Before I Fall – What Would You Do On Your Last Day?

Now on Netflix, the movie Before I Fall features Sam a mean girl that is about to live the last day of her life over and over again until she makes a difference. The plot might not be the most original one, but it does bring up a question in all of us, what would we do knowing that today is our last day, to make a difference?

I’ve always wanted to do more, to make myself present and make a difference, yet sometimes I try to reach high and fail to see the small things that can be impacted. Can I make a difference in a normal yet boring day? Can I really change someone’s destiny? Or can I maybe change my own in just 24 hours? My answer is yes, how can this be possible can only be found out by each and every one of us.

Designed to look for the great moments, for the amazing experiences we fail to acknowledge the ones that really matter, and yes, those are the regular ones, the routine, the time we think we lose by doing nothing spectacular. We live for the future, worried about the past and completely ignoring the reality that is the present. Forever waiting to receive the Oscar, forgetting that getting and holding it is nothing without the regular and boring day preceding the celebration, the one where you simply get out of bed and got to work. The simple moment when you buy a cup of coffee, the cup is too full and you sip from it and taste the coffee. The moment you put on your seat-belt and turn on the music, the crossroad where you let the one stuck on the side road to pass in front of you because you have nowhere to rush and that person says thanks to you.

It’s often said that we have to lose something to truly appreciated, the ones that don’t understand that meaning are the luckiest people on Earth, it means that they’ve never lost someone they love. It is to the regular and ordinary moments that you turn to, it’s to the desire to be yesterday’s one more and for you to relive one lost normality. It’s the moment when you know nothing will ever be the same again that hurts the most, and here I am not talking about graduating high-school or college and just moving forward, although those might hurt as well.

If I were to make an exercise and think about today and what would I do different if it would truly be my last day, well it would be simple, I would have smiled more, I would have petted my animals a little bit more, got up a little bit earlier to drink my coffee with my loved one, I would have picked up my phone to call my grandpa, I would have had a little bit more patience with a mum and her kid when crossing the road that cost me my car’s paint since I hit the curve. I would have been nicer to everyone around me, look at their faces while walking or daydreaming a little bit more before opening the laptop, I would have not spent any time on Facebook and I would have not been judging anyone for their mistakes.

Some would say that if today would be your last day they would quit the job and get on a plane, well guess what, I wouldn’t, I think the difference would be small if I were to spend my last day alone, or just trying to get somewhere it’s impossible to get in 24 hours, running a lost marathon. I would do what I do on a regular, boring day, just a little bit more slowly and with more attention to details so that I can remember it.

Yet if you are reading this, just as I am writing it, means this isn’t your last day, you don’t have to worry about spending your last 24 hours and even if you didn’t get the chance to do everything perfectly you have another shot tomorrow and the day after tomorrow and so on. We don’t have to change anything about the day, we just have to live it. How we will do it, is completely up to us, the difference stands in our hands, whether we decide to act upon it or not. But one thing must be kept in mind when that last day will come, and none of us will escape it, we will not have that opportunity to relive it.

P.S. Watch that movie if you haven’t already, is exactly what the present you needs, food for the sole. Even the grumpy ones will love it!

 

 

10 Things That Make Me Happy

Leaving aside traveling, there are a couple of smaller things that will instantly put a smile on my face even in the darkest times. Here is my list of happiness bringers:

  • Spring and warm weather

I am very influenced by the weather and the most difficult time of the year is winter, that is why I am so happy that Spring has finally arrived and with it the warm weather, nothing makes me happier than ditching the winter clothes for the lighter ones.

  • Sunny days

Cannot help but loving the sunny days when the blue is so intense that it hurts your eyes. If you combine this with a sea view then the smile is guaranteed.

  • Swimming in the sea

For many, this might not be a very pleasant experience because of the salty water and the effects it has on the hair and skin, but for me swimming in the sea is one of the best things. The smell of the salty water and the cold feeling that you get when entering the sea, are just what I am enjoying most.

  • Horseback riding

One of the sports that I practiced as a kid, horseback riding will always hold a very important place in my heart. From the moment you get in the saddle to the moment you get off, all my problems vanished. There is no way of better enjoying the present moment than when you are practicing the noble sport.

