2020 Readings // The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

After changing so many topics and crossing some more days in the calendar during my holiday at home, I am happy to have used my time with a purpose and finished a new book – The Midnight Library. This was quite unexpected, as I was not looking for this type of topics and this author in particular.

I am happy to have run into his book and have let myself get captivated by his imaginary universe. Matt Haig places Nora into a depressive episode of her life, when nothing made sense for her anymore and she didn’t feel like succeeding in anything of her life – private and professionally. Her cat died, she feels lost and unsuccessful, lives on anti-depressives and has no energy to carry on or fight for something better.

Overwhelmed with regrets and ready to give up to everything, she finds a midnight library on the street where the time is stuck. Together with the help of the librarian, Mrs. Elm, she gets a glimpse of all the lives she is living in parallel and the different outcomes her decisions had. By opening a new book, she immediately got into her new life, happening somewhere in the universe, having a different job, partner, siblings, pet and being either famous or solitary.

She tries all the options she has in the library, thus discovering that her actual regrets do not make sense, as it depends on every other person how things develop further and not solely on ourself and our own choices. At the end of this night when she understood that there is no perfect life and only compromises and our inner approach on what is happening, the library burns in flames and she manages to rescue herself by writing down during the fire I AM ALIVE.

This is how she came back to her actual life, with a more open heart and willing to fight for what is left there and be present. She is happy her brother is alive (as she saw him dead in other lives already) and manages to recover after the overdose she took before stopping into the Midnight Library. An interesting book, with different possibilities and unexpected outcomes, as well as a nice and open dialogue Nora has with herself and the others around her. Matt Haig is a great Connaisseur of human psychology and touches every small detail in dealing with life crises and life lessons.

The Advent Challenge // Mönchsberg Lauf

Reprezentativ

As Christmas is slowly approaching and this year has been for almost everyone a pure waste of time and opportunities, while also a long time to rest, wait, self-reflect and keep calm, we have thought together with my dear neighbour Nada Vasic to use the long time to rest and wait that we were offered by the authorities in order to create some morning routines, refresh our spirit, start the day with the right mindset and collect some money for a good cause.

Therefore, as of 1st of December until 24th of December, at 6.30 in the morning, Nada, myself and some of her friends have committed to keep the habit and go on a small mountain next to our building called Mönchsberg for a run/walk/call it visit if you want. We tried to cover Mönchsberg from different sides and enjoyed some very beautiful sunrises under the Salzburg Sky. Until 24th the invitation is open to anyone would like to join – please text me and I will put you in touch with Nada.

During this decade of days, we’ve managed to hold this habit and stay consistent in what we have aligned. I tried to join every day, except for 2 occasions when I had to rest. With this daily effort and Nada’s energy and determination, we have already achieved together 50% of the challenge and in parallel have collected some money. Nada will continue running while I will be flying home for holidays. The invitation to join her and help her collect money for this cause is still open and if you need more info please do not hesitate to contact me. If you would just want to donate money I will provide you with her bank account. I will also provide you with a proof of your contribution, as Nada will publicly release a list with the names of all the participants upon the donation.

Location: Mönchsberg

Time 6.30 a.m.

Duration: 1h

Activities: Running/Walking/Jogging/Talking

Every participant that joined Nada at least once had to pay 10€. The collected sum will be on the 25th of December donated to a charity in Salzburg that aims to help kids with skin problems.

On this occasion, I would like to thank Nada for her determination and consistency, great spirit and proven commitment to keep up with her goals. It is hard to meet such serious people who dare to have initiatives and stay consistent until the very last step.

More information about the charity where the money will arrive, here:

https://www.eb-haus.org/ueber-uns/eb-haus-news/2020/was-ist-ein-schmetterlingskind-anschaulich-erklaert/

Anchor yourself while the unexpected happens.

Reprezentativ

When things get out of your control…

When they just happen…

When the impossible becomes possible…

When the lockers are set on the doors how do you handle the mess inside?

How do you hold on and adapt during a journey that started and it’s still far away from the final destination?

There is always that pillar of support which keeps you on the surface no matter what. Or there should be something which always worked out. Something that brings you joy, makes you feel free and releases the pressure. That pressure which has no factor you could connect it with, but which feels strong on your shoulders.

