I count January 3rd as a New Year in Slovenia, since this is the day children are back to preschool and school and everyone and everything is back to work. On January 3rd life goes back to its normal routine and Holidays are over. End of the 2018 and enetring into 2019 in Slovenia, we had 10days long holidays. And as I had my kids at home, out of school, entertaining them, cooking, serving, cleaning and making the most of our family time, I didn’t even have time to engage into this well know all around the World tradition of setting new goals and making new resolutions of how am I going to improve myself and my life in this 2019 New Year. In December one of the books I read ,had this great questionnare made out of 77 questions that you are supposed to answer every week for few weeks in order to help you set goals and find your life prupose and I didn’t even manage to do that. I did think about questions that had been asked, but somehow didn’t sit down and do the homework. Often I am questioning is it me and maybe my poor skills of time organization or is it that days are just going by so fast that I would need that 25th hour to squeeze everything in? Then , i was wondering is it my comfort zone of life I have created that is preventing me from setting new “serious” goals? Or is it that I am just most of the time satisified with my life the way it is and I am trying to fit into these classic standards becaose of the culture I live in and of what most of the people around me do. But if I look into most common New Year’s resolutions, those are mainly eat healthier, get more exercise, lose weight, drink less and save more money and so on. But most of that, I have already been doing for past years. And the more I contemplate of how should I improve my life, the more I realize, that I don’t need such called New Year’s resolutions and improvements, because on majority of days I feel good and happy with how I eat, excersise, how much I drink, how I look , my financial situation, my relationships and overall how I live. And I was thinking so what if my new years resolutions would start without any resolutions and just resolution to finally accept how I live, stop apologizing for my choices, stop thinking why I didn’t write new goals and just live every day as it is to the fullest, smile a lot, spending time with my family and friends and just being happy in my comfort zone. Maybe I am the type of person who doesn’t need specific goals to push me forward or doesn’t need constant challenges to prove something to myself or the World. Over the years I proved to myself what I needed and now I can peacefully start New Year happy that I live in peace, that I am healthy and people I love are healthy and that we have warm home with food on a table and few Euros in my pocket to have fun with my friends. There is not much more I need for my happiness in 2019. If it stays as it is, I am happy. So I am starting 2019 as a Non Reolution year and hopefully I will suprise myself with new unplanned adventures.
Decmber is a month when most of us are looking throughtfully at our past year and re-examine all the events that took place and how they affected us. In this past year two of a very dear people to me died or as I like to say crossed over, since I believe that there is a life after death. I like to imagine that one leaves their body, but soul crosses over into other dimensions. I believe that at birth we are assigned a day when we will cross over. But what I realized when I for the first time encountered a death of a loved ones is that you leave life on Earth all alone and you can’t take anything with you but memories and experiences that you have made at a time that was given to you. What struck me most is that tea cup at the house was exactly at same place where she left it. Her notebook was at the same place. Evertyhing was the same, except she was gone. And as I remebered our deep talks over friendly lunches and coffes , i always admired her wisdom and advice to not forget to be kind to myself. To cherish every moment I have and not to stress over the actions of other people. Once can only be responisble for his/her own deed. Thought that was a confort to all that loved her, is that finally she is renutied with her fristborn duagther and that she lived her life fully as a professionall and as a wife and mother. She left us in Spring and I still think of her often.
The death of a childhood friend that left us a month ago struck me harder, since she was a young woman at the best age of her life battling a cancer for months, knowing her four year old daugther is loosing her mother. Since I have learned about her struggle with health and battling cancer, I couldn’t but daily of thinking of unfairness and why it happened to her hoping that she will miraceously beat it and stay with us. It gave me tremendous sense of gilt for being healthy and happy and enjoying my own happiness. But at the same time it gave me appreciation for my heath and it reminded me that everyday is a gift and that life shall not be taken too seriously. I tresure time I knew her. We never know when is our time, when we fullfilled our mission on Earth and that nothing is worth our stress.
