About two years ago I moved to Spain. The Basque country to be exact. The second semester of my Masters took place in Bilbao at the international institute of human rights at the University of Deusto. For me, that semester was a semester of rediscovering the joy in learning, green hills and most of all my love for walking. All things that I knew I loved, but I sort of forgot in the semester before. That one was spent working in a conference center without day light and travelling in busy trains to take a class here and there in Amsterdam. Looking back, I was on the edge of a burnout. Being in Bilbao saved me.
I never like winter that much. It's cold. It's dark. People get sick. Never enough energy. I wish I was one of those hibernating bears. A whole season of sleep sounds great. But yesterday, someone triggered me to reconsidering the winter season. A speaker in church talked about life in different seasons and how you go through all them at some point and sometimes all at the same time. "Winter" he said, "is a season of rest." So based on his own experience he went through a period of grief, loss and heartache in fall and got to rest during winter.
I baked my own bread today. Made that tomato soup as well, but the bread was a new experiment. I guess I would like to improve on the recipe, but for today this was a very satisfying winter meal. Bread is such a basic type of food. I grew up with bread twice a day. And soup with bread is a traditional Sunday meal. Simple, but strong.
Okay, so it's been a bit of a week with ups and downs. Some real disappointments mixed with new opportunities, while battling through a week with a flu. I don't like being sick as it really affects my memory. I just forget stuff and mostly just feel incredibly tired. So what do I write about on a day in which I don't wake up feeling rested, when I take two hours to bake a cake (which did taste good though) and invest time in transcribing an interview.
We live in world with a lot of distraction. It's around us all the time. Our lives seem so scattered all over the place. Sometimes it seems like we have so many different things going on at the same time. We forget to focus.
So my first week of writing is done. 7 stories are online. 358 stories to go. Okay, that's still a lot. But a decent start is half the work, right? I am truly amazed by the responses of people on this project. So many people that are reading the stories and feel inspired somehow. I can't really get my head around that. Thank you to everyone who has joined me on this journey. Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. Thoughts that I don't edit, but are just mine put into words on a screen. In case you haven't followed my blog this week, here is an overview. I will try to write one every week with additional thoughts, funny stories on how people react to the blog posts or just my personal reflection. Enjoy!
So I recently read an article about rest. A survey with more than 18.000 participants from 134 countries showed that if you take enough rest, you are more likely to be satisfied with your level of well being and happiness. Okay, so the authors conclude that taking time to rest is actually good for you.