Still here

 

The idea behind this blog was it wouldn’t matter if I didn’t write for ages. In that respect, 5 months isn’t that bad, is it?

All in all, a lot has happened since last summer. Apart from a bumpy summer holiday  with my family – needing personal space & peace doesn’t go together very well with two children, growing up into all directions and a partner who in some way is the same as you are.

This tiny family of four is in the middle of a process started who knows when – probably ongoing since the day we were born. We are making progress though. I guess we’re all growing up.

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I’ve started my own business, in both disciplines I love. Right now, after two weeks of Christmas break, I feel a little insecure and wobbly about all that, but the past 5 months actually went pretty well – getting back into the groove coming Monday.

 

Some lessons learnt:

  • Be your own best friend (whimpering & barfing allowed at this point).
  • Don’t chase after people that don’t get you.
  • Don’t be distracted (haha!)
  • Even better: prevent from meeting distractions. Getting my own workshop was a big step – a room of my own; sewing and translating in my own time, after my own manner, without homely distractions.
  • Stop working in time to get groceries & pick up the kids: that remains difficult – once in my ‘zone’ I just want to keep going until… that’s it. There would be no end to it and I would soon turn into a tired wreck. Right now, it is past 1am and I should be calling it a day – will be back though. For one, this “Happiness Project” is still unfinished business I want to attend to.

Take care !

 

 

So Far So Good

Hello everybody,

It’s been some time – I’ve encountered myself a couple of times these past weeks and felt a bit off. Maybe I’ve been a bit too busy – you may think that being out of work, I’d be sitting at home doing nothing.

Actually, despite being out of work, somehow small assignments find their way to me. Today, I translated a synopsis for a friend. I have to get busy making 3 pair of pants for 3 brothers, that were ordered by a colleague of my husband’s.

Apart from that, I have been visiting some friends, and went to a few meetings about how to find work, manageable with AD[H]D. These trainings are quite intense – 10 people with a similar set of brains, speaking about that – that couldn’t be boring.

Now I try to take more time to sit and think and write – with pen & paper: the best way to write, in my opninion. I have my ADD-book, I make marks and later on, I write these marked passages down. I might digitalize these later on, as was my intention with The Happiness Project. Unfortunately, that book is kind of starting to bore me. But I really plan to finish it.

As for the future – I see a vague shape of a good situation for me. Actually, it is similar to my situation before I plunged into a fulltime office job that didn’t suit me at all. I worked parttime at a newspaper, nothing huge, and did translations on the side.

Now I’ve been getting small translation jobs. I feel pretty ok with not being too structured and fully booked, but at the same time the lack of structure and fences for my endless thoughts is a danger.

So, I’ll have to think more about that.

Now I have to do some fabric cutting, and then sleeping 🙂

Take care !

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I came across this fellow during my son’s school trip. The noise and crowds drove me nuts, but he was over the moon about my presence & I made some nice pics. The beetle-ish animal was quite small – one of the kids pointed it out to me – children so often see beautiful details we completely miss.

Gathering ideas & staying afloat

This week’s mantra could be:

“Gather ideas, ride their waves – well, at least don’t drown and learn to stay afloat.”

On monday afternoon, I ended up in our Central Library, It’s next to Central Station and a wonderful place. On the top floor, you can have coffee and there’s a roof terrace with a great view of the city:

View from the Amsterdam Public Library

Actually, this part is my favorite part of Amsterdam: coming from home, I cross the bridge coming from the green-ish building – which is a fantastic scientific & play-inducing museum for children aged 1-99 – it’s called Nemo.

What I also like about the route, is that although this is The Major Place In The Netherlands – touristically seen: next to Central Station, zillions of tourists hoovering around it… still, it has a feeling of desolation and emptiness. My theory about crowded places is: turn 2 corners and you’ll find an oasis of peace.

Also, I once drove through LA, now THAT’s a big city right there. Amsterdam is pretty tiny, actually. But – I am drifting from the subject.

