Posts Tagged wife

Sunday Column (460)

I don’t even want to start with….Monday again 😉 I love sitting on the Monday morning train. I did my 7.5K run this morning and had a mixed weekend. A stomach bug and feeling quite run down. Not as relaxing as I hoped. However, there is a silver lining: my MIL was visiting this week and helped us with the kids. The other silver lining is that there is no travel planned for a while – at least not for work and not on a plane. Isn’t that nice? Even though coming to the end of the year with no more flights, I would on average (!) have done a trip every other week over the year. What I get in return is experience. And the nice thing about experience: it will help you connect the dots moving forward. As Steve Jobs says, in times of uncertainty and unrest, when you don’t know what happens in the future and how the dots will be connected, you need to trust your gut. You need to trust your heart, your inner self and that things will work out and the dots connect moving forward. And they always will. Believe!

I took a sick day this week as well. If I say sick day, I stayed home for two days, really WFH (working from home), so not getting as much rest as I should have. I had a bug lurking around since my trip to Belgrade and it was going on all week. I couldn’t shake it off. I dragged myself in on Monday and Thursday, feeling that I should but I don’t think my body appreciated it too much. I also tried drinking Coca Cola which I hadn’t done in many years, and it was awful. And it didn’t help. I thought I’d try, after all it was invented as medicine. At that stage I would have tried almost anything. One of my former managers used to say: you are worth nothing to the company being ill or not feeling 100%. Take care of yourself first before taking care of others and the business. And he is right. When in an airplane, do you ever watch the safety instructions where they tell you to put on your oxygen mask first before helping others? That’s the way to do it: you cannot help others if you aren’t up for it. Did I mention this was the first “proper” sick day in this job? And this besides the extensive travel? I guess I am doing ok then, and my immune system is up to scratch 🙂 The reason I am saying this is because a few years back I didn’t take care of myself and ended up being ill for weeks on end. That has changed. Mens sana in corpore sano. The exercise, better eating, more active life style, less booze. It pays off to look after yourself!

But let’s talk about some positive things. 10 years ago this week I wed my wife. A few years before we met when I was a bouncer at the first O’Neil’s in the UK, in Aberdeen. I remember meeting her in the summer of 2003, just as I had finished my first degree, and I thought, I’d like to see her again. For whatever reasons she didn’t come back to the club until February the following year. The rest is history. No, the culture clash wasn’t easy, but there was such a strong attraction that we even made it despite living apart in the first year we met: London and Wellington, New Zealand. When she came back, we got engaged, bought a house, had kids and lived (and continue to do so hopefully) …. happily ever after I suppose. She is an amazing woman. Very patient as you can imagine and very good with the kids. A supporting pillar without which I couldn’t have coped in life so far and I never want to miss her moving forward. I haven’t met a kinder, more caring person and 10 years on I love her more than ever before. Here is to the next 10! Thank you love!

Oh, and what I think the secret to a good marriage is? Fight regularly, make up regularly, and marry someone with a different mindset but same values. The latter is maybe the 80% that counts, as if your values don’t align, how do you bring up your kids or decide on anything?

On Friday, and thanks to Imodium 🙁 , we went out for a nice meal at Le Gavroche and also stayed the night in London, coming back home after a lovely breakfast. The experience at Le Gavroche was amazing. Besides a superior service and food to die for, the experience was worth the visit itself. The restaurant is run like clockwork. The staff are super trained and don’t miss the tiniest thing. Friendly, chatty and non pretentious. It makes it the best (posh) restaurant I have ever been to, and I would come back to this relaxed atmosphere anytime again. The flavours and composition of food were amazing and in a way you only get in a French cuisine. Thank you to my wife for wanting to go there. What a splendid night.

It is nice to just take a day to connect again, to only worry about ourselves, not the kids and knowing the kids are in good hands (MIL). It was really nice! After the week I had, it was good to just chill, and we even got some shopping in.

What’s next for me? As most people know there are changes coming up. And, there are still so many projects I’d like to do: like writing another book, doing the plastic model I haven’t started yet, spending more time with the kids making up for the travel, and doing the school runs to help the wife. And there are other projects lurking, so we shall see. The dots always connect looking backwards.

