Art of living

..I am back!..
With this post I will not give you any insights of Abu Dhabi or the ultimate travel guide but rather an insight of me and my current thoughts.
“Du murmelst jedes Jahr neu an Silvester die wieder gleichen Vorsätze treu in dein Sektglas
und Ende Dezember stellst du fest, dass du recht hast wenn du sagst, dass du sie dieses Jahr schon wieder vercheckt hast.“ (Julia Engelmann)
In the last couple of weeks I realized how fast time is passing. I mean, we all just celebrated the new year of 2017 – full of prosperous wishes and resolutions. And if you have a look at your calendar it shows you: 10.09.2017. 
Where and how did those 9 months pass by?
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities” (Stephen Covey)
You sleep in on a Sunday, you wake up and do your “usual” stuff and before you know it, it’s Monday and your daily work routine has started. Then you run through the week, caught in the so called “whirlwind” and look forward to the weekend again. This is how it usually is.
A couple of years ago I was unfortunate, yet somehow also lucky, to experience big losses or strokes of fate. Unfortunate because I lost three of the most important people in my life, yet lucky enough to carry all the great memories of them with me and a realisation of how precious time is.
“Voy a reír, voy a bailar…Vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la” (Marc Anthony)
02_1993 (4)
Those days made me realize that one’s life is now, your time is now and you are the one in charge of making the most of it. No one simply has time, YOU have to make time for it. For your priorities. For your life. 

“One day baby, we’ll be old…And think of all the stories…that we could have told”
(Asaf Avidan)
Who guarantees that the so called “one day” (“one day I will travel to XX”; “one day I will have XX”) exists? Maybe you will be lucky enough to experience it – great! – but maybe not. 

There is no guarantee that every one of us will turn 80 years old and live happily ever after. Sorry Disney. I lost my dad when he was only little over 50 – but his bucket list would have kept him busy for another 50..
“Everybody dies, but not everybody lives”
.It could be over in 50 years, 15 years, a few weeks, tomorrow or even this evening. Sounds tough but this is how it is. You simply don’t know, no one knows. 

My question is this: is it OK to be afraid of that particular day? Or to even wait for that day? The day we wish for us and our loved ones to be a long time in the furthest future? Or is it OK to be aware of “the day” and until then make the most out of everything?
“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you`ll look back and realize they were the big things.”
(Kurt Vonnegut)
By everything I literally mean everything: 
Appreciating the first breath you take in the morning, before running to the bathroom in order to make it to the bus; the first sun rays which hit your face while driving; the small snail which crosses your path walking to your office; greeting random people; being actively present (mentally, not just physically) at the family gathering; seeking conversations with other colleagues or enjoying a dinner alone while overlooking the city.
All those “minor” things tend to get lost in our busy routines. 
If one always try to monitor ones busy whirlwind, one will never have time for (self) growth. One will run behind ones tasks, try to manage them and in the end one will realize it is Friday and simply thank God for it.
But how sad is it, in fact, that we did not manage to visit Granny during the week for a quick coffee since she only lives a few kilometres away? Or to catch up with the friend who is in town only for a short period?
Meh I am too busy, sorry.
Are we able and grateful to handle our time wisely or are we somehow happy that “the routine” takes over and the excuse is prepared? 
Are we really sorry about it?
“Die meiste Zeit verbringen wir damit zu sagen, dass wir keine Zeit haben”

I tend to say: if you really want something, you will find a way and if you don´t you will find an excuse. 
Doubt is more dangerous that failure ever was.

