How to survive November … and feel good about it

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November is here. And with it, at least here in Luxembourg, rainy, colder days with little sunlight. At work, gloom spreads across the corridors. Everybody whines and whinges. Depression is palpable. In the evenings the city looks even more deserted than ever. The wolves howl, there has already been the first sighting of a polar bear near Fentange… (no, not really, I am joking, it was in Itzig :).
While I confess that I, too, tend to succumb to the general atmosphere of despair, this year my fiancée Lucia, who works as a life coach, (http://lifecoachingandholistictherapy.com/) came up with the 21-day method for changing your negative attitudes and becoming a more positive person.
Here’s the deal:
in the period of 21 days there are five tasks for you to do:
1) at the end of the day you write down three things that happened during the day that you feel grateful for,
2) you choose one of those things and you describe it in greater detail. The point is to relive the experience once again to bring back the positive feelings,
3) random acts of kindness: you do something kind during the day – you offer a piece of chocolate to a colleague in the next office, you write an email to someone in which you say something positive about that person, you help someone in the street – anything that will make you feel better,
4) you do some physical activity – you walk to work instead of taking the bus, you go jogging, to the gym or to the swimming pool, anything,
5) you find some time during the day to meditate or at least do something to train your mindfulness – you do an activity with as much focus and feeling of being present as possible, e.g. you eat your lunch with you mind focussed on every bite you take.

After 21 days you and the people around you should already see a positive change in your behaviour.
It’s my second day today. I will try to keep you informed how I proceed. And why don’t you try it out for yourselves? We can swap stories at the end… ;).

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The summers outside the city

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The summers in his native city were hot, scorching hot. This not being a mediterranean country, the town was not built in a way to help its citizens escape the heat. There were no narrow alleyways, no sun blinds on the windows. The green areas between housing estates were scorched. The concrete multiplied the heat. People moved between the houses like huge slow bugs. Plastic bags in their hands, they dragged themselves towards the grocery store. Some men did not even bother to put on a t-shirt, their beer bellies hanging in front of them. There was no life on the childrens’ playground, nor in the football area. From time to time, one could only hear the strange buzzing sound of an accelerating trolleybus. Their drivers, wearing only vests, drove with the front doors open. At times, the gentlest breeze in the trees brought some relief.

copyright Lucia Supova

copyright Lucia Supova


The boy would never spend too much time in the city during summer. His parents would take him and his brother to their summer cottage by a lake. They had their friends there, places they loved, and while they were there, the city was only a distant memory. He never really had too many friends in his neighborhood anyway. He was not a kid on the block. But here, in the mountains, it was different. He had many friends and there were also girls he liked. Everything was better here, in this natural surroundings, than in the city. He and his brother would spend several weeks here every summer. And then, at the end of August, when it was the time to go back to school again, the family would get into the car and head back to the city. First, as they would still be on the motorway, they would see a TV tower on a hill above the town, then, a few kilometers later, the castle appeared and the boy knew they were nearly home. A few minutes later they would be devoured by the scorched, deserted town. It was usually a Sunday and there would be few people on the streets. Their father would carefully park the car before their block of flats, say a few instructions to the boys and they would descend. They would all wave to their grandma, who lived two doors away in the same block of flats. On the day of their planned return, she would be waiting in her window for the family. The mother did not get along with her. The father would just say in a resigned way – “Look. Grandma is already waiting, how can it be otherwise.” As they would be loading the bags into the tiny elevator, the boys would be still thinking about the summer. Then the lift would arrive and with a lot of banging and screeching the family would ascend towards their flat…