Blue Sky Tag

“Your glass will not do you half as much service as a serious reflection on your own mind”
– Mary Astell –

A while ago, Dawn from Journal of Dawn nominated me for the Blue Sky Tag. It’s been long overdue, but today I finally found time to dive in!

This tag comes with a few rules, so let’s tick those off one by one:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you

    Thank you, Dawn! This tag seems like a lot of fun and I wouldn’t be doing it without you, so thanks a mill!

  2. Answer their questions
    1. Is your life, today, half-empty or half-full?
      Tough one. Considering I’ve been having a headache for a few days straight, I’d opt for half-empty. But knowing all the work I’ve done and the effort I managed to put in despite these headaches, my final answer is half-full. Enjoy life even with a little pain :)
    2. How have you found goodness from the bad situations in your life?
      Well, one of the biggest and worst situations in my life was when my mother was fighting cancer and I was taking care of her. I had just come out of an depression and I honestly thought I would not be strong enough to carry this, to take care of my mother and run her household and make sure I was doing okay, too. Night after night I’d sit on my bed, just waiting for that ultimate low to come back and crush me, but it never came. Afterwards, I realised my shoulders are a lot stronger than I ever thought. Going through this situation, funnily enough, boosted my self-esteem in a way I never could have imagined. I am one tough cookie :)
    3. Which relationships have been the most challenging to you, and what strategies have you created to improve them?
      My middle sister and I don’t see eye-to-eye, and we never will. The best way to “deal” with all that is to pretend things never happened. I learned this after trying to talk things over with her and her batting me off before I even got to make my point. So bury everything that’s negative works here, and I added to that minimal contact. When we do meet up, I try to keep things light and fun. Choosing myself over always trying to please her, works too.
      The relationship between me and my parents has shifted over the years, also because of number 2 up there. Taking care for someone kind of messes with the mother-daughter relationship. What I try to do to improve all this is take interest in my parent’s daily endeavours and give them compliments instead of criticism.
    4. What causes you angst, and how do you overcome it?
      I am terrified my mother will fall ill again and will die. I know, it’s normal for cancer survivors and their family to feel like this. What I do is tell myself maybe I don’t know for sure she’s healthy, but I also don’t know for sure she’s ill. My mother gets checked up every year, so I try to hold on to the positive results of her tests. Further more, I constantly remind myself we’re all going to die one day and it’s best to enjoy the time I have left with her, rather than worry it’s going to be over soon.
    5. Have you ever written your own jokes? Memorized them, and tried them out in a long, boring line at the Post Office . . . Did anyone chortle?
      Maybe when I was a child, but I can’t remember. I go by puns when I get the chance, and if there’s none available sarcasm always helps me out!
    6. What challenges are you facing in your Life right now?
      A lot! Overcoming my fear of failure and my inferiority complex by doing my coaching duties, falling and standing up as I learn. I am facing people who don’t trust me and who load on me the burden of feeling like a loser, while I am also challenging myself to grow more self-respect and self-love.
      Yep, I am a busy little bee.
    7. What do you obsess over? How do you rein in your obsessions?
      My weight. I know, it sounds utterly stupid because I am not overweight at all. But  gained a few kilos, probably in the battle against my hormones, that won’t go away. Whenever I am stressed, I feel I obsess over this most of all, also because my mind never wants to focus on the real problems at hand and shifts to minor issues, blows them up into an obsession. Meditation works here, to ease my mind.
      At the moment I am on a healthy diet and I feel fine physically (apart from the head aches, but I figured out where they come from, so give or take a day or two and I’ll be a-okay!).
    8. What strategies do you employ for stress relief?
      Walking, reading, watching TV (binge watching Modern Family is a good way to relieve stress!) and meditation. Also, listening to your favourite songs is a great way, too. Especially when you combine it with a running session.
    9. What other-wordly phenomena have you experienced? (Intuition, dreams, deja vu, ET, communication with lost loved ones, etc.) What have your learned from them?
      I have a pretty darn good intuition, that I don’t listen to enough. I sometimes dream things that end up coming true and a few days ago I had a pretty big deja-vu while in a session with a trial client. Sometimes I converse with deceased loved ones, through dreams or meditation. But there have been occasions in which I’d hear someone talk to me even though they’ve long passed away.
      They taught me that death is “nothing but an inconvenience”, the future is not written in stone and that my intuition is never far off.
    10. How do you make new friends, or strike up a conversation with a stranger?
      Normally, people come to me. I tend to get shy around new people, but I guess I look so innocent (or lonely or insecure) people strike up a conversation with me. In larger groups where nobody knows each other, I’ll just go around and introduce myself, then be respectful and interested. In Canada I knew nobody of my 29 co-travellers, but I made sure I shared a dinner table with everyone before the end of the trip. I still have some good contacts from that time!
    11. What do you love to create? How do you motivate yourself to do more of what you love to do?
      Stories. I made one of my Daily Goals-homework assignments: write for at least 15 minutes a day. It really helped me to actually write, so every other week I try to keep that a daily goal. Another part of that homework is to reward yourself with something when you’ve achieved your goal, so I use chocolate to make sure I write, write, write :)
  3. Create 11 questions for your nominees

    Actually, I think Dawn’s questions were really great! They put my mind to work for sure, so I’d love to forward them to the next Blue Sky Tagger!

