Tag: Oma and Opa

Sunday Column (394)

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Roller Coaster Ride! My life took a turn and it is moving only in one direction: it is up and onwards, and time bound, because we cannot stop time. It means that it is becoming a bit more unstable before it becomes more stable again. Hopefully anyway, a bit of bumps on the road ahead I fear. And when I keep saying you must trust that things will work out in the end, now is the time for me to do exactly that. And I do.

Things in life happen for a reason. Things happen to push us out of our comfort zone. We are here to learn, to grow and to move on. Exciting and daunting at the same time. Isn’t life wonderful? We must embrace it as much as we can.

I got more endorsements last week on Linkedin from more senior people than ever before. I am winning. I am doing things right. You remember I was saying that a while back. Mentally I am strong, I always was very head strong (my granddad Heinrich’s fault). So now is the time to go back to my roots and make sure they are anchored the way they should be. They are!

Exercise is steady. I did my two 10K and another 7.5K. My kettle bell exercise are back on, strength training is prioritised. Week after next I need to go back to the pool. It feels like I gain circumference without gaining weight. Wrong food I suspect.

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Now, let’s talk about you for a moment. Yes, you. Thanks for continuing to read my blog, engage in my life and take something from here to your own life. I have got so much positive and encouraging feedback from you over the last few weeks, that I can only ask you to do 2 things: Please share this on social media and talk to people about my blog. I want this blog, and ultimately other projects that are brewing in the back of my head, to help others. To be an inspiration for others. I would love people to send me questions, ask me about advice and ideas on what they should do in certain situations! Feel free to reach out to me and thank you for your participation. Thank you for enjoying what I have to say.

Please share it on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. Follow me. Please reach out to me. Let’s make this world a better place. Together. That must be our ultimate goal.

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There have been a few highlights this week. My parents stayed over the weekend. We got a new gas BBQ just in time for some sunny days – I have to say I like it. And, we finally got our car. The machine. The Skoda Superb. The family wagon. I love it. Needless to say, after driving a mini bus for almost 4 years, it was time to upgrade to something more nippy. And the kids love it too 😉

Material value. I listened to a Buddhist podcast this week and actually, we shouldn’t feel attached to things. And I don’t. Having a new car for me isn’t about value, showing off or attachments. It is about functionality and freedom somewhat. Something nice. Yet, whilst it is physically on our drive way, I am not attached to it. Doesn’t mean I don’t like it.

We suffer from attachment. Greed. I am money driven so I can distribute more. So I can invest it to secure a better education for my family. To make my life easier and better. But not only my life. The life of others. I like to create value. That doesn’t need to be monetary value but can be any value. Helping people. Supporting them through difficult times. Coaching them. That is where I want to add more value and contribute more regularly.

And for my job: I know the industry. I know the people you need to speak to. I put companies on the map of the industry to be recognised and sold. I have done it. I am winning. I love looking at new technologies, understand what is possible, meet enthusiastic entrepreneurs, see great technology and believe in their future potential.

Let’s make it happen. Let’s keep winning.

Are you?
Are you living the life you want to be living?

Have a fantastic week. Keep going after them. Keep winning!

Best,
Volker

Sunday Column (224)

This week I know more about what I don’t want to write about than what I am keen on discussing. To be honest, I am a bit fed up of job searches, and job finding. This week was a highlight in some decision making but I will cover that in greater depth hopefully soon. I guess the frustrating bit, and the ultimate roller coaster ride, is that you get verbal offers, promises and then silence for weeks which then result in you not knowing whether things move forward or not; on the other hand you get new opportunities popping up but don’t really want to waste anyone’s time thinking the verbal offer comes through. I guess I need to be more ruthless but never mind. I am the nice guy, right?

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Hence the real highlight last week was life itself! Colin is probably the sweetest boy on earth. Whiny but great at 4 years old who slowly discovers the world. I am trying to explain things to him but his attention span is too short. He loves the books he got for his birthday telling him all about how the body works and what blood, bones and muscles are. It is great to see him sucking up that knowledge like a sponge and explaining it back to you. His questions are very analytical and a great joy to me is when he asks what a certain word is in German. Hard work and persistence seems to pay off.

Rohan on the other hand seems to develop two skills recently. One is more talking and making himself heard and understood, the other is to start listening what we tell him. It is a slow process but we seem to win. One shout at a time. On top of that we moved his bed into Colin’s room, trying to get him to sleep through the night. That didn’t work so that he is back in his own room with a stair gate. Slow progress but progress.

Then I went for a cycle with a friend on Tuesday night on top of the South Downs. An amazing ride of 2 hours in a fantastic sunset. Moving to the country side was the best thing we have ever done. Whilst I agree that the commute is “me time” and sometimes is taking forever, restrictive to stay out late in London – cycle rides like these or Jen being able to take the kids down to the beach for an afternoon are making up for that many times over. I guess with the change of lifestyle my attitude has changed.

I can see that in my job hunt too. Yes, I am still very career oriented but maybe a little more risk averse than I used to be and prefer a good job working for people that know what they are doing rather than people not knowing what they are doing if that makes sense. Whilst money, particularly with the travel card each month, is still key, the title or function is less an issue than a great job for a good company that pays what I need as long as I maybe have less to worry at evenings and weekends. Surely I am going to work my butt off nevertheless. I am just the workaholic, right? When the kids are older, 3-5 years down the line, I can still do a job which might involve more international travel, more responsibility and more time from me away from home. I am only 36 after all….maybe I am just in a midlife crisis, who knows 😉

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I also managed to finish my first draft of my book on personal development which I have put together over the last 6 weeks. Now I still got to add some drawings, get my wife to proofread it before publishing it. This is very exciting for me and I am proud to have almost completed this project.

