New year’s resolutions revisited

Loads of us make new year’s resolutions, and when I revisited this blog I noticed I did so here as well a year ago. I decided to go back and see whether I managed to live up to them.

Enjoy
Jan 2012: I want to enjoy life more, enjoy the good people around me, my new apartment, my job. Too often I find myself caught up in stress, negativity, ‘too busy to enjoy anything’ mode that I need to remind myself that I’m actually doing quite good.
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Jan 2013: Changed job, got rid of negative people around me, focused on people and things that I liked. Maybe worked a bit too hard, but did very well on the enjoy part as well.

Fall in love
Jan 2012: It’s been too long and I miss it. Enough said.
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Jan 2013: Poor performance on this one. Drama with the old, and messed up a chance to fall in love with the new.

Learn a language
Jan 2012: I love learning new languages and besides English I haven’t been practising mine enough. So it’s time to enhance my German and to really learn another language: probably Danish or Swedish. Why? Just because I think it’s fun.
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Jan 2013: This tweet pretty much sums it up. The intentions were there, I signed up for Swedish class but ended up hardly going. Did learn more words though, and actually improved my English too.

Read
Jan 2012: I love to read, to dive into a new world and forget about my own. After reading a good book I can even get sad because the story is over. I want to read more books like that. And maybe, one day, I can have a beautiful bookshelf like the one here below :)
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Jan 2013: I read, not enough as I liked but at least I read some quality books. Some highlights: finally read John Steinbeck’s ‘East of Eden’, was shocked by Jonathan Safran Foer’s ‘Eating Animals’, enjoyed Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and devoured Geert Mak’s ‘Een Kleine Geschiedenis van Amsterdam’. Thanks to my handyman dad I also managed to create a nice bookcase in my living room, see below.

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“You’re a loser, a rebel, a cause without”

And just like that, after 9 months, I decided to write a blog post again. I don’t think it’ll become a habit, but sometimes you just come across things that you have to share.

Last Sunday I watched the documentary ‘Searching for Sugar Man‘, which has been in my mind ever since. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but if you love a great (true) story, can appreciate a beautifully edited documentary with amazing music to accompany it, it will be the best 82 minutes you can spend.

I loved ‘Sugar Man’, ‘I Wonder’ and ‘Inner City Blues’. However the lyrics of ‘Jane S. Piddy’ got to me the most. They’re so good, so good.

Connected, but alone?

I’ve been involved with TEDxAmsterdam and therefore have seen at least one TED video a week for two years. Some were ok, others were impactful. I just saw Sherry Turkle’s TED talk and wow does this one hit close to home. She discusses “digital technonolgy” and how it can create a feeling of connectedness but isolation at the same time. Although hesitant to admit, I recognize myself a lot in what she describes.

Most important: we all need to really listen to each other, including to the boring bits. Because it’s when we hesitate, stumble or lose our words that we reveal ourselves to each other.

Frozen happiness

The last two weeks it has been quite cold, freezing up to -15 Celsius. Although biking in the cold is anything but fun, it did make Amsterdam even prettier than it already is. Below you’ll find proof…

Amsterdam on ice (c) Freek Batstra

Last week I also managed to get on the canals, just like thousands of others did. It was great to see the city from a different point of view, and to see so many people enjoy it. Just have a look this video and you’ll get a feeling of how great the atmosphere was. I’m so happy I live her.

The picture below is from a city called Leiden. Originally posted on Facebook (over 40,000 likes and was shared almost 12.000 times in a few days), it was taken up by numerous international media.

Leiden on ice (c) Hielco KuipersHere’s yours truly enjoying some glühwein :)

Lieke Voermans on Amsterdam canal

Something old, something new

I love Instagram and have been an avid user since 2010. Each weekend they do a ‘weekend hashtag project’ and this weekend it was #somethingoldsomethingnew. Below you’ll find my entry, a combination of my 1920’s Remington type writer and my brother’s iPad (with the type writer app, yes it exists).

Something old, something new (iPad and Remington)The first I have in my living room and really need to get it fixed, the latter I’m borrowing while my brother is traveling for five months. Love both!

No

“A ‘no’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.” – Ghandi

I came across this quote thanks to my fellow TEDxAmsterdam blogger Barbara (if you’re slightly interested in food, design and sustainability than go read her blog). I read it just after having a vivid discussion with a colleague about a project that a client tries to push but that I, as a consultant, don’t believe in. The quote strengthened my feeling that I was doing the right thing by saying we won’t be doing the project. Now it’s our turn to create something new, have everyone inspired and get a yes from the client :)

I found this Ghandi statue in my former street, Churchilllaan in Amsterdam. I’m ashamed to admit I only noticed it three years after living there.