  • Shopping

Shallow? Yes! Pleasant? Also yes! Even if nowadays I am trying to cut back on the shopping, I am still enjoying the moments when I go for a shopping sprint.

  • Reading a great book

All the bookworms out there will understand the feeling you get when you start a great book and you lose yourself in the author’s universe. Not knowing when hours passed, I am unable to distance myself from the book until I turn the last page, only to miss it once it’s gone. As a kid, I remember crying when I finished the last book in a series that I fell in love with.

  • Going out for dessert

A guilty pleasure that I like to indulge in is eating a great dessert. Ever since I could talk, I had a sweet tooth and I was madly in love with sweets. Nowadays I like to keep the cravings under control, but every once in a while I love to go out and try different deserts.

  • Dressing up

Nothing changes my mood than dressing up, especially when there is no special occasion. Whether is accessorizing my outfit or simply changing from the basic jeans to a skirt,  this is my go-to treatment for the blue days.

  • Walking hand in hand with my significant other

Even the worst day can be changed in a second when I am walking hand in hand with my loved one. It helps with recharging my batteries and offers me a different perspective on whatever happened.

  • Coffee

Saved the best for last. There is nothing like a great cup of coffee to change my mood, even if I know that I spend a lot on coffee, this is the one vice I totally indulge in.

We all have our bad days, but even in those not so pleasant times, there are fast remedies that can better your mood. What makes you happy?

Being Responsible vs Living The Moment?

Responsible versus reckless, what is the best path? Should you hold the world on your shoulders or be as innocent as a kid, playing until the end of life. If there is anything that I envied in others is their ability to live from one day to another, to be able to stay calm when they have no idea what they will do tomorrow, if they would still have something to work or to eat. Me, I am the crazy responsible person, Monica of the gang, the one that has to know where she stands, where the next paycheck is coming from and never have any bills pending.

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If you are alike, responsible and a perfectionist in all you do, you might wonder how the other side lives like that. But I am here to tell you about a paradox in psychology: most people feel good when doing something that is the opposite of their character. So for a control freak, losing control is their biggest fear and the biggest relief.

From a personal example, I am always responsible for paying the bills and the rent, but when it comes to shopping, I completely lose control and love that feeling. Never actually using a credit card or borrowed money, but always spending all I gain, making it impossible to save. To me getting that plane ticket, purse, jewelry or pair of shoes is what brings me an immediate rush of adrenaline.

As years go by, I keep on expecting to become either completely irresponsible or an adult that is able to keep her finances in place and afford her own house, but neither of these is happening, I keep on going to the extremes and dreaming how it would be if I took I leap of faith and quit my job to travel full time or to invest all my time in writing or in painting.

A new generation of indecisive people, that is what I’ve been told, but I think we really are a generation of dreamers held back by fears and past experiences. If you ask me, I would say the best way to live your life is enjoying the present day and I completely admire those who do it at full speed. Never heard of someone who is remembered by the fact that he always paid his or her duties on time, but more about those who took the risk and followed their hart.  My relief is traveling and shopping, what is yours?

15 Mistakes You Need To Make While Still In Your 20’s

Being in the ’20s means you are in the best period of your life, independent yet not burdened with the wights of life, happy in a childish and ignorant way. With this being said this is the best period to experiment life and test the limits, to get the taste of what being young, free and reckless means, so don’t miss the opportunity to make the following mistakes!

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1.Fall in love with an emotionally unavailable person

Being heartbroken is not nice, but the rush you get when you are doing something that you know is wrong cannot be replaced. Sometimes you need to take the leap of faith and do the unthinkable, fall in love with a person who is not available to you. It is important to get this out of your system and recognize the pattern when you will stumble upon it again.

 2. Try out all of your sexual fantasies

YES, it is allowed, it is OK and it is normal. We all have fantasies and we all want to make them happen, even if we would realize they weren’t that great after all. Don’t want to meet that special someone to ask him or her for a threesome. Do whatever you feel like doing, it is your moment.

