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2012 - 5 things I am grateful for

5 things I am grateful for – something going back to Steve Seibold and not surprisingly popular amongst AIESEC-ers. Sometimes I like doing it – not as a daily routine, but so now and then. I like it as a way to look back and to see what happened in that period and what I am grateful for that it happened in my life. It can be about experiences, things that happened, persons or what a person did. But try to stay away from generalising - otherwise it would quickly boil down to the usual suspects as partner, friends, family, health etc :-). It’s about the small things – and seriously: every person does also things you don’t like ;-)

Today it’s time to look back onto 2012 – and I feel like looking what I am grateful for of all that what happened in my world in 2012. A lot happened – and a lot of things I am grateful for, but there is only room for 5. Some are easy picks, some are hard not to put them onto the 5 mentioned here. But here we go!



First I am grateful for having had a wonderful wedding day – and all people that made it possible. It’s cliché – that wedding as the best day in life. Well, after that day I think there is definitely something to it – at least it will stay in the top. No, marriage does not change life – it’s a thing between you and your partner, giving a statement in front of the ones dear to both. I am grateful that family and so many of our friends could be there, grateful for all the help we got up front and during the day from friends and from the manager on the location, Felis Meritis. I’m grateful that Fatima agreed to be the official to marry us. With her speech she gave the day a great start, connecting the people.

I’m grateful that so many friends from all over the world could make it. By that we not only could celebrate this day with our friends but they gave this day as well the special atmosphere where I always feel comfortable in: a mix of all kinds and sorts, different backgrounds, believes and ways of living – all together to celebrate. And I am grateful that Kath and Schwaaki had been my witnesses – and Kath even flew over from Sydney for that!

And I am grateful that Roland proposed – and that we still have many happy days, now already for more then 10 years. And he even learned to dance the Viennese waltz so that we could open the party with it (yes, sometimes I like traditions :) )


Finishing open ends

You know those things that you just postpone doing? They are sitting in your way but somehow you can’t motivate yourself to start doing them. Procrastination follows. I’m grateful that I got some out of my way in 2012. The biggest was coming to terms with myself how to deal with my father. After years it was time to get this out of my mind – at least for most of the time. Of course doors will always stay unlocked to be re-opened when needed and so now and then it will be a blue moment – but it’s time to move on. I hope for him that he will have happy and healthy years – but I will go on with my life and that will never be in way that he would accept.


Meeting grandma again

Granny turned 97 in September 2012. Way to go! She stills lives in her own apartment, doing her groceries and daily exercises with weights, using a laptop to do mind exercises and following what’s going on in the world. I always admire her for her view on life – and the will to go on. No complaining – just do what has to be done. Exercise is needed, even if you don’t feel well that day. Staying mentally up to date, doing physically whatever one still can do – but having also the peace of mind to know that life can end the very same day, looking back at a long and full life.

It’s always nice talking to her – and listen to the connections she makes between today’s news and her own life and things that happened during that life. Put’s things into perspective – and shows as well that things repeat in time.

When we went to see her last September it was only a short visit, she wasn’t feeling well. In such a moment one suddenly realises that this actually might be the last time seeing her. Fortunately she was feeling better soon – but the lesson is to make more time in life for such visits. All we want or have to do and everything has to be done right away – it just keeps as away from doing things that we might be grateful for because we are “too busy” with stuff.


Results of Dutch elections

The parties in the centre won – the extremes lost. Moderation is back for now in Dutch politics – and hopefully it stays. The last years had seen more and more a drift to extremes – even the liberal parties lost a lot of their liberal stances – favouring either conservative of socialist stances in an attempt to attract voters. Consensus became a dirty word lately. As if a democracy could exist without compromise and finding a consensual middle ground! Only dictators and tyrants can rule without taking other opinions into accounts. And democracy is not about 50+1 but should seek solutions for an as big as possible group – and should never forget the minorities. Otherwise it turns into a tyranny of the majority.

Yes – that means that nobody gets everything, and yes it means as well that decisions take time. But that time is a good investment – keeping the society together and peaceful. And politicians should learn to be honest about it. People will understand – as everything in life is about consensus, starting in your own partnership and family.

Let’s the election result be the beginning of a new period of moderation and consensus – and let politicians find the strength to be honest about the need to compromise and to do a little bit less of “headline politics” and populist one-liners just to get some media attention.


Apps and tablet

Well – both not a new thing from 2012 and I’ve used them before as well – and they are a bit an odd one out in this list, but 2012 is the year they started to make a different. Apps and tablets are now on a level that they actually make life easier, can shorten time needed for annoying things and make things more efficient. And when used right they shorten as well the time you spend with app, tablets, phone, PC etc. So they make me happier as they help to get rid off or at least limit some frustrations and give me more time to spend with persons that are dear to me and for doing things I like.


So – a few hours to go in 2012 – looking forward to 2013!


Happy New Year to all of you!

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