In other news, we saw some great skies in Europe this week, a red sun caused by hurricane Ophelia carrying Sahara sand. It was a bit gloomy on Monday and my youngest got really scared. Just as he got excited about Halloween. Poor him 🙁 It is so interesting to watch how we (us humans) react to the change of light and associate it with danger and the end of the world. Deep down we are very much connected with our blue planet and everything happening on it. We don’t call it Mother Earth for no reason. I would have loved to be on a plane this week – I know this contradicts what I said above – as someone was describing how beautiful it was to watch the phenomenon from up there. Maybe ironic that I didn’t travel this week.

So a proper mixed week. Feeling ill most of the week, sorting some stressful things out, worrying a lot about things, and trying to balance that with normal life. But what is normal these days. It isn’t easy sometimes. Life isn’t just straight forward, that would be too nice, wouldn’t it? Or boring, really. But guess that’s what it is. I had to cancel a lunch with a friend and I hate doing that, because a) I still didn’t feel right and b) I had a clash with work.

Life isn’t always fair, but we must make the most out of it. We need to sit back, relax, take a deep breath and be grateful for what we have, and what we have achieved. We have to look out for the ones that need our help and the ones we can help on the way. I am a firm believer that if you help others, then others will help you. And everything in life happens for a reason. You attract goodness in your life by giving goodness to others, you are attracting good things. Closing the loop.

In that sense, have a good week ahead,
Volker

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Sunday Column (374)

I start writing this post half way through the week. After a work do, I left in time to catch a train. London traffic resulted in me getting a later train than anticipated, yet it could have been the Uber driver as well. 20 minutes from Wardour Street to Victoria at 8 pm seems a bit off but never mind. Another 60 minutes to get home, changing trains. Two hours door to door. A long journey that adds to a busy day. I am not the only one though, most colleagues live in the suburbs so it seems.

But what you awaits at home, and the reason we moved, is well worth it. An affordable home in the country side, off street parking, free schools, no flight noise but only 30 minutes drive from Gatwick, 10 minutes to the sea, lots of outdoor activities….. And that’s the reason I don’t mind and if there are Christmas parties or longer evening events, I can always stay in town.

Anyway it was a great busy week, lots of good meetings and chats. Yet any week seems to be busy at the moment and my schedule is filled up to the end of June. I love it though. Whenever we have visitors in London from our Central European or US offices, things get really busy. One always tries to cramp as much as one can into one into any available time slots. We are getting a lot done. Onward and upwards, the next few weeks there are a few trips and exciting discussions planned. Full steam ahead!

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On the train home I started watching an Icelandic drama aired on the BBC, Trapped, which goes a bit in line with the weather here. It got a lot colder again and a bit unpleasant. You get the odd sunny day which gives you the false idea of spring. So sitting on a train at night and watching a drama which is taking place in a snow storm makes you feel extra cold. Luckily the trains are warm, and it is almost a comfort feeling of watching TV whilst looking outside the window, into the dark cold countryside.

The biggest highlight this week and the thing I am most proud of however is my wife. She not only had her birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY), no she ran her first half marathon. A great achievement for someone who only started running regularly just over a year ago. She caught the running bug! She raised a lot of money, made a lot of friends and generally got a lot fitter – so well done for doing that. An amazing achievement and we are mighty proud of you!!!

It goes to show that anyone with the right attitude, planning and stamina as well as motivation can achieve their set goals. Being a CHAMPION was the theme of my article on Linkedin this week. My wife is amazing! The most amazing woman I have ever met.

Those moments make you reflect a bit. About purpose in life and self fulfilment, putting yourself into perspective. Since I have been to the Natural History Museum, getting my 23andme DNA results and watching a few evolution documentaries, it has been playing on my mind to grasp the complexity of mankind. If you were to take a snapshot of a tube escalator at a busy time in London for instance, you would get a mix of races, cultures, DNAs, attitudes, intellects and illnesses. Heritage would be different for most, origin too.

Those thoughts I find mind blowing. You couldn’t even try to map the complexity. Would you do it based on origin, race, colour, culture? Those multi complex scenarios are great. It just shows the complexity of life in general. We all carry our own little ideas, heritage and life’s little secrets. But maybe this is a philosophical approach for another time.

