Feb 26, 2012


This past week, the powers that be in football (that's soccer to the rest of you) put forward the idea that players should be made to shake hands after every game. Apparently, this could resolve the issues of racism, cheating and violence that blight the sport.

Well, I just finished watching France and Scotland duke it out on the rugby field in the 6 nations tournament. It was close. It was rough. It looked painful. But you know what? They all shook hands at the end (I even spotted a couple of hugs, which may be a bit much). And you know what else? No one made them do it.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Oh, and, allez les Bleus.

Now is not the time to panic

My stress levels are through the roof. So far through the roof, in fact, that they're up there dancing with the satellites à la Wal-E. My heart is beating too fast, my muscles are tightening around my bones and refusing to let go, my eyes are full of the crazy. There's no particular source to all this stress, it just seems to have accumulated like sediment, without ever washing away. One of my professional help-givers has warned me that, unless I find a way to evacuate my stress, it may build up to such an extent that I go beyond the usual "fight or flight" reaction to anxiety and straight into "freeze", or "play dead" mode. Apparently that would not be good.

So, off I went to look for some nice stress relief, and thought: "massage!" What better way to relax than with some aromatherapy candles, soft music, a gentle kneading of your the old achy muscles... Bliss...

But no, this is not how they do it in Switzerland. No candles, no music, nothing like that. Instead, I got pummeled into submission by a large Wagnerian woman who insisted on making me speak German the whole time, pulled me this way and that until my joints cracked and dug into my pain spots asking "Besser?" over and over again while I whimpered. Seriously. How can I be expected to relax in German?

All of this was not helped by the fact that I followed it up with a one-hour session (again, in German) with my personal trainer (catch-phrase: "Noch eine Mal" - hey buddy, if I could do "one more" I wouldn't be lying prone on the floor panting like a dog, now would I?) Waking up this morning, I could hardly move. I suspect there may be bruising. Or worse.

And now I have to go run 13km as part of my half-marathon training program. And because exercise is supposed to relieve stress.

Eventually, all this stress relief will land me in the hospital. Where I bet they have some very effective sedatives.

So I guess it will have worked after all...

Feb 18, 2012


You know what bugs me? I mean, besides the usual things. Those people that say 2012 is going to be the end of the world. They really bug me. I mean, wasn't the end of the world supposed to be last year already? Should these crazies really get two bites at the cherry? It sounds like one of my diets. "Oh, whoops, did I say today? No, I mean tomorrow. My diet starts tomorrow. For real this time. I mean it."

Well, damn the doomsday people. 2012 can't be the end of the world, because this ending would suck. As my mom would say, it would be a French movie ending. Just terrible. 2012 is supposed to be the beginning of my new life, for crying out loud, so no end-of-the-world just yet, please.

Speaking of my new life, I now have an impressive array of professionals helping me get ready for it. I have coaches and trainers covering every single aspect of my life. I haven't quite gotten gold-plated teeth or a platinum boob job but I might as well have for all that this self-improvement is costing me.

But I think it's getting me somewhere. It's certainly getting me a few a-ha moments. Not usually when one of my assorted helpers is actually physically present - usually my breakthroughs happen in the tram on the way to the office, while I'm sitting there, desperately trying to think about anything other than the fact that I have to go back to work, again.

Anyways. The latest eureka inspiration came a few days ago, when it suddenly occurred to me that I've been trying my darndest to figure out who I want to be, rather than who I actually am. It's like I'm still a teenager. When you're under the age of 16, it's expected and kind of cute to be all angsty and weird and desperate to be cool and talking about what you want to be when you grow up. But when you're 34. Well, it's just plain screwed up. I'm not going to be anything. Not anymore. But I'm sure I am something.

Just need to pin down what that something is.

Will keep you posted when I do.

Any day now.

Feb 14, 2012


For your sake, as well as mine, this post will not be about the weather (despite the fact that, all over Europe, people seem to be coming down with a serious case of "the Brits"). This post will not be about Whitney Houston (although, after Michael Jackson, it now feels like my whole childhood is slipping away - if, God forbid, something were to happen to Madonna, I would officially be musically orphaned). And this post will not be about the US elections (that being said... Rick Santorum? Really?)   So, no weather, no Whitney, no wackos. What on earth is left to talk about? Absolutely nothing. Nothing is happening. Everything is waiting. Holding its breath. Still. Any minute now, my life will start again. I can feel it. So close, I can smell it, hear it whispering to me. Any minute now. In the meantime, I'm still in my bubble. Surrounded by conversations I don't understand, people I don't know, and strange-sounding cheeses. And I can't even eat them hecause I'm trying to shed the pounds... Have to be thin for my new life, don't I?!

Feb 5, 2012

Wish you were here

I miss my friends.

There was a line on a TV shows I was watching the other day (the world I live in while I'm not living my life) that said something about loneliness at the very bottom of your soul. That's where my loneliness is. Down there. In the muck. At the very bottom of my soul with all the other ugly things.

I know I shouldn't dwell on the negative. Especially not in this blog. Who wants to read about someone else's sadness? "Give us joy!" you cry. "Give us cruel sarcasm! Give us poisonous wit and the odd play on words!"

Oh how I wish I could.

But I need my friends for that. Those incredible women I admire and respect and try my best to channel whenever I have the energy to be a better person. My friends who are far away, with new babies or new boyfriends and not here. Good for them, I say. But God, how it's lonely here without them, when the phone is silent and the inbox empty.

So there is no joy, today. No sarcasm. No wit and no play on words. Just an icky bottom-of-the-soul feeling that won't go away. No matter how much happy yoga tea I drink or TV shows I watch.