Personal update

Personal update

Normally there would be a video up on Sunday, but unfortunately, that was not feasible this week for several reasons. In this blog post I will briefly address why and will update you on some goings on in my life right now.  personal update

Personal update

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Personal Update #6

Personal Update #6

It’s July, which means there should be a seventh update by now, but since there were a few things pending and my trip started right when I would have written a 6th personal update, I decided to postpone my monthly personal update. By now, I’ve come back from my Interrail vacation, have had my dance performance and know that as of August 1st I will start a new job.

Let’s pick things up where they left off since the last personal update. And for that we need to go back to the end of May/ early June. That’s when I visited my friend in Frankfurt. We met almost 10 years ago when I was an exchange student in the US and we hadn’t seen each other in almost 6 years. So I was super excited to see her again. She’s currently living in Germany which is only 5 hours away so I had to squeeze in a visit. And we had a blast. We basically hit it off right where we’d left off, like we had seen each other just yesterday. We took a walking tour around Frankfurt and we had great weather. So that was a fun trip.

Another thing that happened is that my therapy has started to wind down. My physiotherapy, psychology and coaching sessions are all done. I am currently still working with another type of physiotherapist to fix my chronic back problems, but that’s it. So that’s nice and it gives me a lot more time to do things and getting back to work out. I started up spinning classes again on a regular basis in May/ June and as of this coming week I’m going to try to get back into the rhythm and over the next couple of weeks I’m looking to add a weight routine and a kick boxing class.

On the job front things are looking good again. In fact, last Wednesday I had an interview with one of my previous employers and I got the job! So next school year I will be going back to normal again and I am looking forward to it very much. Another exciting thing I did in June was my dance performance. I don’t get to do them very often anymore, but when I get to do them, they are always a lot of fun. Apparently things went well and some people didn’t believe we are a recreational group that only gets together once a week. Apparently there’s video too…

Last but not least, the reason for this update being late is because I just spent 3 weeks traveling around Europe by myself. I went on a 22 day Interrail journey and visited 9 different cities: Brussels, Paris, Barcelona, Milan, Venice, Vienna, Prague, Berlin and Copenhagen. In one word, it was AMAZING, but you will find out much more about my trip in the next week. That’s right: as of tomorrow I will be posting daily blogs on my trip. So if you are curious how I organized things, what I packed (all I took was one big and one small backpack) and what I did and think of each city, then stay tuned. And I may throw in a shoplog in as well, just for good measure.

I hope you have a great Sunday and that the past 6 weeks or so have treated you well. Enjoy your summer!

Personal update #5

Personal update #5

May has been an amazing month for me. It got off on a rough start, but now, by the end of it, I have so much to look forward to in the next couple of weeks/ months and so much to look back on that I’m feeling very positive and super motivated. Yes, I’m not only feeling much better (again), but I also think that as of right now that will largely remain the same.

Switch/ Rewind: the beginning of May wasn’t fun though. It seems that every month I end on a high and then right at the beginning of the new month I hit some sort of snag that leaves me feeling blegh. Right now I’m just factoring in the fact that I am going to get some sort of set back to deal with in the next couple of weeks, just so that if it happens I’ll be able to deal with it a lot better. But anywho, early May I was struck by some weird flu that caused all of my muscles to ache. Nothing helped, apart from sleeping and lying on the couch. So that’s all I did for about a week.

I then went on to pick up the pace of things. I had some meetings with friends and family, went to the Kunsthal to catch the SHOES exhibition, went to our annual music listening day and had dinner with colleagues. I also started therapy with a psychologist and that is really helpful and going very well, so nothing but positive vibes because of that. I also saw my job coach again and I’ve figured out that despite everything, I still want to be a teacher. I just felt so lost because of all that happened to me in the past few months that I thought I didn’t like it anymore. Truth is, I still love to teach and now I know again why I do what I do. As Joni Mitchell put it: don’t it always seems to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.