On Wednesday I finally became a Rotary member. It has been a long time coming yet with the job situation I had postponed the decision until the end of the Rotary year (end of June). It is good to get involved in a new venture helping others to succeed, develop and to make this world a better place. It is about ethical values, servicing others (SERVICE ABOVE SELF) above and beyond the standard.

An eventful week overall! A good week really! Oma and Opa came to visit over the weekend which again gave much joy to the kids and of course to us. More cheap wine and good chats. A Saturday out in town at the beer festival with the wife. I sometimes wish we had family closer by. And my MIL and her partner came to visit as they had a 7 hour stop over in London on their way back from holidays. The kids were delighted.

But you have to decide in life what you want. Sometimes taking a step back, evaluating whilst moving forward later is not a bad thing. Putting life in perspective is important and sometimes things just don’t happen overnight. Family might take a priority over a job and vice versa at a different stage in life. I guess that is what makes life so exciting yet not easier.

So have a great week. Fingers crossed for some results!

Volker

Sunday Column (206)

I have been in Germany with the family this week. A train to the airport, a “funny” train between terminals, a slightly delayed plane (as a family we haven’t had a travel where the plane was on time yet), an ICE train and a small train before Opa picked is up. 9 hours of travel. The boys loved it, were behaved and the ICE train even had a compartment for families. A luxury journey.

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It was my dad’s 70th birthday, an occasion to meet the family, the kids to play and bond with their cousins, and all of them to bond with Oma and Opa. We had a good time. We drank lots of wine as we stayed up late chatting away and catching up. Normal I suppose. We enjoyed it. There is a lot of things happening in the family. My brother is building a house, dad got his first ever smart phone. Lots of great food, home cooked meals, fresh rolls (Brötchen) and lots of play with old childhood toys.

The other occasion of course was Rohan’s 2nd birthday, hence the celebration as birthday twins was for 70+2 birthday 🙂 So lots of attention was given to our wee one as well.

Up to a few years ago I wrote a lot about Germany and my love hate relationship. I think that has now passed. I moved on. I actually enjoy coming back as I don’t compare Germany any longer to what I have. Yes they have nicer trains, warmer and better insulated houses, higher quality in a few day to day items, but it doesn’t bother me anymore. I am very happy and content with the life I have, and I moved away from trying to be 100% perfect. I like to think so anyway. I feel like I moved on. I found my own purpose.

Despite that I am not sure whether to speak German or English, to feel at home or not. But as opposed to former visits I just embraced things I enjoy. Like the above mentioned rolls and home cooked food that took me back in time. I can let go. I can and actually do enjoy my time in Germany now. The journey back in time becomes a nice journey. I believe that over the last few years I have settled, embraced what I have and was able to let go and focus on the positive things in life. My outlook is positive in all aspects of life and that is what I focus on. Here and Now. Positive!

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Also I was able to switch off from work. I relaxed, felt like I was living at home again where everything is taken care of. Hotel Mama with unlimited wine, food and fun. No worries. At the birthday party I met with friends of my parents who have been some kind of mentors for me over the years. Contacts that helped me grow up and understand the world. People who have seen me through all my stages of life but the last 15-20 years. This is difficult to comprehend I found. Those people used to baby-sit me, nurse me, comfort me, teach me or were just there for me. Now they are 70+ enjoying retirement and grandchildren. They of course loved to see our kids and how I got on in life. Whilst my parents keep them updated, it is nice to personally touch base with them. Again, a much more pleasant journey than anticipated. I actually look forward to going back to Germany again.

My dad used to be a teacher. In 1995 he got the chance to build a new school as a principal. As one of the guests pointed out my dad’s career and reputation as a teacher is amazing. He pushed himself to help others, to progress and have more influence. I suppose that is where I got my drive from and my urge to help others, to help develop others. My drive to succeed, take on new projects, seeing them through and coaching younger people to progress in their life. I guess I learned a lot from you, dad, and never realised it before. Maybe you taught me much more than I have ever realised before. I just hope I will be able to be such a good teacher for my two boys also.

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On the fun side: I must look like my dad too. Asking Colin who the person on the picture above was, he said “daddy” not hesitating once. Since then he started noticing slight differences and it is “Opa”, however there is a slight resemblance, wouldn’t you think?

It was nice being back home. My wife and I managed a night out, ate some nice Gyros and we showed C the fresh fruit market. The weather was beautiful with snow and cold winds but it limited us in doing too much. So we just spent the right amount of time in Detmold, hoping to go back for longer maybe next year in the summer. The journey back seemed quick with two brave boys pulling through to the end. They fell into bed being absolutely exhausted. C was still recovering from all the input he received by the weekend. We just chilled out.

I went back to work on Thursday. Lots to catch up. Lots to do. Back to the grindstone. I am back in my routine. Kind of anyway. A few pints with the Hassocks crew on Saturday night and “our home cooked” food Friday and Saturday. It is good to be home. It is good to be settled. We are not creating the memories for our boys for them to experience what I did this week. The circle of life I suppose.

A good week comes to a close. Thank you Oma and Opa.

Love,
Volker