Writing101 – I am not finished yet

Writing101Day 20 – Last day of Writing101

Yes, I was determined to post every day and do each and every one of these assignments. And I will do it. But not by writing every day. I am simply not able to. I have a problem finding the time and the energy for it.

I usually blog only on weekends. Then it is the first thing I do in the mornings after having walked the dog. Usually I need at least two hours for each post, sometimes even more. First I quickly write down what I want to write about, then I reread it, shorten it, rearrange the text, look at it a second time, alter some passages until finally I feel it is ok to show it to the world. But each time I post something I am nervous about the reactions. Will anyone even look at it? Will they like it? Is there a meaning to what I am blogging about? Do I reach my personal goals, giving people a glimpse into an ordinary life in North Germany?

Most weekends I feel there was not enough time to do all the things I would like to do. I am often frustrated on Sunday nights, feeling that now the precious time where I can do all the things I enjoy is over. However, I do love my job, I find it challenging and the constant exchange with other people helps me to grow personally.

I will do every assignment of this course,because I found each of them challenging and inspiring. Some of the assignments I will do in German, and some in English. Today  I will give you a glimpse into an ordinary day of mine, at the same time doing assignment 14 and 9:

Day 14: Recreate a single day:

05.00: the first alarm is ringing. I hit the snooze button, going back to sleep easily.

05.05: the second alarm is disturbing my dreams. Again I hit the button, continuing that interesting dream I just had.

05.10 – 05.30: see above. I am never ready to get up this early!

05.30 am: leaving the bedroom, being enthusiastically greeted by my dog, cuddling her, putting on whatever clothes are lying around and stumbling out into the dark.

05.40 – 06.10: walking the dog. There are three different routes around the village; I let the dog decide which one she prefers that day.

06.10 – 06.50: feeding the dog, putting on coffee, having a shower, do a quick yoga-exercise, drink a cup of coffee, put on make-up, blow – dry my hair, search for my keys and leave the house.

06.50 – 08.50: being stuck in traffic. In winter there is stop and go for at least 15 km each day, the traffic lights in the city are always on red. Listening to the news on the radio, making a few phone calls on the way (I do have hands-free!), filing my nails while waiting for cars to move.

08.50 – 17. 30: doing my job. I am head of a team of 13 social workers and psychologists. So there are conferences, case meetings, emails, counselling of clients, paperwork, reports to read and to write and of course phone calls. I am either talking or writing all day.

17.30 – 19.20: driving home, traffic is a bit better at this time, having a quick stop at the supermarket to pick up groceries.

19.30 – 20.00: being enthusiastically greeted by the dog, less enthusiastically by my partner, taking the dog on her evening walk. My partner has health problems and difficulties walking longer distances, therefore I am the one walking the dog. Besides that, one does need some exercise, doesn’t one?

20.00 – 20.30: talking to my partner, checking the mail, fixing dinner.

20.30 – 22.30 or later. having dinner, watching the news on TV, thinking, I would really like to do some blogging/painting/ring my friend, finding the energy to go to my computer, check Facebook, the emails, wanting to write but finding my head empty, putting out the clothes for the next day, brushing my teeth, saying good night to my partner.

22.30 – 23.00:  reading, until I am dropping off to sleep.

I will now tell you how I would like to live and I am sure that most of you working blog-lovers would like to live in a similar way.

Day 9: “….if you could step into a machine that gave you more time, how would you structure your day? What would you write with this extra time?”

07.00 – 07.20: getting up, being enthusiastically greeted by the dog, putting on my jeans, having a glass of juice, taking the dog on her walk.

07.30 – 08.30: walk in the woods, take some photos, let my thoughts flow, and enjoy the fresh air.

08.30 – 10.30: have a lot of coffee, reading the  papers, sitting at my desk, blogging or writing.

10.30 – 13.00: doing household chores, do the grocery shopping or work in the garden. Take the dog on a small walk.

13.00 – 13.30: have lunch; check my mails, look, whether there are comments on my blog.

13.30 – 16.00: do some voluntary work, for example teach German to refugees, do some free counselling or help a young family with difficulties to cope. Alternatively: paint.

16.3o – 17.30: go to a Yoga class, or to the gym, or take a swim in the local lake or maybe do some more voluntary work or meet a friend.

17.30 – 19.30: walk the dog and fix some really nice dinner, trying out new recipes, use only fresh products and then have a really nice meal with my partner. Find the time to talk without being tired out.

