“From the errors of others, a wise man corrects his own” – Publilius Syrus
It’s been a strange week, but even so here’s seven new points of knowledge I attained:
- Traffic lights in the Netherlands are made to be more effective; the average amount of time spent waiting for a red sign has been lowered to approximately thirty seconds. It was Monday. It was the start of what would be a very strange and cranky week, and I didn’t know what I had learned this day until I remembered hearing this on the radio. Dutch people have a tendency to complain about everything, probably because we have so little to complain about. Traffic lights, more specifically the red ones, are probably Nag Topic Number One. After hearing this message I decided to pay closer attention to the waiting time for a green sign, and noticed that I did, in fact, spent less time seeing red (pun! Hah, I still have it!).
- It feels GOOD to turn someone down who’s maltreated you! Miss Nasty Job Interview called to tell me the good news: she was interested in having me over for a second interview! Hurray!
At this point I would like to emphasise two things: a) she sounded like I had won the lottery and should be Very Extremely Grateful For This Opportunity, and b) the sarcasm in my “Hurray!”.
Not being on my best behaviour (like I said, it was a strange and cranky week), I purposefully made her repeat herself and felt smug hearing her being smug. Because after she, again, ended her message with a jokingly “as long as you’re still interested, too, hahaha!”, I laughed with her and ended the whole thing with one blow: “Actually, I am not.” She was silent for a second too long, then gave me a Freudian-Slip like surprised “Oh”, before collecting herself and pretending she didn’t care. But I did. For the rest of my cranky week, replaying this moment in my head made me feel better. A lot better.
- Don’t push yourself too hard. When learning Icelandic, I thought it best to break my lessons apart into “chapters” if you will, starting each one with a dialogue-exercise. However, this led to skewed chapters, meaning I do more work one week than the other (e.g. the dialogues are a bad indicator of the coursework that follows them). After an hour of intense studying, and after careful consideration (my life motto is: when you start something, you don’t give up until it’s done) I decided to call it a day. I had been going at it for over an hour and my brains had stopped storing new information. I flicked through the rest of the lesson and set a new starting point. Relieved I didn’t have to go through four extra pages, my brains happily picked up where they had left off and I felt good about the progress I had made, Icelandic as well as self-evolvement-wise.
- A horse weighs around 800 kilos. I’m not sure why I remember this, but my mind works in a funny way and this has been a funny week, so why not count it as a learning moment? I certainly never knew this, so it qualifies as new info. Where did I get it? I thought you’d never ask! My parents were watching a terrible futuristic/apocalyptic/dragon film called Reign Of Fire. I wasn’t remotely interested until I spotted Gerard Butler (I loved him in The Phantom Of The Opera, plus I have a huge weakness for Scottish accents), so I watched for a bit. Gerry’s character was destined to die, but not before Christian Bale’s was told to “get up and get that dragon beast over here with those 800 kilos of horse” (or something like that. I only remember thinking “that’s quite a lot of kilos for such a beautiful animal”).
- This too, shall pass. It’s the sentence I’ve been repeating to myself over and over during the past week, and it’s true. I’ve been feeling down and cranky since Friday a week ago, and I felt like I couldn’t shake this negativity off, at least not for longer than a few minutes. But this Friday I finally felt better. I still have health issues, the same as I have had for the past two years, and they still drive me crazy. My doctor still doesn’t take me serious and still keeps shooting me up with hormone-regulating meds that clearly don’t work.
But! It’s fine. Because we have a telephone appointment somewhere in the upcoming two weeks (I don’t want to see him, either, so this works for me), and if my hormones drive me crazy again by then, he’s going to get a similar treatment as Miss Nasty Job Interview from number two. And I’ll get a new doctor, because I am done with people treating me like an idiot, and I am done with my health issues.
At this moment I’m doing okay-ish. I don’t know for how long, but my body problems seem to be on a break for now.
- We take simple things for granted. Our power went down this afternoon, and it’s funny to see how dependant me and my family are on electricity. We rely on it to work and nearly everything is regulated by it: boiling water, heating something in the oven, turning a light on, our entire heating system, our hot water, even switching on the stove! It’s all electric nowadays.
The problem was solved within two hours and everything works fine again. But if there ever is a zombie-apocalypse and we’re all out of power, gas, and water… I think most people in modern countries are screwed. We don’t know how to fend for ourselves any more, we simply flick on a switch and alas! Light!
It’s kind of scary (and stupid) realising how dependant we secretly are.
- At this point I haven’t unrolled my piece of wisdom-paper yet, but I have noticed there’s a lot of text on it… Here we go! It says: I don’t judge what has passed, for that is done. I won’t linger on it. What is to come, isn’t here yet; I will not aim my hopes at it, nor will I desire it.
Why can’t the paper simply say: I will live in the here and now? Probably because that’s not what I need to hear. What I need to hear is exactly that I shouldn’t linger on the past, shouldn’t waste my time on thinking about things that have been. I do that too much and it exhausts me. I also shouldn’t think of what is yet to come, or rather: what MIGHT be yet to come. Because you never really know how things will turn out, do you? Worrying about stuff won’t make tomorrow’s problems disappear, but it will take away today’s energy (I have this saying in my room). Sometimes we need to be reminded of bad behaviour and shown a better direction. That’s what this week’s paper means to me.
And so a strange week has come to a conclusion, and with it seven strange points of wisdom have been gathered and logged. I’m going to end this post with the Earworm Of The Week. Rio captures precisely that uncanny feeling that haunts me: what if I could be someone else? What if I could start over?
As a bonus it has a catchy melody. Enjoy! :)