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?

Last Month’s Favorites: December 2018

December! One of my favorite months of the year! And not because of the snow, not even because of Christmas, but because of the holiday season. Two weeks of vacation with nothing to do, at least not officially, since we all know we need to pay visits to everyone from the family, clean the house, cook enough food to feed a small village, etc., but let’s not focus on that, but on the favorites list from last month.

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Since one of my wishes for this mini-vacation was to have a few days for my own, to read under the Christmas tree and just stay in my fluffy robe, I needed a few items to buy. One, some good books, a romantic winter story One Day in December (review here) and Paulo Coelho’s Winner Stands Alone (review will follow soon), and second the fluffy pink robe. I know it all sounds like a cliche but it really felt nice to stay at home, with a cheesy story and the mulled wine, relaxing when outside the weather is freezing. Even right now I am wearing the pink robe, I am madly in love with it.

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My hometown is a small one, from the northeastern part of the country, where usually during winter we have lots of snow and my personal nightmare, ice. Wearing hills is out of the question and since I am a fan of comfort with a passion for the urban style, I made a purchase that (duh) lead to some more shopping, a pair of Timberland’s boots, an oversized sweater and a pair of boyfriends jeans. I know the style is not for everyone, and some of you will never approve of such an outfit, I have to say that it fits me perfectly, it was even my outfit for the New Year’s Eve stay at home party. Leaving the joke aside, if you are looking for a pair of boots for the winter, search no more, the Timberland’s classic’s are so comfy and stylish.

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The last items from my favorite list were partly bought by me, part was given to me as a new house gift. I will start with the ones that I received from my best friend, an amazing house spray with Gingerbread from Zara Home and a Christmas cookie box that really made my home look stylish and smell amazing. As for what I purchased myself, well the list includes a fluffy white blanket, 2 pillows, also fluffy and a wooden tray.

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December was all about investing in me and in my comfort, after a crazy year filled with a lot of drama and stress at work, I finally managed to break free from the chains of responsibility and learn to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, a good story and some comfy clothes. It worked wonders for me, how was December on your end?

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Unlocking Malaga: The Biggest City From Costa Del Sol

Situated in southern Spain, Malaga is a port city located on Costa Del Sol, the coast of sun and the name is well deserved. Filled with plenty of old buildings, the Spanish spirit, and the amazing Mediterranean water, it is one of the places that should go on anyone’s bucket list.

 

If you ever wondered where the story’s with the rich people that go to live in Spain after retirement came from, you need to walk the streets of Malaga. The relaxed atmosphere, the smiling people and the great food, all come together in this amazing place. There is no better place to start your day than on La Malagueta beach, if you are lucky during the weekends you will also see the vendor’s tents filled with lost of souvenirs that you can buy.

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Being a rather small town, everything is within walking distance, so make sure you put on the correct shoes. A couple of must-see attractions are Malaga Cathedral where you should consider climbing to the rooftop, the view is amazing, Alcazaba and Castillo de Gibralfaro, if you are passionate about history. The botanic garden is also a nice place to spend a few hours, but to get there you will need to take the bus and walk for around 15 to 20 minutes. The Picasso Museum is also a very nice attraction, personally, don’t really like his style but the museum will also tell you his life story and what made him paint and draw each piece of art. Sunday afternoon all museums entry’s are free, so plan your vacation wisely if you want to save some cents.

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If you have a full day you should consider visiting Gibraltar since it’s at a 3 hours bus ride away and you will get to see all the places from Costa del Sol and also get a glimpse at Africa from the Rock of Gibraltar. The town’s center is a nice place to see and eat since you will see the influence of Marco, England, and Spain.

 

Leaving aside the major attractions, Malaga is the place you want to go when you want to relax, drink an amazing glass of Malaga Sangria and eat a traditional paella. If you are lucky enough you will see flamenco shows on the streets or hear traditional music in the city center. There is something in the air there, that will make you relax and dream of retirement when all of the mundane issues will be gone and the only decision you have to make is where to grab a cup of coffee.

 

For us being able to enjoy Spain’s beauty without having to deal with the huge amount of tourists made this place a special one. If I were to choose a place to live in when I am sixty Malaga is the first on the list. As for those of you who plan a vacation here, leave all the problems at the departure airport and enjoy the traditional beauty and relaxation of the Spanish land.