  4. Tag your 11 nominees

    Ever since my first blog reward I’ve been scared to nominate anyone for anything. Not because I think people don’t deserve it, but because I ended up nominating people who didn’t want to participate, and I don’t want to a) forget anyone who would love to do this, or b) put someone in a spot where they might feel they’ll hurt my feelings by not cooperating, even though they really don’t want to.
    So, easy way out or being overly politically correct: I nominate everyone on my followers list! Go pour your hearts out and let me know in the comments, so I can tag you in this post and lead more people your way! :)

Thank you again, Dawn, for nominating me! Everybody check her blog out at Journal of Dawn.

I hope you had fun reading this, please let me know in the comments if you took me up on my spawning out 500+ nominees instead of 11 ;)

I wish you all a great weekend!


War Of The World

Would the World stop spinning if… I’d be proud of something I did instead of being overly critical? I spent a whole day binge-watching Scream Queens? I’d forfeit to wash my car (again)? I diverted from my diet by stuffing my mouth full of chocolate? I look into the mirror and feel pretty? I’d not… Continue reading War Of The World


As Hobbies Come…

I am currently watching a Dutch show about people being stalked and I can’t help but wonder how much free time stalkers have. They’re always there! Do they ever leave? Don’t they have jobs to get to, mortgages to pay, personal hygiene to attend to? How come they have so much time to spend on… Continue reading As Hobbies Come…


Happy Easter!

(This is a self-made basket I’ll be putting my gerbils in later – with some hidden treats, of course!)

I wish everyone a Happy Easter, and if you don’t celebrate Easter I wish you a few happy days off! :)


Qualities In Sight

“Many individuals have, like uncut diamonds, shining qualities beneath a rough exterior”
– Juvenal –

As you could have read in one of my previous posts, one homework assignment I had to do this week was to list my qualities in a creative way. Not just sum them up, but make it a collage, put into view what I am good at.

I had to list at least ten things I am good at and I dreaded it for a while, because I am much better at thinking of all the things I am not good at. But to my surprise, as I was making a list of qualities, I ended up with more than ten! Hah, imagine that ;)

As promised, these are the qualities I came up with, in random order. You’ll have to forgive me for not using the images, but it was such a lot of work putting it all together, I don’t feel up to translating everything. So just take a good look at the top image and there’s nine for you already in image ;)

  • Orderly

    There is no one as neat as me. Okay, probably there is, but still. I keep things clean and tidy and am always right on track (with reading, work, homework, etcetera).

  • Empathic

    I am good at feeling what someone else feels, or switching perspectives (pretending you are the other person to understand them better).

  • Go-Getter

    When I start something, I finish it. There’s no quitting until the end has been reached. Problems will get solved and a solution will be found.

  • Funny

    I didn’t realise people thought I was funny until a classmate told me she thought it was strange to witness me go from social and funny to a serious and stern coach (we practice on each other and I have not found my way of coaching yet – it’s only been 2 sessions so give me a break, lol!). When I was doing this assignment, though, I had so much fun, I noticed my own sense of humour (and I liked it).

  • Respectful

    I think respecting each other, despite any possible differences, is key in living in harmony. We are all humans and we all do our best, and I respect that. I also dislike being unprofessional, indecent or downright rude to people, especially people you don’t know.

  • Generous

    I give my blood to people who need it. I have donated my hair twice, to help make wigs for sick children. I am a registered donor and stem cell donor. I go out of my way to find the perfect present for someone (and I love doing that). I give people my time, attention, and devotion when they need it.

  • Adventurous

    Canada, for the national parks. China, for the pandas. Ireland, for the language (and the drinks/food, music, and mountains). Iceland, for the amazing nature. And all of that on my own. I mean, I was in a group, but I went alone, not knowing anyone beforehand. If that’s not adventurous, I don’t know what is.

  • Caring

    I cared for my mother when she was ill, I cared for the pandas when I worked in that reserve, and I spoil my two gerbils rotten. Not to mention the neighbours’ cat, who doesn’t wait for me to come home for nothing (he does so lying right behind the porch so I can’t see him, then he makes his move when I put my bicycle away – he always catches me off guard, but he knows he’ll get attention). Now that I think of it, for some reason animals and children always like me… That must surely say something ;)

  • Obedient

    Tell me to make a collage of my qualities and I’ll do exactly as I am told (maybe sometimes a bit too much). I don’t like breaking the rules, because I know they’re there for a reason (like traffic rules).