Thus I decided that this December I will be first kind to myself and enjoy all the festivites of the month that I love so much. I will cherish time with my family and friends. I will do extra decorations, sing louder, dance harder and thank for ability to enjoy everything that life offers me. After all Decmber is the last one, so it shall be the best one.
It has been a year since I wrote my last blog and it amazes me how fast time flies and how rapidly a year will turn around. And not even that, but how much can happen in a life of one in just a year. And since December is my favourite month due to many celebrations it brings and since this is the month most of us contemplate on where we are from the last year celebrations, did we achieved what we wanted and was that astrology forecast for a year accurate, did I experience all I have planned; I decided it is time for me to come back to myself and my writing, the thing I love to do and that comes easy to me.
On most of my days, I have those inner mind talks with myself, all planned out what I want to say and write and then somehow I get caught up in everyday routine and just loose that extra time to put everything down on a paper or sit by the computer and just do it.
My past year was full of unexpected surprises made of great trips, exploring my inner self and the World around me, some disappointing moments and events, new discoveries, and goodbyes to some people I loved dearly. What I have learned is that there is no right or wrong, but just experiences and that based on our own actions it will determine our direction. I finally determined that it is time to turn direction in a way I want and to put myself as the number one on my life register. When I was younger, I was afraid that putting myself first would be a selfish act that would drive people I love away, but finally I learned that people who love me, will learn to respect me and my boundaries and will love seeing me being true to myself. All others will fall away as leaves fall from trees in autumn.
I will give myself and my blog a fresh start this December and will write it as a diary of my life experiences and assessments. I will sometimes write it as a reaction, other times as a conception, then next will be notion, on other occasions judgements or speculation , but most of all it will be who I am TRUTHFUL.
May our December start with the believing that we already have it all and be filled with good thoughts and kindness that brings us happy moments.
A year ago, my family moved into our new house with a big garden.I never thought that gardening is my thing, but I decided that I will try my best to learn more about trees,bushes, flowers and planting. For start I had planted a very clear idea of how I want our garden to look like. Since I am romantic and love fresh flowers, I imagined my garden to be as fairy-tale as it is possible next to the pool (which was my husband wish), and at the same time functional for I knew I didn’t have time to be too busy with it. But looking for a right gardener was not romantic at all. When we first tried to hire a gardener, me and my husband got into a big fight, because potential gardener that we interviewed, was only listening to my husband wishes. And that was that garden needs to be as clear as possible, not to bother our pool. And I wanted to have romantic garden without pool, for which I gave in to make him and children happy, but wouldn’t give in on plain, sterile garden. And here I need to point out, I never understood how one that is trying to close a business deal, cannot understand that it is always better to be liked more by a woman rather than a man, because at the end of the day, the woman is the one that can convince her husband of what she wants. When my husband gave in and decided to let me finish this garden business and I fired this potential gardener, before closing a deal, he was so upset at me, that at one point he was yelling on the phone about the time he invested in his ideas and proposal. I could care less, because I knew he never heard my wishes and what I wanted for our family home. Finally, I met with Mister Strgar, who was proposed by our architects. He showed an amazing patience to listen and do what I wanted and what could be done next to the pool, to make both of us happy.