The more time you spend with yourself the more true you become to yourself. Now, the more isolated you are, the harder the confrontation. Your positive and negative sides come into the game, your undiscovered skills easily open the door of your life, whereas the negative ones are clumsily coming into the room like kids who need their parents because they had nightmares.

Call it maybe multiple sides of your personalities. But still you cannot help it but acknowledge that living in the unknown is a challenge for most of us. It comes with questions about every single detail of our life and the worst is you cannot do anything to stop such questions flourishing. They come uninvited as if you organised a casting for them.

Here’s the antidote therefore. The anchor. That thing which keeps you going. It can be your favourite movie which puts you in a good and optimistic mood. It can be a role model who talks about overcoming difficulties and making the best out of it. It could be the voice of your best friend or the silly mind of one of your siblings. It can be your favourite dress. Your beloved shoes or your watch.

It can be a topic you’ve always been fascinated of. It can be a walk on a mountain, a call with your best friend, a blog, a project or maximum solitude. Removing all the noise because you don’t need unnecessary stressful and noisy factors around you. Maybe that’s your anchor. Yourself only and your own silence so that you can find ‘The Solutions’.

Set goals while crossing days.

Reprezentativ

Since the quarantine or the lockdown (call it as you feel) gets longer and longer and you are just a human, maybe it’s time to turn this unexpected historical context into a challenge and go deeper than just crossing the days in the calendar and working. In general, it turns one month to create new habits. I mean you need to be consistent for one month to learn a new habit and hope you will not give it up as soon as the restaurants are open.

Since not everyone was born over-motivated, some of us need to be more disciplined and persistent in order to get something done step by step, day by day. A plan or an idea always helps to define some shapes.

Today I want to talk about the things, projects, ideas that I hope to get done by the end of the quarantine. I would like to talk about personal goals, as this excites me and puts me into something. Keeps me busy and helps me sleep better. It puts things into perspective. It shows a ray of light at the end of the tunnel. It shows a beginning and an end. And a journey in between. A journey in your own flat with your own resources. No coaching or mentoring.

I would like to talk about doing things differently, but still getting them done. If I’m not over-motivated, I would like to go through the following points of interest:

  • Learn 5 new different recipes – maybe something Italian, something Spanish and something French. Already cooked asparagus on my own and learned to combine Aperol with white whine.
  • Start practicing yoga. Twice a week is already an experiment.
  • Watch a season from a TV show I`m interested in – I’m currently watching a Start up Pitch TV Show, 2 mio 2 min. it’s always good to know what is on the market while keeping a rational head. https://www.puls4.com/2-minuten-2-millionen/staffel-3
  • Read a book until the end. I am currently reading a book about the new financial crisis. Good to know what might happen. I personally didn’t see corona coming to Salzburg.

I would to use this time to find new passions. To nurture interests which have neglected because I thought learning German is the only way.

I`m confident we’ve been given this time which is anyhow limited with a purpose. It will end. Everything ends. Just like university ends. Just like an old job comes to an end because you get another offer. Everything has its own time and maybe the lesson is to use that time with a purpose, knowing there is a deadline out there.

Which habits would you rather adopt other than sitting on the couch and working all day long?

Tell me about your goals. Find them, please. It’s gonna be a long journey and we’re only in the middle of the third week.

How to Carpe Diem during Isolation

We all know that we’ve been chosen by some-special-forces to be where we are and now to stay where we are, namely home, and do what we have to do, namely wait. Because something is going to change and change requires different circumstances. Maybe it`s growth.

It could have been our grandparents, our grandchildren, with a bit of luck it could have stayed only with our ancestors and still… here we are… chosen to face it. Did anyone ask us? No. Would we have chosen the 2nd option? Was there ever a 2nd option? Why did it have to come in 2020? Why not 10 years later? Why did it come at all?

Being confronted with weeks of isolation, having to cancel a holiday, a date, several dates, reducing your chances to change your life to 0 if not even making it worse, listening to your thoughts 24/7 and living with uncertainty about what tomorrow might bring. Lovely and comfortable, right? All within your flat. Or with your family. Totally blocked. No open door, because outside awaits the virus.

