Human Nature, Simplify

Unbearable Clutter

Just read an article from The New York Times entitled The Unbearable Heaviness of Clutter.

The last paragraph sums up what I have been clamouring about all these years:

Dr. Saxbe agreed that a good way to declutter is to keep items out of the house in the first place. She urged shoppers to consider whether they truly need an item or if it will add to their home’s sense of dysfunction. “Once it’s in the house, it’s really hard to deal with. You get attached to the things you own,” she said.

Human Nature, Jibber Jabber

Social Media Outbursts

Oh it is so very easy to post personal opinions on any social media platforms. We are damn courageous to let it out when we are behind the screens (digital shields). Aren’t we all so clever, to know what is happening in our world, all the time? We are so well-informed by the gazillion tweets and heeds, which appear every five seconds at our finger tips. Do you not see that I am just embracing the freedom of speech when I choose to lash out in public?

Well, does the public really care about your take on politicians, foreigners, family, friends and enemies? Even if someone responded, are they really on your side or do they just want to appear cleverer than you by adding something (anything)?

For years now, I have heard many declarations and threats of people who will leave their countries (homes) if a certain person becomes president. I have yet to see someone do it…

Until one has walked (barefoot) in the steps of a village girl who has to collect drinking water from the river, be a bit considerate with your words.

Be responsible.

Health, Human Nature, Simplify


Ikigai is a Japanese term for “a reason for being.” The word ‘Ikigai’ usually refers to the source of value in one’s life or the things that make one’s life worthwhile. The word roughly translates to the “thing that you live for” but it also has the nuance of “the reason for which you wake up in the morning” similar to a daily purpose. Each individual’s ikigai is personal to them and specific to their lives, values and beliefs. It reflects the inner self of an individual and expresses that faithfully, while simultaneously creating a mental state in which the individual feels at ease. Activities that allow one to feel ikigai are never forced on an individual; they are often spontaneous, and always undertaken willingly, giving the individual satisfaction and a sense of meaning to life.


Human Nature, Jibber Jabber, Travels

17 Years Ago…

Today, 17 years ago, was the horrible day that devastated and changed many lives. Let us never forget.

A few months earlier, 17 years ago, I met a friendly New Yorker on the plane to Sabah. J was touring Malaysia and I was going home after acquiring my student visa to the US. We remained friends all these years.

July, 17 years ago, I left my home town for the fourth time in my life. I went back to college in Kalamazoo to acquire a diploma in graphic design. In doing so, I have readjusted and redirected my life path once again.

To me, 2001 will never be only that one terrible day which poison has scattered fear and discord into our hearts. We just have to realize and admit that there were many good days when positive and wondrous things have simply occurred. Such is life…

Human Nature, Simplify


After a ridiculously warm and restless night, I woke up yesterday morning with a regret that bothered me for half a day. Bloody hell, I caved in and did not sleep in the tent because of a storm forecast which did not even occur! Argh!

To remove myself from the rotten feeling of self-pity, I asked D if he wanted to accompany me to the library (with the bike) in the afternoon. I need to get out of my comfort zone, be a bit brave and take calculated risks. I felt much better after the bike ride, renewing my library membership for another year, borrowed a book about vegetable gardening, and did some light grocery. Of course, the companionship was most helpful.

Later in the day, we joined the neighbours for drinks and a bit of socializing while their children played in the speelstraat. I walked back home to prepare dinner, ate dinner, rejoined the group and then left to call mom to have our usual Wednesday chats while D stayed on.

And not wanting to wallow in disappointment yet again, I slept in the tent last night. Read a bit, went to sleep, and woke up all rested at 7.30am. Yeah!

Belgium, Human Nature, Jibber Jabber

A Warm Wednesday

Today started out as a typical Wednesday. In the morning, I checked my weight with the Wii Balace Board. When D got up from bed, I did some quick dusting and wiping around the house.

At lunch time, we cycled to D’s parents to enjoy a barbecued fish together. The few hours of eating, chatting and making the best of the warm dry weather went past swiftly. We even helped removed a well-rooted garden plant before our departure! From the parents’ home, D and I proceeded to De Gavers to see if we can buy a pot of local honey. Unfortunately, we were told that the bee-keeper has been sickly, thus this year’s honey production will be rather doubtful. Not wanting to drink at the café, we continued on biking about the cool green surroundings of the lake before heading home.

In the late afternoon, we joined some neighbours at the speelstraat (play street) pop-up bar. The time flew by, dinner time came and went and I almost forgot to call mom for our Wednesday chat. I left the gathering hastily, ate some sandwiches and then called to provide mom a listening ear. What a day this has turned out to be…

Belgium, Human Nature


D and I have not seen a pair of friends for more than a year. So not too long ago, we invited them over to the house for a barbecue this evening. Guess what? It turned out to be the warmest July 26th ever recorded here in Belgium. Oh and we decided to serve fries along with the grilled meats. Yep, that is how D and I roll. Againts the current, baby!

Despite the heat, the evening turned out to be quite lovely. It felt good to reconnect with people we seldom see.