Few weeks ago, I tried to cary out my plans-of maintaining our garden by myself and asked my teenage daughter for a help (which was by the way refused with an explanation that why gardener is not here and what is wrong with me), I decided it is not time for me to invest my creativity into gardening at this time in my life, when I am trying to work on my new business venture, take care of children and household, being a good wife and have social life. I decided I do not need to be superwoman and super gardener, but I can be good in hiring the right help, as Strgar Pro Horto proved to be in this past year. Even though I live in city centre, when I sit outside,thanks to Pro Horto, which created and now is maintaing our garden, I have a feeling of being on a country side. As a partner in Better-lifestyle team, I recommend Pro Horto Strgar. Visit more at www.pro-horto.si
I have to admit that I visited Miotto show room with my architect when I was renovating one of my apartments, but it never occurred to me that Miotto is a furniture brand developed and founded in Slovenia. It is collaboration of a Slovenian co-founder Vasja Srebrnic and Harvey Norman (Australian furniture retailer). Since it has such an international name, I assumed it is an Italian brand. Until few days ago when I met with Miotto co-founder and co-owner and he told me story about as they call it “best kept secret in furniture business”. Miotto embodies all current trends in interior design and offers complete living concept. What I really liked it that furniture design doesn’t compromise in texture, that are rich and sophisticated and of highest quality but at completely affordable price. I have been into interior design for past few years, since I have bought and resold few apartments and as well built a house with my spouse. So for few years now I have been getting to know and have experience with different furniture brands. Therefore, when I entered Miotto showroom I was right away taken away with beautiful textures and fabrics of their chairs and sofas and a big beautiful bed at the middle of the show room. I have learned that just recently Miotto designed luxury royal sleeping program that offers the luxury of a five and more stars hotels and it is affordable to general public. They as well distribute and deliver furniture all over the Europe to Latin America, Australia and Asia.
Last week me and four of my friends decided we needed an afternoon off. These women appointed me to take care of the reservation and organise SPA day. Guilt free, no worries, stress relieve, soul refreshing day. I scheduled SPA afternoon with hammam , saunas and jacuzzi before each of us took on two hours Thai massage. As one could imagine five women in one small steam room can come up with many discussions about relationships and women issues. Good thing was that the only guy that dared to join us in steam room was Italian and could not understand us. Since one of us is doctor we got somehow scientific explanation on women hormones and what brings so many relationship problems. Note that two from the group are divorced and we all have children, from toddlers to teenagers. Basically it is simple explanation of hormone levels that drives us into different situations in our lives. I will not go into monthly women cycles of hormone changes that we all know way to well, but just on general issues. I will simplify this hormone explanation and forgive me if it is not completely accurate, but as I understood it , is that when we are in our reproduction phase in our life is that we look for good DNA and that is why we are attracted to certain type of men. For example I always wanted to be little taller and this is why I was always attracted to tall men. Don’t get me wrong, of course I as well looked for intelligence and that something extra, that one cannot explain. But if we talk about simple basic things and DNA material, it gets as simple as that, small gene attracts tall gene. For all those that will once again ask me how comes that I married the tallest guy in this country :). Once you have children you get into diapers, bottles and taking care of the children, because your progesterone level is bumped and you are in your reproduction phase in your life. In a phase when you are primarily interested in caregiving and raising your offspring. But then comes the time when your children can take care of the basics and are at least somehow independent, we, women, realise that we are not just mothers and wives, but as well women. And then our progesterone hormone levels go down and the estrogen hormone ( our primary sexual hormone) raises. And this is why women change . As one of my friends that divorced after three kids and twenty years of (from the outside you would say solid) marriage, it is her that have changed, not him. Her husband was the same man she married many years ago. It is her, that changed and realised, she wants different life for herself, as a woman. We came to realisation that as our hormones and lives are changing, as we are more experienced, as we become mothers, women feel more independent,. self-confident and self-assured and that is why we do feel better with age. We are mothers, we are educated, we learned to say no, we learned not to care what others think and we learned that what we want matter just as much as what our children and partners expect from us. We concluded that once our reproductive ability and hormones slows down, we are the “queens”….And that I shall not be afraid of ageing (yes, I admit, I am sometimes scared of growing old). Because our faces will get old, nice bodies will change, but lets not forget that good women will stay good women!!!
International Women’s Day, celebrated today on March 8th, dates back into 1909 when there was first Women’s Observation Day meeting held in New York City. It continued with march on Trafalgar Square in London in 1914 and all the way to 1917, when women workers in textile industry in Russia started demonstrating which later led to Russian Revolution and gaining right for women to vote.