 

A Day Off From Technology

Social media is addictive and out generation is plugged to their devices. I would be a hypocrite to say that I am not, but every once in awhile I like to take a day off technology and let my eyes and my anxiety rest. Here are a few ways I like to disconnect from the world and reconnect with myself.

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Most of you probably feel the exhaustion caused by the constant connection to the social networks, even the one that you think is harmless is giving most of us restlessness and in the more severe cases anxiety. So from time to time, we need to distance ourselves from the devices that keep us all stuck to their screens. Here are my top 10 ways to disconnect:

  • Leave your phone at home

If I have the phone in my purse I am very tempted to look at it every 5 minutes, but by leaving it at home, I am eliminating the temptation. All the problems can wait, so every once in a while, especially on the weekend, I like to forget about the world and its problems and focus on what is going on around me.

  • Exercises or practice a sport

It is nice to focus on something physical, without the pressure of having to accomplish something. For me, the perfect sport will always be horseback riding. From the moment I get to the stables, there is so much work to be done, that I become 100% present to the horses’ needs and movement.

Since I am not always near the horses, the second option is swimming. The focus is now set to breathing and the water, nothing is more relaxing than the sound of the splashing water.

  • Read a simple yet good book

For relaxation, I always like to choose a simple, cheesy love story. Easy to read and positive, I lose myself in the story and live among the characters. I like to use the positive energy and let it sink in my brain, all of the other issues can wait until I turn the last page.

  • Have a cup of coffee with yourself

My favorite place to drink my coffee is a small coffee shop where the smell of freshly roasted coffee is imprinted in the walls. I love to sip the magic liquid along with a croissant and look around. I usually enjoy taking the window seat and looking at random people, analyzing their facial expressions or the way they walk. Some days I also bring a book with me, others I just bring my thoughts and I go through each and every one of them.

  • Gather up with your friends

Spending quality time with my friends is the best way to lower the stress level. Even if from time to time, someone is checking their phone, we kind of have rules and we are not allowed to lose ourselves in it or to engage in conversations with people who are not at the table.

  • Close your Facebook account for a while

When I see that the amount of time I spent on social media, especially Facebook hits records or I get anxiety from ghosting ex-boyfriends, I like to take breaks from it. I haven’t actually deactivated my account until now, but I had stopped all the notifications and haven’t opened it for weeks. From time to time it is best to do these types of “exercises” and see how long can you go without Facebook.

  • Travel to the dream destination

Clearly, the best way of detaching from the world is going to see the world. When I am on vacation or traveling to a new place, I don’t use my phone for other things than photos that I do not post until I get home. For both security reasons and for the enjoyment of the moment I have decided that I don’t want to share every moment of my trip with the world. I have a maximum of 3 photos per vacation limit that I like to follow, and quite often I don’t connect the phone to the internet to keep away the temptation.

  • Sleep as long as you want once a week

At least once a week, on the weekend clearly, I like to have a morning when I don’t have a waking up hour. If I feel the need to sleep until noon that I want to be able to do so. It is important to get enough sleep and let your brain and internal organs rest for a while. In my case, if I don’t do this for a while I gain weight and become extremely irritable.

  • Draw with your sole

During the periods when I have a bit more time on my hands, I like to get on Pinterest and look for new ideas of paintings. After pinning a couple of drownings, I start my new “piece of art”. I lose myself in the colors, brushes or crayons for at least 4-5 hours per painting, at the end I love to give the painting as a present since at the current moment I don’t have enough space to store them all, but I am thinking about an exhibit for the future.

  • Dance the night away

Although in the last one year and a half I went dancing only a few times, there were periods in the past when I went out every Friday and along with one of my best friends, we danced the night away. 3 Cosmopolitans and 2 shots after, we danced as none was looking and we laughed with tears. After a long week of work, it was our way of indulging ourselves.

It is important to let our brain take a break from it all and get the world’s weight off our shoulders since we are not Atlas. There are a thousand ways to keep yourself busy without needing technology or having your face stuck to your phone. By giving yourself a break from social media, you can reconnect with yourself and also with the world, the real world, the one you can see and touch. Learning to be happy means learning to be present in the current moment which means putting your phone down for a while. Give it a try at least once a week and find some old fashion ways of relaxation.