The moments we stop to smell the roses and take it all in. The moment we think about everydays’ little events. And we think what our purpose will be. How we achieve fulfilment. I am thinking a lot about how I can contribute more to mankind. The people who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act (Einstein). I shall keep thinking.

As so often, I am sitting on the train again. This time going to work. I had a great night sleep, six solid hours, done a 10K run this morning and there is still a lot of energy left for me to get through this day. Because I am buzzing. I am on duty.

Life is good.

Best wishes,
Volker

Einstein

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Sunday Column (362)

This week saw the start of the Syrian war, the time when Britain decided to attack the terrorism in Syria. I am not very political but I remember, as a teenager, to listen to the 6 am news one morning, that the US announced to go into war with Iraq. It must be 20+ years ago. I am still not sure if the world is a safer or better place since. I cannot make those decisions and will just accept things as they are. However, as of discussion with a fellow father, what are we leaving for our kids to be sorted. Essentially we have been at war with terrorism for more than 20 years, right? It is a different war to the world wars. That’s for sure. But isn’t war war?

Another of my lowlights this week was an early morning start. Not because it was early but more because it was early out of the door. And surprisingly to me, when you catch a 6.13 am train from Haywards Heath it is ram packed. That’s a 5.53 am from Hassocks btw. Crazy. No way you can work or get anything done. So I started writing this blog post on my phone 🙁 I am getting too used to be able to get a good hour of work done on the commute each way.

What followed that day was awesome. A really well attended panel discussion, 8 am breakfast meeting, delivered by a few people on the convergence of social and TV. Digital and TV. And it is coming together. Finally. We are far from connecting the dots but we are getting there. I am excited for next year. As the industry evolves, so does the attribution, the connection of the silos and the cross device connection. And we are in the middle of it. Amazing.

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Then my wife called me a Tidsoptimist this week. What’s that? Oh someone thinking they have more time than they do. And because of that they are late for things. Time, as it seems to me, expands. But it doesn’t. It is the same for everyone. It all started when I worked for a company that made meetings with agencies. I arrived in time and realised that 9 out of 10 meetings started 10-15 minutes late. So I started being 10-15 minutes late, to make my work flow more efficient. In London you can always blame the tube.

Having said that, even when moving closer to my clients, I was still late, as there was always something to finish off taking only a minute. And none of my clients mind, as it seemed to be the norm. I have gotten better again now, as the meetings become more senior. After all, I am still trying to leave a positive impression 🙂 So nothing to be proud of, just I get a lot more done really.

On another note I published another article on productivity. Whilst writing my next book chapters I realise that being productive is actually not that difficult. I also realised there had been one advice I got in 1997 that is still true today: only plan 70% of your time. As soon as you step over that red line something will be left undone. This is because you are having to account for the unexpected. For the unknown. The incoming pitch, the email from your neighbour to help or the information about something you need to action on.

Days sometimes don’t feel busy but turn out to be quite manic. And also over the summer I had little time to breathe and think. Sounds mad but if you don’t have time to think, things will be missed. So give yourself time to think, to breathe, stare out of the window and come up with some cool ideas.

We also managed to get all out Christmas presents ordered. The tree is up and cards sent. We went to Winchester to see a friend and his family. Christmas is all about the children. I totally enjoy looking at last year’s Christmas pictures, and the ones before, to see the glow in the kids’ eyes when we put up the tree. The future, the love, the activities, anything we do, is about the children. And then there is Syria.

It is a bit of a damper for Christmas. However, we decided to give some money to a charity supporting a child that got cancer and the hospital he is in for which they collect money or unused toys to give to the kids for Christmas. Isn’t that nice. Nice to give. Nice to be able to make other kids’ Christmas as special as our own.

No, life for me isn’t about myself. My job is for myself, and my goals. But the greater things in life, they are about the children. And they are who really matter in life. Everything else is just not as important. No matter what it might be at the moment. If you are with your kids, the only thing that matters is them. If you are with clients and something happens to your family, everyone understands if you had to cancel a meeting. It is everybody’s first priority. It took me a few years to learn that too.

