Crazy busy or just crazy?

September 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

I’ve just come back from an almost-all week of business travel and the to-dos are piling on my desk and in my house. The project this week went unexpectedly well, partly because of lessons learned, and partly due to my very low expectations. What I mean is not that I project negative scenarios, but I just don’t get my hopes up anymore and instead, I wait to see what happens and calibrate my reaction.
Turns out humility is important in life after all.

Another lesson learned is that productivity bears productivity and … inefficiency. Let me explain. For most of us to do lists never really finish. A hundred different things beg our attention every moment. On top of that, our mind seems to have a life and voice of its own. The more you do, the more you do. But at some point you just can’t do it anymore, or your work falls below the expected standards.
So I’m afraid as much as you want it, you can’t really have everything in life at once.
Constantly busy, constantly stressed, incessantly looking for the next gig, the next goal that sends your adrenaline spiking. Until you fall. You get really ill or someone close dies or your wife leaves you because you are never there for her, or you realise you are a stranger to your own kids. Or you simply get fired – yes, from the job you gave your blood, sweat and tears to.

It seems to be there is this huge pressure to take more on, to perform better and faster, to expand yourself, to travel all over the world and excel at every aspect of your life. How do you stay on top of everything? You just don’t.

See, I am lucky to be living with a boyfriend who is, much in the same vein as me, moderate about keeping the house clean and having a well stocked fridge and pantry. When we’re not working, our priority is to relax and rest. We don’t have kids yet, and even in this context the pressure is sometimes so big I feel I’m going to crack. And why? Well, because I have super high expectations about everything – myself, my environment, life. And that is the worst thing you can do. Life is full of unexpected and unpredictable events and you are a bit nevrotic if think things are always gonna go your way; fact of the matter is we have little control over life. Attention all control-freaks out there (myself included!).

What to do, what to do? My plan is to do the best I can, moment by moment. When it doesn’t work out anymore, I’m going to stop and reflect instead of punching myself. I am really going to try giving myself a break and wait a minute before reacting. And maybe hardest of all, I will let go of my expectations that I can be productive 24/7 (and not be disappointed when I fail at that).
You see, you simply can not make everyone love you ; someone will always be disappointed at you. And that’s OK, as long as you hold on to yourself.

Halatul de baie si zilele binecuvantate

September 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

P1040184Fac o pauza in dosarul meu despre hipersensibilitate, ca sa povestesc despre… viata.

16 Septembrie 2013 – o zi irepetabila, asa cum sunt toate. Ma trezesc inainte sa sune ceasurile (da, setez alarma pe doua ceasuri, ca sa fiu sigura ca ma si trezesc) si sunt mandra de mine. Cat fierbe cafeaua ma inconjor cu cel mai moale si calduros halat de baie. In cateva ore o sa plec, lasand in urma o casuta care imi e tare draga. E o dimineata cu lumina vanata si frig strapunzator. Privesc geamantanul desfacut si lumanarile care au palpait ieri toata ziua. Ma scutur de visul rau de azi-noapte si imi reamintesc toate motivele (multe!) pentru care am de ce sa ma simt binecuvantata.

Si pentru ca lunile mele sunt pline de plecari, zboruri si deplasari, am decis sa fac un efort constient de a-mi transforma casa, in cuib. De cele mai multe ori sunt adepta stilului functional, imi plac ordinea si organizarea (hehe, pana si cuvintele astea ma bine dispun). Dar uneori e nevoie de mici insule de confort. Uneori chiar imi face placere sa scutur, sa curat, sa spal, sa tai si sa coc, sa invelesc si sa inveselesc. Toate verbele astea descriu actiunile unei mame. Mama care sunt. Asa cum imi place sa fiu stapana lucrului meu la serviciu, pe care sa il stiu in ordine, asa vreau si acasa – sa fiu o vestala.

