Tag Archives: German

Shifting the goalposts (again)



I’ve done it again. I’ve decided to update and tweak some of the goals on my 101 things in 1001 days list.

Now before you sigh, just hang on a minute…! 🙂

What’s the point of making goals when you’re in a certain season of life, and then being too rigid to adapt them when your circumstances change?

When I started the list late last year, I was a new housewife with all the time in the world and no real plans to head back to full-time employment. So many of the goals I chose were things I could easily achieve in those circumstances.

But life changed, as it always does, so I updated my list in the hopes of making it more realistic. And now life has changed again, and I feel it’s time for a fresh take on things once again.

At this stage of our lives it looks like I’ll have to keep working outside the home for the foreseeable future. So if this 101 things list is going to be of any use at all, it has to fit in with my ‘new normal’. I really don’t see the point in having a list of goals that just depress me because I doubt I’ll ever get to them this side of retirement…

So without further justification, here are the specific goals I’ve reworked (along with reasons for the changes, as though I owe you any!) 😉 I’ll post my complete new list separately.

Goals that are changing

Goal #4: Exercise at least 30 min/day, 3 days/week, 3 weeks/month – This is the first goal to change. Why are we not surprised? I had a wonderful time exercising daily when I was at home, but my new schedule allows for much less routine. Although I’m still aiming to get in a decent amount of exercise, I’ve removed it from this particular list. The replacement goal is: Knit something colourful :mrgreen:

Goal #7: Volunteer at an animal shelter – I’ve tweaked this one to Volunteer at or donate to an animal shelter, since I may not have much time to volunteer, but if I can help by donating then I will look for ways to do that instead.

Goal #10: Go on 10 motorcycle rides – I’ve reduced this down to 3 rides, because Ninja’s bike is getting a little long in the tooth, so we’re trying to preserve it and stretch out the time between services and such. A pity, but that’s life eh? At least one of these three is already done 🙂

Goal #14: Read one passage per week from my German Bible – It’s difficult enough keeping up with my daily readings in my English Bible (for Goal #3), so sadly this one will have to go. I’ve replaced it with: Work through the Love Dare again. For those of you who don’t know, the Love Dare is a book for strengthening marriages, linked to the lovely movie Fireproof.

Goal #15: Make an origami animal – Of all the brainless goals, I wonder how this one made the list! Instead, here’s something I really want to to: Get a pretty girly camera bag. I can’t very well pitch up at special events in heels and a backpack!

Goal #17: Paint 10 artworks on canvas – Ten is a hefty number for someone with my new time constraints. I’ve changed this to Paint 5 artworks on canvas. In fact, I recently finished one (a gift for my parents), which I hope to post about soon.

Goal #25: Work through my entire ‘Teach yourself Hindi’ textbook – It’s a realy shame that my language goals are some of the first to fall away (I recall my brother, also an avid language learner, warning me about this when I first added language goals to my list…). Instead of this goal, I’ve added: Design room themes/colour schemes for my future home.

Goal #38: Visit 10 different museums and/or monuments – Can we make this 5? Please? At the current pace of our lives, Ninja and I are unlikely to fit in even that many visits before September 2015 (when this list ends).

Goal #41: Take photos of the same item in 101 different locations – Oh, this one never got off the ground! I started it and then it just faded out of the way… But because photography is still an overall goal of mine, I’ve replaced it with a similar but much-more-likely-to-be-achieved goal: Take 101 different photos of my new pet rats!

Goal #47: Get my passport – To go where, exactly? I don’t anticpate that we’ll have the means to travel outside our country at any point in the remaining 751 days of this challenge, so this goal is just wasting space on my list 😦 Instead, the new Goal #47 is: Do a punk photoshoot, which is something I’ve always wanted to do, preferably with my bro 🙂

Goal #53: Photograph a landscape from the same location, capturing all four seasons – I was reluctant to change this one because it’s still something I’d really like to do, but I don’t have much regular access to inspiring and seasonally changing landscapes at this point in time, so I know my pics would just disappoint me coz they’d fall short of the images in my mind. Maybe one day if we have our own garden, Lord willing… For now though, this has become: Get some rat-themed merchandise. You know. As in, ‘been there, done that, got the rat, got the T-shirt’? 😀

Goal #55: Go skinny dipping – Considering the fact that I can’t even recall the last time I had access to a pool or swam at all, I don’t even know why this is still on my list! Of course I can always still do this, but you’d be the last to know… 😉 So, the fun and sensible replacement for this one is: Get 10 more hat badges. Remember my cool hat from this post? It still has plenty free space on it.

