Sunday, May 13, 2012

The curse of May

Don't get me wrong, there are some things I love about May. The world looks so beautiful in May, people start to walk around with this dreamy, joyful look in their faces and there is a bubble of excitement in the air.  But because everything happens in May, sometimes it is too much. 

May is a month of graduations, conferences, exams, project completion (or beginnings), parties-you name it.  Take this week for example. I could be at:

- 2 interesting trainings 
- birthday party of a friend  in France
- an interesting event on employment in Brussels
- an important event on the future of an NGO I am involved with
- a social (possibly networking?) event in Warsaw for translators
- one of the most important documentary film festivals in Warsaw 

...and to add up to this I am leaving for work for Paris to work  next Sunday

Of course there is no way I can make it everywhere. I have tried to make the best choice I could, this time thinking about the commitments I had already made. 

This is May though.  So much is about choices, priorities and strategies that it's hard to just breathe in its beauty

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The world from the sandbox

Today was my first outing with both of my niece and  nephew. I have been out with my niece before, but logistics is much more sophisticated when you have got one in a stroller and the other one running around freely.  

We spent the morning on a playground in the park. Luckily that even though I felt clumsy   (how do you take out and put back in a six month old gracefully into the stroller) my little group was confident. It was their world after all, and  I was only a guest.  They were so angelic too, simply wanting to have fun and asking for my attention when they needed it, but no tempers on that day.

I did a lot of bench watching. I wondered who all these women were (there were mostly women). I thought I could identify mothers and grandmothers, but now I am wondering if there were  any babysitters or aunts like me.

It was quite a social scene, especially in the mythical sandbox. First lessons on cooperation and sharing (do I let the others make the sandcastle with me?), age differences (a three year old and a one year old are ages apart!) and  different visions of creative process (one sandcastle mold doesn't equal the other!).  And adults navigating in all that, trying to teach manners, solve conflicts and showing how to find  the wet sand to make a real sandcastle.

The playground seemed like a very safe and protective place on that day.  Adults were looking out for children, not just their own-it was nice to see that mothers actually played with the kids, and how they accommodated other children,  into the play. (Not that I did not try to have my eyes everywhere).

The pure joy children find in play, it was good to be away from intellectual work, from the computer, and wonder when to serve snack.

And next time I will be the experienced aunty- I will handle the stroller more gracefully, know how to divide the time between  my little guy and  my little lady, and definitely bring the suncream!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Resistance and serenity

Gorgeously warm, sunny long May holiday week.  I have been wiggling in my chair on the garden balcony, trying to focus on the work I planned to do, but a part of me kept pouting that I am not soaking the sun far from civilization.

I took this picture on an evening walk near by my flat where there is a little pond, a touch of nature among the  expanding blocks of flats. I thought of all the people that I saw going for lazy walks and even making small picnics on what ever small spaces of green they could find. And a wave of gratitude came to me that this one of those times when people are remembering to stop, to spend some time with their friends and family, to just breathe in life. Even if I cannot do this completely right now, my time will come. Resistance  to what I chose to do is neither helping me to get the work which is important to get done neither to relax. And what ever I do I can still enjoy the moments of beauty like at that pond.