And if this crisis happened to come right when you were just about to set up your feet in another direction… Just stay where you are. Corona is more important now. We are living in times of a worldwide Pandemie. Put your life on hold and try to stay alive until this wave it`s over. And don`t get crazy inside, on the contrary, look deeper into yourself, become friends with yourself and save your own self during this test of patience and consistency.

The concept of Carpe Diem during isolation goes back a few years ago, when I was planning to set up a blog about travelling and discovering the world, looking at the bright side of life and having a well-proportioned work-life-balance. I wanted to show how important and beneficial it is to go out and explore, meet new people and connect, dive deep and challenge the status quo. I wanted to give a reason to see diversity and the intercultural picture as a must before you settle. Or as a chance to make your DNA better that what you`ve inherited.

I am now back on the same blog, after another long break of maybe almost one year, with the same topic – enjoy life and make the best out of it! Isolation was definitely never an option for me and all the time when I was under these circumstances (in different context) I was under-developing.

I developed fears, convictions about the world, I narrowed my horizons and started to think I know exactly what comes next due to my very high-qualitative personal filter. Of course intuition is always a woman`s strongest weapon, but this combined with isolation might take you into the wrong direction. And it takes time and experience to see what consequences it leaves.

This is why I know that in order to deal with the inevitable isolation and stay safe, you need to use the isolation as a reason to focus on the inside and explore what hasn`t been considered because of other more important topics. You can deep dive into your strengths, passions, you can experiment with the furniture in your flat, try new recipes and make yourself some cocktails.

You can dance like crazy and call all your friends, you can explore the world from far away, plan your lifetime holidays and learn a new language. You can clean your flat 5 times per day and go shopping for avocado every day or you can try to listen to your mind… it will speak louder and louder day by day. It is when you are isolated that all your ignored topics come to surface because there is nothing else to cover them anymore.

There is no more stress, there is silence, you sleep better, your body rests more, you start thinking, you start thinking again, you take yourself seriously, you question the WHYs and the WHY NOTs and just like nature, which now gets a chance to breathe as well, the circle, your circle gets closed…

I would be curious to know how do you Carpe Diem during isolation? Do you even know how to have a good time? It took me two weeks already till I finally re-started writing…

Easy trip on a sunny Sunday.

Reprezentativ

In a nutshell, Austria can be best defined by mountains and lakes. And schnitzel and many dialects. 🙂

Living in Salzburg comes with a couple of advantages. One of them is the very developed touristic offer. No surprise it is such an expensive city, but if your time allows you and you are flexible enough, there are three lakes to visit/reach by car/bus in a couple of hours:

  1. Fuschl am See

It takes less than 20 minutes to drive there, the lake is very nice and there is a very cosy coffee place I would warmly recommend – Coffee Schlick. During summer time you can also stay by the river and get tanned or just go by boat over the lake, as the waters are calm.

If you are a sporty person and like to do spend some time in the middle of the nature while burning some calories, then for sure at Fuschl am See you can give yourself such a treat.

You can walk along the lake and do a complete circle – the so-called Wanderung – there are peaks and lows indeed, but it is doable for everyone.

If you are curious to find out something new, then please be informed that the Redbull Headquarters are located there and if you want to immerse yourself in the brand´s world, you are free to walk around the office buildings – you can even get free WIFI.

  • Wolfgang See

I like this lake the most because of the artificial fountain and because of the perfect combination of lake and mountains. It is quite popular, there is a cable car driving on top of the mountain if you want to see a panoramic view and there are a couple of restaurants and shops that are worth visiting. The houses in the city center are nicely painted, according to the traditional culture of course and some of the messages remain in your head for some time… this is how you learn some more German.

The place itself has a good vibe, you can walk in the park behind the lake or go on a cruise – I did not have the chance to try the cruise yet, but I am confident that it will come soon…

  • Mondsee

Mondsee is not as sophisticated as the previous two lakes, in the sense that it doesn´t look too much like a resort to stay overnight and have some services included, but it´s nice for the view (again mountains and lakes), for its two-towers church and the promenade along the lake. As it is close to the other three lakes, it makes sense to walk the extra-mile. During summer time it is a nice place to consider for a hike as well, but I might tell you about it in a different post.