We had a blessed and great week overall. Despite some lowlights. We also had plenty of Christmas lights and sparkle!

We are truly grateful.

Love to you all,
Volker

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Sunday Column (336)

Today to the day I left from Dusseldorf, Germany, to go to the USA for a year as an exchange student. I was 16 I believe, so 1993. 22 years ago. Life passes very quickly! On the way back I remember smoking and drinking whilst being stuck on the run way in Chicago, sitting in the last row of a Lufthansa jumbo. Those were the days.

smoking in an airplane

On Tuesday, 18th of August, I will have another anniversary. On that day, 14 years ago, I left from Dusseldorf to Aberdeen, via London, to move to the UK to finish my university degree. I never returned to Germany permanently and met the love of my life just before I finished my studies. Our anniversary is later this year 😉

Isn’t life amazing. You never know what you get. You step on a plane, you go places, and you it might change your life forever. For the better, hopefully not for the worse.

Anyway, let’s not be sentimental. What has happened is the past. History really.

The highlight of the week was actually very personal. My wife managed, thanks to the MIL (mother in law) babysitting, to come into London and go out for a meal with me. It threw me a bit out of my comfort zone, not having had the wife out in London for a good while, 3 odd years or so. Wow. And there she was, looking stunning as ever, to go to dinner with me and drinks pre dinner and post dinner of course 😉 The full programme. We loved it. A great night out. Genuinely enjoyed it.

The second highlight happened on Monday this week when the carpet layer came. We now got underlay in each room, a good carpet, and a new feel to the house. It is fantastic. We are very proud of the achievements we have made with the new home office/guest room being my new ‘hobby’ really – my wife painted the walls, but I will decorate them with quotes from Steve Jobs, Buddha and also ‘installed’ a fairy door. Yes, a bit of fun, a grass carpet, vibrant colours, a bean bag, desks to work on and soon a Sonos system to complement the room. A second family room, a home office too. Creative, funky, productive. Whiteboard, soon flip-chart, bouncy ball, height adjustable desk, plants and meditation cushion.

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you will see a lot more pictures. I am happy. I now need to make sure the family will enjoy the room as much as I do 😉

Other highlights this week include…
– I picked up my new passport from the embassy, so now got another 10 years until I go through that procedure again. By then I am almost 50 🙁
– My parents have been married for 45 years. Congratulations!
– We got logs delivered and I finally stacked them properly into my new shed, hopefully with another load to come soon. I am getting all domestic and prepare for the cold winter to come….or more autumn evenings like these. And yes, we had the fire on this week already!

Having the MIL around is great. As mentioned, not only could my wife come to London, we also had a lie in, lots of help and someone who enjoys and does a great job entertaining the kids. We got invited out to a new Indian restaurant, and got a chance to buy a picture frame without kids annoying you. Not that we mind, but sometimes it is nice to get some one-on-one time back.

In the meantime work is busy, steady but not mad. That’s good. With people coming back from holidays next week and week after, it will get busier in the lead up to dmexco, our biggest trade show of the industry. I am excited! Q4 will be mad but good.

That’s all for this week really.

Enjoy the best of the British summer,
Volker 😉

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Sunday Column (324)

My wife made me very proud last weekend. She managed to walk 26.2 miles, the Moonwalk, a marathon, during the night, no sleep. That is a fantastic achievement. She has been training very hard for the past few months and she really deserves an applause of finishing and raising money for charity. Well done!

For myself I feel a bit under the weather. The changing weather, no one believes it’s actually summer, some virus and a lot of work don’t help me getting back into my routine. Another bank holiday this weekend, a day trip to Milan just don’t get you into the swing of things. Anyway, I am not complaining, just the opposite. I have probably never been happier in any job nor in life in general. That is a good sign I suppose.

The shed is finished and the camping equipment is here. Now we need to test it of course. A lot of returns and exchanges via Amazon partners made me realise how much stuff gets actually sent by partners and not Amazon itself. Rude customer service with awful English and offers to take a discount to avoid returns, shine a bad light on Amazon. They tried their best to calm me down and enforce their T&C and customer service standards on their partners, but with little success. For me, having had a few negative experiences, it is clear that anything that is not shipped by Amazon will be avoided unless it is a low value item that I keep regardless whether I am happy with it.