19.00 – until I get tired: go to an evening class about painting, art history, drawing or creative writing. Alternatively visit friends, ring up friends or family, watch some nice movie, have a glass of red wine and chat with my partner, go back to the computer, maybe write some more, work with my photos, read. Stay up as long as I like!

Every now and then my partner and I would leave our routines behind, get into the camping car and take trips North and South, East and West, travelling as long as we feel for and I would come back with a lot of pictures to show you.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder ….

Writing101 Day 7: Today, write a response to one of these tweets

Blu Mar Ten (@BlueMarTEn): “In our universe a star explodes and dies every single second and there’s you, worrying about work tomorrow”

When I was a child I sometimes tried to visualize the universe and wondered where it ended and what was behind it. I still do, sometimes and just as when I was a child I I still feel awed and somehow scared when I try to imagine infinity. It reminds me of death and I become aware that there are much bigger powers and that I have absolutely no control over them.

Sometimes I imagine our earth being something like an anthill in a much bigger world. Just like the ants we have a society with leaders, workers and soldiers, and by sharing the work we are keeping our society going. We are aware that there is a bigger world around us, but we don’t know much about it. We venture out to explore, but just like the ants we are only able to cover a small distance.

However, ants have an important function in keeping the ecological balance of the forest. I am not sure the ants themselves are aware of it, but if we destroyed their anthill it would have an impact on their bigger surrounding. Therefore, if our earth is like an anthill, it still has a function in the universe.

I imagine that our world is only a small jigsaw piece in a much bigger picture. We don’t even know what that picture really looks like. Still, if any of the jigsaw pieces was missing or destroyed the big picture would be disturbed. Therefore I conclude that our earth matters for the whole picture. The wellbeing of our earth, however, depends on how we treat our planet and how we organize our states and societies. And since everything that happens on this earth has an impact on something else, which in return influences something else, what happens at work does matter. Our job as human beings is to keep this earth intact and to turn it into a place worth living in. And how I do my daily job does matter. Just as it matters how I treat my neighbors and children. We might not be aware on how it matters, but it does, somehow. We are not always meant to know.

Just think of someone cleaning the street, having a bad day and overlooking the banana skin lying on the wet asphalt. 15 minutes later a young man slips and by bad luck permanently damages his ankle. Since he is not able to play football anymore he starts following local politics out of sheer boredom and discovers he likes it. He joins a party and gets involved.  30 years later as Germany’s youngest chancellor he prevents an economic crisis that might have led to poverty in Europe. How would things have developed if the guy cleaning the street had taken the banana peel away?

And what about the stars exploding every day? Who knows, maybe there were jigsaw pieces from another puzzle?  Or maybe the picture is changing all the time and therefore every star will have to leave to make space for a new one.

Coming home


It is cold and quiet He doesn’t mind. He is content just to sit there. Nobody is disturbing his thoughts. He is not a believer. Religion and church has never had a meaning for him. But he likes the place. Empty, cold, sad and lonely, just like him. An old house, abandoned, forgotten and not needed anymore.

His children are gone. His wife left many years ago. He didn’t mind. He had his job, his buddies at the bar, his beer and his Bourbon, TV, his car, every first Sunday dinner with his sister. Once a week a quick trip to that apartment where he could fulfill his other needs. It felt enough. He had been content. He didn’t need anyone.

Then, just five years ago he became a pensioner. It felt good in the beginning. Now and then he visited the other guys at the warehouse, where he had worked all his life, but after a while he felt he was standing in their way. They were too busy to talk.

He had a small house and started tending the garden. Went fishing with the neighbor every now and again, fixing things in the house. It felt great not getting up early. In winter he started watching TV at midday, snoozing on the couch. The evenings got longer and sleep was harder to find. He thought about getting a dog. Instead he started writing long emails to his children, getting short ones in return. Found out that he had a grandson, already three years old. He looked at his photo on Facebook and didn’t feel anything.

After a while there were fewer emails and eventually they stopped. He didn’t mind much.

Then, one morning he woke up and realized that he couldn’t remember when he had last talked to another person. He hadn’t left the house for days. He put on his good leather jacket and went on the bus. Got off after 30 minutes, not knowing where he was. Walked a bit, passed that old church and noticed the doors were ajar. He went in.

Now he has been sitting on that hard bench for hours. Alone, but he doesn’t mind. It is peaceful here. Somehow he feels welcome and less alone. Maybe he will come back.

Writing101 This was written  for day 4 of   Blogging University Writing101