Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday... xoxo

Hello! Today is Sunday. I used to not care so much for Sundays. Often times it used to mean I had to work at the restaurant or finish assignments before Monday. I always got this sense that Sundays were the end of the week and I had to rush to get everything done before Monday comes or else things start piling up. Since being in Berlin, I have a different feeling about Sundays. Maybe it's because everything here is closed on Sundays except for coffee shops and restaurants. Maybe it's because I don't work on weekends anymore. Maybe a bit of both. But now I feel like Sunday is actually more of like a Non-day. I feel like it's a magical day where time stands still, a day that doesn't count. I suddenly feel so un-obliged to get anything done. Sundays have become a day where I lounge around my apartment and go out for coffee and read design blogs. Nothing else really makes the to do list for this special day. The weirdest part of all this is that I don't seem to care about not getting anything accomplished on a Sunday. That's the weirdest part.

So Pauli and I went to the Flohmarkt (fleamarket in German) at Mauer Park today. Interesting stuff. Lots of vendors, lots of junk, but surely some treasures are awaiting my discovery. I did find a fabric vendor selling his fabric for super cheap so I'll definitely be back there for some of that goodness. But today was not an ideal day for the Flohmarkt. The weather was warm, which is excellent, but consequently the market was infested by big slushy puddles, really restricting the walking space between stands and making it feel uncomfortably crowded and resulting in some soak-ers. Next time, once all the snow is gone, I'll go early and that should be more pleasant.

Then Pauli and I went to check out Barcomi's. A cafe/bakery/deli started up by an American who moved to Berlin. We heard a rumor she had real American cheesecake, pecan pie and muffins! All of which are really hard to come by in Berlin. So we went to investigate. It was awesome. We loved it. The location was really sweet, in a romantic courtyard off of Sophienstrasse. The atmoshere and decor inside was very welcoming and pleasant and BUSY! We each had a latte macchiatto, Pauli had a bagel with cream cheese and we shared a piece of exquisite carrot cake with the most amazing icing EVER!! We will definitely be going back.

How was your Sunday?


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Little Fridge

Hello! How is your day going? Mine was good ... a regular day. Well actually that's not completely true. One great thing that happened was that we got our espresso machine back from getting fixed. Actually, they sent us a brand new one, and it's perfect. The espresso is beautiful and the foamy milk is superb . So happy about that. Coffee is sooooo important to me.

But the real reason for my post today is to share with you a picture of my little fridge. Mainly because I think it's always fun to see what other people's stuff looks like, but also because I just love it. It's so cute and small and incognito. Small Kuehlschraenke (fridges in German) are typical here in Berlin. So here it is - the first pic is with the door can't even tell there's a little cold compartment in there.

And that's it! That's the whole fridge =) Funny eh? I just love my little fridge!

See you soon xoxo

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Living in the moment, the moment, the moment, the moment...

My life would not be normal without a little freak out from time to time ... as most of you close to me would know. These episodes have gotten much less frequent through the years, but nonetheless they still exist unfortunately. Normally, I know one is coming because suddenly a bad mood strikes me and it always seems out of the blue. Sometimes it's aggressive and sometimes it's depressive or anxious. It starts growing inside of me slowly and quietly, but I feel it big because it usually strikes when everything is fine, or right after a happy moment, so the contrast feels drastic even though "the mood" hasn't peaked yet. It grows and grows until I can't ignore it and must face it. This part sucks because initially I have no idea where it's coming from. Then comes the analysis. Always fun for me to perform on other people, but myself ...well ...not so much. Once I've pinpointed the cause, which can take minutes or days, I can then begin to devise a plan in order to rid this mood from my life and to minimize the chances of a relapse. If you read my last post, you will understand when I say I must have jinxed myself. A couple of days ago I was struck by a mood.

I should have foreseen this since right before "the mood" I had a few sleepless nights, which is odd for me since I NEVER have trouble falling asleep. Even, when I was young it was not a rare event for me to fall asleep in mid play or while eating spaghetti! So yes, some sleepless nights and then "the mood". It was an anxious type of mood but the anxiety was overpowered by this sense of restlessness. Almost like I was bored, but paniking about it. Thoughts were whirling through my head and building up. Nothing serious, just things I had to do, or wanted to do. Like I was desperately needing to make a plan, but had nothing real to plan for. That's when I realized that was exactly what it was. The need to plan ahead with nothing specific to plan for.

Ok. Let me explain a little better. For the last 8 months, Pauli and I have been planning this move to Germany ... where are we going to live? When are we going to leave? What are we going to do? How will I learn German? How will we provide for ourselves? How would we like to furnish our apartment? Which schools should we choose? What colour would we like our carpets? And the list goes on.... Needless to say, we've had so much to think about and plan for and look forward to. But guess what? Now we are here. Now we are settled to the point of comfortable functioning. Nothing more significant or pressing to get done. Now we can live and move forward at a comfortable pace. Well, I was not ready for this moment I guess. It's like I got into the habit of planning things and looking forward and now I had to just stop and live!? What?! I had not planned for this moment. I have been looking forward to it, believe me. That's why I was taken by such surprise when I reacted so badly to it.

So now I know where this mood is coming from, but how do I stop it? How do I live in the moment? I've alaways had a tendency to live in the future. But I guess looking back, it was never a bad thing since this kept me achieving my goals and accomplishing things. I think this goal of moving to Germany was the biggest most important thing I've ever had to attain. It took some monumentous amounts of strength and concentration, but I didn't realize how immersed I became until now. I'd lost sight of the present completely. This is not a way to live. I deserve to enjoy my accomplishment and now is the time to do it.

