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Kickstarting the Year

January started off fast and great. After having the first three days off and spending them lounging around at home, the rest of the past three weeks have gone by in a rush, mostly filled with work and self-development work.

While it hasn’t been all that long, I feel like I haven’t been here in forever. Here being my blog. Which I know isn’t true and I’ve been active behind the scenes. But it feels so long because since January started, life has felt like it’s been on a speed train.

Work started on January 4th, which has since then somewhat consumed most of my time. There has immediately been so much to do for work resulting in overtime and lots of writing, editing, and phone calls. Alongside that, as I’m now doing all my work from my very own business (so awesome!!), meaning I also get to caculate in more time for my more personal-work projects, like my book. The current timeline that I decided is that I will publish by the end of February. Whether via self-publishing or a publisher is yet to be decided. Yet working for myself also means baring the responsibility of properly organising myself and my work time and so far this hasn’t been a challenge, but rather has motivated me to work a lot and get stuff done – it feels like all the work I do is now also much more for myself than just for someone who hires us (my mom and I) to do a project for them.

Working on my Camino book which has really started to take shape!

Another reason for the feeling of busyness has been because I spend the second weekend of January in a a weekend-long virtual workshop, which meant that about 10 hours of my Saturday and Sunday were completely consumed. The workshop was all about becoming more ourselves and has a lot to do with topics like ‘energy creates intent’ and ‘thoughts create your reality’, but we also focus a lot on old fears and sorrows and the way these still influence us today and how to work through them. The workshop, which was my second time joining in on the weekend-long workshop (I’ve occasionally participated in some of the weekly ones, especially when Christiaan had booked a session we could sit in on) and it always leaves me feeling refreshed and excited to create the rest of my life, although I do also always notice an exhaustion of having worked through so much personal stuff throughout the workshop. Overall it was a beautiful, loving energy-filled, weekend.

Another super cool thing that happened in last week is that a podcast that I was a guest (back in December) was published! You can check it out here at Braun and Brains, a podcast hosted by a longtime friend: Rachel. We’ve known each other since we were 13, and every time we’ve met up in a different country (during middle school in Italy, during high school in Germany, and during college in France). Rachel has a talent for brining out the best in people during her podcast interviews, which don’t feel like interviews at all but rather as a great conversation with a great person.

The post on Braun and Brains advertising the podcast I was a guest on!

This past weekend really felt like a good weekend. It also felt like the first full-relaxation weekend that I had since going back to work after vacation, and possibly even before that. I kickstarted my weekend on Friday by going for a run in the afternoon, and to spend the evening watching Angels and Demons with my family. We love a Tom Hanks movie, and having recently re-watched the DaVinci code, it ssemed only fitting that this would be the next movie we would watch. I’m not sure if we’ll follow this one by watching Inferno, as I find that one a bit more creepy and unsettling than the first two – but we’ll see – Christiaan hasn’t seen that one yet so maybe we’ll cave in.

The rest of my weekend was centered a lot around books – I spent most of my Saturday morning writing my Camino Book. I organised my goals for when I want to have what finished, sorted out, and ready to be reviewed, and after this weekend I am well on-track. After lunch I ended up going for a sponatneous hike around a part of the island. I hiked a total distance 12 kilometres and hiked up and down about 98 floors (at least that’s what my health app tells me). When I got home I showered and got ready for dinner as we were heading out for sushi at La Baz Bar in Gustavia.

Sunday I woke up somewhat early and ended up spending most of my morning working on my book before prepping lunch and then joining the Global Young Leaders Team social session. We usually host these on Sundays because throughout the week, with everyone in different timezones and working their other jobs, it gets tricky to find a right time. It was great to re-group and feel like we are all on the same page for the start of the new year.

Yet my weekend didn’t end there. After our GYL meeting, while Rowena and Christiaan still had some other work stuff to discuss, mom and I enjoyed a moment together on the couch. I wanted to charge up on some mother-daughter time and just talk a bit about how I’ve been feeling lately (like tired and incredibly busy) but how I also feel so motivated to do it all and how sometimes I feel lik eI’m struggling to find a balance. I shared how sometimes when I’m writing my book or writing for my blog, that I feel like the content I write isn’t good enough, or that people won’t enjoy it. But I also know that those are just my doubts and that, in the end, the only person it matters for that I’m doing it and that it is good enough is for myself.
My mom confirmed this and told me that it doesn’t matter if in 5 months or 10 years I don’t like what my blog or book say; that it doesn’t matter if in X-amount of time it is no longer a representation of myself. Right now it is. Right now it is how I’m choosing to express myself and share my mind and existance with the world, and if right now this feels good, then what am I worrying about?!

My mom also touched up on my thougths of sometimes feeling overwhelmed and busy and gave the facts to me very simple: I should take some time off in April or May. Work wouldn’t be as busy then, meaning there’d be time to take off, my finances were ok as I’d been saving up a lot over the past two years or so. I felt almost flabbergasted that she suggested this. Because it had never popped into my head before, the idea that I could just take off for a little while. But it makes perfect sense and if any time would be perfect for it, it’s right now. I am in a creative headspace, I can spend time expanding my business but also work on myself and on my personal projects. I have a great place to live and am surrounded by my incredibly supportive family.

While I had already planned to somewhat take off for my travel plans in May-June and August – October, I’m still uncertain how much travel will be possible in the near future, and so, maybe for now, it’s good to have this as an alternative – to have this as an option incase I don’t get to travel. And if I do get to travel? Then I might just take off the month of April, or at least half of it to get working on my projects and spend time for myself. I am in a lucky position to have the time and space to take off and to not, unecessarily, feel stressed out.
Thinking and writing about this makes me excited for what the upcoming months hold.

Brainstorming creative projects and work with mom in the garden.

This third week of the year started great. I woke up to a very loving message from a good friend showing their appreciation for our friendship and bond, and it immediately put me in a good mood. The rest of the day was once again filled with lots of work and deadlines, but I managed! I’m trying to make myself stress less if I don’t fit all my things and goals into one day and have decided to set more realistic goals. Meaning I don’t have to do yoga, a run, a full work-day, a full 8-hours of sleep, time to blog and work on my book and read for fun, all in one day. Because when I do try and do this, I never manage it all and it makes me feel stressed. The rest of my list for today, besides work and sleep, are to share this post and finish the book I’m reading (City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert – a great, fun read).

Happy Monday everyone!

View from hiking up to Grand Fond, in the back you can see the island of St. Maarten

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