Goal #66: Send a message in a bottle – Again, the impracticality of this goal is just overwhelming all of a sudden. I’d have to (a) get to the sea and (b) get far enough out to sea to drop the bottle and avoid it just washing straight back to the sand at my feet. Plus, um… isn’t it kinda like deliberate water pollution? Far be it from me! Instead, I aim to Take part in a colour run. Perfect. I’ll go for air pollution instead.

Goal #72: Clear out all my junk – Now what on earth is a mundane goal like you doing on a fancy list like this?! In its place, how about I Do a 30×30 Challenge (30 minutes of physical activity for 30 days)? At least, it looks achievable on paper.

Goal #73: Find the perfect fitting pair of jeans – There isn’t just one; there are many. There’s the slinky new pair I buy each time I drop a dress size (OK, that’s only happened once in the last two years); there’s the comfy old pair that I can wear around the house; and there’s the stretchy accommodating pair for when PMS or overindulgence have added some nasty bulk. So to take the focus off me, I’ll replace that goal with this one: Get a zoom lens for my camera.

Goal #85: Make my own outfit – Who?! What?! When?! Where?! Why?! How?! Instead, I hope Ninja and I can Revisit our wedding venue. Awwww 🙂

Goal #86: Finish writing my book – Once upon a time, in a life far away, I dreamt of writing a marriage book to help Christian newlyweds. But the warp speed of life since then has seen almost all my friends married long before I finished half the chapters. I think it’s time to bury this goal for good. Yet I’ve always wanted to publish something I’ve written, so I think I’ll try to Publish my best poems instead.

Goal #96: Learn the basics of self-defence – Meh. Not going to happen any time soon, and it’s not particularly measurable or motivating either. Instead, I’d like to Enjoy another spa day with my best friend.

And finally, Goal #101: Start planning an overseas trip – This just seems too far away now to even be on this list. Ninja and I do hope to have the privilege of travelling overseas together one day, but the more practical goal of getting a home of our own ranks higher on the list. But since this goal list is also meant to inspire, I’ll just tweak this one to: Brainstorm an overseas trip.

Now I’m freshly motivated to reach for 101 goals that I stand a chance of achieving 🙂

In memory of my granny


Friday this week marks one year since the passing of my precious little German granny.


My granny

We called her Googie, and she was my penpal, my friend, my role model and my strongest link to my German heritage. In honour of her, here’s a short memorial (my German is a bit rusty, sorry for any errors).

Googie war ein liebevoller Mensch, und ich bin sehr dankbar daß sie meine Großmutter war. Ich vermisse sie sehr. Aber ich bin froh, daß ich sie im 2011 besuchen konnte. Googie war sehr schwach und gebrechlich zu dieser Zeit, aber sie wußte noch, wer ich war. Wir hatten ein Paar Stunden zusammen die von unschätzbarem Wert waren. Wir saßen zusammen im Sonnenschein und redeten langsam über unsre Zeit in Österreich, als wir dort vor zehn Jahren eine Cousine Googies besuchten. Ich hatte auch die Gelegenheit, sie zu sagen, wie sehr ich sie liebte und wie dankbar ich immer sein wäre, daß sie ein Teil meines Lebens war.

For Googie

For Googie

My dear granny reached out to more people than anyone I know. She could strike up a conversation with anyone, and made a point of learning a few words of as many languages as possible so she could engage with people from different backgrounds. She was endlessly writing to, visiting or telephoning people she knew and loved.

As a young woman she had been a school teacher, and I remember being amazed that some of her pupils still kept in touch with her over six decades later! She had that effect on people: she could get along with shy little kids and grumpy old men; she could bring out a smile on the toughest face.