So what does one do nowadays when faced with such dilemmas...? Google, of course! I Googled "how to live in the moment" at 3 o'clock in the morning when I had to be up at 7. Out of all the things I read, here is an article I liked:

I devised a strategy to help me. All I did is said to myself, "be aware of THIS moment", every so often. I did it while riding the train to work, while walking to work, while sipping my coffee, while playing with the kids, while choosing some apples at the grocery store. It really, really helps! Surprising, eh? Such a simple solution. Now all I have to do is say "the moment" to cue myself, and the feeling of being really in the moment and appreciating my life unravels. I say it especially when I find myself in my own thoughts and unaware of my surroundings.

Here are some pictures I took while enjoying the moment:

Do you have any tricks to help you live in the moment?

'till next time,

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Time for an update...

Hello Friends,

Before I say anything more: Happy Birthday Krystal! I miss you intensely and I love you deeply. Have a wonderful day!

Ok, so, I figure it's time for an update about what's been going on here in my life.

Lately, I've been feeling really good. I feel inspired and confident and most importantly at peace. Which is funny since the aspects of my life are nowhere close to the meeting goals I have set for myself, but maybe it's because I feel like the path towards them is getting clearer.

I will begin my interior design course THIS month! That's the big news for me. I'm signed up, just waiting for my materials now. I'm so excited about this. I think I finally found what I want. Why this though, why interior design? I don't blame you for asking since so far my accomplishments and adventures have not exactly pointed in this direction. Well, it's a long question to answer, but I will try to make it brief. Last year, with the planning of move to Germany and my graduation coming up, I started re-evaluating what I wanted to do with my life...generally how I wanted it to feel and more specifically what I would like my days to consist of. After some soul searching I explored the idea of being an interior designer. That led to some research about the field and what the profession entailed and the education needed to get there. I liked what I saw. I liked having the opportunity to be creative everyday. I loved the aspect of project management and execution. I liked the idea of helping people professionally achieve their dreams of what they want their home, office or business to look and feel like. That's very important because home, work and play are vital aspects of life. I think this is what makes the job fulfilling. Last but not least, I like the fact that as a designer, you can work for a firm or choose to branch out on your own. You could do both and not have to change careers. Being my own boss is an attractive concept, one that I would like to achieve one day. Oh yes, and not being stuck in the 9 to 5. Not that it's bad, I just think it might not be for me. Oh and one more thing - the people you get to meet and the relationships that will be created is also another exciting part of it all. I realize your network grows no matter your job but in this case I'm looking forward to meeting clients and discussing their wants, their needs, the things they like and don't like and what inspires them. Also, the contractors and furniture suppliers and designers and on and on...yes, yes, cool. Can't wait to meet them all. So ya, that's pretty much it. Can't wait to start, the journey looks like it will be fun.

My job is going great. I don't know if I've mentioned what it is that I do here. Well, in case I haven't, I'm a nanny for a nice German family. I won't be giving any more details than that about my day to day at work because, well, I don't think my bosses would appreciate it. But I can say that it is fun and the children I take care of are super! I work everyday and have weekends off. Finally, can you believe that!? - WEEKENDS OFF!!

My German lessons are going really well too. I'm finishing up my course in two weeks and am doing these last two weeks intensively. So, 3 hours a day of German, five days a week. They don't call it "intense" for fun. It's serious stuff. But I like it. It's only my second day of intensiveness and I already feel a difference. Up to now I was only going twice a week. This is much better. So after I finish up my lessons I will look for a German speaking tandem partner who wants to practice their English...or French, I guess - whatever. That should also be an interesting little adventure...

All technical aspects about relocating to Germany are pretty much in order. Except for my driver's license. I just have to trade my Canadian one in for a German one. No big deal, but I just haven't go around to it yet. Oh ya, and I have to figure out how to do my taxes here and make sure my Canadian ones get done too.

I love, love, love, our apartment. The skeleton is in place and it feels good. Decoration, art and other details are to follow, but we are not in a rush. I'm still really, really enjoying the city - even in this snow and cold!! Yes, that's correct - cold and snow. This is the first winter in a long time (maybe ever!!) that Berliners can remember it being this cold and snowy here. Just our Canadian luck, eh? But still I shouldn't complain. By cold I mean -5 degrees (average worst case) and by snow I mean an annoying white blanket about 4-6cm thick that is persisting despite some warm days when it appears it will be gone the next day, just to get a couple more flurries that night and loose a couple of degrees of warmth. But still I'm in love with the city. I can't imagine what I will feel like when it's a bright sunny day in June and I'm biking around my neighbourhood!!!! Oh man - can't wait for that day either.

So thats good - work, school, home, weather - all necessary topics covered.

One last thing before I go do my Hausaufgabe (homework in German). Below is a picture I took today from the sBahn on my way to school that I would like to share. I think it was at the Savignyplatz station on the walls. There were some other interesting artworks actually hung up on these outdoor brick walls, and some nice graffiti of course. No sarcasm, there's a lot of graffiti in Berlin and a lot of it is nice. I would have taken some pictures of the others but there was no time as my train was on its way to the next station. But this one struck me first, and I was struggling to quickly pull out my Handy (cell phone in German) because I desperately wanted this photographed. It's for your enjoyment because it's just nice but really it's for my mom. Ma, if you are reading this, you know why this picture holds a link to you for me. Actually I'll probably send it to you later.

It says: Nature does not need us, we need nature.

Goodnight xoxo