Health, Human Nature

Civilized Conversations

Maintaining ongoing conversations and relationships requires time and energy – from both ends. Not everyone has the ability to keep up with a civilized conversation all the time. If you have years of practice and experience in sustaining decent long term relationships, you may count your blessings.

Belgium, Human Nature, Travels

Garden Centre Outing

This afternoon, D and I went to a garden centre with his parents. I only had potting soil and maybe some outdoor pots on my shopping list, but ended up with four pots in total. In addition to that, we also got two indoor plants, candies and a bag of Japanese rice cracker mix. 😛

Maybe it is just me… but visiting garden centres seem to be legitimate fun outings this part of the world.

Human Nature, Quotes, Simplify

Comparing Lives

Grandma always said that we should not compare ourselves to others. 人比人比死人, literally means that you can compare yourself to death!

Online, the quote goes 人比人气死人, 比上不足, 比下有余. This loosely translates to “Comparison creates frustrations, not enough to compare up, too much to compare down.”.

Nevertheless, it is only human nature that we constantly compare ourselves with those around us. We compare age, fitness, looks, intelligence, careers, health, wealth and the list goes on endlessly…

Even so, I have yet to find myself wanting to live someone else’s life. Often, I come across people who are wealthy but sickly, intelligent but bitter, beautiful but depressed, young but lonely.

In my case, I am the sole owner of my life. It is all up to myself on how I want it be.

Human Nature, Simplify

Joy Is…

Yesterday, I cycled to De Gavers to meet up with an ex-classmate from integration class many years ago.

We had a nice long chat while wandering about the lake area, visiting interesting spots which are not usually known to most visitors. I realised that I know stuff and sounded very much like a local. 😀

A bike ride (on my own) to my favourite lake. Meeting a friend. A pot of honey. Nature at my doorstep. Drinking a beer with D. Joy comes in many shapes and sizes.

Flashbacks, Human Nature

Vulcan Ears

Despite being half a century old, and having experienced life on three countries, I do not have any major regrets in life. Lucky me, I guess. 🙂

During my last two years in the US, I sometimes joined a group of Zappos developers, going to movies and events together in the Sin City area. When asked if I would go to the Star Trek Convention at the Hilton, I told them that I have work and asked one of them to buy me a pair of wearable Vulcan ears.

After all these years, I have no recollection whatsoever of the design project I was working on then. I also do not have the wearable Vulcan ears I wanted, because no one came across any. When I think about it now, that would be my one teeny tiny regret in life. Not going to the Star Trek Convention with the boys. Classic…

A life without regrets is impossible. And probably quite boring. But the lesson here is: Live! Make the best of what you have in front of you, here and at this very moment!

Health, Human Nature, Simplify

Blue Zones

Wikipedia has a well documented explanation regarding Blue Zones. In short, the people in all five zones adhere to the following lifestyle trades:

  • Family – put ahead of other concerns
  • Less smoking
  • Semi-vegetarianism – the majority of food consumed is derived from plants
  • Constant moderate physical activity – an inseparable part of life
  • Social engagement – people of all ages are socially active and integrated into their communities
  • Legumes – commonly consumed

While diet, exercise and social well being are essential roles in our ageing process, the psychological aspect should not be ignored.

My take is simple. When I start worrying about my age, I just remind myself that I have already gotten a good head start on people much younger than me. Heck, I am done with schools. Have read hundreds of books. Learned six languages. I have driven, flown, and have seen many wonderful and weird places in this world. I have tasted all sorts of food and like most of them! Most importantly, I am still here. I am breathing, aware and still curious as hell. The path ahead is open and my ikigai is intact and strong.

Human Nature, Jibber Jabber

Rain, Shine & Whine

Food for thought:

  • When it rains, ground water and water reservoirs are being replenished.
  • When the sun shines, plants grow and solar panels are generating energy.
  • When the trains and buses are delayed, I remember what it was like when there was no public transportation to rely on.
  • When wearing my decade-old clothes, I am reminded that I have maintained my younger body. 😉
  • When the account balances are not to my liking, I am made aware that I actually own accounts with something in them.
  • When there is a lockdown, I cherish the extra time reading, cooking, gardening, and hanging out with my knuffelcontact.

For many of us, life is good! So, get a grip everyone. We should all tune down the complaints and stop the constant whining…

Belgium, Health, Human Nature

Fleeting Freedom For Idiots

Thousands flocked to the park, knowing full well that it was an April Fool’s joke. What started as a ‘I don’t care, I just wanna go there and be with people.’ gathering, turned into a rather ghastly clash amongst the police and people.

I know not what to say nor think about this…

Damn if the numbers go up again. Damn if hospital personnels start throwing in the towels. My hope of the reopening of restaurants and cafés in May is really on shaky grounds. *Insert BIG sigh here*

Business & Creativity, Human Nature

Evolving Consumer Behaviours

Covid-19 has and is changing consumer behaviours. And those trends might be here to stay.

Personally, I asked myself these questions before I purchase something:

  1. Where did it come from?
  2. Can I eat it?
  3. Will it last?
  4. Can it be reused?
  5. Can I fix it if it sustains minor damages?
  6. Is it biodegradable?
  7. Is it worth the amount I am paying?
  8. Do I like it?

More funds allocated to filling up our pantries and savings accounts, less to useless trinkets and nonsensical luxuries. And that is not a bad thing at all…

Health, Human Nature, Simplify

Simple Objectives

Exactly 365 days ago, I wrote about adapting and surviving the Covid-19 health crisis.

Some of my simple objectives were:

  • Do not get fat by overeating and being lazy.
  • Do not get poor by spending money on useless things.
  • Do not let the crisis kill my social connections with others. We do have creative options…
  • Do not get Covid-19.

I have not wandered off the path.