Most Heroes are 3 feet Underground

Leaving aside the Hollywood interpretation of a hero with underwear showing and the ability to fly or move mountains, the “human” perspective of it can be found all around us. People who put themselves second and do good for the sake of others, they can be doctors, police officers, or just a random person jumping in a river to save someone else. But are they glorified or are they just waiting to be killed by their lifestyle?

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In the context of the pandemic, where many doctors got sick and even lost their lives, can we really blame the ones that decided to quit or retire when they were most needed? Is this a sign of betrayal, self conservation, or just a cry for help? Many will qualify this as a soldier deserting and running from the battlefield, others will say that in countries where they didn’t have protection or they were asked to come to work even if they were positive with COVID-19, they are to be understood. I do think it’s wrong to run, I do think that we all chose our careers knowingly and we all take into consideration the risks, but I also know that in times like these, being the hero means absolutely nothing. Going to war without a weapon is suicide and let’s face it, none will even remember their names once this is all gone.

During his 20s, my dad used to be part of the rescue team from the mountains. He would go save anyone who got lost, trapped in the snow or injured. A team of a couple of people would always risk their lives to save others, but as impressive as that sounds the truth was a bit different. People would be so stupid or stubborn to go behind their backs, not dressed appropriately, sometimes wearing sandals when on the top of the mountain snow could be found, with kids or alone, going off the trail, or on closed trails just because they could. When they would get in trouble those idiots would call and demand that the same people who told them not to climb, now come and rescue them.

In one year the snow was very heavy, a person got lost, although there was a restriction of going up the mountain, that person ignored it and now called to ask for help. The rescue team responded to the call and went to search for him, but not all returned, one of them fell because of the snow and died. He had a small girl at home and a wife. In the upcoming years, the old team would gather for Christmas to give candy to the little girl, but in time they stopped, they had families of their own or they just moved to a different city. Due to the stupidity of one, the life of another was lost. They ended up finding and saving the idiot but with the cost of the life of a hero. Looking back my dad says that he was crazy to do that, even though he loved the mountain it was not worth losing your life for others, yet the young him was convinced he was doing the noble thing. None even remembers his ex-teammate, his kid grew-up without her dad while the other one lived happily and told the story of when he was saved by the rescue squad.

Getting back to 2020 and the pandemic that is now going around the world, we have a new team of heroes that do their best to save as many lives as possible. Facing the enemy without appropriate gear, having to wash the masks that should be single-use, and with a system that is far from perfect to fight as well. Those are the ones that we now blame for wanting to save their lives, to put their families first. How would you feel if a parent, a spouse or a kid would be in the first line without the equipment they need? Would you judge them the same? Or would you find an excuse for them?

And even given these facts, the number of quitters is very small, the number of volunteers that decided to step in is huge. All around the world, there are campaigns to gather appropriate gear for the medical staff, restaurants and bars offer food and coffee for free and even cab companies offer free rides for anyone who works in the hospitals. New heroes emerge every day, people who genuinely want to do good. And right now the world relies on them.

If once this is all over the world would remember them, that is hard to guess, if you would ask me the answer is no, but that should never be the reason to do good in the first place. We act the way we do because that is what makes us feel good, not because of the fame or the gratitude that the world would express. There will be always those who change the course of history because they put themselves second, the ones who impacted lives with their abilities to fight and face the danger. Unfortunately, those will also be among the victims and will be forgotten in time, but that doesn’t mean that their effort would be for nothing, they will go by doing what they loved most.

There is a saying in Romania, that is better to live a single day as an eagle, rather than a full life as a chicken. The heroes that we now see fighting, those are the eagles that sometimes are saving other eagles and that is what counts. It’s up to each and every one of us to decide what we want to be in life, but also we need to understand that we have no right to judge from the comfort of our homes.

 

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?

The Life Lottery

I will have to disclose a couple of things about myself, I am not really a believer, don’t think God is real, even though like any human I tend to pray when I am in trouble, I don’t believe there is a greater force, nor that faith decides my destiny, don’t really believe in karma or that if you are a good person only good things will happen and the other way around. What I do believe in, is luck, each day is a lottery and each day you either win or lose.

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What do I mean by life lottery? Well, it’s like this, each day you get out of the house and you don’t get hit by a car is a win, each time you get through the day without finding out you have a critical condition or you lost a loved one, is a win. Even if it’s easier to think that these will never happen to us, guess what? They are happening to someone, be happy that someone is not you. Or that it’s not you today since it’s unlikely you will escape a life without going through stuff as I mentioned.

