretenders.
They are all artists, singers, actors, high society ladies and so on but at the end of the day they are all poor human beings with low self esteem, lonely and without friends – until the next event starts.
They’re also not successful, the really successful people will not show up there because they know the game.
If you enter the community you will be pulled into it which isn’t good.
Fake Persons

Leaving this part of my life behind…

  I realized after a few weeks that you see the same faces, each and everywhere; why? Because they have no personal life and no real sense in their being. I intended to live this lifestyle because I was also running. Running away from myself, from lonely nights, from decisions which were long overdue and which I wanted to avoid. The difference is that most of these people, these always seen faces, lead their life in this way since years, sometimes more than decades.   I saw them all, if you start to look behind the scenes you’ll find the actor who has no engagements anymore, who drinks at night to survive the dark and lonely nights.   Or the old rockstar, who once was great, who was successful with his band for a year or two and who is still not accepting that his life is not the rockstar life anymore, and it will not return just because he dresses like one with over sixty.   The model from the seventies thinks she is not getting older because of botox and beauty surgeries.   If the curtains fall, then piece by piece you will find yourself in the middle of the rocky horror “people” show.

Is this what I wanted? NO

My decision was clear, leaving this life behind and face why I turned towards it. Facing the mess my life has been at this stage was the hard way. Running away is much easier, or better said, it seems much easier. Running isn’t easy too, maybe it is the sad way because this life is so unreal until they awake, if they wake up at all, and for some it will be too late by then. My hard way was the way to get back on my path, to find my values, what do I expect from myself and how do I wanna live.   A journey which is never ending and where you can never say I reached the goal until you die but at least I’m on the way to the right direction. But this is another topic, another idea for the next post maybe…

One book recommendation would be “An Elegant Madness: High Society in Regency England”. Enjoy

Starting a blog…is not as easy as I thought!

Starting a blog
Starting a blog…is not as easy as I thought!
Omg, in the middle of the night, where I normally should sleep, I start my first blogging steps.
First task on my list:

How on earth to delete empty posts which I started by mistake.

Let’s see what the weekend brings and how I will get used to this page. When will I have time to write, as it should preferably not be in the middle of the night when I am tired.

But yes, the first impression you are getting now about me is right.

If I want something I am never patient and do things just like now – I steal myself precious sleeping time just because I am too curious about something which popped up in my mind without thinking about the direct impact.
Hope I will become more patient in future – you’ll never know.