Long overdue

This old blog has been seducing me for a while now. It feels like I’m stepping back into my head and heart by returning to this place. I guess that means I might have taken a long enough stroll to the outside world looking to find different aspects of myself as well as my purpose in life. 

I haven’t quite succeeded in either of those endeavors but I do feel I’ve gotten closer than I’ve ever been before. I guess that’s the most we can hope for as each step leads to the next and every experience offers us growth if we allow it. 

I miss the times when I used to share my thoughts and adventures with others through my writing. I felt connected to so many of you, if only by the string of words that I wrote and you read. 

My blog fell to the background these past few years, not because I didn’t have the opportunity to write, but because I felt there was nothing left to say on a personal level. As if my inner being had dried up, expired and sold out. As I write it down it seems odd to think that at a time when I was actually most productive (or so I thought) my writer’s soul quietly took a seat in the corner, patiently waiting for a new chapter to start.

And a new chapter it is! It may not be filled with exciting new plans, hot dates left and right or even an actual idea of what lies ahead, but I feel – now more than ever – thrilled to enjoy this moment.

The past few years were packed full of action and creativity. I co-wrote two books that were not only published but sold more copies than ever expected. I created my own online platform: Mies; a place where people in divorce situations can find solid advice and read other people’s experiences to find relief and recognition. I co-created another online platform: de Wereldwijven – for and by Dutch women all over the world to connect and share their stories to inspire others across the globe. And I translated so much interesting content that I feel I was schooled all over again.

Two of my children (the girls – who are now actual adults) have gone off to college and my son inhabits the ‘west wing’ of our house whilst I enjoy living in the girly pink side of our home. We get together for dinner talks and laundry quarrels. My parents have moved closer by and my dad was lucky enough to receive a donor kidney at the age of 75. He’s healthy and fit, but to quote his own dry sense of humor: the new kidney will probably outlive him. I keep insisting it will give him another 75 years, or so.

There has not been another great love in my life since I last blogged and I think that I’ve kept busy if only not to notice it missing. Life has a way of offering that what you need, when you need it and not when you don’t. My heart took a long break to heal and I can only hope that it grew back a bit more resilient this time.

This year has been a true eyeopener for me, in many ways. It has brought me patience, self-reflection, rest, calm and an even bigger sense of gratitude. It has brought us together as a family and taught us that we don’t have to like each other every day to know that we love each other always. 

For the very first time I planted a seed and watched it grow. Radishes, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, raspberries, blueberries, fresh herbs, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, parsnips, you name it – I reaped it! I never realized what it would feel like to be a part of nature’s natural cycle of life, from beginning to end. All of a sudden life made sense. It made me more appreciative, of the taste, the smell and even the effort it took for a seed to become the food we ate. 

Joy is the seed that grew within me this year. After years of rushing about, stressing out, trying hard not to fail, fearing the future, not knowing if the road I was on was the right one, I was hit by the pauze button. But like a long high-speed train, it took a little while for it all to come to a complete standstill, it screeched and bolted for some time before there was an absolute silence. It was this silence that stated the obvious: I needed to make some changes that were long overdue. How is it that you can be so stuck in something that you don’t see the signs? Or maybe I purposely ignored them to avoid the disappointment of yet another possible let down? And how right my gut feeling was to know that some things in life are what they are.

Suddenly there is time to ponder again. To imagine a different life, a new road with brighter horizons. That’s where I’m at. I’m taking it in, breathing it through and making it mine to explore. This new leap of faith with no definite destination or direction is bound to go somewhere. All that is clear is that it comes from within and it’s on its way out. Let’s see where it goes…. 

Mother’s Day

For my own sweet mother and all the other moms out there including those we miss so very much….

When you thought I wasn’t looking

When you thought I wasn’t looking
You hung my first painting on the refrigerator
And I wanted to paint another.

When you thought I wasn’t looking
You fed a stray cat

And I thought it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn’t looking
You baked a birthday cake just for me
And I knew that little things were special things.

When you thought I wasn’t looking
You said a prayer
And I believed there was a God that I could always talk to.

When you thought I wasn’t looking
You kissed me good-night
And I felt loved.

When you thought I wasn’t looking
I saw tears come from your eyes
And I learned that sometimes things hurt
But that it’s alright to cry.

When you thought I wasn’t looking
You smiled
And it made me want to look that pretty too.

When you thought I wasn’t looking
You cared
And I wanted to be everything I could be.

When you thought I wasn’t looking
I looked . . .
And wanted to say thanks
For all those things you did
When you thought I wasn’t looking.

Poem by Mary Rita Schilke Korzan.
Image by Wilma de Lange

All I ask…

It’s been forever and at least a day since I’ve been round to my own blog. Funnily enough other people do still pop in to check my posts. Thank you for that!

I’ve been out and about trying to make a proper living and live an organised family life together with my three teenagers and dog – Otis.

I think it’s fair to say that by taking the time to actually start setting my own goals in life and getting more involved with what keeps my kids busy, I’ve learned to appreciate them and myself a lot more!

Some things seem so petty in retrospect. Whilst others, that I should have fought for, I bluntly ignored or pushed aside. Shame on me.

The time of reflection is nearing as Christmas is just around the corner.