Life

We should really return to the brick and mortar stores, look at things, maybe pay a bit more for less hassle. I am learning. Still. Maybe eCommerce isn’t the holy grail after all? I think it is but why bother with the hassle of trying to be charged £24 for a return of a suitcase to Germany that was bought on Amazon.co.uk. In the UK I can ship it for £6 or get free return on the Samsonite website which is only marginally more expensive. I learned. And I let Amazon know. That’s all I can say. Still waiting for the refund, and Amazon telling the seller off. You haven’t heard the end of it yet….

Milan was a nice trip as always. A bit short. Flight in at 6 am, back for 7 pm, three meetings, a few calls. Wow. I actually enjoy those days but they feel you a bit knackered the next day. I wonder why 🙂 Next week I do Amsterdam, train to Eindhoven, back to Amsterdam, flight home. Yet I also got a few days off too. Might just be what I need.

The time with the boys is precious. I managed to work from home two days this week. Whilst I spent most of the time in my study, I managed bath time once and breakfast 4 days this week. That is good. The neighbours complain about the noise in the garden after we got a trampoline but I think they are just picky as the kids can see over the fence 😉 Never mind, we moved it for the peace of the neighbourhood.

Life is wonderful. Let’s hope the weather continues to improve and we have an awesome summer. Half term next week, and hopefully some more quality time with the boys. The first BBQ is done yet we haven’t tested the tent yet. Maybe tonight….maybe next weekend.

Last but not least a good friend died this week. A family friend. It came very unexpected, so the news was even more shocking than it normally would have been. May you rest in peace, you enriched many lives, not only ours!

Have a good week,
Volker

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Sunday Column (295)

It is November. Time keeps flying and only another 6 weeks to Christmas. Wow. I just had a week off with the family. Nothing was planned but staying at home at half term, taking care of the puppy, spending time with the kids.

Having a puppy is great yet hard work. Potty training, entertaining, particularly if you cannot take it for walks yet. Chewing on anything, playing with the boys’ toys and generally just wanting to be entertained. A 3 year old too forceful, and a 5 year old too shy with it. We made a lot of progress and in less than 2 weeks time we can take her for walks. I cannot wait.

What I enjoyed most about the time off? Getting on top of things like putting away the firewood for the winter. Cooking. Sleeping. Running. Sitting in the living room, putting the fire on at 4pm, having a glass of wine, chilling out, trying take aways… Not everyday though 😉 Doing some minor DIY things. As mentioned, thanks to the dog we couldn’t really go anywhere for long.

dog

We managed to clear the loft out a big. Old toys, cloths and baby stuff. Something I was looking forward to for a long time. It feels like we made the cut, we moved on. We don’t have babies anymore. We have two boys that are growing up. Now we got a puppy. With 8 months they should be ‘grown ups’. So from mid next year I can say that I have a 4, 6 and 1 year old child. That’ll be nice 😉 And the cat. Yet it has to be seen if Hänsel will hang around. And the wife is talking about dog number two already…let’s see what is there to come.

In the meantime I focus on the NOW. The very moment I enjoy spending with the boys and the family. Building Lego, going swimming, polishing the car or tidying away the firewood. Whatever it is and whatever we can do as a team. It is nice to create shared experiences. Things they will remember for years to come.

And in a subtle way you teach them about life. That the old toys from the loft going to people that have no toys. That cannot afford toys. And that there are people that don’t have hot water or warm houses in the winter. Those little things we keep forgetting and we must remind ourselves and our children about. Every year, coming to Christmas, I reflect on where we are and what we can do for others. And I do want my kids to be involved. In school they teach them Africa doesn’t have any money. But it isn’t only Africa, it can be in your own country too. We too often forget.

But don’t let me get too sentimental. After all we still got six weeks till Christmas. And then another year will commence. I got the feeling 2015 will be a year full of positive changes. I can’t put my finger down yet but anticipate that whilst a lot of things change, for better or for worse, we will see a very positive outcome from it, even if this is still years away for us to realise.

I also managed a great MTB ride and a few runs. So trying to stay active.

