Moment of sadness

d5932-20170113This evening while standing in the kitchen and cooking my meal I felt sadness after I was confronted with a sink full of pots and pans while cooking my meal.

For a while now we cook different meals during the weekend in our family as we follow the blood type diet. My partner and kids have the same blood type, I have a different one and therefore follow a partially different diet. Cooking two dinners is quite challenging in one kitchen that is the size of an average European house kitchen. We often decide to wait for one other and sometimes we manage to eat dinner at the same time.

Tonight that was not the case. The sadness I experiences was preceded by frustration on small things. The first trigger for frustration was when I found that my partner hadn’t been able to read my handwriting on the grocery list and bought one piece where she was supposed to buy two. After deciding it was not a big deal I asked my partner to let me know when I could start cutting my vegetables and sat down to go through some YouTube videos.

A while later my partner said that she almost forgot to warn me being focussed on preparing her meal, but that I could start cutting my stuff. The “Mmmm” reaction I felt for a second was quickly suppressed and I started my cooking.

While cutting I realized that even if I would have wanted to put a pan on the stove there was no space available in that moment. I decided to go on cutting carrots, peeling and cutting onions and garlic.

A short while later I was able to put a pan on the stove and went for the fridge to get my sausages. On the grocery list I wrote 8 sausages, did I? I hoped so. The hope did not last long… Only two sausages to be found. I asked my partner who was sure to have read 2 and not 8. As I was not fully sure myself I retrieved the list from the trash bin and checked. I could read 8 but my daughter agreed with my partner that it was a weird 8 and that it could be read as 2. Difficult to argue on points as readability, will need to find a way to have ourselves check the list before one of us goes shopping. As I was making a dinner for 4 and only needed a portion for tonight the problem can be solved by adding the sausages later to the other portions.

The event however added to my trigger points for frustration and consequent sadness. The next step in my cooking was to rinse the beans in the sink. And there was the culminating trigger point. A sink full of pots and pans that I had to set aside before being able to continue. I now pointed out the situation to my partner explaining that is it not cool to have to clean up or move away stuff produced by another when cooking a meal. I also explained that I, when being the first to cook, always clean up as much as possible so my partner can do her things normally.

Interestingly this collection of experiences triggered a general sadness mood as I realized it were mostly experiences that could be grouped into a category of giving what you would like to receive and finding that, when I do so I silently hope to get back that exact same thing, up to a kind of longing for it in some cases. To be more specific, I would like to get some collaboration in the kitchen when it comes to cleaning up things during or immediately after cooking to make space for the next.

Looking back at these experiences after a while I can see clearly I am in a blame mode and I need to take this back to (my) self. Although my points are more than valid, there is no reason to go into a feeling of sadness as that is a self-pity situation that is aiming at making me the victim of these situations. Energy wise it might even feel kind of good to feel sorry for yourself, go into a sad mood and blame others for the fact you are pushed into such a mood.

The reality however is that I was allowing myself to get into that sad mood as I was allowing myself to become victim of the situation. So, if facing such situations in the future, I will discuss the situation in that specific moment or at any given moment the other party is able to give me some attention.

What I did was taking care of understanding how I got into this situation of blame and sadness and I also took a moment to discuss the situation with my partner, AFTER I made sure all energy and emotions were taken care of from my side. As a result my partner and I are coordinating our kitchen space needs even better and we also make sure to check the grocery list on readability. Just very practical and commonsensical.

What I learned from this is that if things are not going smoothly and as expected and as a reaction we feel sad and victimized, these feelings tell me something about myself that I need to take care of. Separate from that I can take care of the practical point by exposing the situation on a practical level to any involved and agree on solutions both parties benefit from.

Disappointment as an excuse to delay/postpone

For more than six months I am stuck on a specific lesson in my DIP course. There are many reasons to it. In this period I’ve been going through a rough period of looking for a new job, finding it, living in another country, moving my family, finding a house, living in several places in a short period of time, etc. Many practical reasons not to focus on my DIP course.

I’ve ran out of practical limitations now and still I see there are resistances that prevent me going on. Looking at it rationally I do not see any reason why I shouldn’t be able to find half an hour a day to dedicate to the DIP. I still hear the excuse voice in my head telling me that I had health issues making it hard to find enough energy to dedicate on DIP after a day of work where on the other hand I easily tend to work extra hours for my boss (and to finish the work that from my point of view needed to be done anyway).

When I finally started again to work on my assignments a couple of times I was confronted with the consequences of the long delay. The assignment had been updated and at the end I had to start the whole lesson from scratch. Not an issue since the work I did before was done a long time ago and it had its purpose anyway. At a certain point I thought to be ready and handed in my assignment only to find out I only did half the work and not even that, The second half of the assignment was not properly understood and needs to be redone.

