Best of 2009 – belly laugh

This is my favourite prompt. Reading the posts on the other blogs was hilarious. Oh, and there were so many this past year… but sadly, I don’t remember most of them. (I blame it on my nursing dementia). There is one recent event though that made me and my friends and family laugh until we cried, so I’d better write it down before it’s lost in the sieve that my brain has become…

The other day, shortly before Christmas, we received a letter by our landlady. She’s this very nice, but sort of piggeldy wiggeldy lady of 60+. She had sent us her Christmas wishes, noting that “especially Sebastian will certainly enjoy this magical time now that he’s a bit older, and his eyes will start glowing with joy when he sees the Christmas tree, and receives the beautifully wrapped presents …”

Thing is, Sebastian is 35 years old, father of two and married.

She really made my day that day.

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Best of 2009 – stationery

I love stationery. I’m even a bit embarrassed about the amount of (mostly sadly unused) journals and calendars lying around at our place. If I had to pick a favourite, it would be either the classic Moleskine, for its timeless and thoughtful design, or the stuff made by Papierstra├če in Berlin (German page), for its beauty and the social idea behind it. They offer beautiful notebooks, fun games for kids and things like whimsical fridge magnets. Everything in their selection is created by young men and women who are suffering from psychological difficulties and are therefore having a hard time to find work on the “first” job market. The project “Der Steg” is helping them to deal with their respective illnesses of the soul and to reintegrate into what we call a “normal” life. The proceeds from the stationery business flow back into the project.

Best of 2009 – epiphany and social web moment

My aha! moment of the year was at the same time a social web moment, so I’m combining the two prompts.

I started this blog earlier this year in order to have an outlet for my feelings, musings and questions on and about motherhood, friendship, conflict resolution and peace research. I am married to a social media guy, so blogs weren’t new to me; I’d even run a blog to share my experiences in Israel in 2005 and 2006. However – and I know this may sound funny – I was not prepared to meet new people here who would become close friends even though we’d never actually met in real life. The connection and friendship I have encountered in this space has already blown me away, and I am so happy to have become part of this “tribe”. Your comments here have been so kind and thoughtful and have made my day more than once. Thanks, guys.

Best of 2009 – gift

Taking up my last post, I could say that the best gift I gave to myself this year was the gift of not having to be perfect, and I would not be lying.

Nevertheless, I think the best gift I have received this year did not, in fact, come from me, but from my beloved husband, who gave me a Diana F+ for my birthday. I have always liked photography, played around with my Dad’s very old SLR when I was a teenager, got my own SLR as soon as I had moved to Hamburg, even took a photography class. However, I never really understood how it worked. I liked some of my pictures, but didn’t know what I had done “right”, or what had gone “wrong” with the other ones. In fact, my approach to photography pretty much illustrates how I approached life in general back then: either it was perfect, or it was wrong.

The Diana F+ eliminated all that. I don’t have to have the “perfect”, i.e. focused, sharp, perfectly lighted picture; instead, a certain moment of surprise is inherent in lomography (at least for me). I love that. It teaches me how to let go of my expectations, how to let go of my “vision”, and to be open for surprises. For trial and error. For plain, good old fun.