  • Helpful

    When I can help someone, I will. If I have to pause my run for someone who’s lost and asks for directions, then so be it. I helped my mother find a dancing school and a voluntary job so she feels happy and needed again.

  • Humble

    You won’t ever catch me saying I am good at something! Oh, wait… ;)
    But I don’t like to be in the centre of attention and receiving compliments is something I have to work on, because I often feel I don’t deserve them (what makes my input so great when there’s so many other people around?).

  • Creative

    I made this blog from scratch. I made a collage of my qualities, and when there’s a (technical) problem I am good at finding a creative solution for it.

  • Sportive

    I used to teach Body Pump! And if that’s not enough: I also run 5k a week (at least) and do dance fitness. The other side of sportive (sportsmanship – in Dutch they use the same word for both) is also a part of me: I like winning a game, but I don’t necessarily need to in order to feel good.

  • Polite

    Having worked in stores for the majority of my professional life I can say I am well-skilled at being polite and remaining calm in all kinds of situations, especially tricky ones.

So there you have them: a list of my qualities. And something tells me this is just a start.

What are some of your qualities?

Pet Adventures

Why is it always so that when you take your sick pet to the vet it immediately ceases to show signs of bad health? And then when you get home, it goes back to being poorly? Well, whatever the reason, I managed to get medicine for my pet gerbil Jamie, who I suspect has an… Continue reading Pet Adventures


The Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you J from Salvageable for nominating me for The Versatile Blogger Award. I’m still unsure as to what awards mean to me exactly, but until I find out where I stand I proudly accept it :)

The Rules:

  1. Share the award on your blog

    Doing that right now!

  2. Share seven random facts about yourself:

    More weird facts? ;) Okay then:

    1. I think TV shows such as Toddlers & Tiaras are a desperate sign for the nearing apocalypse. I pride myself on trying to understand things that are not normal for me, but this one… I won’t even go there.
    2. I don’t like Frozen. Besides the one song, there’s not a lot of story going on. I mean, a good story. So when my nephew confused Belle from my favourite Disney movie with Frozen (not even Anna or what-is-she-called-with-the-blonde-hair, simply Frozen), I immediately called my sister to tell her I’ll be coming over soon, dressed in my princess dress, to watch Beauty and the Beast with her son (and daughter, who’s welcome to join in). You know, to put him straight.
    3. I have a thing for notebooks. This has nothing to do with the film (haven’t seen it), but… I don’t know. When I see one with a cute cover I just have to buy it. And I already have a stock pile of them!
    4. I’ve been in the papers multiple times. Once I was interviewed by my elementary school/junior high school teacher (no idea, go google Dutch school systems if you must). He was also a journalist for the local paper and picked four students to talk about lying. Another time I was featured in a “singing Christmas Tree”, but when the picture was taken something happened in the top and I looked up. What can I say? My neck looks kind of… Festive? Then there was another time at a carnival in town. The organisation had invited a national celebrity to spice visitor rates up, and me and a friend got photographed again. Juicy detail: my sister and her friend had been interviewed about their thoughts on the celeb, and their answers were linked to my picture in the end.
    5. I recently registered as a stem cell donor. I’d been considering to register for a while, but never really did it. Then I read this Dutch blog post about becoming one and I decided I had hesitated long enough. I posted the final information yesterday, so now it’s just waiting until somebody needs me.
    6. My new obsession is watching the Dutch version of Wheel Of Fortune and trying to guess the word(s) with a minimum of letters. I have to admit: I am pretty good at it! Last time the subject was TV Shows and one N had appeared, I knew it was All You Need Is Love. Go figure.
      (By the way, I suspect the people on the Dutch show are selected by IQ – the lower the better).
    7. My pet gerbil Loki has a lump on his belly, it’s an inflamed sebaceous gland. The vet says it will grow back each time it’s removed and she can no longer help him; it’s either going to keep growing and fall off or stay like this forever. I now clean my gerbil’s belly each day with sterilised water, to prevent the lump from breaking open (it’s happened before – blood and pus came out). The lump hasn’t disappeared, but at least my gerbil isn’t crouching all over the place, trying to kill his itching belly.
      And that’s the kind of crazy woman I am :)
  3. Nominate ten other blogs (with under a thousand followers)

    The last time I nominated people for an award I don’t think anyone accepted. I suspect I am terrible at finding bloggers who are both worthy and willing of one, therefore I am going to play it like a coward today:

If you have less than a thousand followers and would like to receive this award, please let me know in the comments and I will gladly and officially nominate you ;)

Thanks again to the always mind-enriching and honest blog Salvageable for this nomination. If you haven’t already visited there, better do it now! You definitely won’t regret it.

Have a great week, everyone!