Here’s what I took home with me: 

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“Miracles in Bricks Wonders of Nature & the World in Lego”

LEGO

This is the book I found in the hobby section. It shows famous buildings and statues you can build with your own lego. I like that they use the tiniest of lego bricks, so it’s really gratifying to finish it. My youngest son aged 6 started a project in bed – he was supposed to go to sleep, but he is as hardheaded as.. well, in the Netherlands we say: hardheaded as a donkey. I am sure that is poretty clear. So, loooking at the pictures in the book, he got a heavy case if Inspiration and built 3 figures. When finished, these MUST be showcased in front of the living room window, presenting:

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A high-rise building (he made that one up), a mini-colossus and the Sfinx.

He really tried his best – by nature, he’s very critical of everything he produces. I was glad he was satisfied this time, so he went to sleep. He’s inherited his perfectionism from his dad, and I still don’t know how to deal with either of       them once they get fanatic (read: when   they can’t enjoy what they’re making or doing, just because it isn’t perfect.)

** Lego: plastic magic **

** Lego: plastic magic **

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SEWING

I chose this one beacuse it looks catchy inspiring. I have no idea if I’ll ever actually make something from it – it looks complicated and precise,

Then again: trying is always ok, and who knows what inspiration I will draw from it. It’s worthwhile mentioning at any rate, and I am not surprised it’s a Japanese artist who came up with these ideas:

Tomoko Nakamichi.

SONGBOOKS

Great to have lying standby on our piano. I’m no pianist, but I can play some chords and sing along and have fun doing that. Sometimes my husband will play the piano (he is the pianist) and we’ll sing together, a favorite song we do now and then is A Song for You by The Carpenters. It’s too bad his perfectionism and my laissez-faire-attitude often get in the way of enjoying making music together. We were in a band together for 5 years though, quite an achievement. We had 3 other band members, keeping us civilized.

This monday, I picked good old Lenny from the library shelves (never mind these weird jeans, although they match the sewing project above). Fleetwood Mac is always fun to try and play, and of course John Mayer’s chords are way too complicated, let alone the lyrics and tone. But I enjoy just sitting down for a bit and put my hands and ears to work this way.

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Lunar-matic Insomnia

For some reason I woke up at 4am, after having gone to sleep late already, at 1.

Lying awake, waiting for sleep that won’t return to your tired limbs, it’s hard to stop thinking – especially about how knackered you’ll be in a couple of hours, when the day sets off for real. I’m sure you’ve been there. After a while of tossing and turning, I decided to make some tea and let my husband sleep before I grump him out by waking him. Now I can use this time to add a new blog post, which is about time!

Last thursday was my last day at work. I am officially out of work – politically correct: in between jobs. I knew this for some time already, and I’m in the luxurious position to have a partner with a steady job. I’m not saying we won’t need any of my income, but I feel positive about the future: I know now what caused me to feel so bad about myself before. I found good help now and I am full of ideas – I always was, but now I hope to be able to enjoy thinking about them, and pick the ones that are realistic and good for me.

The final week at work was quite busy and the weeks leading up to it felt weird, like counting down. One moment I couldn’t wait to be done and drop the tedious parts of my job, then again I felt I wasn’t ready to just step out. In the end, it was good to hand in my laptop and leave the building. There is so much I want to do now, like cleaning, fixing up the house a bit, sorting out heaps of papers from past and present… and of course meeting friends I’ve been neglecting for too long and making things.

About the past: now that I know more about the way my brain is set up, I might re-read old diaries, type some of it out and then get rid of the paper versions. They always depress me, because of all the teenage and early adulthood drama, but in the light of ADD, I might learn from it and also, it feels less vain to occupy myself with that stuff now. After all, I should grow awareness of “being my own best friend” (Ah! There is a website with that name and it looks half finished & shady, haha!). I’m glad to have a bit more time on my hands to see what’s next and have more influence on it.

What will always be strange to me is how situations differ and fluctuate, and I don’t even mean on world scale – I’ll just skip that part or I’ll get overwhelmed. In moments of stress, which are usually work- or child-related, things can seem quite tough. But compared to some of my friends’ current life issues, I am so well off where I am! I can feel my energy increasing to be able help them out in some way, which feels so good, I’ve missed that feeling. It’s the feeling of loving someone and wanting them to be or feel better, without agenda, no Samaritan-syndroms. Just because it feels right.