Cred ca ar trebui sa povestesc mai des despre detaliile si intamplarile ‘banale’ ale vietii, caci din tesatura lor se nasc zilele si ele tin in echilibru marile evenimente care ne rastoarna emotional.
Am facut ieri un ceai delicios (amestec de ceai Buna Dispozitie de la Sonnentor si ceai verde japonez) pe care l-am servit in ceasca splendida primita de la tata. Am aprins o mica lumanare si am adus alunele culese pe ploaie marunta, week-endul trecut. Am surprins totul pe pelicula, cu vaza homemade a mamei tinand spice de grau si bobite de catina…
A fost frumos si-o sa mai fie.

Simt enorm, vaz monstruos. Sau despre hipersensibilitate (1)

September 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

filmul rula pe ecranul mic al laptopului. aliniati in pat, noi 3 urmaream infrigurati desfasurarea actiunii, cu pumnii stransi sub plapuma. dintr-o data, sora mea a sugerat sa oprim volumul. Elvin si cu mine am ras, desi eu… voiam cu disperare acelasi lucru. am oprit volumul si noi doua ne-am acoperit ochii, in timp ce pe ecran un barbat il lovea bestial pe altul, intr-o scena morbida. la final, toti trei eram mortificati, desi Elvin a incercat sa pastreze o atmosfera calma, special ca sa nu ne ingrozeasca si mai tare pe noi doua.
Scena asta descrie o seara de aprilie la Londra, in care noi trei am urmarit un film cel putin oribil – The Talented Mr. Ripley

***

Dupa cativa ani in care mi-am fost aspru si fidel observator sau inconstient spectator, am reusit sa creez o harta a propriei fiinte. O redau aici, cat pot de obiectiv si, pe cat se poate, fara a face judecati de valoare.
Si pentru ca mai sunt si altii ca mine, fac acest inventar personal, public. Pentru ca ajuta sa stii ca nu esti chiar atat de ‘special’ sau un caz disperat. Ajuta sa ti se spuna ca nu este sfarsitul lumii – chiar cand tu crezi ca te va lovi un meteorit in urmatoarea secunda.
Uitandu-ma inapoi la anumite episoade din viata mea, imi vine sa rad. Pana la urma, cred ca asta e o atitudine sanatoasa. Oamenilor hipersensibili le lipseste de multe ori auto-ironia si simtul umorului care face anumite situatii de viata suportabile.

Dar, asa cum vom vedea in episoadele urmatoare, exista ceva bun in orice stare de fapt, iar a fi hipersensibil poate fi un dar. In plus, partile negative sau episoadele neplacute pot fi atenuate, in timp.

***

Am fost dintotdeauna acel om care nu putea urmari o scena violenta dintr-un film, cu sonorul pe ‘on’. Dadeam volumul la minim, si imi acopeream si ochii. Apoi, am fost dintotdeauna acel om care nu a putut ramane impasibil la vederea altcuiva care sufera: cand vad ca cineva plange, instinctul meu este sa il iau in brate si sa il consolez, indiferent de circumstante. Iar daca acel om este cineva apropiat mie, de-abia imi pot stapani si eu lacrimile si simt cum sunt inundata de niste emotii negative extrem de puternice.
Sunt genul de om pe care sunetul aspiratorului, al masinii de spalat sau al foehnului in functiune il deranjeaza pana la paroxism. Mama imi spune ca de mica am avut manifestarile astea si se pare ca acum, la maturitate inca nu le pot gestiona adecvat.

