2016 -> 2017

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It’s almost that time of the year – another 12 months have passed, and everyone seems to be writing down their goals for 2017! Looking back at 2016, I am proud and happy to say that it’s been well to me. Or better say, I’ve done good. I surely could have done things better, put more effort into certain things and by far life isn’t perfect. But is it ever? I think it is most important to appreciate what you have; rather than being upset about the things you don’t. There is so much evil in the world, and when we look around and read the news, there is always someone that is better off – or even worse than us. Comparing oneself is what makes most people upset about their own situations. Look at social media. Instagram, for example. It’s a blessing and curse by itself. We compare each other on it, we look to those that have more followers than we do ourselves and it seems everyone is constantly smiling and happy. Of course, this is not the reality. And thus, it is important to keep certain things in mind: to appreciate what you have, to accept whom you are, to compare ourselves less to stories that only show a part of the person’s life.

In the end, of course, I cannot lie. I too look at Instagram, at certain influencers, and admire their work. Yet, never has it filled my heart with hatred. Never have I compared myself to a point where it made me unhappy with myself. Rather, I get inspired by influencers. I look up to achievements they have made. And I work on my own goals and see if there is anything I must change to achieve those. For 2017, I want to continue my journey. I want to find myself. I want to finish my studies and perhaps start something new. I want to live my life and not regret it after 12 months thinking I should have done something different or taken a different decision. I want to live 2017 to the fullest. Where to start and how you ask?

Breathe

I love doing a million things at once and working simultaneously on different projects. My agenda fills fast, yet I always find time to squeeze in one more thing. Therefore, downtime, and taking the time to breathe, is utmost important. I’ve started this already, just taking the time off in the evening and not reading my emails after a certain time if not needed. Taking time for oneself is so important – yet we tend to often forget ourselves and place others in front of us. Taking time for ourselves can be as simple as lying down and shutting our eyes for 10 minutes, reading a magazine, taking a short walk in the fresh air, or sipping on hot chocolate whilst watching the flames at the fireplace.

Standout

From my own experience, I know that it’s easiest to stay in one’s comfort zone. I do it all the time. I wear black because it’s easy, its sophisticated, it’s nice, it goes with everything. As easy as it is, it’s no surprise that you might fall behind and not be noticed in the crowd. If you don’t want attention – perfect fit. Standing out, however, doesn’t need to be attention-seeking. It’s being noticed. It’s being confident. It’s showing character. Wearing black works in that combination – but then the attitude should show. Wear red lipstick and heels if needed. Or go for a completely new look: wear pink (or whatever you fancy)! Of course, whatever you choose, do it for yourself and remember, never do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.

Say Yes, say No

There are some that say yes to everything. Do you have time to help with this project? Yes. Do you mind adding these items to your list? No. Can you help me? Of course. I tend to do it all the time. I tend to take on more projects than my agenda fits. I help friends when I don’t know how to fit it in. I work my ass off to help others, and forget my own free time. In these situations, saying know must be learned. It’s okay to say no and to put yourself in front of others. That is, from time to time. Likewise, one should not say no all the time and be surprised that no one ever comes back again to ask for help or to hang out. Finding the right balance between a yes and no is critical in today’s, fast-pacing world.

Laugh

Laughing is healthy. Yes, it causes wrinkles around your mouth and in your face. But really? Isn’t it something great? For one, no one should be afraid of “getting older”. Secondly, laughing is one of the things that keeps you young – in my opinion. Being able to laugh at yourself in situations you funnily messed up or laughing with (not at) others is so important. It keeps us alive. Sadly, many of us are constantly worried and barely ever laugh. I once read that laughing can be practiced and if you fake-laugh hard enough and a couple of times, real endorphins (the happy hormones) are released and you will start laughing. Perhaps give that a try!

Appreciate the moment

We live such fast-paced lives. I do too! We run errands from A to B, have one million projects going on, some of us have children, and it seems there are never enough hours in a day. Instead of looking at our watches constantly and worrying all the time that we will miss out on the next big thing, it is important to just appreciate the moment. Be it the five-minute break you are taking with your coffee during work hours: appreciate it. The short call your friend gives you only to say she’s in a hurry but thought of you: appreciate it – she took the time to call you. Of course, we cannot stop time and sometimes there is just too much to do. Yet, (almost) everything can be done with the help of a little time-management. Adding in a few extra minutes to just enjoy the moment won’t cost you anything!

Give back

Life is all about giving and taking – in my opinion. I love giving. I love making people happy and seeing a smile on their faces. That doesn’t mean you must buy them presents all the time or even spend money at all. It can be as simple as a compliment that you love their outfit, that you noticed their happiness or simple that you enjoy their presence. It can be a handwritten note that lets them know you appreciate the extra effort they have put into helping you with a project or a text message saying you can’t wait to see them later that day. Your co-worker brings you that coffee every morning? Why not bring him or her a treat the next time you walk past their desk or invite them out for a lunch. It’s often the simplest thing that we forget – yet they are often so appreciated by others. They might not show it immediately, but perhaps they have something else to give another day. Lastly, never forget to thank with a smile. Personally, I think that is often rewarding enough for me.

With that – I wish you all a Happy New Year and an amazing 2017!

Merry Christmas!

