Monday, August 27, 2018

Black Hole. The Weekend Edition

Most Friday afternoons I have three million (slight exaggeration) plans for the weekend and am pretty confident that they'll all fit in, because, you know, it's a whole weekend. Somehow, "weekend" seems like this endless time unit containing way more than just 48 hours. 
By Saturday evening, I often realise that some of those projects might not get done, but, hey, there's still Sunday (with its 50 or so supposed hours...). By Sunday afternoon, I realise that I might have been a little too ambitious again, but, hey, it has been a good weekend all the same and I got a lot of things done. In fact, a whole lot. Case in point: this past weekend: Saturday: made a smoothie for breakfast,  read Friday's newspaper, went grocery shopping, did laundry, had a massage followed by lunch and coffee with a friend, cleared out invoices, insurance policies and other files, mended some beach towels, made peanut and almond butter, polished silver necklaces, watched a film on Netflix. Saturday: made a smoothie again, baked a cake, cooked lunch, did some more laundry, went to the pool for a quick swim, cleared out some more stuff, watched YouTube and Instagram Stories, wrote this blogpost, edited a film on iMovie for a work project and read a magazine. Not that bad and unproductive, but still, I missed at least 20 extra hours I had mistakenly counted into my weekend-calculations. Sounds familiar?

Monday, August 20, 2018

Who Would Have Thought

...that I would attend the wedding of my former boss (like I did this past Saturday) and have a great time. If you had asked me eleven years ago, when I had only just started at the Firm, I would have thought that very unlikely. Without exaggeration he instilled me with terror and for the longest time, I was convinced that he downright hated me and was out to expose my supposed stupidity. I found it very hard to believe that he had lobbied to get me hired and must have seen some kind of potential in me. For me, he was a bad-tempered bully who was looking for a victim to offload his own pressure and insecurity on and for lack of many more candidates (for the longest time the Vienna office literally only consisted of a handful of employees) that victim was me. There were many evenings when I sat at home crying, regretting ever having made the move and left my comfortable, if boring and unchallenging, job at Coma HQ. The main reason why I was so unhappy those first months was a big dose of imposter syndrome and he only contributed to that, constantly making remarks that suggested I was clueless and slow at what I was doing. Back then, spending time with him voluntarily outside work would have sounded about as appealing as a two-hour-session on a dentist's chair. 
Gradually, I lost my fear and discovered that he did not in fact despise me, but actually valued me both as a person and team-member. Several legendary road trips in his Porsche convertible to clients in Graz and Salzburg contributed to the ice breaking and getting to know one another better. We never lost touch despite working in different countries for the past 6 years and he is usually the first person to wish me a happy birthday, no matter what time-zone he might be in. Together with the Empress who I also found scary at first, we also share a near-death experience on a snowy mountain in Tyrol. In a nutshell, the horrible boss has long become a friendly "big brother" figure that I shared many funny and sad moments with and I feel honoured that he invited me to celebrate his special day with him and his new wife...whom I am still struggling to find a wavelength with. Given my track-record of (mis)judging people based on my first impressions, I am quite optimistic this is doable, though.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Just chilling

Last week, when I was still in Nice, I counted how many times I had already visited with la Mademoiselle (and in recent years, more friends): 9 times, including this last visit. Wow! This means next year I'll celebrate my tenth anniversary, provided our landlady will have us again and all people involved will be in good health. Whether I want to visit again, is not a question: I certainly do! One year, Mademoiselle and I skipped Nice and we both missed it. 
I guess it's the reassurance of familiarity ("same procedure as every year") sprinkled with the right dose of new adventures (this year: a daytrip to Marseille, which was super hot, but lovely) that makes me want to return year after year.
This time, though, these stones on the beach felt a lot spikier and uncomfortable to decrepit old me and sparked a DIY project in my head: creating the perfect padded, portable beach matress for 2019. Well...350ish days to create that prototype!

Monday, August 06, 2018


(image borrowed from Images)
When you are reading this, I will be on vacation. Yay. For once, I feel I have really earned  my time off and had been looking forward to taking time off work. Don't get me wrong, I was not stress beyond belief and still managed to go swimming after work when the sun is still out, but I did have plenty of things to do at the same time and was (am!) involved in several projects that had a lot of visibility and urgency. Having ticked off all tasks from my to-do list really feels like an accomplishment and it is great to announce in your out-of-office reply that your laptop and work mobile will chill at home, taking a break from you. Despite a gazillion of weekend trips that definitely won't be repeated at the same pace and frequency next year, this is the first longer vacation I am taking this year and it just feels GREAT!
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