Daca ar trebui sa ma descriu pe mine, as spune cam asa:
Simt toata durerea si bucuria lumii, magnificate de zeci de ori, ca si cum ar fi ale mele.
Cand intru intr-o camera, percep imediat atmosfera si pot sa citesc foarte bine pe chipurile oamenilor si dincolo de ele. Uneori stiu ce va spune cineva inainte ca el sa deschida gura. Am momente cand sunt fericita pana la Dumnezeu si momente cand cad intr-un abis fara fund. Ceea ce pentru altcineva este marunt si neimportant, sau trecator, pentru mine capata proportii fantastice. Filmul lumii se deruleaza in mintea mea fie la viteze ametitoare, fie este intr-o neclintita nemiscare. Percep totul sau – cand simturile mele sunt supra-saturate – nu mai percep absolut nimic.
Ma trezesc cu energie si entuziasm pulsand in vene sau ma trezesc intr-o stare catatonica, din care nu ma pot smulge decat vreo 2 cesti de cafea tare.
Resimt organic absenta figurilor iubite din viata mea – cand eram mica, nu puteam dormi fara mama si pipaiam perna in cautarea ei. Cat am fost singura in Anglia, sufeream fizic in absenta atingerilor, a mangaierilor. In acele luni, nu am imbratisat si nu am fost imbratisata decat prea rar, eu, care sunt prin excelenta extrem de senzoriala si afectuoasa.
Chiar si azi, cand calatoresc atat de mult, urasc faptul ca trebuie sa dorm singura. Singuratatea ma doare si astept cu nerabdare momentul reintalnirii cu cei pe care ii iubesc.
Spatiile deschise si foarte zgomotoase ma epuizeaza nervos, pentru ca stimulii fizici ma solicita foarte mult.
Candva aveam o viata interioara nefiresc de bogata. Extern, asta s-a tradus prin ‘am manifestari artistice’. Astazi, am reusit sa imi strunesc cumva pornirile si atitudinile ‘artistice’ si pot parea, in consecinta, cinica.
Evenimentele stresante au pentru mine un corespondent organic – cand sunt anxioasa, stomacul meu se strange dureros. Simetric – atunci cand sunt fericita, ma simt inundata de un val de lumina si caldura in tot corpul.
In copilarie am avut o perioada dominata de fixism (nu ma puteam culca daca nu aveam uniforma pentru a doua zi perfect asezata pe scaun si papucii perfect aliniati intr-o anumita pozitie langa pat) sau perfectionism (nu ma puteam culca daca nu stiam perfect lectiile pentru a doua zi; ma auto-evaluam si daca faceam o cat de mica greseala, o luam de la capat cu invatatul si repetatul pana cand puteam ‘recita’ perfect).
Tot in copilarie am avut niste manifestari foarte ciudate – pendula din hol care batea la ore fixe declansa in mine un plans imposibil de controlat sau consolat. Daca ma intrebai de ce plang, spuneam ca imi e frica sa adorm pentru ca nu ma mai voi trezi a doua zi (asta e o tema care merita o explorare mai adanca).
Sunt foarte atasata de anumiti oameni din viata mea, iar gandul ca i-as putea pierde (in orice fel) imi da dureri de inima fizice (‘ma doare sufletul’ nu este doar o metafora).
Polarizez emotii, situatii, persoane si imi este greu sa gasesc linia mediana cu care sa fiu confortabila.

In traducere libera, ce s-ar putea spune despre mine este:
e un om hipersensibil, care ‘ia totul in serios’. Ii este greu, daca nu imposibil sa iasa dintr-o anumita stare pana cand nu o traieste ‘pana la capat’. Foarte instinctiva, se lasa sa cada prada emotiilor. Sufera pentru oricine si orice, nefiind capabila sa vada lucrurile la adevarata lor dimensiune sau sa decida rational ce poate influenta si schimba si ce este in afara razei ei de actiune. Cand cineva face ceva rau, o ‘ia personal’ cand in realitate, majoritatea lucrurilor nu ii sunt adresate. Simetric, atunci cand se intampla ceva bun, tinde sa creada ca acel eveniment sau stare i se adreseaza sau o priveste direct. Se identifica cu realitatea ca intreg si are probleme in a se disocia ca entitate individuala.Este vulcanica, energica, pasionala sau epuizata si incapabila de outputuri firesti. Discursul ei este plin de epitete, exclamatii, judecati de valoare. Fizic, este o prezenta greu de ignorat, atragand atentia prin limbajul corpului care da la iveala emotiile care o inunda. Topografia ei mentala si sufleteasca este ocean – munte: foarte adanc si foarte inalt. Oscileaza intre ‘nu mai pot, nu mai suport!’ si ‘sunt capabila sa port lumea pe umerii mei, daca vreau! si vreau!’. Crede fie ca este extrem de capabila, fie cel mai incompetent om si nedemn de atentie om. Isi supraestimeaza forta de influenta sau dimpotriva, se considera o particula de praf. Oscileaza intre anxietate nejustificata si ‘curaj nebun’.