Last Monday I went to see my physiotherapist for the last time and as of next week week I’m starting a new type of therapy. My back and neck muscles still bother me and they have for years. So now it’s time to dig deeper (literally) and hopefully make it go away for good. I’m looking forward to starting my new therapy, but it’s also quite scary because I’ve never had it before and apparently you will feel out of whack for about 3 days after it. Mostly I’m just curious though, to what it can do for me and what it will be like. Maybe I could write a blog about it?

THE thing I’m most excited about is the vacation I booked a few weeks ago. Basically, what I will be doing this summer is tour 9 European cities in 22 days. I have bought myself and Interrail ticket and will visit Brussesl, Paris, Barcelona, Milan, Venice, Vienna, Prague, Berlin and Kopenhagen. I already wrote an extensive blog post about it, so you can read all about it here if you want to know more about the trip. And that’s not the only trip I booked last month. In fact, as we speak I am in Frankfurt, visiting a friend who I haven’t seen in years. I’m thinking that is a good end to my month of May and a good start to my June.

What have you been up to this month?

Personal update #4

Personal update #4

April was the month of highs and lows. I had tons of fun meeting up with friends and family and I went to another concert. However, I was also informed that my contract will not be renewed and that caused some stress right when I thought life was getting better. With that being said though: this entire burn out thing is teaching me tons of useful skills. And I’m sure no matter what I’ll end up doing, I will reap the benefits of it anyhow.

Last month ended on an up, but just days after that post went up I went to see my boss face to face for the first time in months and I was told that she does not see me return in my current job. I am however, keeping my contract until it runs out and for as long as I have one, they’ll do anything to help me get back on track. This means I have now started regular job coaching sessions and I’ve made my first appointment with a psychologist so things are finally getting underway instead of being stuck at a crossroads. Because for a while (the first two weeks of April or so) I felt stuck in limbo, not knowing what to do or where to go as all I could do was sit around and wait until I went to my appointments. Those appointments have now all happened and I am happy to be back to feeling a lot happier, because I know I’m now working on my recovery again.

The bad news I received but that last bit on the back burner. In fact, it ended up being quite the setback and I felt so disappointed. After months of feeling like complete crap I had started feeling better again and then POOF! Luckily I did notice that my fallback wasn’t as badly as it could have been or would have been a few months ago. I managed to crawl out of my hole a lot quicker this time mainly because I have more energy to do things. It’s one of the reasons why I decided to blog on a daily basis as of now until further notice. I was so ready to get back into the swing of things and then I was simply told that would not be necessary. So to occupy my brain I’ve upped the blog posts and I’m really liking my daily blog schedule so far. It has most certainly helped me to bull up those boot straps and keep going.

Takkie, my parents’ dog over Easter weekend

What also helped were not only my appointments but also my social gatherings with friends, some of them planned, some of them spontaneous and going to see Justin Timberlake was the icing on the cake. I also saw the biggest part of my family again, spent quality time with my parents and their dog. I only had one weekend where I didn’t have anything to do and to top things off I am throwing a King’s Day Pancake Party at my place for a few friends and their kids today. I spent yesterday in the kitchen baking a carrot cake and blueberry bread and then tomorrow I’ll spend a few hours baking almost 40 pancakes. I’m already looking forward to that. I am currently also working on picking up my gym routine. For the past 3 weeks I’ve actually managed to work out 2x a week every week. That’s a first since September!

The best thing that could possibly have happened is that my previous job called to see if I was interested in coming back. Whether this actually happens, I have no clue yet as of the specifics, but their call couldn’t have come at a better time. So I hope that this new month will bring me a couple of things: more recovery, more work outs, a better sense of where I’m going and hopefully, if all goes well, a job.

What have you been up to this month?

Personal update (#3)

Personal update (#3)

It’s March! Third month of the year, means third personal update of the year. Time to let you into my life a bit and boy what a month it’s been! I had an unwanted unexpected visitor, went to three concerts and saw some friends and family. I have also started to get a grip on my life again, which is nice. I’m recovering, but am not there yet. However, since I like to stay positive all I can say is: the only way is up!