I gained many blessings from being one of Googie’s granddaughters. Although we lived with the length of the whole country between us for most of my life, we kept in touch with letters from the moment I could hold a pen. In this way she also introduced me to other relatives and friends of hers that I began to correspond with. Even though I only spent time with Googie in person a handful of times, she was one of the people I felt closest to; I could pour out my heart in my letters and she would always respond in kind.

One of my favourite memories of my relationship with Googie centres around my birthdays. I must have inherited my love of birthdays and gifts and giving from her. When I was younger, the anticipation for my birthday was always heightened by the arrival of a large parcel from my gran, wrapped in brown paper, tied with string and sealed with red wax. Inside there’d be a collection of interesting items… cards, stickers, stationery, dried fruit, trinkets… and usually themed around whatever I was ‘into’ at that stage of my life (such as kittens, or horses, or collecting old perfume bottles).

My granny never forgot a birthday (or any other special occassion) because she had a thick notebook filled with peoples’ names, numbers and important dates. I remember being impressed with that and wanting to make people a priority in my own life too. We also shared a love of reading and of languages.

One of the loveliest things about Googie was that she rarely complained. I love the story of how my gran touched the heart of one of the doctors who was caring for her towards the end. She was very frail and ill then and could barely see, but when he asked her how she was doing she sweetly replied, ‘Life is beautiful, doctor.’ And if you knew Googie, you’d know she meant it.

It’s hard to think about the gap left behind by this very special person. I know there are dozens of people in countries around the world who will miss her letters and phonecalls and presence. I am so grateful to have had her in my life, and I pray that I will take the good from her example and continue her legacy of living life with her arms wide open, welcoming other people and looking for the best in them.

There’s so much more I could say, and then there’s only this:

I miss you terribly, meine kleine Großmutti.

My 101 favourite songs… for now


The 77th goal on my 101 things in 1001 days list is to make a playlist of my 101 favourite songs. (Well, it’s my 101 favourite songs for now; I’m sure this will change over time.) I’ve finally completed it and thought it would make a fun post.

Disclaimer: Before I share my list with you, I feel I have to add some quick caveats…

  • Firstly, I am by no means claiming that all of these songs classify as great music. Heck, some of them can’t even be called good music! I know that some of these pieces are downright lame, and I guess they really give away my age too 😉 If a laughable song is on the list, it’s more because it evokes a specific memory for me than because I think it’s an unbeatable classic.
  • Secondly, this isn’t a playlist for the church choir. I love many great hymns and other Christian songs, but I’ve limited them on this list because I wanted a more even spread of music that I enjoy.
  • Thirdly, one or two of the songs do have some bad language and/or slightly dodgy lyrics, but they’re in the minority and they’re there coz they symbolise a specific period in my life – one that’s still valid though not particularly pious.
  • Fourthly (and I guess this one is kinda obvious), just because one song from a particular band or artist is on the list doesn’t mean I enjoy or endorse or have even listened to any of their other songs.

OK, enough covering my hiney. Here’s the list! With a few random thoughts in pink 🙂