Time to really focus on what needs to be done. I still have been not self-honest and did not want to thoroughly redo the assignment as described in the materials just because I thought that I still new what I read some time before. To me now it is very clear how one can fool him/herself with just assuming and thinking. Assumptions always ted to serve self interest and that is not helping to get a stable and well founded situation.

This simple experience is a clear point to me that I still need to address this point of being more accurate in the way I deal with assignments/tasks. I will have to stop assumptions and thoughts that have as a starting point not willing to face the real thing and deal with it in its full extent. Therefore I commit myself to pick up this point and systematically address it by performing the following actions:

– I will dedicate every day a specific amount of time to the DIP course
– I will go through all the necessary materials (even if I might think it is overdone or unnecessary)
– I will check if what I have done is according to the requirements

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to delay working on my DIP assignment because I felt disappointed and therefore trying to find reasons to blame outside myself to justify my delay instead of taking my responsibility and asses the situation in this very moment, decide on the action to take and perform these actions.

Self esteem

The main focus I have right now in my life is to find a job as quickly as possible. That is quite a task, especially if you are already 45 years old and people around you tell you there is very little interest for people my age. A couple of days ago I met someone that was able to provide me with some contacts and give me an update of how things are going in the specific business I am focussing at. He told me that in the many companies he’s seen he noticed that there is a strong reluctance in hiring people of a certain age because managers are afraid these ‘older’ people are not so influenceable and flexible as their younger counterparts. He even said companies prefer to hire younger, unexperienced people than more experienced, older people just for the sake of avoiding resistance or strong influence in case of decision making processes.

Although I know I am not very young anymore, I tend to see my age as an added value, and this story was not very nice to hear but certainly reflecting the truth. The result of this is that the normal way of applying for a job will probably not lead to success very rapidly, what I need is to be recommended by someone who trusts me to be a right candidate for a specific job. Although age discrimination is forbidden by law, the reality is just showing that if you when you apply for a job when are over 40 you will hardly even get an answer or not even a confirmation they received your message.

I experienced that these reality checks tend to shake me, to swing me between being confident in finding a decent jog again and not being able to earn a living. On top of this there is some pressure caused by the fact I have practically no income while I am working full time on finding a job, a situation that is causing me and my family to depend on others financially until I can take care of myself again. So, on one side I try to as less of a burden as possible for those that are facilitating my searching activities and on the other hand I need to express as a self confident person when contacting possible recruiters.

I am am getting a lot of help from old friends and family, which is very reassuring and comforting but at the end I will be the one that need to do it and take the opportunities that are given to me. I see that on this point I have changed compared to the past. I was much more picky on what people tended to offer me as nice opportunities. Now I am able to evaluate in common sense the offer and give immediate feedback in order to avoid false hope for the me and the others involved.

Another experience I had recently was while editing my resumé. I decided to insert the recommendations on the resumé I am sending around to people helping me in making connections. While inserting these recommendations I started reading them and was almost overwhelmed by a feeling of happiness, as if I was longing for these positive comments about me in a working context with others. Although I know very well what my skills are, I clearly longed for confirmation. As if I needed to boost my self esteem in order to feel good about myself and get energy from it to go on.

Thanks to the fact I am in my Desteni I Process I know this is a swing between polarities and I am definitely aware of this mechanism and managing to avoid these swings since they are not real but only happening in my mind. It seems very boring but there is no need to feed my self esteem positively in order to feel better and be able to do things I might not have done while being in a state of low self esteem and feeling powerless. Although very tempting it is in my own interest to remain stable in all ways. In being stable I will be able to be productive and ready for any situation all the time.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to take energy from the positive feeling I got when reading the recommendations of former colleagues and employers.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to look at others that have a job wondering why it is possible they have a job and I do not. This is self pity and jealousy that is not helping me, therefore I stop this and bring myself back to self, here and now.

 

No more computer warranties

Ever wondered why there are new models of computers coming out every few weeks? Yes, of course, it is a normal process connected to technical evolution that allows the computer builders to release a better and faster computer every time technology has evolved a little further. If you strongly believe this is how it works I suggest you reconsider your point of view.

If we have a closer look at how this whole process of new models is working we might have some questions. First we should ask ourselves why computers last less than ten or even twenty years ago. It became more and more a mass product with prices that were getting lower and lower so more people could afford one. In a consumeristic model this means that the producer of computers can manufacture higher quantities for lower prices. If on these large amount of computers the manufacturing company manages to save a few cents on every component at the end it will save millions. And that is the way it works.

Besides that computers are built with components that are designed specifically to last a certain amount of time. If you want to keep using your computer longer than this preset timeframe you will need to replace components that are made relatively expensive to buy and to replace. Why? Because they want you to dump the old computer and buy a new one.