How often do you go away from your town?

Question your fear until you defeat it!

Reprezentativ

This post is for real fighters. For people who know what they want from life. For people who are not afraid to follow their dreams and regardless of any losses, move forward. This post is about ambition, self-fulfillment and commitment. This is not intended to classify any of us in winners or losers. As long as you keep looking for alternatives to your issue, you’re still in the circle.

Have you ever embraced change? Have you ever asked yourself what it would be if starting from tomorrow you will wake up in a different city, have a different job, make new friends and speak a different language? Have you ever felt homesick? Have you ever wanted to be surrounded by strangers, just to listen to yourself and focus on the present? If yes, then you can continue reading my words. Otherwise, please stop here and return to your routines – you are wasting your time.

bryant-mcgill-ending-new-beginning-7twa

Whoever made a change in their lives at least once knows that there comes a moment when change calls again and despite everything you simply cannot fight it. I mean, you can fight it but you’ll only end up consuming your resources. And in the end, you will make that change, because it’s normal. Because it’s part of your DNA and because it defines you as a human being and without that feature you would simply stop being yourself. It’s something that will open you new doors all the time but will also ask you to face your biggest fears – the fear of losing it all!

So what if you lose it all? Did you ever have anything? What defines you? … Do you trust your instinct, your intuition, your abilities, your knowledge, your RESILIENCE? If you ever made a change in your life you know what RESILIENCE feels like, if not, again, please exit from this blog.

How does uncertainty feel on your skin? Do you like it, does it bother you, does it excite you? How about satisfaction? Do you feel more satisfied after having tried your best and eventually managed to achieve your goals or you feel more comfortable sitting in the same warm corner and dreaming about what you could do if only you wanted to? I like warm corners, I do, but I can’t stand them for too long. They make me feel old. They make me feel powerless. They make me forget where my strengths come from.

How about the fear of failure? How do you cope with that? Did you ever approach it or you always tried to avoid it because, once again, the warm corner knows nothing about failure? Do you feel yourself when the fear of failure lies under your skin? Do you ever practice introspection? Did you ever fight your fear of failure? How often do you fight your fears? Are you aware of how afraid you might be sometimes? The more changes one makes the bigger is the fear of failure or is it less or almost inexistent? Does it make you feel more responsible, brings you more mindfulness or distances you from yourself?

 

 

The equation of courage and fear

Reprezentativ

Steve Jobs once said…

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

tumblr_m0orirboVn1rpjhqvo1_400

The younger we are, the less we know about courage. But the younger we are, the greater our courage. We could make miracles with our dosis of enthusiasm, energy and power to start over everytime life asks us to. Or anytime we think we need a new story to live in. Because we are young. And because we can. And because we want. And because we don’t fear about the future.

One truly knows what courage really is and how far can go in order to make his/her dreams come true only when faced with difficulties. With conflicts. With things that are not right and should be changed but can’t. With different life expectations. With bigger dreams. One discovers what couragge is when feeling the fear running through his/her veins and still confronts it. When crying from morning till dawn and still feeling alive.

Because courage is not only about pretending and finding the right words to speak on oneself, it is not about showing off personal achievements and calling for appreciation, it is about CHOICE, COMMITMENT and CONSEQUENCES that sometimes might be harmful for a short period of time. But everything comes with a cost.

But what do we know about couragge? Is there a courageous culture that could express the highest virtues or it is something that exists in each one of us, except that some prefer to hide it while others cannot live without expressing it?

It’s not easy making steps. Choosing. Accepting critics as a consequence of others’ fears and confortable lifestyles. But once you’ve had the courage to make some steps, create your own choices and ignore people’s voice, life will reward you with other scenarios. It’s not going to be easy. But in time, the effects will help you be more self-confident and will offer you a better analysis over your strenghts, despite difficult situations that will always occur. And you will be able to make further choices because you’ve already experimented others and have successfully survived.

Try. Even if you fail, you will learn. You will evolve. As long as you are young, you have the right to experiment, look for ideas, implement them, ask for advice and grow up.10668_594529743914928_2020192495_n

This post is addressed to those that are not sure yet about what to do and fear about the future.