February 27th, 2010


The Pen Principles

It all started with my friend's business apero in a pen atelier called Prodir. We were invited to create a pen to "write our own story." I networked whilst I dithered. Which style pen? Which colour combination? So many choices. But eventually I had my pen. A classy one click biro, semi-translucent purple with a silver tip. The atelier offered us a free engraving for our pen, but I put the voucher to one side - it was just one decision too many!

Then I read Gretchen Rubin's long awaited book "The Happiness Project". She says that everyone can have a happiness project and she talks about creating your own personal commandments.

1+1 = I started thinking about my happiness project - combining my love for stationery /pens with creating my own personal commandments. I would create seven pens in different colours, engraved with different statements. And I would plans and buy one pen a week as a visible incentive for the first tough weeks back at work. Using these pens will also inspire me and remind me to live by my commandments.

So I have great joy in starting my happiness project called "the Pen Principles". The first pen will be introduced shortly.

The Purple Pen of Change

My happiness project involves creating seven pens for myself, each pen is engraved with one of my personal commandments. Read the background to this project.

Pen Style: no 2
Colour: Purple
Statement: Embrace Change
How & Why: I am at heart a scaredy-cat (or "Angsthase" /fear bunny in German) who is fearful of change and who wastes time worrying about fears that never come true. My bold purple pen reminds me that whilst I need not (and probably cannot) look forward to change, I can embrace it.

What does this mean? Embracing change is about naming the change, bringing it up close for a good inspection, thinking through the positive and negative aspects of the change and then accepting the ambiguity and perhaps the discomfort of that change. Keeping the change up close and personal, hugging it to myself, means that I disarm it. I am reminded and comforted by two quotes.

Anatole France: All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.
Christine Kane has this to say about decisions: Decision is a lot about loss. It’s about being strong enough in your choice to allow a loss of other options. (The word “Decision” comes from the Latin ‘decisio,’ which means “to cut off.”)

Making a change (and there is always a decision close behind every change) is about a certain loss. We can't travel all paths simultaneously. The best we can do is to make the wisest decision we can at that point in time, embrace the change and then travel that path courageously.

Watch this lj space for my new travels as an 80% working mother. And watch me give that change a bloody big hug!

Reviewing my maternity leave resolutions

Way back when, in August before Markus was born, I made some maternity leave resolutions!
* Take all the time in the world to get to know my baby!
* Get some fresh air and exercise each day (eventually mummy and baby yoga!)
* Take some time for self each day - writing or reading - by letting Alan take over
* Connect with my social network each week - whether baby and mummy friends, or others!

So, how did I do? And what happened during my maternity leave?

* I have enjoyed ever minute of feeding, nappy changing, cuddling, dressing, playing with Markus, even when sleep has been limited.
* Not sure I got as much exercise each day as I could have done, but did walk a lot with the pram, plus did do the Mother / Baby yoga for 8 weeks, plus baby swimming and aqua fit for me
* Alan and I are a good team, and I did get some time for me each day, however short. My photos are up to date and blogs are nearly up to date. I have posted more than I thought possible. Writing is my sanity saver :-)
* Lots of socialising, lots of new friends

Guests to stay
My sister Kate x2
My parents x2
My brother Chris
Sal, Amit, Ish x2
Irene, Emma, Claire
Alan's parents

Visitors at home
Work colleagues - Lucas, Pierre, Alexis

Trips out
Lots of coffees and lunches with Andrea and Gabriela, Karen, Jill, Kerry and Jamie, Susan and Tessa
Many coffees and lunches with other friends ie Katie, Leslie, Lynette, Joelle
Trip to Luzern
Trip to the mountains with Karen
Went into work 3 times with Markus
Lunch with Geri
Coffee x 2 with Eric
Visited Al and Aimee in Unteriberg
Visited Yvonne and family in Einsiedeln

Tweeting in the gaps

Tweets for February 2010

feeling better now that I have got my blog up to date - last post has just been written - about going back to work!
8:07 PM Feb 28th via web

very excited that we've found a date for our Thanksgiving ceremony for Markus - all our godparents and priest can attend!
10:20 PM Feb 28th via web

just had a lovely hair cut!
2:40 PM Feb 26th via web

just off ot brave IKEA to get stuff for Markus' room :-)
6:20 AM Feb 26th via web

Today i learnt that in a push it is possible to get the pram in and out of the old trams on my own :-)
2:01 PM Feb 25th via txt

@gabyhinsliff re women bloggers. I'm a tealoving, bookreading Brit in Zurich, new baby and just returning to work http://snipurl.com/uienh
11:14 AM Feb 25th via web in reply to gabyhinsliff

This feels like the first day of spring!an enjoying mooching, shopping and having lunch!
9:41 AM Feb 25th via txt

nearly go all my photos since December up to date!
7:30 PM Feb 24th via web

It's nursery picking up time and the streets are full of parents and buggies, me inc! Best part of my day :-)
1:05 PM Feb 24th via txt

doing a mad clear up of the flat whilst baby m is at nursery, but seem to be stuck on the internet at the mo :-)
8:07 AM Feb 24th via web

