Monthly Archives: April 2011

Weekly Appreciation

Ok guys, it is time for weekly appreciation. Sorry I have been a bit late on this but some unexpected events caused a delay. Unfortunately, this week I broke my foot so I get deemed a cojo for a while and will be enjoying the lovely pain of crutches, YES! (that is sarcasm if you didn’t pick up on it). Nevertheless, there are always things to appreciate, even if there are some downsides to the week. What are some of the things that you enjoyed? Maybe it was the moment the Metro machine gave you back too much change, a pleasant conversation with a new neighbor, watching the Royal Wedding (yes, I saw it…shhhhh), or a delicious cup of cafe con leche to start off your day. Here are some of my weekly appreciations. Have a great weekend!

{Motorbike completely decked out with children’s toys}

{I was given a beautiful rose}

{One of my favorite sculpture gardens in Parque del Retiro}

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One Day, One Person

Could you honestly say that you meet one new person a day? Seems simple. Hell, it’s only one person. Each individual has something to offer whether it is a new perspective, an experience, a piece of advice, or even just a simple smile. What do you offer?

There are approximately 6.9 billion people in the world today with 6,900 languages spoken. About 845 million are native Mandarin speakers, 329 million are native Spanish speakers, 328 million are native English speakers, and 240 million are native Hindi speakers (these numbers vary by source, but you get the general idea). If you knew these 4 languages you could speak to approximately 26% of the population (1.8 billion people)! This does not consider those individuals who speak more than one language. That means, the more languages you speak, the more people you can learn from. Unfortunately I find many people don’t take advantage of this opportunity especially in the US. I myself still speak horrible Spanish, attempted at Mandarin and failed miserable, and gradually am starting to learn French. However, none of this is up to the standards I would like.

But, what about you? Have you taken the time to learn new languages? Your opportunities can multiply with increased communication in various aspects of your life both socially and professionally.

Don’t worry though, no matter how old you are it is never too late to start. Begin slow. Start meeting more people within your own language. Humans are naturally social creatures. Don’t shut off your connections by avoiding eye contact with strangers or not saying hello or good morning to a person passing by? I myself have fallen victim to theses tendencies more times than I would like to admit. When you let your guard down a bit and send a smile someone elses way, you open up the opportunity to meet some really interesting people. Yes, you may get turned down or looked at strangely or even frowned upon. But so what, it is their loss not yours, right?

So do it! Go out and meet someone new today, try to learn a new language in the near future and let me know what you discover.

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Barca, You Stole My Heart

This past holiday weekend was spent in the lovely Barcelona. A gorgeous seaside city in the autonomy of Catalunya with gorgeous architecture, a delicious array of food and flourishing art/music, it is hard not to feel enamored by the charm and uniqueness of each barrio (neighborhood). My last visit in December consisted of tourist-like events such as visiting La Sagrada Familia, wandering La Rambla, drooling over all the food in Mercat de la Boqueria, trekking up to Parque Güell, etc. If it is your first visit, I recommend doing all of this. They are all necessary sites to see.  However, I have found that this second trip to Barcelona was a lot more calm and enjoyable. Skateboarding by the beach, bike riding throughout the city, and stopping in quirky bars was ideal for a relaxing vacation. Here are a couple of snap shots of this long weekend. Hopefully you get the chance to enjoy this city as much as I have.

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Everything Falling into Place

{My favorite picnic spot}

These last two weeks have been a bit low-key. Travel hasn’t been in the forefront however life has seemed to fall into the perfect niche. I’ve been enjoying every aspect and every moment to a point of near perfection (knock on wood). Picnics in the park, drinks with friends, relaxing walks through the city, crazy nights out, meeting a ton of new people and work somewhere inbetween. Here is a peek into the simple things that has been going on these past two weeks.

{New feather hair extentions}

{Fresh ink}

{Jams in the park on a beautiful day}

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Daisy Daze

Spring has sprung into action here in Madrid and the city came alive this weekend. The parks were full of people old and young taking in the sun and enjoying the fresh air. It was refreshing to see the heartbeat of the city revive itself from the winter. Here are a few snapshots of the perfect transition weekend from winter to spring. Hope you enjoyed your weekend. Happy Monday!

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Always Wear Sunscreen

With my mind wandering a bit this week. This video gave solace to my thoughts. Originally this was an essay written in the Chicago Tribune by Mary Schmich; however, the message has been conformed into videos, parts of commencement speeches, and songs. It is a bit slow starting in the beginning, but give it a chance. Here are some of the messages I got out of it.

“Worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.”

“Do one thing everyday that scares you.”

“Your choices are half chance; so are everyone elses.”

“Be careful of whos advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wipping it off, painting over the ugly parts, and recycling it for more than its worth.”

To read more about this essay, click here.

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Food for Thought

These last two weeks my thoughts had been wandering all around the life spectrum,  contemplating what I am doing with my life, am I going in the correct direction for myself, what do I want in life and in my day-to-day activities, does money play a role in that, does it have to? As you can imagine, no concrete answer has come from this ponderousness and I don’t think a concrete one ever will. A direction maybe, but an answer, no. You may even find these next thoughts as just a ramble of unfinished ideas. Which to be fair, it is very likely that it is just that. But to freely think about these broad topics affecting your life, I believe, is healthy though frustrating at times (most of the time I vote it as frustrating). Earlier I had reflected upon similar ideas here and here. However in the end, I am finding that my ending goal always becomes this:

Smile everyday. Touch someone’s heart. And feel like, WOW this is my life.

I have been having a bit of self reflection for multiple reasons, none of which directly effect my life. However, learning through other people’s experiences is part of human interaction. Give a little, take a little. The temperamentalness of life has been more real to me than ever. A couple recent encounters have given me this sentiment and made these thoughts surface . Let me share a very short bit of their stories so you can realize how. I am sure you can relate in one sense or another. These all involve young people, ones who should still have so much ahead of them in experiences, laughter, and adventure. I will be short. You will get the idea.

Earlier last month a tragic accident happened to a study abroad student from San Diego who lost his life after being missing for a little over a week (I talked about it earlier here). A friend of mine just found out he has cancer in his young 20s. And I even had a slight run in with my health a year ago causing reconsideration of the tempramentalness of youth and life itself.

These events just make me think. Are you enjoying your life? Are you enjoying each day? I was presented with a refreshing new perspective within a new acquaintance in my life.  His vibe was so positive. He has love of everything he does, trusts that things will fall into place, and believes in karma, goodness and happiness. Money plays a part but it is not important. It is the love of your actions and the people around you. Do you encompass this idea? Can you see yourself doing so if you’re not? What would your life consist of if you did just that? Food for thought. I don’t quite know my answer either; however this quote always helps me refocus:

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” –Confucius

 

 

I realize this post is a bit off topic from the general theme of my blog; however I felt like it was necessary to write my running thoughts of the day. I hope you can share your thoughts on this so I know I am not crazy. 🙂

 

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