And I’ve realised that :

  • the less you have, the less you need
  • – the more grateful you are, the more there is to be grateful for
  • – the less time you waste on negativity, the more positive your life becomes
  • – the more you expect love, the less love you’ll receive
  • – the less time you can spend with friends, the more valuable a moment with one becomes
  • – anything can happen
  • – at any given time
  • – there are no guarantees
  • – living in the moment is worth so much more than living in the past or in the future
  • – sometimes you end up letting go of people you wish you hadn’t
  • – you should never make decisions if not truly from the heart
  • – and life will always, always keep surprising you…when you least expect it.

That’s just a short list of my most important epiphany’s. To give you my long list would serve no purpose as we each have our own reflections to make in life.

I’m thankful for a year of exciting new adventure, starting up my own magazine together with a team of awesome bloggers. Bringing wonderfully talented people together, just like that.

Life was kind of tough this year, some scars were ripped open again and some may never truly heal. I realise that now. Change is not always for the better, but you must strive to make the best of every change you go through.

It’s funny how in the end we remember, not the bad or painful moments, but the times we overcome them. Standing up after feeling defeated. A very important step to take, no matter how many times you fall. Keep getting up, it’s always worth it!

A long intro just to let you know….I’m back!
Never really left.
Some things are just meant to be….
Like Living la Vida Loca and me.

And to get back to what I started off with: all I ask… is that you join me here again, whenever you can.


For you… I miss

When you miss someone so much….
Your heart aches pains of desperation

When you miss someone so much….
Your thoughts keep wandering off to the realms of all what-if’s

When you miss someone so much…
Your body hungers for that unique, extraordinary touch

When you miss someone so much…
Your life feels empty and completely lost for cause

When you miss someone so much…
You owe grace for having been loved

When you miss someone so much…
You learn the difference between what was right and how you wronged

When you miss someone so much…
Your world crumbles into shattered hopes

When you miss someone so much…
You wonder if serendipity will bring to each a soulmate

When you miss someone so much….
You feel true love sometimes prevails even though it has not been yours to have

When you miss someone so much…
You hide within you the excruciating jolts of pain from missing someone oh so very very much.

Mr. Tinder & Miss Tinderella

So I joined Tinder a little while ago and found myself fishing in a seemingly never-ending pond of eager men. For those of you who are not very familiar with this new dating-hype, let me explain.

Tinder is an App, quick to download and you can easily login with your Facebook account which enables the app to check your friends and likes. This way you can tell if you have someone in common or any interests you may share. Once you’ve created your account, set up your best picture(s), chosen the age group you’re interested in and the radius in which you wish to find your Mr. Tinder (or Miss Tinderella), you can start swiping! 
I found myself mostly swiping men off to the left side of the screen towards the cross, which indicates that you’re not interested and wish to see the next potential Mr. Tinder – ASAP! In fact I got so used to left-swiping that my thumb  became accustomed to it and automatically swerves to the left as soon as I reject or disapprove of a guy in real life! *just kidding
At times I got so fanatic about swiping left, that I’d swipe away a gorgeous guy and in a frantic attempt to get him back I’d do a few right-swipes on the screen towards the heart, accidentally liking men I never-in-a-million-years would choose to like. Luckily if they like you back and you get a Tinder-match there’s still the option to block them in the chatroom. How friendly I must come across…*gulp
Anyway, once you get the hang of it, you’re off and it becomes a great pass-time. You can swipe away through lunch, boring dates, in waiting rooms, and even during visits to the loo. Suddenly men become available to you everywhere and at any time of day. It’s amazingly addictive especially since you keep thinking the next guy WILL be the one – but NEVER is…
However fun it seems at first though, you soon start noticing some patterns in the photographs. For example the incredible amount of men that seem to (want you to) think they own a plane, sports car or boat, if you hit the jackpot he has all three of them neatly stacked amongst his pictures. Also, men seem to be sportier than ever these days, some guys include pictures of their skiing trips, surf jumps, sky-diving adventures, golfing rounds, you name it – they sport it! Anything just to get us Tinderella’s panting for them.
The real ‘eye-catchers’ however are the men that wear sunglasses. No matter what time of day or night, it seems they’d rather show off their newest Ray-Ban’s than grant us a quick peek into their soul. But whilst some men like to hide, others enjoy propagating what they’ve got. I’ve seen the naked buttocks, accentuated sweat pants full of dick-head, naked fat guys, naked thin guys, atrocious selfies taken in bathroom mirrors, which kind of defeat the purpose of a selfie in my opinion, but who am I to judge right?!
AND last but certainly not least, girlfriends’ husbands or partners, parading on Tinder without a care in the world, pretending they’re single and available. Just being ‘one of the boys’ trying out a new  App. These encounters DO make my heart skip a beat, not from excitement but rather from bottled-up-confused-anger. It’s not up to me to judge their ‘drive’ to join this type of datingsite, but I don’t want to become someone’s bait-of-the-day in such polluted waters either! It confuses and hurts everyone involved as sometimes chats grow into conversations that may end up budd-y-ing into more of what never should have had ground to grow on in the first place. 
Strangely enough I’d gotten quite used to all sorts of boundary changing 21st century scenarios, but this has jolted back a sense of right & wrong that I never expected to have lost sight of in the first place.

So to all the Tinder-seekers of the world, may your fairytale not end up turning sour at the sight of your neighbour’s current husband scantily dressed in see-through yoga pants, provocatively lying on the table you had dinner at last week.