-va urma-

P.S. Si daca in episodul acesta mi-am facut ‘fisa clinica’, in urmatorul episod discutam de ce e misto sa fii hipersensibil sau sa fii in preajma unui asemenea om. 🙂 Totul, cum grano salis…

Tomato lentil soup for the blue heart

September 8, 2013 § 2 Comments

P1040181It’s official: I’m starting to get the autumn blues. So instead of whining from underneath my blanket, yesterday I decided to brave a stubborn cold and make the soup I’ve been craving for a while.
I happen to L O V E tomato soup, but because ‘someone’ (wink wink) is not particularly fond of it, I don’t really make it that often. But yesterday I had the excuse of being ill, so I waited no longer and cooked the darn soup. For it to be heartier, I added lentils.

Here’s the how:
take 7 plump tomatoes, cut them in half and arrange them on a tray, bottoms up. Do the same thing with an onion and 7 cloves of garlic (but leave the skin on). Dust everything with salt and pepper and inside the oven they go, until the tomatoes turn soft. In the mean time, you should have soaked 150g lentils.
when the lentils are nice and soft, add the tomatoes, onion and peeled garlic cloves. let simmer for a few minutes and blend. that is it. [don’t ask me how much water to use, I am not the biggest fan of measuring – anything]

This makes about 5 servings. The first time we enjoyed them I added a generous bunch of chopped chives. Second time… well, the second time around it was paradise: we ate it with goats cheese tostadas. But with this soup, anything goes – I can imagine pumpkin seeds, or parsley, or hemp seeds (or some extra, fresh garlic?)

Enjoy! 🙂

Ritualuri (1)

September 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

Astazi este despre ritualul de spalare. Cineva spunea ca actul de a te spala are ceva sacru; cand intri in casa, trebuie sa te speli imediat pe maini si sa te lepezi de tot raul pe care l-ai adus de afara. Cunosc putine lucruri care sunt mai bune decat un dus energizant la vremea lui sau o cada inspumata cu o lumanare alaturi, in intunericul baii.
Totusi, recunosc ca acord prea putina atentie ritualului spalarii (ca si altor ritualuri), pe care il vad ca pe o necesitate, ceva de bifat neaparat la sfarsitul zilei, nu la inceputul ei.

Dar azi am chef sa imi amintesc despre unul dintre cele mai frumoase si firesti ritualuri de spalare pe care le-am experimentat. Au trecut ani buni de atunci, de cand bunica mea ne ‘imbaia’ sau ‘laia’ pe mine si sora mea. Eram mica si incapeam oriunde si in orice, asa ca vara mamaia fierbea apa de ploaie si umplea o copaita. Ma punea sa imi spal intai ochii, apoi mainile si abia apoi intram toata in copaie. Totul era facut in cea mai desavarsita ordine, de la care nu ma abateam. Alaturi aveam o bucata solida de sapun, de care mamaia freca o carpa putin rugoasa. Si apoi incepea marele ‘rumegus’: fiecare bucatica de piele de la urechi si pana la talpi era frecata si spalata temeinic. Pe par ma spalam tot cu sapun de casa, si mamaia imi turna apa fierbinte in fir subtire, caci multa nu aveam. Imi limpezea parul pana cand scartaia ‘ca hartia’. Si-apoi ieseam, ma imbracam cu haine curate si proaspete si stateam in curte, la soare, ca sa ma ‘zvant’. Cand era frig, faceam baie in casa, langa soba, intr-un lighenas care atunci imi parea urias. Nimic nu m-a spalat vreodata mai bine decat apa de ploaie si sapunul de casa, facut impreuna cu tanti Gela la cazan, in gradina…
Si cate lucruri mai sunt asa linistitoare si desavarsite in firescul lor ca ordinea asta: ochi, maini, trup?….