For starters I’ll update you on my burn out situation. I am still at home but I am much more positive now than when I wrote my previous post. For the first time in months I am not feeling super tired as a default and I’m getting better and better at concentrating on tasks. I still get pretty banged up the minute I do too much or have any reason to be stressed out, but as long as I avoid those situations I am doing pretty okay. I got some blood tests done, which showed that there is nothing wrong with me physically and I have also had my first meeting with a psychologist. So I’m still working on getting better, but it’s nice to finally notice some improvement.

Like I said in the intro I had a fairly busy month. Previous to my collapse, I had bought tickets to see some live shows by The Boxer Rebellion, Bastille and Backstreet Boys. I already included Boxer Rebellion in last month’s monthly favorites, because it reminded me of how much I love to see live music. There is nothing more exciting and relaxing to me than to sing along to my favorite songs at the top of my lungs. And when it came to all three concerts, I could do just that. Especially BSB! I was an avid BSB fan until late 2009 and then I just thought: meh. But the minute the European In a World This Tour was announced I knew I had to get tickets. I was a little late in getting them due to work, but me and my cousin ended up seeing plenty and having a great time. And this has instantly given me an idea to create an all new ‘Backstreet Boys music playlist’. Perhaps I should share it with all of you by the time I’m done with that?

Mice gnawed their way through the wall trying to get out

Apart from concerts I’ve also been seeing plenty of family and friends. Not in the first place because I had no other option. I had already made plans to meet up with some people because of the concerts etc. But at the end of February something stressful happened that forced me to sleep at my friends’ place and my parents’ for a bit. I had mice. I live in an old house, so mice are a given where I live. And usually they don’t really pose a problem. This time however, instead of trying to find food in the kitchen, the mice had found their way into my living area. That means: the place where I write this blog, watch TV and sleep. They were in the walls and I couldn’t sleep because of the noise, but I saw them walking around all the time too. It got to a point where they were literally on my couch, in my wardrobe, near my bed and climbing my curtains. None of the traps seemed to work, so after almost 2 weeks of agony, the exterminators came by, I went to my parents to wait for the problem to solve itself and when I came back, the nasty little buggers were indeed gone.

On a positive note: I haven’t seen so many friends and family members in a month’s time in years. I got to see my best friend three times, went for long walks with my mom and my family’s dog, saw all of my extended family, most of my fellow Backstreet friends, and more good friends. And this next month will bring me more of that as I have more birthdays, concerts and other fun things coming up. That, combined with my new found energy and more daylight (hooray for sunlight) is making me a much happier person than I have been in 6 months time. Here’s to hoping that nothing happens to mess that up. Because if there’s one thing my mouse adventure has taught me is that I am nowhere near the old me just yet.

What good things have happened to you this month?

Personal update #1

Personal update #1

I thought I’d do a quick personal update, because right now, life is anything but dandy. As a matter of fact, I called in sick from work for the time being so I can deal with life.

If you’ve read my blog in the past few months, you’ll know that I had a very stressful time at work. I had hoped it would let up after fall break, and it did. But only for a few weeks. I got sick which was a huge setback and now, come Christmas break, I found that it wasn’t just a setback in workload, but also in my physical well-being.

During Christmas break I all but crashed and that is something I definitely do not want. In a way I am still recuperating from life around September & October time and it’s January now. I have not been able to work out at all since I got sick and my fitness level is absolute drab. I lack a serious amount of energy, feel lackluster and all I want to do is sleep. On top of that, my back hurts (from all the stress) and it’s gotten so bad that at times I cannot get to sleep. So to say I’m doing well wouldn’t be an understatement that would be downright in denial.

I saw my doctor on Thursday and that meeting made me decide to choose me above all things for an indefinite period of time. Of course I hope it will be no more than a few weeks, but right now I honestly can’t tell how long this will take and I want to make sure I take enough time get my life back on track. I am going to see a physiotherapist again for my back and I’m going to pick up my gym routine. I’m starting with yoga classes and one dance class for the time being. Because my fitness level is at an all time low, I cannot do any strenuous cardio right now, so I’ll have to ease my way back into it. In addition I want to stick to healthy eating habits and get plenty of sleep.