That is also why computers have a limited warranty. Why limited? Because of the pre-defined life of the computer. So, the first year you’re safe and in case your computer is a DOA (Dead on Arrival) or fails within this period, it will be replaced or repaired. Mostly the computer will start to fail in the period just after the warranty expired, what a coincidence! You could eventually rely on consumer associations to get partial refund after warranty period, but that takes a lot of effort even though there are laws in place to protect the consumer in these cases.

Normally, when a computer fails and it is just out of warranty we see it as bad luck and we accept it as being normal. But it is far from normal! This mechanism of new models failing after a predefined period of time is a huge waist of energy and natural resources. What is done with al failed computers? They are partially recycled or just thrown away in mere frustration.

What if we could have the computer that fits our needs, not needing any replacement because it is made of the best quality materials, running just the best and most intuitive operating system that is just working always. And if it fails it can be repaired by replacing the failing part, no need to replace the whole machine. All this will be the standard in a world with an Equal Money System where only one simple rule is applied: what is best for all. With just this simple rule we will be able to create a world of equality with a decent and beautiful life for every living being on this planet. Anyone not willing to live in heaven on earth?

So, if you dare to change the world into a system that is best for all and will supply you with computers (among all other things of course) with a life time warranty (and therefore the warranty can be abolished since there are no other types of warranties), join us at Desteni to discuss on our forums this topic or many others so you can be part of the creation of a better world by starting to better yourself.

Picking fruit in an Equal Money System

Click to read FT article

Ever asked yourself who picked the apple or the pear you buy in the shop? Ever asked yourself where it came from? To many of us it is normal to have a full choice of fruit in the shop so we are ‘free’ to choose and eventually feel good about it. When I started to consider and to research the other end of the fruit chain the pear I ate started to taste a little bitter.

Besides the seasonal fruit from the area there is a lot of fruit coming from everywhere. What about the fruit that is flown in from China for instance? Sounds crazy if you really consider the fact the fruit you buy is coming from the other side of the globe. In what we call ‘civilized countries’ part of the fruit in the shops is Made in China! This tells me that the price paid at the source has to be very low since the transportation and the wholesale part of the final price is quite big.

If you start surfing on the internet you’ll find an enormous variety of fruit picking job offers. Some as normal seasonal jobs, many disguised as nice holiday activities even as backpacking destinations in countries around the globe. They are advertised as nice jobs where you can make a lot of money. Reading a couple of forums gives a different picture and stresses on what fruit picking really is. This sentence comes from one of these forums: “Working in orchards is backbreaking menial labor. That is why most of the work in the fruit industry in the US (and increasingly Canada) is done by transient Latin Americans who are happy with any work.”

This brings me to the point of money. Fruit picking is a labour intensive activity that is mostly done by low wage working force that is happy with the little money they get so they can survive in our actual capitalistic world system. “Who cares” you could say, “everybody is happy, ‘they’ make some money where else they would starve and we can buy relatively cheap fruit in our shops.”

Let me question the point of ‘us’ in the rich part of the globe having the luxury to choose from all kinds of fruit coming from all over the planet to our shop. Is there a real need? Is it to give us a feeling we have a wider choice so we can feel happy? Could be. Are we still happy if we consider the fruit picker doing all the hard work for a wage that is just enough to survive? And what if we consider the trading system that is squeezing the farmers to sell for the lowest price and selling it again for the highest possible price to the retailers? And do not forget all the energy used for the transportation, often refrigerated, of millions of tons of fruit, from producer to consumer.

When I started to consider all these points the fruit I bought started to taste bitter. What is wrong with the apples from the nearby countryside? And what is wrong about not eating apples when it isn’t the right season? Like many other facts in our daily life this is a situation of abuse that, even though we are not agreeing with it, we support and accept by keeping on buying our exotic fruit. This suggests that if we start buying only local produce or fruit that has ben picked by people that have been properly paid for it, we can stop eventually this abusive fruit trade.

Applying this in practical life is not easy since the whole system we live in is working the same way as the fruit industry. The whole trade is based on maximizing profit and is not taking into account long term sustainability, decent compensation for farmers and who has to do the labor. If we stop consuming all goods that are ‘unethical’ we probably will starve or have at least troubles in getting enough food.

Is it possible to switch to a more local based economy? In theory yes, the reason why we have seen the opposite happening is because the trading of goods made it more attractive for producers to specialize on a product instead of keeping a variety of products. Again, focussing on the highest possible profit. Why? Because we need money to ‘buy’ a decent life and if possible even more than just decent. We are raised as consumers and we ‘need’ to own a house, a car, all kind of equipment. Not because we need it to live a decent life but to feel good and eventually better that others that are not managing to reach the same levels of wealth.

Again we can look at the consequences of the wealth we see as a standard in our western democracy consumeristic society. If we look at the total equation of what the standards we live in are causing at the other end of the balance we see there is no balance at all. There is only abuse. In order to live our life’s the way we do now, other humans are suffering and struggle every day to survive.