Soon I will start as a volunteer, visiting a parent with a young child who has asked for Someone to just come over and listen once a week. I went to a training for this, meeting some nice new people, and I’m really looking forward to it.

A bit of a mish-mash this post – I hope you enjoyed reading it anyway. I’ll be back later today with an update on the jeans-project I hope to finish soon.

Have a wonderful day !

Spring in the city

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The magnolia tree in our garden has performed its magic trick for us for the third time since we moved here. Even with our children climbing and ” decorating” it, it still looks perfectly beautiful with its unfolding leaves. By now, the blossom had started to fall down. Upon being asked why the tree would bother to make all these beautiful flowers, mu oldest son said: “Maybe it is for the people to enjoy them!” Sweet answer.

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DSC00565This was two weeks ago at our caravan. The one in the picture is our neigbor’s. Actually, our spot is quite small, but we don’t mind. It’s a 15 minute bike ride to the beach, the children bike across the campground and can join in all sorts of actviities during holidays.

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These are the feet of two of my men, both reading: the paper and a comic.

Pretty much all we do there is make tea and coffee and keeping warm or sun-bathing and do some reading. Do the dishes now and then and cook on the camping stove next to the caravan. Back to basics, but luxuriously: with electricity: a small heater and a lamp to read and play games by.

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Picknick at the beach, beginners’ fault: nice and sunny at the campsite; too windy and cold for sitting down let alone eating anything without being sandwashed. Alweays good to see the sea though.

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An extra: some urban knitting across the “IJ” – the water that separates the North of Amsterdam from the rest. Behind it is Amsterdam Central Station. A ferry takes you to and from several locations on the North side – and back – for free.


This is hard !

OK, I have tried several themes and I really don’t get how it all works, ahh! I think I will do some research in “wordpress for idiots” before trying again. I really don’t want to give up 🙂 I will keep this blog for now, but I guess I already lost the few followers I gained, boohoo. I’ll be back!

Brain matter(s)

After years of struggling against I-didn’t-know-what, I took my best friend’s advice (once again) and went to a psychologist to have myself examined on attention-related issues. I am afraid to use any l diagnostic terms here, but in the end I was told my brain Works in a way that is called: ADD-affected. Attenton Deficit Disorder. Switch to google and you will soon be drowning in information – I wouldn’t, if I were you. Later, I will put up a short text on what ADD is, especially what it can mean for women.

fragment women :)

fragment woman 🙂

Put simply: we all swim in our familiar pools of genes, and the ones that form minorities will have difficulty getting along. For the past two months, I’ve been trying to stay afloat on everything there is to rethink and reconsider. Being happy to know what bugged me, and that I can’t help it really. Wondering why my parents never noticed any of this, and why I was told I wasn’t performing to my ability. Being relieved that I can take a from of speed that slows the eternal buzz in my head. Feeling excited and at the same time down, because I can handle my children so much better on an equivalent of speed. Trying to be optimistic about the future even though my job ends in a few weeks and I have chosen not to stay on as a freelancer in the same work field: administrative tasks which I am extremely unfit to do. I tried this as a fulltime job, and I think I drained my battery severely in doing so during that year. In that respect, I am looking forward to a new era.

Off I go

My brain keeps screaming: “Wait! Make a perfect draft first, sleep on it a month or two and then.. then we shall conquer the universe!” .. I think it is time to post something before I am off again.

I am hoping to bring together millions of aspects of my life in this blog and am looking forward to sharing thoughts, ideas and photos.

This blog should form a momentum of how I started living and viewing my life anew after finding out my brain works a bit differently from the [already broad] norm. Therapeutic – yes ma’am/sir.

Also I plan to change my career – that’s nothing new to me, but starting as a freelance translator will be a big step. Here, I can practice and train myself to keep up and improve the beautiful language that is called English – be it British or American. Feel free to notify me of errors!

I intend to discuss stuff I experience, learn, read in books, to share photos of things I see or make and can’t wait to shape a new universe where I’ll do better in being me.

Thanks for following – bare with me, things will get more colorful!

Me in 1983

1983