Have a great November,
Volker

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Sunday Column (241)

wedding2007 Today is our wedding anniversary. Six years ago we got married on a lovely sunny autumn day. As we said then, someone was watching us, making sure we had the most amazing day in our lives. And we did. Topped maybe by birthdays, that’s the kids’ ones I am talking about, or Christmas for the wee ones. We are moving into the 7th year, the critical one, as based on statistics, this is the year most couples get divorced. They say if you manage year 7, you manage for life. It is a myth, however research suggest the longer the marriage lasts, the less likely a divorce becomes. I am not worried. Actually we know each other for 10 years soon!

A quick search online reveals a few articles writing about the 7th year, but what have I learned? Surely I am not going to discuss my marriage in public, but thinking back over the years, one learns a lot. And in all honesty, I still learn. The love for each other gets shared with the kids, the attention for each other gets divided with the kids, the overall life is changing from 2 to however big your family might grow. This makes life richer. One needs to compromise, make up, remember birthdays and like today anniversaries. Show appreciation for each other’s contribution to the life together. Lastly commitment. No marriage, relationship or anything in life has only sunny sides. Commit to whatever happens, even if you are the one having to take a step back. My personal tip: if your wife has a good taste, and assumingly she would saying yes to you, leave her to decide all those things you don’t really mind too much: paint colours, furniture, toilet design etc., but make sure to support decisions and have an input, because you don’t want to come across as if you don’t care. And you don’t not care 🙂

But enough about marriages and married life. It is a decision you make, stick to it and get on with it. In good and bad times. Talk. Talk a lot, communicate and speak about things. That’s important.

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Last week I was travelling again. I chaired my second conference, AdMonsters Ops, in Germany, Munich. I tried to meet some business partners and friends whilst I was out there. It was a great trip and good conference. Not only did I renew some existing companies’ contacts and industry friends, I also managed to meet a very close friend I haven’t seen for (too) many years. Both very driven individuals, we are pursuing the same dream, in different ways. And, we both believe this dream is the “valid” one. So far away, yet so similar thoughts and motivations. I believe this trip might have been life changing but you never know. Making connections, connecting the dots.

On the way out to Germany I was caught in the trouble at Gatwick airport. A power cut put the South Terminal into a bit of a turmoil. With less than 2 hours delay we departed and I stayed calm. Age, meditation and exercise seems to keep my mind from going mental. At least for now lol. I was a bit more uneasy when the flight home got delayed but I got home at a reasonable time on Friday night. Tired, exhausted, yet full of motivation, contacts and good plans.

Munich, on the other hand, made me feel almost a little homesick. Quality build houses and products, quality food, good life style, yet in a cosmopolitan environment. If I ever considered a move back to Germany, it would be Munich. But I love my little Hassocks. The definition of Hassocks, where we live, was pointed out to me this week: it is the plural of has·sock (Noun):
– A thick, firmly padded cushion, esp. a footstool.
– A firm clump of grass in marshy or boggy ground.

So I can now choose whether I live in a piece of mud or foam. Maybe a soft spot where you can let go, with the feeling of just sinking in?

Flying home I had more thoughts about life. Nothing like having 2 hours of me time. Disconnected. A bit melancholic, thoughtful, yet with unstoppable energy to succeed. Life, both private and professionally, is at a pivotal point. About to accelerate. I love where I am. I love what I am doing. And I am determined to make it work!

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Have a fantastic week. When you get a chance, take a minute to reflect on your happiness, your love and life. Hug your children and tell them, that whatever you do is to create a better life for them. When you work abroad you do that to provide for them, because you love them. If you don’t see them during the week, tell them that is for you to make sure they have enough food, because you love them. And, if they are old enough, make sure they understand that you don’t (want to) feel guilty not seeing them. But by you knowing that they love you, you feel better and they understand that you are away because of them. Life is that way. Either part of you has the same motivation, all you do in life is because you love your children. Because that’s the purpose in life, isn’t it? To make it work. To fight for it.

I better stop before I get more philosophical 😉

Have a great week,
Volker

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Ode to Jenny (or most mothers for that reason)

I wanted to write this post for a while, but focussed too much on the whole rant about customer service. Got a lot of bollocking for it too. Hey, that is just the way I am. Sorry if I bored you. But, working from home last week, triggered me to write another blog post, saying thank you to my wife, or for that reason to most mothers.

