Corona Dreamin' I
It has been a while since you’ve heard from me, mainly because I haven’t been writing much lately, but possibly because my emails end up in your spam folder. Something beyond my understanding has changed with my web hosting, which has set off the spam-alert minions at many of your email providers, so please take a few seconds to find one of my emails in your spam folder, open it and click on the ‘no spam’ button. I’ll wait….
Okay, thanks for doing that! Let’s continue.
So, it’s been a while since I’ve sat down to write a blog or newsletter, because like almost everyone in London and the world I’ve been too “busy busy busy” doing work and not taking much time to reflect. Just like five years ago, to the very week, I had a break down as I was overstressed, going into burn-out, feeling I was trapped in this endless loop of working -albeit a great job- but not entirely being where I wanted to be, nor having the impact that I envisioned for myself.
Just before our lives were unceremoniously uprooted by a little critter we now call the Corona virus, I decided to take a step down from the rat race of working seven days a week and scale back to four days of work and three days of space for resting & reflecting. No more work on the weekends for a while, no more evenings.
And then we were ordered to stay at home entirely…
Let’s take a step back to five years ago. I was living on the other side of the world on a small tropical island in the Indian Ocean. Working on Climate Change adaptation, which was a noble cause I must admit, I was more occupied with the island’s furry inhabitants than the humans. I was feeding feral cats and I had taken in a heavily pregnant stray cat with her following litter of little ones.
At the same time, I had two pets (my dog Joey and cat Mickey) still at home in the Netherlands who were at the end of their lives and passed away in the same week (this week it’s been five years) of illnesses related to old age. To top it up, one of the cats that I’d been taking care of in Zanzibar, and who seemed to be bouncing back from a severe case of mange, died from the complications of an intestinal blockage of the parasites we managed to kill with the mange medicine. All three of them passed away within a week’s time.
I was busy busy busy, caring for others and not myself – until I finally broke down and decided things needed to change.
With the help of a life coach, I managed to write a letter to my future self – to be read to her on her 35th birthday. It contained all the things future Sies had accomplished, not only professionally but also in her personal relationships and everything to come in the next six years.
It was clear I needed to take better care of myself, by meditating, by getting “on the mat” more regularly and investing in qualitatively better sleep.
One of the professional projects I wanted to work on was setting up a professional pet care platform to enable knowledge sharing on a global scale. But my biggest dream and goal was to work with geriatric animals: to find a new home for them or create a home for the golden oldies that couldn’t be placed with a family, and to connect care for these animals with the marginalised humans in our society - the elderly, chronically infirm and the homeless.
Looking back at the past five years, I have worked hard to take better care of myself in terms of sleep and I have on-and-off periods of getting on the mat on a regular basis. Walking dogs, teaching yoga and cycling are my forms of exercise and meditation. And they also help me to connect with humans on a deeper level.
But the time has come to step it up. Now is the time to create more depth, to make a bigger social impact and to fulfil my need to connect other people with people on a deeper and more meaningful level.
And this is where you come in…