  1. Scatman John – Scatman’s World (Remix) (Oh wow, that’s a pretty embarrassing start… should’ve hidden it somewhere in the middle of the list…)
  2. SUM41 – Heart Attack
  3. The Turtles – Happy Together (60s music)
  4. Enrique Iglesias – Escape
  5. Blink182 – Feeling This
  6. Herman’s Hermits – Silhouettes (More 60s music)
  7. Cosmic Gate – Exploration of Space
  8. Westlife – What I Want Is What I’ve Got
  9. Angels & Airwaves – Epic Holiday
  10. Rufio – Still
  11. Green Day – Whatsername
  12. My Chemical Romance – I’m Not Okay (I Promise)
  13. Goo Goo Dolls – Iris
  14. Sonique – It Feels So Good
  15. Eagle Eye Cherry – Save Tonight
  16. Relient K – Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been
  17. Mark Schultz – I Am
  18. Walk Off The Earth – I Knew You Were Trouble (If you’ve not yet seen the amazing a capella version, click here)
  19. Puddle of Mudd – Blurry
  20. Avril Lavigne – How Does It Feel
  21. Faith Hill – Breathe
  22. Dashboard Confessional – Hands Down
  23. SUM41 – All To Blame
  24. Baha Men – Who Let The Dogs Out (Remix)
  25. Paps ‘n’ Skar – Loving You
  26. Shania Twain – From This Moment On
  27. Yellowcard – Believe
  28. Savage Garden – Crash and Burn
  29. Lindsay Lohan – The Ultimate You
  30. O-Town – All Or Nothing
  31. Ann Lee – Two Times
  32. Linkin Park – What I’ve Done (I’m a big LP fan; tried to limit their songs on the list though)
  33. Pillar – Fireproof
  34. REM – Imitation of Life
  35. Linkin Park – Crawling
  36. Blink 182 – Man Overboard
  37. Shania Twain – You’re Still The One
  38. Billie Myers – Kiss The Rain
  39. Mikeschair – Let The Waters Rise
  40. Tweak – My Favourite Girl
  41. Toten Hosen – Herz Brennt (German)
  42. Feeder – Buck Rogers
  43. Stephan Foster – Oh, Susannah
  44. Tal Bachman – She’s So High
  45. Tommy James & The Shondells – Crimson & Clover (Even more 60s music!)
  46. ‘NSync – I Need Love
  47. All American Rejects – Paper Heart
  48. Westlife – Love Crime
  49. Yellowcard – Only One
  50. Savage Garden – Truly Madly Deeply
  51. Rufio – Like A Prayer (A rockin’ cover of a famous song)
  52. The Offspring – Walla Walla
  53. Switchfoot – This Is Your Life
  54. Rufio – Above Me
  55. Backstreet Boys – Shape Of My Heart
  56. American Hi-Fi – Flavor of the Weak
  57. AFI – Crying
  58. Creed – One Last Breath
  59. Shaft – (Mucho Mambo) Sway
  60. Ronan Keating – Life Is A Rollercoaster
  61. Bosson – One In A Million (What’s Bosson doing on this list? I know, right?!)
  62. Finch – Bury Me
  63. Good Charlotte – Movin’ On
  64. Blink 182 – All The Small Things
  65. Enrique Iglesias – Hero
  66. Lee Ann Womack – I Hope You Dance
  67. Angels & Airwaves – The Adventure (We walked down the aisle to this after our vows)
  68. Shankar Mahadevan – Pretty Woman (Hindi)
  69. Bowling For Soup – 1985
  70. The Ataris – San Dimas Highschool Football Rules
  71. Snapping Strings – Easier To Quit (A local band some of my friends formed)
  72. Blue – All Rise
  73. Tweak – Last Goodbye
  74. O-Zone – Dragostea Din Tei (Romanian)
  75. Linkin Park – Lies Greed Misery
  76. NSync – This I Promise You
  77. Eiffel 65 – The Edge
  78. Nena – 99 Luftballons (German)
  79. Blink182 – Online Songs
  80. Michelle Branch – All you Wanted
  81. NewFoundGlory – Broken Sound
  82. Avril Lavigne – Nobody’s Home
  83. Evanescence – My Immortal
  84. James Horner – Braveheart Theme
  85. Dashboard Confessional – Dying To Love
  86. James Horner – The Portrait
  87. Mendelssohn – Wedding March
  88. Celine Dion – My Heart Will Go On
  89. Carter Burwell – Bella’s Lullaby
  90. Christina Perri – A Thousand Years
  91. Enya – May It Be
  92. Sonu Nigam – Kal Ho Na Ho (Hindi)
  93. Thrice – The Artist In The Ambulance
  94. Edwina Hayes – Feels Like Home
  95. Blink182 – Stockholm Syndrome
  96. The Offspring – The Kids Aren’t Alright
  97. Blink 182 – Stay Together For The Kids
  98. Wizo – Quadrat im Kreis (German)
  99. Linkin Park – Numb
  100. Blink 182 – Adam’s Song
  101. Sigur Rós – Festival (Probably my favourite piece of music of all time)

So, I’m curious. How many of these do you know? love? hate? If you made a similar list, would any of these be on it? 🙂