Of course I knew before having Colin that bringing up a child is hard work. And, in all fairness, Mr. Ballueder didn’t offer a good “customer service” when Colin was born. I was overwhelmed with what was going on in my life (just made redundant and going for interviews) – but more so overwhelmed with the sitution of “I am now responsible for this little package”. It took me a long time, probably very common for a lot of men, to adopt to the situation, coming to terms with it, getting involved and being the father the mother always wanted me to be.

Now enough about me, my wife Jenny is the one that put up with the child. It almost sounds negative, but from the days of pregnancy she was suffering. She was sick on her way to work in the tube, couldn’t sleep, was worried about my job, the future and from day 1 of Colin being here she was the one taking most of the burden. And, she did a fantastic job.

I think, and that is what most mothers say, only a mother feels like a mother does. Only she has the 9 months bonding with the child prior to seeing and holding it. She worries about it the moment it comes out (if not before). And she cares the moment it comes out. For her it comes natural doing all those things she has never done before.

Now, coming back, my wife is 7 months pregnant and has our lovely almost 18 months old toddler at home. He is a bundle of energy and joy. And whilst working from home I so realised how great my wife is and why she is so exhausted when I come home from work. The energy a mother has must come from the joy a child brings. From the pure fascination and drive to care for it. From the bond and love. That is why women are stronger than men, having more endurance. I admire that.

And, despite the snow, she didn’t get (or only eventually) tired of taking Colin to play groups, the crèche or just for a walk. Women are, and being a bloke I hate to admit it, the stronger gender. I wouldn’t be able to be pregnant, entertain a toddler and listen to my husband moan at the same time. Only a woman comes up with endless energy and drive to care for a child, entertain a child, nurse a child and the endless love for a child.

There is still a lot to learn for me. 18 months on, and I still haven’t learned in full how unimportant some things are in perspective to Colin. And in perspective to my wife.

I love you.
Volker

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another week – personal recap

Hello,

7 am on a Saturday morning and Ballueder just can’t sleep. I came home last night and instead of going to the gym I had a nice pizza, too much wine and was knocked out on the couch not later than 10 pm I think. Made it to bed around 11 and woke up at 7.

What has happened in my personal life the last few weeks/months? As you know I started my new job in December, just realising that it has been 4 months. The first job I truly enjoy. It not only challenges me, but I also take on responsibilities and work in my most favourite industry.

Then, Jen gave up her job and now started her new one back in London. She loves it so far too and we even go to work together in the mornings. And, she had her first real “Friday night”, e.g. she never was off at weekends before on a regular basis. Welcome to the real world. So that is all good.

What else? I sold my bench, my cooker and about to sell my computer desk. Things must go before we move. We move? Yes, we put in an offer for a house and I hope my current landlady does not read that. Looks like the paperwork should be coming through shortly and we should be able to close the chain this coming week with survey and solicitor work going ahead. We also looked for furniture and discovered that we both have similar taste. Och well, at least I do not mind my wife’s expensive furniture taste ,-) We shall see where we have to compromise. Just mentioning the word IKEA drives her mad. Sorry honey ,-)  So moving date will be sometime June/July we hope.

Personal life: as far as there is one. I went back to the gym. Weights during lunch and cardio at the weekend. Is it going well – to be honest not really! I just have too much on and feel too tired. Then again I cannot sleep. I will need to work more on meditation and spiritual practises in order to gain more energy and start using my little spare time more efficiently. E.g. I still need to catch up on a few books I want to integrate in my essay and work with O and M on some ideas for my essay too. Who knows what is going to happen.

Friends – they are there and we had a great Easter. Jenny made a fab roast and I was very impressed. We will be at a wedding in 2 weeks time to catch up with friends from all over the country, so that will be great just to see everyone and go shopping in Glasgow. The latter one is worthwhile the trip, and of course the wedding!

Homepage: yes, we got a new one. www.ballueder.co.uk is now officially registered and does replace ballueder.de

That is about all.

Plans for the weekend: sleeping if I can. Gym of course. Ironing. Fondue and a great CabSav (£25), paperwork for the house.

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