Trina's North Germany

A glimpse into an ordinary German life

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Blogging from A – Z

Soon after moving to the countryside with my then new partner and my kids I had some rather difficult years.  Life didn’t turn out as I had expected and for a while I felt trapped in a life I hadn’t wanted and my thinking and feeling were focused on everything that had gone wrong or was not as I wanted it. I was hurting myself with this attitude.

It took me a while to understand that self-pity was not helping me to feel better or to adjust to circumstances I couldn’t change. But slowly I began to focus my mind on things that were good. My boys were developing fine, even though they didn’t like living in the countryside. There was no need to feel guilty all the time about dragging them out here! I had a partner I could rely on and who had been able to take my mood swings. I was living in a nice house and had a lovely garden. Within a few minutes I could take a walk through the woods and enjoy nature. I had not many, but some very good friends. I had a family, I was not alone, and I had a job I really loved.

Things haven’t really changed since I got into that crisis, but I have learned to develop a positive attitude towards life by focusing on the positive aspects of every situation and trying to find ways to make the best out of not so good ones.  Take commuting for example. It is not nice to drive two hours each way to get to work. Not, because it is that far to Hamburg, but because of traffic jams. I have learned to use the time during a standstill to fix my nails, practice deep breathing, and listen to good music. In the evening I ring friends and family (I got hands-free in the car), and thus keep in touch with everyone.

It is up to each and every one to decide whether they want to focus on the negative or the positive. Developing an attitude of positivity doesn’t mean to suppress negative feelings or to deny problems and bad things. It means accepting the negative but instead of dwelling on it deliberately focusing the mind on the positive aspects. If there are no positive aspects to be found a positive attitude can be having faith or trust in life that something positive will arise from the negative:  insights, inner growth or something positive that we cannot foresee right now.

 I have chosen positivity and since I have started practicing it I have become happier every day and grateful for all the gifts life has given me. I know that there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel and that even when everything looks bleak, like the frozen ground in winter, there is something good and positive growing, showing itself when the time is right.



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Book review: ‘Violations of Causality’ by Herb Guggenheim


51y1-3pkLiL._SX345_BO1,204,203,200_Usually I don’t do book reviews and I promise you that it will remain an exception on this blog, but the author is an old  friend of mine and I like what he has written.

I read the book in one afternoon, and I will read it again. And most likely a third time, still.  While reading I was smiling, laughing, grinning and now and then frowning. A murder occurs, but there is more to the story than just one mystery to be solved. There is Skip, a  a rather self-centered and awkward person, yearning to be recocgnised as an artist. He is also insecure, creative and gifted and not prepared to make a choice. There is his girlfriend Gudrun, whom he hangs on to even though he is not very attracted to her. She  personifies logic and reason, and while Skip enjoys her company he is drawn to to another woman, fun loving, dominant and erotic.

The novel will give you some insight into academic life and contraception methods in the 80ies and just when you think there will be no more surprises you will be drawn into science (fiction) and phantasy.

The end is touching and conciliatory and somehow very down to earth.

So, you will neither find a typical crime story, nor a thriller, but you will find a story with depth and humor. Herb’s language is precise and to the point, each word carefully chosen and delightful to read. If you have some spare time I recommend giving it a try, and if you like what you read, then you might also enjoy Herb’s poems, but that is a different matter.

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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.