Markus at 6 months and 1 week weights 6820g and is 67cm long!
1:47 PM Feb 23rd via web

markus just finished eating and enjoying his first proper solids - yummy carrot!
9:25 AM Feb 23rd via web

Markus is sleeping, mummy ncot is blogging!
6:22 AM Feb 23rd via web

Having lunch with a work friend at Sihlcity and have just randomly met 4 sep work colleagues!
7:57 AM Feb 22nd via txt

starting my last week of maternity leave - gulp! have really mixed feelings about going back to work :-)
4:59 AM Feb 22nd via web

Handywoman helen has just cleaned, oiled and transformed the pram into a big boy's buggy :-)
1:53 PM Feb 21st via txt

On train home after lovely overnight stay in Luzern! Run is shining and baby m is happy-what could be better?:-)
8:12 AM Feb 21st via txt

The world has good mad - have just seen a man with a dog in a "dog pram"!
7:21 AM Feb 20th via txt

getting ready for our first family overnight trip to Lucerne - Hotel Art Montana here we come - are you ready for our baby? :-)
4:50 AM Feb 20th via web

sorting out my weekly and monthly photos of baby m - watch out for flickr and lj updates soon :-)
9:09 PM Feb 19th via web

super mummy is now less super - poor baby m needs picking up from nursery as fever is back :-(
7:36 AM Feb 17th via web

I am super mummy, hear me roar :-) Baby M dropped at nursery by 0830, shopping done, now making (last) pancake batter and having a ncot!
5:55 AM Feb 17th via web

just had coffee with a work colleague and markus - it was great!
8:25 AM Feb 15th via web

Baby M just wolfed down 20ml of Baby Biobrei (millet with formula) - hurrah!
11:18 AM Feb 14th via web

Pureeing the first lot of many carrots to celebrate - Happy 6 months Birthday dearest Markus - where did the time go?!
8:37 AM Feb 14th via web

sadly realizing that only 10% of my work wardrobe now fits me :-( Weight loss here I come!
2:55 PM Feb 13th via web

having a wardrobe malfunction - found mould on some clothes :-( Wardrobe now emptied, cleaned and filled again. Clothes being washed!
12:20 PM Feb 13th via web

liking the fact that mr.ncot is taking baby ncot to the nursery today!
6:01 AM Feb 12th via web

Change is about loss and melancholy, as this quote by Anatole France says: http://snipurl.com/uc3g1 [thinkexist_com]
7:01 AM Feb 11th via web

I realise that it's okay to feel sadness that my time at home with baby M as a full time Mum is ending soon & look forward to the next step
6:57 AM Feb 11th via web

still full of cold and fed up, but at least my gmail inbox is clear. Shame about my physical desk, which so isn't clear :-(
10:30 AM Feb 10th via web

rotten morning - baby m and I both ill, cranky, crying and tired :-( He's now at nursery, I am at home moaning!
10:03 AM Feb 10th via web

fired up with enthusiasm after a PWG EC meeting - we have great plans for 2010. Good to lead such a committed group of professional women!
8:14 PM Feb 9th via web

home alone for an hour - very strange feeling!
7:27 AM Feb 8th via web

Now decluttering my wardrobe, inspired by gretchen rubin and the "happiness project" :-)
9:54 AM Feb 7th via txt

Succumbed to the cold and an staying in bed with books, journal, tissues and a nice cup of tea!
8:36 AM Feb 7th via txt

getting ready for my Book party - plenty of books, cake, tea and booze. Just need some friends to arrive now! Happy reading :-)
11:27 AM Feb 6th via web

Busy day yesterday-coffee with friend, lunch with colleague, shopping them tough workout at aquafit!
7:42 AM Feb 6th via txt

Delighted that "the happiness project" book has finally arrived and am reading it with gusto!
7:39 AM Feb 6th via txt

Comfort eating in starbucks after leaving baby m at nursery alone for the first hour!
10:55 AM Feb 4th via txt

trying to get my overtired little baby to sleep - after morning at nursery and vaccinations at the Drs!
12:31 PM Feb 3rd via web

chuffed at our gorgeous little boy, who was a complete star during his first 2 hours at Kinderkrippe!
4:52 PM Feb 2nd via web

Resolution Update - Feb 2010

Resolution Update February
February has been a really busy month, full of nursery settling in for markus and transition for me in getting ready to go back to work

Write Daily
Have done well this month, with twitters, getting lj blog up to date, photos up to date on flickr and some writing in moleskin. I feel so much better when my virtual life is up to date - I like writing, getting feedback and feeling as though I am sorting out my brain.

Exercise Daily
Have lots the plot here slightly. I have certainly been walking more, taking M to nursery, but haven't had time for the Wii. Must figure out how to work exercise into my new work routine. Will wear my pedometer this month and will also continue with aqua fit and may also start yoga once a week and starting to run again.

Maintain food diary
Haven't lost much weight this month. Will log food for March in fitbug.

I am doing okay, had a tough month getting myself and Markus settled into a new routine, and am looking forward to our new life once I go back to work!