“Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven” – William Shakespeare
First of all, happy Pentecost to all! I hope you’re enjoying your weekend/day(s) off :)
As my summaries are concerned, I am afraid this is the last one for May. I leave on a holiday to Canada next weekend and won’t be back until early June. Even though I will take my tablet with me, I probably won’t have the time to stick to my regular blogging routine, and I guess you’re going to have to make do with some touristy photos and a few lines instead ;)
Anyway, enough with the jibber-jabber, let’s move on to what you came here for in the first place: my weekly list of ever-growing knowledge!
- My electric tooth brush intercedes my radio’s signal. I spent months wondering why my stereo keeps giving me a shaky radio reception at times, only to accidentally find out it’s due to where I keep my electric tooth brush. When I remove the body from its station, I can hear the music crystal clear, but when I put the body back on the charger the voices on the radio immediately scratch and the signal gets interrupted by rustle. Weird, but at least I found a way to enjoy listening to the radio without getting annoyed by a bad signal.
- You are not always happy, but you are not always unhappy, either. Happiness is a state of mind, but not a continuous one. Different things can give us a boost of happiness, but it’s impossible to feel happy all the time. It’s not like when you’re rich, which is a continuous state of being (unless you go and spend all your money, of course). Happiness doesn’t work that way.
But on one of my bad days last week I realised the same goes for unhappiness. Maybe we feel that more than its positive antithesis, but it’s not everlasting, either! Not even if you’re depressed. At least when I was so I still experienced brief moments of happiness.
So people, don’t let bad days get you down! No matter how awful you feel, things will get better. Unhappiness will pass and make room for a more positive state of mind.
- I learned how to tap beer. For Mother’s Day last weekend, me and the family went out to dinner in a buffet restaurant where it was possible to tap your own beer. Not liking beer myself, I jumped at the chance to get my eldest sister’s boyfriend (M) one, and met up with two old men who were in front of me at the tap. They enjoyed having me ask them so many questions, and proceeded by letting me mess up M‘s beer while giving me well-intended advice. In the end, one of the waiters saw my poorly tapped pint and showed me how to create a perfect one. I didn’t care as I was having tons of fun, and M didn’t seem to mind as I brought him back not one but two beers, albeit including a wonky one.
- No matter how you are born, we all need to learn to love ourselves. This is a constant struggle in my life. There are days when I am happy with who I am and how I look, and days where I am far from that. Being a bit bothered by experiencing yet another wave of the latter, I thought how arrogant people seem to love themselves a little too much and wondered how this is so. We are all born as innocent babies and grow up differently, but no matter how you put it we need to learn to appreciate ourselves, to love what we see in the mirror and accept the person we have become. Some people are born into families where loving yourself is normal, and others have to fight to get a positive self-image. You can spin it any way you want, but loving yourself is not a born trait, it’s not a given. We get taught how to love ourselves, by family, friends, even situations, and this is yet one of those things that make people all over the world different from one another, but also the same.
- The average clothing size for a Dutch female is 42 (Large). Somehow, I always assumed the average size for Dutch women would be 38-40 (Medium), but apparently we are a bit bigger than I thought. Which is no crime, but still. I simply never knew.
I learned this from a TV show (what else, right?) where a young, overweight lady told a stylist how she always got bullied in high school for not having a size 36 (Small). The stylist looked at her and asked her if she knew the average clothing size for females in the Netherlands, and she answered: “36.” Apparently it’s 42, though, and I could see the disbelief and relief in the girls’ eyes.
It’s all about perception and deception in life. Embrace who you are, we need diversity to make the world interesting!
- Cheering someone up is not a duty, it is a privilege. My friend A was made redundant a few months ago, which means that after a good ten years of working for the same firm she is now left without a job. Which is bad in itself, but she told me her boss had suggested, as a goodbye, to have drinks at his place. But he lives nearly an hour away from her and she wouldn’t be able to have a proper drink because she’d need to drive back after. Talk about bummers.
I kept pressuring A about any goodbye-party-plans, but she told me her co-workers didn’t seem very keen on doing anything special for her, and that while she is a person who loves to surprise someone, putting in a lot of effort to make them feel special.
For a second I pondered upon this, then I decided that even if I’ve never worked with her, she deserves a great last day at work and if her colleagues weren’t going to make her day great, I was. So I bought her favourite pastries and secretly visited her. She was surprised, but delighted anyway (her co-workers had also given her a huge goodbye present).
Even if cheering A up wasn’t my duty because I wasn’t the one making her feel down, she is my friend and it’s a privilege to make her feel appreciated, even if that was not my “job”.
- Paper-wisdom! This week it is actually quite a famous quote from Ghandi, neatly scribbled on a tiny piece of paper: Be the change you wish to see in the world. Do I need to add anything to this? Probably not. Just be the best version of you that you can be :)
Pentecost aside, this weekend it was all about the Eurovision Song Contest, which the Netherlands lost again, as usual. Although, we didn’t even do so bad! Normally we don’t even make it to the finals, but this year Douwe Bob came in eleventh!
As an honour to the Eurovision Song Contest, which I won’t be watching next year because honestly, the Ukraine did NOT have the best song (what happened, Australia!?) and I suspect they only won due to political games, I hereby present you with this week’s Earworm, which perfectly describes the post-Eurovision feeling I am having.