“Life experience is not something to be denied, but to be celebrated” – Madeleine M. Kunin
Even during the busy time we call Christmas (preparations), I gained more knowledge every day for the past week. Here’s my fore last summary of this year:
- Always read the labels at the store. Do it because others don’t. I am so annoyed! My night cream was on sale (buy two, pay for one), and I thought: well, this is a good deal! So without looking I grabbed two jars, paid for them, and took ’em home. The evilness lies in the fact that the labels for the day and the night version of this product look exactly the same (apart from the text, duh), and I accidentally ended up with one jar of day cream instead. Which I can’t return, because I bought it over a month ago and I don’t have the receipt any more.
I know there’s men reading this who probably think: “what’s the problem? It’s just cream,” but it’s not! There’s an actual difference between night and day cream, so no: it’s NOT just a marketing trick to make women spend more money! The creams differ because of their contents: night creams are creamier and if you put them on during the day, you could end up with white stains on your face (a chemical reaction of its contents to sunlight). Day creams make you look more “glowy”, which you don’t need at night. So there it is, guys: you just learned something new, too! ;)
- Always keep your eyes on your shopping goods. Do it because others don’t. Serious stuff, this. Two weeks ago, my mother and I came home from our grocery shopping trip to find an item in our bag we had not intended to buy, and neither of us had put it in our shopping cart. Luckily, I love kale so it wasn’t a big problem, but last week when we had put our items onto the counter and the check out girl had already started to bleep some, my mother suddenly noticed a hidden cucumber! We assumed the person in front of us had misplaced it and that it had ended up with our goods, but still. Close escape there! People just don’t pay attention to what they buy any more. Better do it yourself to avoid situations like these (unless you like paying extra for surprise foods).
- Before putting your self-made spring rolls into the freezer, use a little bit of flour to stop them from cluttering together. Oh. My. Goodness. This is the BEST trick I’ve learned in, probably, my entire life! (Especially since I assume it extends beyond spring rolls – I never make those). My Thai client had made lots and had given me a full bag of self-made yummy spring rolls to take home. But not before telling me the secret to easily break them apart when taking them out of the freezer: a tiny amount of flour. That’s all! Before you stash them together, gently pat the sides that will touch up with some flour, and put them in the freezer. Then when you take them out and want to separate them, you won’t damage them. Or have to bash them against the counter top to try and set them loose (just… some people do that, you know – ahem).
- Never fight with aluminium foil. You will lose the battle. I knew there was a reason why I wasn’t allowed to replace the aluminium foil in the holder, but I’d forgotten what it was until it was too late. While trying to get the little sticker off (there’s a sticker keeping the start of the foil in place before usage – WHY?? It comes in a freaking box, there’s NO NEED FOR THE STICKER!), I managed to only get the top layer off, so that the glue-part of the sticker was actually still on the foil. I repeat: why is there a sticker on there in the first place?? And WHY would you make a sticker that’s so powerful hold together aluminium foil that tears so easily?? WHY!?
Then in my next attempt, that of trying to get the whole of the evil sticker off, I succeeded in molesting the foil to such an extent, a little “bump” appeared. A teeny-tiny bump, not bigger than the knob on a pin. Of course the bump was in the middle of the roll, cutting the foil in half at every pull I took.
After ten minutes of struggling with a roll of tinfoil that appeared to be more stubborn than me, I gave up (at one point I had already thrown the whole lot away, but I found out we didn’t have another roll to try again, so I quickly retrieved it…).
My mother fixed it later. She couldn’t stop laughing at me and I had to solemnly swear never to undergo such foolishness again. Know where my strengths are and something like that. Well, I can tell you they’re not in unwrapping aluminium foil… -_-
- Don’t hand your Master Thesis to your parents in form of dedication. They will misplace it, but won’t take the blame. I know I have a printed version of it somewhere, I know that for certain! I remember having to print it in threefold: one copy was for my supervisor, one for the professor who judged it, and one for myself. I gave my own copy to my parents, because it was something I was so proud of (I scored an 80% on it, which was among the highest grades of my class ánd helped me graduate With Honours!). I thought my parents would share that feeling. Result: negative. It’s gone. Mysteriously disappeared. It’s probably lying somewhere in a dusty place together with my baby-book (which is also hidden – so frustrating to know you have something, but you can’t find it anywhere!). Parents…
- I get the best ideas when I am a little tipsy. First of all, I have never been drunk, just really light-headed and extremely cheerful at worst (or best, whichever you prefer). I’ve never woken up with a hangover and wondered what I’d been up to the night before. But I do enjoy a drink, and sometimes I have one too many, like on Christmas. My father bought me a bottle of Vana Tallinn (possibly the best invention since the wheel). The alcohol percentage is a whooping 40%, but since it tastes so delicious I find it hard to stick to just one drink. I have to have two. I wanted to say “at least two”, but let’s face it: I’d never make it to three.
Anyway, my brains got into some strange creative state: I wrote down new ideas for stories, for my blog, for my holiday, my plans for 2016, gift tips for upcoming birthdays, and I made schedules for Boxing Day and today (because let’s face it: Christmas is nice and all, but your daily routines are set adrift. The 27th is always a making-up day, to get back on track). And to make it extra weird: I suddenly knew a lot more answers to the cryptic puzzle me and my mum had been working on! Being in a woozy state was like clearing my brains of all worries that normally cloud my thinking. So strange. But at least now I have a cure for whenever I come into another state of writer’s block… :p
- Paper-wisdom-time! I picked a new random slip, so let’s see what words of wisdom it has to share with us this week: You are free of wishes and will find inner piece.
Well, what do you know! On Christmas Day, my crazy sister came over to show us her baby (and talk about how fantastic she is and all. Her, not the baby). I was very apprehensive, because I didn’t know how to act around her; do I talk back, do I attack, do I snap? What!?
In the end, everyone pretended like nothing was wrong, like she hadn’t ignored us for a year. But that night, when I was in bed, I realised what was really going on: my middle sister is using her child as a form of blackmail. If we want to be a part of her baby’s life (and my parents very much want to), we ought to act like nothing’s ever happened.
The moment I realised that, I also realised something else: it wasn’t my choice to have no contact, it was hers. Whatever it is between us, we won’t overcome it by pretending it’s not there. And I will be the last person on Earth to accept having to play pretend over the back of an innocent child.
It sounds cruel, but here’s the truth: I don’t wish to see the baby. Don’t get me wrong: she’s welcome at any time, now or later, I have no hard feelings towards that little one. But I am not going to grovel or beg or try really hard to be a part of her life. Whatever is broken between me and my sister is not due to my fault, or the baby’s. And I am not going to play my sister’s sick games any more, with a baby’s affection at stake. I don’t wish it, and so I let it go.
I fell asleep the second I came to this realisation. Thus, it’s got to be true: set yourself free from your wishes and you’ll find inner peace. And let’s face it: isn’t that just what we all need?
That was this week’s list! I know number seven is the only apparent “deep” one, but don’t be fooled! Knowledge comes in all forms: big and small, wise and witty, serious and funny. You’ll never know what kind you’ll encounter, but the only thing you can do is stay open for learning moments.
As usual, I’m closing this Summary up with the Earworm Of The Week. This song was stuck in my head each day for the full week, and I totally blame Body Pump 96!
I hope you’ll all have a great last week of the year!