– Bye, darling, I am gone for half-a-day.
– « Gone? ». Did you write your déclaration for today?
– Why? Do we need one now for going to the bathroom?
Well, if I cannot go to the Spa, the Spa comes to me. And as in a Award acceptance speech, my thanks go to:
– my flat owner for having not saved money on a proper bathtub. Those with a history with French « landlords » know what I am talking about.
– my pharmacist for having good supplies of essential oils. For now, my favourites are Lemon and Palmarosa for their escapist abilities to take my senses to a garden in full bloom.
– and to my hubby for my perfect espresso with a pinch of nutmeg.
By the end of this week, I developed an interest in Kardashians. I know everything about Stormie. I do not keep up yet with the entire klan (k – on purpose) of Kardashians. If this lasts, however, you never know.
My hubby trusted me with his haircut. I am not yet ready to reciprocicate.
I joined the diminishing trend of the blond population, estimated to go down by 70-80 percent. We, blondes, need to remain trendy.
My succulent is blossoming. Spring is in da house:
While teleworking, I discovered that routine is queen. Yet, I remember that it is a constitutional monarchy. Dancing and crying and hugging and feeling sad are not under her rule. I can do any or all of that, if I feel like. No permission from the queen-routine required.
At the first walk-around-the-block since this started: « Mom, I have an impression I am walking with a toddler…». I was beyond myself from the sun and air and river view. Never in my life the view of a swimming water rat excited me to levels I never knew. I promise, my child, I’ll grow swiftly back into your mom.
As we cannot go and greet the spring, the way we used to, we turn to art. Thank you Conny Famm for your “State of soul”.
My shopping patterns changed. I cancelled orders. That’s a first for me. Instead, I redirected the money to a local initiative of chefs cooking for hospitals’ staff in the region – Des repas pour les anges gardiens. And in my home country through Diaconia http://www.diaconia.md.
The fight for internal resources – the one and only laptop in the house – ended with a gentlemen agreement.
I “went” to a ballet performance. « LAC » by Jean-Christophe Maillot at Monte Carlo Opera, courtesy of Monaco plus.
I seriously upgraded my emoji use skills. From novice to intermediate. I am still very far from the emoji-master in my house. I’ve got something to aspire to.
We welcomed a new precious member into our family and thank him for reminding us of the gift of life. We wish him a happy and long life! And we promise to be more conscious of what we do to mother Earth and how we treat each other.
I clearly distinguish now by voice the neighbours’ kids: baby, toddler 1, toddler 2, just kid, teenager 1, teenager 2.
My average weekly walking distance is a joke. I turned off the counting. Walking with the phone in the pocket does not help.
I am glad I can cook and bake. These skills are priceless. Thank you, grandmother. I know you are smiling with satisfaction now.
I am disappointed that there was no funny incident during my kid’s virtual classes this week. You know, like the ones facebook is flooded with. With the exception of a background noise of some plates reaching the floor and the teacher’s voice: “ Attention, la vaisselle!” I hope it was not too expensive.
I immersed myself in hand washing, stream-washing style. Excellent for shoulders. Some of my wash-by-hand cloths are having a pool party. At least someone does.
And, my succulent is a text book example of resilience: and it shall bloom no matter what.
By the end of the week I recognise by voice the neighbors’ kids – a family of five. Thought about bribing them with an ipad each.
I had to put up with three different routines. There is no more mystery about what my household members do when I am at work.
I started getting emails from my kid’s teacher! I am beyond excited. It was a dream which came true after five years in France. All it took it was a pandemic. Maybe we can agree on a different milder trigger?! I also respond diligently to all his emails, to keep the good practice. Hope he did not mark as spam my email address. After all, he is a teacher and marking is what he does.
I saved on make up. My new bottle of perfume is still full. I also wonder if men keep their daily shaving routine while teleworking. I know who to ask.
The number of snaccidents was at great risk of increasing. My improvised office is less than 5 meters away from the kitchen. Thanks to Invisalign the risk was managed. This is not a publicity for Invisalign, I am simply grateful that it rescued me from some sorts of potential sports. And you have to carry a paper with you these days in France, even if you go to the park for jogging or admiring birds, whatever your favourite sport is these days.
I am finally “revenged”. LVMH, the perfumes giant, started producing hand sanitizers. Ha! To all those who condemned me with their “can-you-believe-her” stare when I cleaned my kid’s hands at the playground before she had her snack five years ago. Merci, LVMH!
Dachstein, Alsace, October
Bringing staff from trips is tempting. Money is easier spent on vacation. A new item brings into the house the need for space and care. Only thinking about dusting off all those trinkets on shelfs makes me tired. And there is not so much space on the fridge for new magnets. If it is not integrated into your kitchen furniture.
In Amsterdam I discovered a new kind of souvenir – make your own mug. It is proposed by Heinen Delfts Blauw, the ceramics maker.
It brought a new experience of coloring it together with my kid: discussing the colors choices, dividing the work, waiting for the final result while it is in the oven, sharing the first sips of water, … And that is what I call souvenirs.
From these my fav is “Learn to say No without explaining yourself”.
My first unexplained No was loud and clear. I was in a meeting room with our former business partners and their lawyers. The wanted a deal and made an offer. I could hear their expensive watches ticking. I said No. To their disbelief. To my astonishment. And a silent joy. Threats followed. My No stoods its ground. It made them say Yes to our offer. We cleaned the accounts and closed the noisy chapter. The rest is history. It was cool. And worth it.
You may want to Try it next time. Try it. And enjoy it all!
Thank you, becomingminimalist.com for inspiration.
Our first car was a tiny Opel Corsa. My husband’s parents did not talk to us for months. They owned a large BMW. We did not miss the small talk. We like our air unpolluted.
My grandmother fed a family of eight and the neighbours occasionally. Her oven was 1,5 meter deep, one meter wide. She needed wood, a match, flour, water and her hands. Her bread and pies were a local legend. I need an oven, a blender, a mixer, and a handful of appliances and moulds to make a dozen mini brownies. You can see the difference. If I need a mini boll for my Magimix to bake a new recipe, i’ll say ‘thank you’, but no, thank you”. I knife and my old cutting board will do the job.
Since we moved to a rented apartment, half the size of the one we were used to, two Ikea wardrobes suffice. “One thing – in; one thing- out” is a custom now. Why i needed a dressing room before is foggy to me now. I have everything I need. My family has everything they need.
If i need to buy something to see if i am able or willing to do something, i say no. Planning of teaching my kid checkers? Why buy it when i can download an app for free to see first if she will like the game.
I recently discovered the Minimalism. When the shopping urge kicks in, Minimalism gives you three criteria. I minimised it to two: is it truly necessary? Is it of value to last? If no ‘Yes” finds its way to these questions, I steer my attention to investments into learning and travelling. The return is a promise kept.
Last Christmas the gifts wraps were recycled from previous years. And, more importantly, the gifts of joy and time together needed only the wrapping of love, in abundance.