International Women’s Day celebrates economic, social, political and cultural achievements and rights of women. This day marks our call for celebration gender parity. But do we really have gender parity and even more important would be to ask if we want gender parity? Lately I am thinking what did we gain with trying to be equal to men? Did we gain equal pay and recognition for our work or achievements or we took on more work and responsibility from our men? When I look into as we call it “modern women” trend these days, I see way too many single working mothers, struggling to provide for their children, with no or minimal help from fathers who do not take responsibilities for their offspring. Men left us to take care of their responsibilities, but do not recognise us as equal. As we open magazines, look into book stores and new books, when we listen to radio or watch TV, most of it target advices for women on how to be better in what we do, how to work more, be successful, try to please more, be better mothers, better wives, better looking and better physical shape. And I am asking myself why we as woman go for it. Who do we try to please and why do we thrive to constantly improve in every aspect of our lives. I believe that somewhere in this journey to be recognised as equal to men, women lost respect for themselves. We forgot how to be women, authentic, gentle, vulnerable, romantic and feminine. We do not need to fit into pant suits, become women presidents and forget how to cry to be respected.We cannot be same as men, because we have other powers than men. We need to hold on to our women energy, to our ability for reproduction, our ability to teach our daughters how to love and respect themselves and our sons, that woman’s worth shall be cherished and treasured. Because only men who know woman’s worth will be real men. Changes starts within families, to be later taken to society level. I have many friends that are divorced and get no child support from fathers of their children and I am wondering how is it possible that one man can’t or won’t take equal responsibility. And I have a friend that was asked by Slovenian judge (woman judge) why she wants to press charges over her partner that tried to suffocate her, because it happened only once. That it was first time, woman judge said. Then I know women who willingly accept a role of other woman, mistress. And then I start wondering if we as women have respect for ourselves and each-other? When we do not respect each-other, how can we expect to be respected by men.
So that is why I wanted for us to rethink what is the Women’s Day celebration or what do we want everyday? What do we want for us women in the future? Do we want to be loved and happy, respected and admired for what we are or do we want to have equal number of women in politics, high profile positions with equal salaries and social economic status? Do we want men to take equal responsibilities for relationships, their children and happy families? We need to be aware that with teaching our children, we have power to make changes; to teach our children that woman has equal right to be treated with love and respect every day, not only on women’s day. And we will never be equal to men, because we are women and they are men and we cannot be same.
Few days ago, when I visited birthplace of Aphrodite in Paphos, Cyprus, I was contemplating what is the true, principal meaning of love and beauty, that we distorted lately. Since then I have been thinking about woman power and beauty.
For those who are not familiar with greek mythology, Aphrodite is goddess of love, beauty, pleasure and fertility. The legend says that Zeus (king of all gods) was so afraid that her beauty could cause wars, that he had her marry to the ugly and deformed god Hephaestus ( god of fire, craftsmen and sculpture) , to keep her safe. But Aphrodite was not stopped and she had many lovers and children. Aphrodite is said to be lady of Cyprus,, because she was born at Phapos, as a result of castration of Uranus (god of sky) genitals, that were thrown into the sea and caused the foam from which beautiful goddess was born. That is why when in Cyprus, legend says swimming at Aphrodite beach will make you beautiful, young and fertile.
As of woman energy and power of beauty, woman love and fertility, I am often thinking about how beauty is being too much objectified these days. Women should look into being beautiful not only by our physical appearance, but also by our experiences, our attitude, our personality, our talents and our confidence. You were given the body you have, so celebrate it, value it and care for it. Standards of physical beauty are changing constantly, but love for yourself is bringing lifelong satisfaction and happiness. Because what can be more influential than gratitude for what you have, love for how you look and appreciation for what you have learned from past experiences? When I discussed woman issues with my dear friend Valentina, she once pointed out that she is concerned about so many women are talking that they want to look more attractive, but no one is talking about trying to become better person. And I couldn’t agree more. Lets be aware of our ability for loving ourselves and others and power to be good people. That doesn’t mean we should ignore all the fun stuff that was made or given to us as women to have fun, but I mean not to take beauty trends too seriously and enjoy all those things women can do, that men can’t.