Azi nu mai fac baie in copaie, dar stiu ca actul spalarii are ceva sacru, mistic- cu conditia sa il faci cu prezenta, clipa de clipa, temeinic si frumos.

Lunch tomorrow. It’s a party.

September 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

I like David Lebovitz. I like David Lebovitz a lot. The man is not only super talented in the kitchen, but he has a way with words too. His recipes are stories and his pictures… they just put a biiiiig smile on my face.

So since I will have the time tomorrow, here’s what I plan to make for lunch: a FRESH and bountiful salad with lots of green leaves, tomatoes, onions and red peppers, slathered in DL’s dressing – 2 tablespons apple cider, 2 tablespoons mustard, 6 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil (OK, might wanna reconsider that one), 4 teaspoons zaatar and some salt.
http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2013/08/grilled-vegetables-with-zaatar-vinaigrette-recipe/”&gt://http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2013/08/grilled-vegetables-with-zaatar-vinaigrette-recipe/
That’s it. Oh, and quinoa on the side.

Pictures to follow.

Underneath it all, alive and kicking

September 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

And so even the most spiritually developed of us get on the auto-pilot mode, where you wake up wishing you could sleep more, go to work where it is all wfully wrong or just ‘meh’ (really, how many stellar days have you had at work lately?), hate your boss and envy your colleagues for their long legs, fat wallet or perfect manicure or laugh at their ugly and jobless boyfriend. You know what I’m talking about. And then at the end of what seemed an awfully long day you go home with the expectation of letting go and soothing yourself with dinner and love and TV. And what you actually do is stuff your face with food that does not even begin to meet your nutritional needs. Then you are too lazy to wash the dishes, or talk with your wife, boyfriend, dog. Instead you crash on the sofa and numb yourself with beer, TV, wine, chocolate or crisps. Upon going to bed you think you are the world’s biggest loser – not worthy of love or anything else – destined to be forever unhappy. Just for a moment you revisit your day and you think ‘what a WASTE!’

This, my friends, is the movie that most of us play, on most days. You know, everyone feels the same way – like they’re a victim, and life is crap and will I ever have money to buy a house? And does my husband really appreciate me for what I do and who I am because hey, I AM REALLY STRUGGLING here.

So let me ask this question: when was the last time you felt profoundly, beautifully and deeply CONTENT? When did you last read something and thought ‘Gee, that’s exciting!’. When was the last time you wrote a thank you note and meant it? When was the last time you thanked your boyfriend and meant it? Can you remember the last morsel of food you really, really enjoyed? How does life feel for you? And don’t tell me it’s crap, because that’s how life is supposed to be. It’s not, but we trick ourselves into believing this big fat lie because it is just SO EASY to feel sorry for yourself and create this cushion of pain all around you.

I am one of these people I’m talking about. I have everything I could possibly need. And more. And yet I constantly worry – over losing what I have? – and rush from one thing to the next and am angry and inpatient and ungrateful.
But today, just for a few minutes I felt deeply content, so content my face must have taken the shape of a smiling rainbow. I felt passionate – like I am putting meaning into my life and my work. I was aware this is a game, but a fun one. I remembered all the wonderful and inspiring people I get to meet and work with (coincidentally, the people you love now are the people you’re going to hate a few minutes later). I remembered the ocean of love and possibilities and kindness that are awaiting for me at home. Just for a moment I was proud over what I have achieved thus far and excited at the thought of ALL the POSSIBILITIES out there.
It’s a wonderful world and I get to be part of it.

Where Am I?

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