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On this oh-so-special day, I want to wish everyone (to those celebrating) a Merry Christmas! For some it may not be as spectacular anymore as we remember it back from our childhoods. Honestly, I feel its changed much in the last couple of years. This year I am in Malta, visiting my family. Although I love visiting them, and I enjoy the sun and rather warm temperatures during the day – it’s far from feeling Christmas-y. Nevertheless, we decided to not stress ourselves this year, just go with the flow, enjoy the quality time with the family, loved ones, and friends. We had friends over for a big lunch and are keeping dinner rather small and not so fatty (the body will thank!). Perhaps we will start opening up some presents tonight, maybe continue tomorrow. This year it’s really all about not stressing and enjoying the time off. It feels so nice to be able to sleep in and not worry about the business or anything else other than when it’s time to eat, sleep or go for a walk (with the dog)! With that, I wish everyone happy holidays and joyful, continuing weekend!

Paradise

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Who would have thought that such a little island, in the middle of “nowhere”, can offer oh-so-much! I landed in Grand Cayman Monday evening and fell in love with it ever since. I am lucky enough to have come here thanks to my work. The main reason for me was to meet the team (we have an office here) and then I also tried to arrange some meetings. I can seriously say – and am proud in doing so – that I have the sweetest, most welcoming, and heartwarming colleagues one could ask for. One of them has been picking me up every morning, brought me back to the hotel every evening, and the week went by way too fast. I am lucky enough to waking up every morning and loving what I do. Not once did I drag myself to work in the past years thinking this is not what I enjoy (although I might be a bit cranky if I don’t sleep enough haha). The team has taken me out to lunch every day, took me out to dinners and drinks daily (alright, I really need to watch my diet again now..) and not once did I spend an evening alone at the hotel. Another colleague actually came over from the States to visit (and in liking to pretend it was for me), I now know most people I work with on the regular (previously via email and the likes).

Whilst the week has been filled with work and started usually at 4.30 in the morning (jetlag joys!) and ended rather early (10pm), I have taken off Monday & Tuesday to enjoy the island a little more. One of my colleagues (if you read this, another big THANK YOU) shares my passion for diving and has been organizing this weekend for me. Whilst living here means one can go dive every weekend (or day..), it was on the top of my to-do list as I rarely find time. Today was finally the day and we started nice and early at 8.30 to go for two dives. Both were from a boat – one dive being a little deeper (around 30m), and one in more shallow waters (maybe 15-20m). Tomorrow I want to explore a little more so I am crossing all fingers that the weather plays with us. It’s hurricane season here and although the beginning of the week was perfect, we’ve had quite a bit of rainfall the past days. We were lucky with the weather today as it stayed dry most of the day and only just started pouring in the late evening. What I did learn however, it might pour majorly in one area, and a 10 min drive away, the sun is out.

Here are some of my first impressions of the hotel and my first sunrise walk (I try to go to the beach daily if possible in mornings). The colors of the ocean are insane – the most beautiful blue and turquoise shades possible! Now I beg you all to cross fingers for me for the upcoming days regarding the weather. Wednesday I’m off to Miami (also business – though off on Saturday) and the days are passing faster than I would have hoped. Over and over again, I thank life for what opportunities are given to me – especially when being able to travel around so much. Yet, as much as I love what I do and am able to experience, I am already looking forward to going home and spending some quality time with my loved ones (and sleeping in my own bed!).

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Weekend Mode

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SundayFunday! Yesterday I went to the pop-up gallery opening of a friends’ sister – whom showed and is selling antique art and objects here in Zurich. The pieces are stunning and I would have loved to take some home with me! Sadly, they are a little over my budget of what I should/can spend. Nevertheless, if you are in Zurich you should definetely check it out here. After a calm dinner at home I got ready to go and meet some girls – so we went to Taos here in Zurich. A great lounge/bar with one of my favorite DJs – he’s a bit older but such a sweetheart and always playing great beats! I then joined over to the club but didn’t stay long and got home shortly after 1am – boring, I know!

This morning I started of easy and calm. I had my breakfast in bed and looked through all the social media stuff, checked out some of my favorite blogs and then started cooking at around noon. I just had this super simple (again) but yummy lunch; consisting of an omlette (2 egg whites & 1 egg, spinach, 1 onion, leek and some mushrooms on the side). A super busy Sunday ;) just how I like it. Sadly though I still need to work on some uni projects, so that will be most of my afternoon and early evening. I also need to iron some clothes so I might do that in front of the TV tonight. I am so excited to finish this uni course at the beginning of October and finally have a bit more me- and social-time (and even more so once I am done with this Masters for good hopefully early/mid next year). I’ve missed it! How’s your weekend been?

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I scream for Ice cream

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It is hot (!) outside. We currently have 33°C in the shade in Zurich today and you can’t imagine the heat in the office. Although it feels “cool” when coming into the rooms, it also gets warm after a while. And of course, it is even hotter outside. Today was a long day – I had a meeting that took well over 5hours; though thankfully it went well. Now I just packed my things together, will leave the office and go to the pool for a swim. It’s so relaxing and refreshing – yet it feels like the water is ice-cold compared to the temperatures outside haha. I also had the most delicious banana ice-cream the other day with my bestie (bought in front of Globus) – and I am really craving another one. The heat is the perfect excuse, so I might jump on the bike after and get myself one. Seriously though, if you are ever in Zurich, try this ice-cream. And make sure to try the banana one. I haven’t tried any others to be honest (most are not lactose free), but this one is insanely good. And I am very, very picky when it comes to my sweets. Quite frankly, I am not the biggest ice-cream lover out there – but this one got me totally hooked!
Tonight will be, sadly again, all about studying. Thankfully, it’s my last night before I have two weeks off of uni – means, I will finally be able to enjoy the weather. If it stays well – so cross fingers! xo