My cup of cappuccino says "Ymere schenkt" [translates as "Ymere pours" but in Dutch you could also explain it as "Ymere offers"]. Ymere is the name of our housing cooperative and I'm currently working at their headquarters. I'm surrounded by colleagues (by the look of it, I frankly don't know any of them), I hear funny/embarrassing/obnoxious stories, phones are ringing constantly and everybody is gathering around the coffee machine. In short: a normal office environment.
The elevator in our building will be replaced in the coming weeks and the sounds emerging from the construction site (builders included!) are pretty loud. Since I work from home, our housing cooperative has offered me a temporary desk at their headquarters. Which turns out to come with just as much noise, or perhaps even more, if I'm honest... Because wait, I forgot the office radio, which is currently playing the Miami Sound Machine. Gloria Estefan fits right in here.

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Forget about lowering the bar for myself. Or about changing my point of view - because I actually like looking at the bar from below, that bar gets me going. This just popped in my inbox and nailed the issue on the head. Talk about trusting that what you need to hear comes to you at the right time!

The approach of mahayana, or the great path of the bodhisattva, is one of not taking time off or looking for relief. You are not looking for a way to take a break, or to comfort yourself by running away from the challenge. You just stay put; you are on the spot. You stay with the pain or the discomfort, and you continue to carry on with exertion and the vision and joyousness of wakefulness.  
Chögyam Trungpa

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I'm a pressure cooker filled with dreams, ambitions, wants and needs. A pressure cooker that is close to exploding... You won't find a happy housewife's smile on my face, because I constantly feel like I'm running behind. Like I have to catch up with the world, or make up for lost time.
The nagging feeling of being last threatens to turn into the fear of being left out. Nobody will tell me to my face that we have lost time ever since cancer entered our household, but the truth of the matter is that it most certainly feels like we did. Of course one can never actually lose time, or own time to begin with. However our life has been on hold compared to other thirty-something couples. Kenji and I didn't work on our careers, nor did we successfully invest in any other 'extracurricular' networking. We were forced to take life one day at a time - and that basically hasn't changed since January 2011.

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Gisteren was ik één van de duizend gasten bij de HEMA Blog Academy. En nee, ik blog niet over nagellak en ook niet over damesmode, dus écht mijn ding was het niet en dat gaat het ook niet worden. Maar de uitnodiging was wel een geweldig excuus om een middagje de boel de boel te laten en lekker het pontje naar de NSDM-werf te pakken. Uitwaaien bleek nuttiger dan netwerken - iets wat helemaal aansluit bij mijn visie op het leven tegenwoordig.
Bij aankomst lag er een goodiebag op mijn stoel en wat is er nou leuker dan die gewoon weer doorgeven aan een bloglezer? Wie maak ik blij met de volgende HEMA goodies: een canvas tas met geprinte strik erop, een hardcover notitieblok met elastiek en een cadeaukaart met een tegoed van 5 euro. (Het flesje water dat erin zat is op; de basic blauwe balpen zal ik jullie ook besparen.) Heb je zin om deze goodiebag te winnen, laat dan even een reactie achter. Uiteraard vind ik het leuk als je mijn blog volgt en/of deze give away vermeldt op je blog of Facebook, maar niets is verplicht. A.s. maandag 15 september maak ik de winnaar bekend.

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It was my turn to go to the annual information night at school. Kenji stayed home with the boys and I heard all about this year's first grade program. The last part of the teacher's presentation contained the usual "Any questions?" slide. One parent suggested that we should briefly introduce ourselves - which everybody thought was a great idea. I noticed how many couples had come together and how each parent referred to their two-earner household. One woman said: "I'm a lawyer and my husband is at home. Erm.. that is, with the kids. Right now. Tonight. Not that he is at home." The classroom burst out in laughter. Now wasn't that hilarious! Joking about a father who was at home permanently! Of course she had just misspoken herself, that was crystal clear to the group. I was one of the last parents to introduce myself. I mentioned how I worked as a copywriter and that my boys also had a father, who wasn't present since he was watching over them. Period.

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