3. Join Tinder or any other online dating app

Everything is online nowadays and online dating is the new trend, so grab that phone, make that awesome picture and click join. You will be surprised by the newly discovered ground. Who knows maybe you will find your soulmate there or just the next great date.

4. Go out on blind dates

Meghan Markle met Prince Henry on a blind date set by one of her friends if that isn’t reason enough for you to try it out, I don’t know what is. Sometimes going out with people whom you would never actually date brings more benefits than you can think, most likely you will not become a duchess any time soon, but it is a great way to experiment with what you like and what you don’t.

5. Make love to a stranger in a foreign country

This one might not be for the weak ones, but is definitely one of the greatest fantasies out there. To know you will never meet again and you will be able to enjoy it in an egoistic way. You only live once, so make sure you do it at full speed.

6. Swim naked in the sea

If you are brave enough you will do it during the day, if not you can try it at night. Be prepared to have your clothes stolen and do the walk of shame. Yet you will have as much adrenaline in your veins to do it proudly.

7. Wear inappropriate clothing

Yep, this is the time to wear all the clothes that would give your grandparents a heart attack. You can pull off any type of outfit you can think of and still be considered young and reckless.

8. Get a crappy job

Sooner or later you need to take that step and get your first job. Some people might think you need to be responsible and make that job a great one and stay there until your retirement, but that is not the case. The first job should be as crappy as possible, since you want to see how money is made and to respect those who do it, no matter what their status is.

9. Call in sick and go on a road-trip

There is no better feeling than the one you get when you do something bad and you don’t get caught. So give the actor in you a try and aim for a little white lie, then hit the road with the music on. Just make sure you don’t put it on Facebook for your boss to see it.

10. Write at least one resignation letter

You should not be accepted in the 30s if you’ve never written a resignation letter. It is one of the best lessons out there, so if you want to quit your job grab a pen and pencil and start writing, you don’t need to be rude, I strongly recommend you not to, yet you need to state the truth.

11. Get drunk

Losing control, getting drunk and enjoying the present moment for what it is. Going to that guy you like and kissing him out of the blue, or jumping on a table and start moving like Jagger. For one night you can say goodbye to the good girl/guy you are.

12. Get high in Amsterdam or in a country where weed is legal

I would strongly recommend doing this as a one-time thing, an experience and not an addiction. For me, smoking was never an option since I hate it, yet eating a brownie and letting of the control was an amazing thing. Laughing like crazy in the city of Amsterdam is the kind of bucket list experience. Not going to repeat it in the near future, yet I treasure the memory of it.

13. Spend all of your money on an exotic trip

Sometimes you need to do an arrogant thing and book that trip to that exotic place you’ve always dreamed of going. Maybe it was a city from Europe, or Las Vegas or even Bangkok. There is no better time to experience it than in your 20s.

14. Spend a whole months salary in one day

Getting that LV purse, festival tickets, second-hand car or a diamond necklace, sometimes you need to see what a month of hard work can bring you, even it that will make your landlord scream like crazy.

15. Spend a full week indoors watching TV Series and eating junk food

Forgetting what day it is and when you last had a decent meal can be easily achieved when looking at TV series, Friends, Sex and the City, Game of Thrones, Gossip Girl, whatever your drug of choice is, there is no better way to spend your holidays than with a lot of popcorn, cheap alcohol, and TV.

Sometimes you need to be young and stupid, it is OK to not have your sh*t together, it’s OK to fail. Almost everything is allowed during this period and you should make the most of it, don’t worry adulthood will slap you pretty soon, but if it’s not today then you need to make the next mistake on the list. Enjoy your life to the fullest, you deserve it!

You Will Find Love At The Right Time

I am pretty sure the bestselling books are about ways you can find or persuade love. The recipes for happiness, the place you can find the ONE, how to get him or her back or even a few spells that you can cast. These are all on the internet or at least in a few books buried in the libraries. Nowadays, the trend is with books that help you become your own shrink, to read about who you are and how to find yourself as if you are somehow a lost puppy and someone should call the fire department to bring you back.

