Thursday 27 January 2011

What else I do!

first published in 2008

I'm not too bad in doing hair stuff. I've cut hubby's hair for years - yes the cut on the wedding picture as well - until he needed glasses for watching the telly. Without telly he wouldn't sit still so he had to see the hairdresser from then on. And I cut, coloured and permed my hair for quite a while. I had times where I went to the hairdressers, even was a model head, but I felt that I could save quite a bit of money doing it myself.

Playing Hair Model
End 80s

But I had short hair then. Now with the long hair I'm seeing Nadia for regular haircuts and colour.


I love power tools. I built all the shelves in our house, and I built the big bird cage for the conservatory.

To be able to do all this gives me a lot of freedom in organising stuff. I get my things stored the way I need it. This way the house is tailored to our needs and still has the style we like.

Home made bathroom shelves and cabinet

Eventually I have a garden. So many years we didn't even have a balcony. When we got the house, first thing I did was to dig a pond.

And I have a wildlife patch and a rockery and a herbal garden. We laid the patio and the walk- and driveways. It's our holiday pastime. The garden DIY we do together, everything with plants is mine, mine and mine alone!

Seasonal Decorations

When I have the time I make Advent bouquets. I even sold a few. They are the tradition in Germany - actually the wreath is the tradition, the bouquets are the more modern version. We only put up the Christmas tree on the 24th, and the bouquets make a nice Christmas feel during the Advent season. 

And I love Halloween. It only came into fashion after we had left Germany. So for me it was entirely new. Now I have to do at least 3 per year. One for us, one for my friends kids and one for work.

Silk Painting
This is my most challenging hobby. I am such a control freak and it is rather wholesome to do something that is uncontrollable. 

There are techniques to tame the dye, but the parameters are so manifold that it is almost impossible, and one sometimes has to trust the hand to just do the right thing.
When I'm painting the world sinks into the background and it's just me and my piece. Thus it needs time, and hence I'm not doing it very often. Especially since I found my new hobby - Web Sites.

Sunday 16 January 2011

Rika's Personal Rules

Don't get me wrong. Although my 'University Years' haven't been all too successful I had a great life so far, and somehow I always managed to fall on my feet - probably because I never fell really high. However when I was in these situations it felt all grave and as if nobody else had problems but me. I believe that it doesn't matter how big the problem actually is - it is important how big it feels. And when resolved it is possible to learn from the small ones as much as from the big ones.

These rules are derived from 19 years of searching for my place in the world starting when I left home at the age of 18 and ending when I moved to England .
Do things for the right reasons
I know - easily said! But deep inside you usually know when you are committing to something for the wrong reasons.

My own example is my decision to do homeopathy school. I never had such a tension between my mum an me like at that time. I had no job perspective and only wanted to flee. I still wanted to be a 'good girl' and make my mum happy, but didn't know how. Every idea I had - e.g. becoming a social worker - made things worse. 'Girl, you can pave the streets with social workers, and so many are out there without a job, and if they have one they only earn little money'. Hmm?!

When the offer came to pay this school for me I felt I could have peace again with my parents and that was all I wanted. It sounded interesting and something I might be able to achieve, and I had basic knowledge. So no real reason against it. But something was wrong. It decided for it as a peace treaty and not because I actually wanted to have my own practice and mix potions.

So I did a basically good and reasonable thing for the wrong reason. During any task there will be rough patches, and there will always be a time where the extra mile needs to be tackled. Nothing is sunshine 24/7. If you are in it for the wrong reasons you might not be able to pull this through. This can affect family life, health, everything.

So whenever there is decision time, listen carefully to all the good advice of the others, weigh carefully all the emotions other people load onto your shoulders and decide which ones you can carry and which ones not. And then close the door behind you, make yourself comfy and have a one-to-one with yourself. Be at least honest to yourself!

I didn't contemplate all that. I was young, inexperienced and emotional. I went for the first thing that helped me to make peace - for that it was the right reason. But I didn't explore other options. I might have come to the same decision, but it would have been a conscious and not an emotional one. And who knows, it might even have worked out with homeopathy school. Knowing bears a lot of power and energy. It can bring you half way through the task before you've even started.

I'm not sure what would have happened to me not doing this school, but doing it half-heartedly the outcome was a lot of lost money, becoming very suspicious of healers, and one 'Rule' richer. Well, could have been worse.
Don't delay decisions
There will be no prince riding the white horse and rescuing you.

If there is something painful around the corner we tend to close the eyes hoping that it might go away while we know all along that it is edging closer. So we are having a miserable time waiting for it to go away - of what we know won't happen - and then we are having the pain anyway.

I don't do this anymore. However big or small, I want to get it done and over with. And you know what? It feels brilliant! When you face an issue head on, then you are in control. You might even dictate the rules of the game. And the sense of achievement when it is over is fantastic. I have become a decision junkie.

I sort the facts. I analyse the other people involved. Why are they reacting a certain way? Where are their benefits of the whole thing? Then I create my case: How can I sell my point to them that they think it's their own idea. This way I'm prepared and confident in my decision ... and then I go for it. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose the game. But I always gain my peace of mind and the freedom to go ahead with my life.
Always win
I found out something really weird: It is impossible to loose!

I figured that in regard to winning there are two things to be considered. Firstly there is the 'situations you are in', which can be good or bad. Secondly there is the 'learning from the situation' which can be noting or a lot.


When you are happy and the situation is good, you are usually not learning a lot from it. What is okay, why should you? Nobody would ask: Oh I'm so happy, why is that?

What basically means that if you would have an absolutely happy life it would be great, but you wouldn't be the least bit prepared if something bad would happen. Only when the situation gets bad you start analysing and learning and the worse it gets the more you can take out of it. So even if you are unhappy right now, you can win the overall game by acknowledging the situation as it is, sort of slipping into the role of an observer, learn the most you can and then use 'Rule 2 - Don't delay decisions' and get out there as quickly as possible.
So you might not have been happy throughout, but the benefit of learning something about yourself and others might surpass the benefits of a constantly happy life. And be honest: Wouldn't it be boring to be happy 24/7?