Right now I don’t know how long it will take, nor what impact it will have for the blog. What I do know is that blogging makes me happy: it puts my mind off things. Right now my focus is to get better and work on myself. That I think is a good start to 2014: work on myself to get better and figure out what I want to do with myself. That will be my main goal.

What’s your goal for 2014?

Where have I been?

Where have I been?

The longest time I’ve been MIA on this space was no more than a consecutive week or so. A month never occurred in the almost 3 years of this blog’s existence. Until a few days ago. Life simply caught up with me and I had been so busy that something had to go so I could get back to normal and decide where I wanted to go with this blog and what I want to do with it. So let’s back track and I’ll give you the low down of my life during the last 6 weeks or so and tell you a bit more on what’s in store for you on this blog.


Where to start? Because these past couple of weeks have been crazy, especially the first 3 or so. At the end of June I was still stuck in piles of grading, long meetings, writing an article for uni and finishing up my thesis. I am happy to tell you that I finished all of that, on time, but to get it all done was quite stressful. By the end of a school year you’re always under pressure as a teacher because you have to round up before summer break and ideally you already prep for next year too. Unfortunately I didn’t have time for the latter, but I decided around the second week of July that I had had enough: I finished my duties before the vacation and I will pick up where I left off after summer break. As for the thesis and article: both have been handed in, I just have to sit and wait now to hear from my co-authors and supervisor.

Socially it has been a hectic time as well. I saw some movies, celebrated birthdays (including my own), went to a few parties, went to the beach or park, met up with tons of friends and family and I also went to a music festival in Belgium called Rock Werchter in between all that as well. That combined with work and going to the gym was a bit much so I think I need about 2 weeks of my 5 week summer vacation just to recuperate and get into vacation mode. I also spent 2 weeks eating quite a bit of crap food and so I have also been sick because my wheat intolerance propped up twice. In between stomach cramps, social gatherings and work outs I managed to clean my house, go to Ikea for a clothing and shoe rack and reorganize some of my clothes, shoes and some other bits and bobs.

Thinking about it, it has all just been busy busy busy and by the time I was home doing nothing I was glad. For an entire month I honestly did not even feel like writing anything here. And then I did my nails yesterday and it was the first time where I thought: let’s post something. I had been on the fence about this blog and my other online activities such as social media for a while now. So I got to work: I cleaned up my Twitter and Facebook accounts, deleted a ton of blogs on Bloglovin’ and decided to cut down on my time spend behind a computer doing, well, nothing really. Instead, I have finally made my way through a pile of magazines I had lying about since April, all the songs I downloaded since March and all four seasons of the TV Series White Collar. And all that in the first 2 weeks of my vacation.

I still have two weeks of vacation left and I am enjoying not going on a holiday and just staying around the house, going to the gym, cooking food, making snacks and smoothies and just being lazy as all hell. I’m enjoying the weather and lo and behold I already managed to read 4 books in the past week alone. On top of that I’ve been watching movies and meeting up with friends and family. Life is good again and I can literally feel all the stress seep from my body. Now all I need is to get on a more regular sleeping/ eating schedule again and I know I will be just fine. But that’s the beauty of vacation: there’s no need for a regular sleeping & eating schedule, so I will start that back up when work does.

As for the blog, I’ve thought long and hard what to do with it. I’ve considered giving it up completely, but I know that I’ll get the urge to write, so I’m not going to do that. What I will do however, is tone down the frequently. Instead of: I have to post a blog every day. It will be: I will post when I want to. And that means that I will sometimes post every day, or every other day, and sometimes leave more time in between posts. I will be aiming for 3 posts a weeks, 5 max. and if I am feeling really inspired I will make it daily, but I don’t want to make that a thing. So 3 posts a week, I think is a nice average that I think could work. And when I find it doesn’t for whatever reason than I can always adjust it when the time comes.

What have you been up to? And do you have any ideas for blog posts that I could do? I need some inspiration to get me going! In any case: leave a comment below.