But why do things seem to happen only to certain people, what is wrong with the losers or how they can switch sides? If there is something that I learned from my sister that is to be confident and wish for more. When I was in college I almost never found a parking space near the building, but when my sister came she always did. One day as we drove to the university I told her that we will never get a space at that hour, but she said that for her there will always be a space. When she got to the building someone was just leaving and she found a space right at the entrance. Ever since I educated myself to “find the spot” and guess what, in the upcoming year I almost always found a spot.

What is the secret here? Positive thinking! As I said I don’t believe in karma, I’ve seen so many confident evil people that went through life making everyone else miserable and without ever paying the price and amazing people who died because they cared too much and suffered for all the evil in the world. So what will make a difference is how each individual decides to live and think about his or her life.

If an optimistic person will lose a finger, he will be so happy for being only this, for making it alive and for not suffering other injuries. If a pessimistic person will go through the same thing they will complain about things only happening to them, of the injustice of losing a finger, of the pain they had to go through, etc. Same story different reactions, one will feel blessed one will feel damned.

There are certain things that we cannot control, no one knows how his or her life will turn, the only thing we can really change is how we will feel about that and how we will react. I am not saying that you are not allowed to suffer or to be sad, but there is a silver lining between letting yourself down and never getting up, and getting your s*it together and enjoying life. Even with positive thinking, I don’t always find that parking spot, but when I do I enjoy it. Good things happen every day, it up to us to see ourselves like the lottery winners since you are not granted tomorrow I suggest you enjoy what you gain today.

Happy holidays everyone!

Is Ignorance a Bless?

During the holiday season, I have my annually gatherings with family and friends, we all share experiences and ideas. One that really got my attention this year, was whether I watch the news or not? I was surprised by the fact that I was among the few that didn’t like to be informed by the daily struggle of the world and that didn’t want to know the true colors of the environment that I live in. But is that such a bad thing? Is my ignorance a bless or is it possible that I am denying what is going around me?

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As a kid my parents told me that there is a lot of pain and misery in the world, that life is not fair and sometimes innocent beings get hurt. As I grow up I realized that it is very true, that each day we come across a lot of suffering, there are times when we can do something to help other times we are powerless. I was educated to try to help and to make a difference when possible, but also to let it go and walk away when it’s outside my power.

What does this have to do with watching the news? Well, we get to see, hear or read about horrible things, about murders, tragedies, financial problems, economic distress, insecure places, tourists that were killed in vacation, discrimination, massive shootings, and so many other “extremely important” news, that we cannot change. Furthermore, we are told that we should always be informed about what is going on all around the world because let’s face it, information is power. But is all the information useful? Or even correct?

It’s been a long time since I last followed the news, but each time I stumble upon them I get anxious, it’s as if all the good from the world disappeared and that Earth is a dangerous place to live. Thing is, if I close the TV and look around the landscape changes, there are people helping each other, there are major breakthroughs every day, I see people surviving fatal diseases and, the most important, I see hope.

As I stood in front of my family that explained to me the importance of knowing about the atrocities of the world I am living in, I realized that it was them who shirked their world to the size of their own heads. They are living in fear of not making the news in the days to come, of not getting robbed by the government or of not being prepared in case of apocalypse stroke us.

In the case of the news that is distributed to us, ignorance is indeed a blessing, frighten people are the easiest to persuade. Someone who is too afraid to leave the country will never be able to switch places, someone who is constantly afraid that will lose his job, will never leave an abusive employer and so on. Even if, at times, the Earth looks like an unsafe place, keep in mind that what is presented to you in the news is the exception from the rule.

As for the really important news, those ones will always have a way of reaching us, I do follow a couple of important, independent and most important, correct sources so that I can filter among the b*llshit from the media. Also, I stand by my choice of worry about the things I can impact, the others are outside my reach, so why bother? If it is to happen to me, I will much rather live my life to the fullest instead of living in fear and staying looked out. The worst prisons are the ones that we build in our own minds!

My Wish List for the New Year

With the 2018 end, it’s time for the traditional list of to do’s for 2019. A tradition that I started since 2012, was to write down all my wishes for the upcoming year and to check it only at the end of the next year. So here are a couple of the items that will go on my list in case you needed some inspiration for yours.

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Investing in health

With my 29th birthday around the corner, I want to invest as much as possible in my health. Exercising regularly, eating healthier food, meditating and doing all the medical check-ups are all on my list since health is the most important asset that one can have. Even if in the past I was not very strict in this area, I want to make a change in the upcoming year when I wish to say bye-bye to junk food and skipping the workout day. 2019 is the year to get back in shape.