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Truth is there is no general recipe that you can follow, no 10-step program that you need to take, and even therapy can only help you find what you already know. No book, no conference, no show, no friend can help you with this matter, you are all alone in it and you are the only hero that can save yourself. Scared yet? You shouldn’t be, welcome to adulthood, it’s horrible, but you’ll learn to love it.

I cannot tell you how to do it, but I can tell you how I did it. By giving me time to discover who I am and what I like, by going on random dates with all sorts of people to learn who I want by my side and what are the deal-breakers. By dancing the night away in a fancy, hippy or rocker clubs. By not leaving my apartment for a full weekend and surviving on frozen pizza. By crying myself to sleep while holding my cat. By being heartbroken when I saw my crush holding hands with another woman. By driving until the gas runs out. By dancing alone in my house, with the music at full volume until the neighbors complained. By looking at a comedy and laughing with tears. By reading, by traveling, by living!

When I less expected, I realized that I am independent and that I can take care of myself. I am no longer afraid of putting gas in my car or taking it in for service. I am not scared of falling in love and getting hurt, I survived this already a couple of times so I will do it again if needed. That I am sometimes happy and sometimes sad, but most of the time OK. And so it happened, I found who I was, a random soul on a random planet, among other random people, living the life that I want, no boundaries, no rules.

As for love, I found that there is no “the one”, I found a couple of “ones”, each at the right time and place. Sometimes it was intense love, other times it was peaceful. Sometimes it was me who loved harder, other times it was the other way around. I got dumped and I also found myself leaving. I was cheated and I cheated, even if just with a kiss.

Some of us are lucky enough never to go through this, but unfortunately, most of us will have to. But only to add this to our life story. So you will find love a couple of times if you decide to take the risk. Each type of love will be unique and will bring happiness in its own way. The only constant that has to be is the ability to move forward and evolve. The rest is marketing!

Book Review: Don’t Worry, Life is Easy by Agnès Martin-Lugand

If you read and liked Agnès’s first book, Happy People Read and Drink coffee, the review can be found here, then you would definitely want to know what happened to Diane after her return to Paris. Beware, the review contains major spoilers, especially from the previews book.

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Back in Paris, our beloved character resurrected the literary café with the help from Felix, also she managed to buy the place from her parents that never trusted her with being able to take care of herself or of the coffee shop. As time passes she even forgets about her time in Mulranny and about Edward, with whom she didn’t have contact in almost a year.

As days go by a new customer catches her eyes and her heart, Oliver, a kind man that makes his way towards Diane’s heart with a warm and comfortable approach. As their connection becomes more serious and they think about moving in together, they have a very odd encounter at a photography exposition with nonother than Edward. After begging him to visit her at the cafe, he comes and brings bad news from Ireland, where Abby the landlord of her former home and Edward’s aunt is severely ill, leaving their whole family devastated.

When hearing the news, Diane finally builds up her courage and calls her Irish family. Abby asks one last favor, for her to come and see her in Ireland. After placing the coffee shop in the hands of Felix with supervision from Oliver, the little french, as they used to call her, finds herself on the plane to Mulranny to relive the feelings she once had for that place.

Abby is suffering from a terminal phase of heart disease, but her spirit is left untouched, Jake is by her side and is helping her go through this. Edward finds out he has a 5-year-old son, whose mother passed away a few months ago and only told him about his existence before her death. The parenting life took him by surprise and he doesn’t quite know how to handle the new role and how to ease up the pain little Declan is feeling after losing his mother. All of this news makes Diane relive what she felt when she lost her own daughter and husband.

Thorn between the normal and easy life she has in Paris alongside Oliver and the comfort from Mulranny with Edward, Diane will soon face a difficult decision. Will Abby’s passing away finally make Diane decide to give her new family a chance and come back to Ireland, this time for good? Or will she choose to stay in Paris? To find the answer you need to put your hands on Agnès’s book.

The theme of the last book is still present in the story even if the names change. Dealing with death is one of the lives most difficult moments and the way Agnès Martin-Lugand explains the human feelings will make you live the drama alongside her characters. Once the story starts you will not be able to let it go until you find out how it ends. The only thing that I can tell you, is that it’s a happy end, so live it with Diane.