This month’s candle is for Loki, one of my pet gerbils who died last Tuesday. I think his last visit to the vet on Monday and the draining of his cyst were too much for him. He died in my hands.
That means I naturally burn this candle for my remaining gerbil Jamie too, because he’s now alone and in need of a new friend to prevent loneliness from making him miserable. So fingers crossed I’ll manage to find a good new buddy for him soon and get them to like each other. Apparently that’s quite the task, pairing gerbils. But I owe it to Jamie to try.
Despite feeling sad, my own problems seem so small compared to what else is happening in the world, so I also burn this candle for everyone in the USA who’s been hit by Harvey and struggling to get by. Living in a country that’s known for battling water, I relate and feel for all of you. I really hope the storms will die down soon and no more victims will be made.
And finally, I burn this candle for everyone in Raqqa who’s desperately trying to survive by eating grass-soup or anything else they can get their hands on that’s remotely edible. I can’t imagine what it must be like, living in a war zone, trying to stay alive at all costs. And now having to fight not only terrorists but famine, too. In what kind of world do we live?
I hope the warmth of this candle finds your hearts, rumbling bellies and souls and will make you worry-free, even if it’s for just a second.
Who will you burn this month’s candle for?
Sorry for not writing, but this week:
- I’ve been bed strewn by a violent attack of the stomach flu. It was so aggressive, that after 19 years of happily living in my emetophobia-bubble my body finally gave in and I threw up :( I am still upset.
- My godmother was told she could go home after being in the hospital for two weeks (!!). Sadly, nobody really believes this news, since during her time there she was told she’d get a pacemaker (three times), she’d be transferred to Utrecht (twice) and later Eindhoven (three times) for an ablation, followed by dismissive remarks on all those accounts, stating they’d just “fix her medication” and see where that’d take her. For now, she’s scheduled to go home with new meds and she’s placed on a waiting list for an ablation in… not sure whether it’s going to be Utrecht or Eindhoven. But somewhere else, and at least that’s a relief. What a crap hospital she’s been in!
- My other aunt, also a sister of my father and my godmother, was diagnosed with cancer. A pretty bad case of it, if I can believe the updates I’ve heard of it. She’s going into hospital soon for an operation and later chemotherapy.
- My niece was supposed to have been born this week.
As you can see, I have been busy being upset and stressed out and sick. Physically I am doing better, so let’s hope everything else will work out, too :)
Have a good weekend, everyone! And don’t forget to appreciate your loved ones a little more today. Just because you can.
This one is for C., who’s been on my mind lately. I hope you are at peace, wherever you are :)
This one is also for my sister and her children, going on a holiday soon. May they all be safe and have a great time!
And finally, this candle is for my mother, who recently booked a trip to Germany in order to cross the Geierlay, Germany’s highest suspension bridge. Not only did she finally make plans, she is going to cross it while being extremely afraid of heights (and I brutally asked for a picture, too!).
I am very proud of her already, even though her trip is not until next week, and will burn this electronic candle (as well as a real one) to send her extra courage and strength :)
Who will you burn this month’s candle for?
“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:
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!
Answer their questions
- 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 :)
- 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 :)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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 :)
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!
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!
As April comes to an end it’s time to light a few more (digital) candles for those in need of our love, attention and prayers.
I’d like to dedicate April’s candle to, again, my sister and brother-in-law, as I got news yesterday their unborn has been given up. I cannot imagine their grief (I can barely understand my own), so this one is for them.
I also light this candle for my mother, who took a stand during her yearly post-cancer check-up and demanded a blood test, which indicated there’s maybe something wrong with her liver as well as her bone density.
I cannot take any more bad news, I think I’ve grown quite allergic to it, so I also – selfishly – light this candle for myself. The little mountain inhabitant in the video below perfectly describes how I feel inside.
Take care everyone, and let’s light some candles together to burn the last few hours of April down with love!
Who do you dedicate this month’s candle to?
Due to incredible busy-ness I have to take a step down from blogging. Which is just a fancy way of saying I have no idea how to stick to my own blogging schedule at the moment. I am experimenting a bit with what works for me, so please bear with me while I figure things out :)
(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! :)