Me time

Sometimes I have the tendency to put everyone else’s needs before mine and I try to please everyone. That behavior has to stop and I am planning on being more self-centered next year, even if I have to say no to someone else. Friends will understand and fake friends will disappear, so a win-win situation for me.

More time spent with my boyfriend and my pets

With everything that has been going on in 2018, the time spent with my family of 4 (me, my boyfriend and my 2 cats) has decreased a lot. Having 2 jobs and a blog made me a workaholic that forgot to breathe and relax. I plan on setting some ground rules when it comes to working in the following year so that I can enjoy as much time as possible with the most important beings from my life.

Time for reading, painting, writing, and Netflix

Doing the things I love the most is saving me from burnout and I plan on investing all the free time in them. Since the new apartment will accommodate a library, a place to paint by the window, my cozy bin bag and since I just made my first subscription to Netflix you can image how anxious I am to make the most of all of them. As for writing, I want to keep my rule of at least one article a week up.

Travel the world  

Traveling is extremely important to me and I have no desire to slow down onto this area, even if the list is not yet set, I am hoping that I will conquer some more ground in the next months. Whether it will be the crazy city of Tokyo, the old fashioned Havana or the most beautiful place on Earth for me, New York City, I am sure 2019 will bring some great experiences with it.

‘PM’ me I am ready!

No, I am not talking about private messaging, but about Project Management, a role that I have been dreaming and working my a*s of for the last 3 years is about to be offered to me. Both excited and frightened by it, I cannot wait for this new chapter to begin. If this will be a perfect fit for me or not, I am not sure, but I will definitely find out in the months to come.

Don’t know for you guys, but for me laying on a paper all the plans that I have for the following year have worked great. I am not a believer in “New Year, new me” but in “New year, better me”, so on each 1st of January I write down my wishes and for the rest of the 364 or 365 days I work on those wishes, some will come true, others won’t, some will make me happier others will make me realize that I have to sacrifice too much to make them true. It’s a new begging so cheers to that! Hope you guys will make yourselves a great new year, you deserve it!

Generation Snowflake

Noways there are a lot of older people that call out the new generation as something bad, but are they so different? Are the young ones so weak and selfish? Or are they just part of a new world that might still be misunderstood by some of the older persons?

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Today as I enjoyed my morning coffee I got to hear one of my countries intellectuals talk about the new generation, considering it a week one, made of self-centered people that cannot get past their phones screen, unprepared for life and unable to understand the real meaning of happiness. It is not the first time I hear someone talk like this and I am puzzled about thees statistics when in the world I live in I still see plenty of amazing kids that do outstanding things at very young ages.

To give the Wikipedia definition: Generation Snowflake, or Snowflake Generation, is a neologistic term used to characterize the young adults of the 2010s as being more prone to taking offense and less resilient than previous generations, or as being too emotionally vulnerable to cope with views that challenge their own.

This will characterize our current teenagers as these sensible and damaged persons, but I feel like we fail to see the outstanding things these kids do. I see so many blogs and vlogs made by them and the great content that some of them published, the new influencers that collaborate with huge brads, the travelers that live to see the world, the hopeless romantics that write books and express themselves through photography and art.

As part of the IT sector, I see more and more talented kids that start writing code and inventing apps from high-school and getting internships at the big software companies before spending a single day in college. Their exposure to gadgets and technology shaped their minds into little geniuses that are able to search on Google and YouTube even before being able to write.

Another amazing thing is their ability to see past the commercials to investigate before purchasing and to search for the honest reviews, sometimes being the ones to create those reviews. It’s amazing how they only believe in what they hear from the ones similar to them, rather than in the famous people or the TV as we used to do. This leads the companies to pursuit different add targeting, but also a competition on the quality of the products since honest reviews are the only one that makes it in the market.

As for how soft these kids are, I am not sure what to say, they might be exposed to more addictive substances and harmful environments that we ever were. It’s easier to say that your struggle was harder, without taking into consideration the difference between us. I am not saying that these kids don’t have issues, but let’s face it who doesn’t?

Comparing ourselves with younger people is a mistake, to begin with, we are experiencing huge differences in technology and development every year. Depending on the environment we are facing different struggles that shape us. A kid growing up off the grid in the mountains will face other challenges than one who is living in New York, being born in the high society or in the royal family will make you behave different than one born in the suburbs with a drunken mother and a father in jail. Focusing on the empty part of the glass will only make matters worse especially when there are so many examples of great achievements.

As a message to everyone that thinks the older generations were better, I think they should try to see how the even older generation feels and see what it’s the same mentality, they thought they were the greatest. Before judging a mass of people at least study their behavior and achievements, some might surprise you.