Every one of us is somehow busy nowadays, we are not kids anymore with no duties being able to jump from one tree to the other – caring less to fall or make it; we are adults who carry certain responsibilities yet we are humans and it is allowed to live for more than just work/duties.  
Our mums did not go through 9-months + 18 years of struggle to then find us mishandling this “gift” AKA “our life”.
I absolutely LOVE my birthday and the planning of the big party usually starts months prior; why do I love it? Because I love myself that much? No, not at all, because I love my mum for deciding on having me. I’m truly thankful at all times and the whole party with its spread of LOVE is because of her.
Love is key.
The more I think about and observe life, the more I realize that in the end the key is LOVE. 
Love towards our family which makes us think of/meet/miss them; love towards friends which made us choose them as friends; love towards the job which made us study for it; love towards our pets which make us pet them; love towards our better half which made us establish life with them – love towards life to be here and live it.
The inner-struggle is real “I don’t have time for that” vs. “I still have time, one day I will xx”.
I believe we have to ask ourselves if we would be happy the way our life is currently in 5 years from now. If your inner answer is yes, then you should go on. If your reply is rather a no, then it is time to think it all over and change something. Change something before life changes you.
“If you don’t like how things are change it! You are not a tree.” (Jim Rohn)
Change is good, change is scary, change is risky, change is exciting, change is definitely not comfortable – still, what prevents you from risking it? 
It is your life so you have to be happy with it – you and no one else. 

You want to do something crazy? Do it. You feel like quitting your job? Do it. You want to study although you just turned 30? Do it. You want to explore a country which everyone discourages you to visit? Do it. 
And surely this so called “Do it” does not consist of one action; it is a combination of smaller actions and struggles. Yet, it will be worth it if you really want it.
“Just do it” (Nike)
Many people approach me with comments like “Oh, your pictures look beautiful, your life must be nice hopping from one country to the other for work purposes”. 
Well, this is what pictures show and this is definitely how I – at one point – feel it. 
But mostly I went through struggles till I got and felt it.
Nobody said it was easy. No one ever said it would be this hard. (Coldplay)
It is not easy to leave your family and friends in your beloved home country; it is not easy to go through the whole paper work and CV-struggle to get an apprenticeship in a new, unknown city. It is not easy to start from scratch with social network and all that comes with it; it is not easy to go through difficult times alone; it is not easy to find even an apartment and put up the bloody shelf; it is not easy to handle envy at work or down-trodding because of one’s young age;
P1060300 is not easy to move to another totally different country and its peculiarities; it is not easy to learn a new language and claim a certain standing; it is not easy to miss out on special occasions back home; it is not easy to handle severe losses and strokes of faith; it is not easy to coordinate work and private life; it is not easy to re-start all over in a new town and work place; it is not easy to drive to work without taking the wrong exit again; it is not easy – but it in the end it is worth it. 

It was all worth it and I am blessed to be able to say: I regret almost nothing.
The only thing I deeply regret is that I did not spend more time with my grandfather just because I thought “there is still plenty of time for us”. There was not.
Take a moment to be aware, to reflect.
All those struggles one goes through will help us to appreciate the good moments a little more. 
Life is definitely not a bowl of yummy cherries. Yet all of us are able to make the most out of it.
The small things turn into big things if you let them: sunsets, good health, food on the table, loving people around – gratitude towards life.
Own the moment.
And in every busy life, in the end it is definitely all about priorities…
“We have to meet” – Arrange it. 
“I miss you” – Do something about it. 
“I would like to travel to…” – Save money and book it.
It is easy and quite trendy nowadays (Hello Insta!) to google “life quotes” but it is your task to live the quote. It is easy to criticize others but it is your duty to question yourself from time to time.
Be open to different mind-sets; learn to accept but question others views; explore more than your own habitat and challenge yourself.  
Don’t get me wrong, I am not here to highlight my way of living, loving and impose it onto others; I’m simply trying to show that all of us tend to seek the easier, more comfortable way, keep ourselves busy with the minor “things” and forget to appreciate our time here. We all have exacty the same 24 hours in a day. It is about making the time for the things you want.
Happiness is not out there, it’s in you.
Live and hence love truly and consciously.
My “art of living” post was shaped based on the above-mentioned life experiences and the bottom line of: avoiding the statement “I wish I could have xx”.
You only have this one life but if you live it properly once is enough.
PS: I dedicate this blog post to my incredible granny who actively shaped my art of living 🙂 Rest in peace my love ❤

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