Monday, October 28, 2019

1995 Revisited

When this post goes live, I will hopefully have arrived safe and sound in Australia, somewhat recovered from jetlag. I planned this trip with Chiquita months ago when Highflyer was not on the horizon. As the trip got closer, so did my dread of being separated for 17 long days from him. Yes, absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that, but, seriously, my fondness-level is off the scale already and I don't need any trials to prove that. At the same time, I was looking forward to the trip.
I was reminded of my US/Canada roadtrip with my Mum in 1995. I had just got together with Mr. TD and was madly in love. The other people on our 3-weeks-trip were a family friend and her teenage daughter, who had met her first boyfriend only weeks before and was in a sulking love-sick state all of our trip. Myself, I lived for payphones that accepted VISA cards. Every few days I would make expensive calls to Mr. TD's parents' landline in Istanbul. More was not affordable on a student budget and even that was more than our teenage travel companion had to work with and I think she kind of hated me for the advantage I had over her. When I was not talking to him on the phone, I felt this visceral longing for my boyfriend that had me counting the days until our reunion, but at the same time made me feel guilty for not fully appreciating this once-in-a-lifetime trip, a generous gift of my parents. This time round, I paid for everything myself, but I still feel I owe it to myself and even more so, my travel companion, to enjoy the moment...which I will!
Even so, I know I'll defintely be counting the days until our (hopefully happy) reunion in Vienna.

Monday, October 21, 2019


My company is a rather traditionally Austrian one that has been around for quite some time and its average employee is male and in his late forties. This context means that a lot of people are parents who choose to take their annual leave during school holidays. This also means that it's VERY quiet during the summer months and the office is virtually deserted around Easter and in the first week of January. It is almost expected that everyone takes their leave during those peak times and so, even if you are in the privileged position not to have to travel abroad when prices are highest because *everyone* wants to take their vacation due to being tied to more or less the same school schedules, it's a hard-earned perk as you always need to justify yourself. There have been countless times when I was the party pooper who raised her hand to say that, yes, it was in fact a problem for ME attend that team event "after the summer holiday season when everyone is back". Like people who work part-time, us exotic birds who dare take vacations at "odd times" always need to explain themselves and learn to ignore remarks like "What a pity, that time/date would have worked for everyone if XY had been there as well." Well, yours truly is looking forward to her BIG summer (but in the Southern hemisphere!) vacation later this week and does not have the tiniest sliver of a bad conscience for being so EXTRA. See you!

Monday, October 14, 2019


Last week, I attended a two-day team offsite. One central topic was a pending reorganisation of our team and there were a lot of open questions as well as tension and scepticism. Each feedback round initiated by the facilitators revealed that (the majority of) people wanted more structure and clarity. It really was interesting for me to observe as I did not share these sentiments at all. I don't know if it is due to the fact that my priorities are even less at work at the moment than they usually are, or it is because I used to work in an environment that was waaay more fast-paced, where I experienced more reorgs than I can remember. Be that as it may, I felt like the odd one out (as I often do) and almost a little ashamed of my "couldn't-care-less" attitude. I'm not quite certain if it is a manifestation of that "adaptability" strength that I apparently have, or just shows that I am more superficial and shallow than I would like to admit. Be that as it may, I do think that I actually thrive and perform better when I don't know all the details and there are certain blank spots that I get to fill myself. 
In my private life, while I value spontaneity and (happy) surprises, I definitely don't enjoy uncertainty to the same degree...quite the opposite!

Monday, October 07, 2019

So Happy for You!

This was probably the one sentence I have heard most often in the past few weeks when I told friends and family about my recent change in relationship status. Many, but not all of them knew the full extent of the ups and downs (mostly the latter) of recent years and wanted to let me know they thought it was only fair that I got "rewarded" by experiencing Nice & Normal for a change. It really, really makes me happy that my friends seem genuinely happy for me! Obviously, I wish all of them the very best, too and always articulate it when the occasion arises, but it feels so nice to be on the receiving end of this and be reminded that, yep, it can be so easy and you deserve it.
Which brings me to the fact that I obviously am less good a friend to myself that the others are as I still occasionally catch myself veering towards panic mode and wondering whether I ought to stay alert and not allow myself to believe that "all's good" since that only ever happens to other people. The rational part of me knows of course that nobody is guaranteed their happy ending and everyone's trust can be betrayed, but whether they enjoy the moment or not is in their hands. So, cheers to myself!
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