I did put my legs into cold sea water where Aphrodite was born, and I thanked mother Earth for my healthy body and once again promised myself I will do my best to love myself and appreciate my woman power, try everyday to be better person and love the goddess that is whit-in me.
Even though I was moving with my husband, what I remember most while relocating, is feeling anxious how will I accommodate to new environment and meet new people. I knew I will have to form new friendships, if I didn’t want to spend my days without friends and support group. I didn’t want to stay home all day and wait for my husband to come home from his work.
So when you are moving to a new country or new town, after settling in, it is beneficial to subscribe yourself to local gym, yoga or pilates class, because that way you can meet new people, that are not involved in your workplace or your husband workplace. Not only will you meet people, you will get into regular exercise routine with benefits of social life, support group and stress relief. Not to mention being guilt-free for eating chocolate while being overstressed by unpacking or settling your child into new daycare or school.
I know how hard it is for a woman to take her own time out of family time (I have been there), but it will benefit everyone in household if a mother and wife takes her workout class. Do something for yourself. Taking care of YOU will make your lifestyle better no matter where you life.
When I first moved to the United States, my husband subscribed me to gym, because he was worried I will be lonely when he is at work. When I lived in Indianapolis, for the first month, I only knew how to drive to gym and groceries. That made me feel savage. Later, whenever we moved, that was my habit, to first subscribe to pilates classes. I have met amazing women and formed life-lasting friendships through my workout classes. We had so many funny stories and moments that we shared at our classes. My girls and me resolved many broken hearts, children tantrums, husband issues and discussed new fashion trends while sweating. Not only I got my body in shape after two pregnancies, I as well achieved inner peace and clear mind.
If you find yourself relocating to Ljubljana or just visiting it, I recommend you visit Slovenian biggest and most equipped wellness and fitness studio. In Sunny studio they as well have an amazing wellness program and a food bar where you can enjoy freshly made quick lunches or snacks, all made from ecological ingridients from nerby farm. Check it all out at Sunny Studio (http://www.sunny.si).
Few days ago I arrived to Cyprus, a magically beautiful, the third largest and most populated island in Eastern Mediterranean. I have been here in past three years numerous times, but it is still exciting to travel to Cyprus, since my husband is playing basketball here for his third season. It is starting to feel like I have known this island for a long time. We stay in coastal town Larnaca, which is claimed to be the oldest city and third biggest city in Cyprus, after Nicosia and Limassol.
For anyone that travels to Cyprus I would recommend taking a walk on Larnaca’s Finikoudes promenade that is lined with sand beach and with various restaurants where you will be able to find any cuisine, many world wide known food chains that children love and exceptional local food restaurants. Besides Finikoudes promenade I never miss to visit Orthodox Church of Saint Lazarus from 10th century, which is situated in the resurrected of Larnaca. Saint Lazarus church was built by Byzantine Emperor and is one of the most important byzantine monuments that has an open tomb of Saint Lazarus that resurrected from the death, and that Bible says , was a good friend of Jesus Christ. In orthodox churches it is a tradition to light a candle for your inner peace and health or light a candle for the ones that passed away. We hold the tradition to go light the candles with kids whenever we come to Cyprus.
When we want to swim in a crystal clear water and
taste golden sand under our feet, we drive to Aya Napa to the Nissi Beach, that has ranked as one of the most beautiful beaches in the World. Nissi beach connects two beaches, one that is long and has lots of entertainment with water sports, bars and music, and the other one that is quieter and perfect for resting. Another must seen area of Cyprus in Paphos that is most known for its Aphrodite beach that is mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty. Since you all know that we strive for love and beauty, that love moves us in all directions, that beauty is within us, but we all want more of it, I will write about Aphrodite beach in my next post….