We are running towards a global crash of the actual economic system. Bailout after bailout we see no changes, it only gets worse and we made enough debts to ensure the grandchildren of our grandchildren a heavy tax burden. Every day we keep on accepting and allowing our actual system we are worsening this situation of inequality and total lack of respect to life itself.

So, what is the solution? A system that starts from a point of equality for all. Only when life will be seen as a fundamental right for every living being on earth in total equality, so no difference between you and me, we can start to build a real sustainable system where money is not anymore a tool for power and available to the happy few but a fundamental right that stands for life. This system exists and is called the Equal Money System. Since it is the only system considering equality for all it is sustainable for ever and a way to end the hell we are now living in on earth.

Before a system like Equal Money can be implemented we need to change as humans. The only way to do so is to stop blaming others and take our own responsibilities for everything we do and say. This goes much further than you might think. It implies you take responsibility for the fruit you buy in the shop, considering the consequences of you buying it and therefore supporting an abusive system. It implies taking self responsibility for all you think, say and do. There is no other way to start a real change in this world than by changing yourself and being a living example to others.

If you are ready to take the step, visit the site of Desteni to find a lot of fascinating and revealing information about the world we are all part of. You can go a step further and start using the tools to develop yourself, supplied with the DIP courses. To see who already is in the process of change for an equal world you can visit the Destonians site and for your questions visit the Wiki.

Drought

It is now many weeks ago we had some rain. The grass on the fields turned brown and the plants in the vegetable garden need regular watering in order to survive drought and heat. It has been unceasingly hot for over two weeks now with temperatures above the 30 degrees. The 2400 liter rainwater I use to water the vegetables lasted until a couple of weeks ago, since then I have to use tap water.

Yesterday I was reading an article in a local newspaper that was commenting about the fact the local administration prohibits to use tap water for other purposes than personal hygiene and drinking. If you are caught watering your garden or washing your car you risk a fine from € 25,– until € 500,–.  I was surprised because, besides the long period of heat and no rain I was still seeing water in rivers and smaller streams. The local administration is pointing at the water used by the many gardens that people hold on the river banks as the main reason for water shortage.

It is true there is little water in some rivers but nature is greener than ever, the drought is superficial. Last winter we had huge amounts of rain and snow and most springs are working normally which was not the case last year when the rivers where dry and the more superficial springs ran out of water. But no limitations to the water usage since it kept raining regularly, only delivering very little quantities of water.

The article continues to make a point on the maintenance of riverbeds. Instead of cleaning the beds from natural debris like trees, mud and stones the only thing that is done is rising the river banks, not giving sufficient protection when there is really a lot of water coming down. This year in early spring the rivers caused several floodings even though the water amounts were not extremely huge. Apparently the main reason for the river beds not showing any water is not the shortage of water caused by the gardens (having the same issue since there is no water to be seen) but the fact for many years now there had been no maintenance to the river beds. The water is flowing deep under the rocks and eventually pops out somewhere mere downstream.

The writer is clearly questioning the starting point of the water usage limitations. It is very possible that the water company responsible for the water delivery to not only the inlands where I live but also the cities on the Adriatic coast is afraid of water shortages. Water is a power business here in Italy. A week before the Italians voted against water being managed by private companies the water management of the whole area went over to the company already responsible for natural gas and electricity delivery. Dirty game. Since money is coming from the coast area the inland is less important and is asked to reduce water consumption on behalf of the bigger cities only because they fear a water shortage.

To me this is a clear example of political power games that serve no purpose than making sure a small group of people is making money. There is absolutely no common sense nor equality to be found here. If we were managing the available water in the interest of all and with common sense applied by everyone there should be never a real water shortage. The truth is that water is spilled every day, both consciously as unconsciously due to ignorance. Ignorance as in giving your lawn so much water that is floods out of the garden over the street or while sweeping your house and dumping the dirt in the toilet, flushing it up to ten times until finished cleaning.

The average amount of water used per person per day is 191 liter. For our family it equals 23 cubic meters a month. Being ware of the water we use we managed to lower our consumption from 20 to 14, including watering the garden when there is no rain water available. During summer we take almost a shower a day, we use the washing machine normally, we use the dishwasher once a day. We do not water the grass, the trees and the vegetables with more than necessary, we try to avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily, we close the tap when brushing our teeth and we limit shower time to what you need to clean, shave etc. No big deal and no discomfort at all. Only for our small town a reduction like our would lead to almost 28 cubic meters of water saving a year per person. That is a reduction of billions of cubic meters in Italy alone. All water that does not need to be filtered, pumped, distributed and paid for. As long water is privatized water consumption reduction is not economically interesting so please keep on using your water. Do not consider that all these billions of cubic meters are polluted by soap, chemicals and medicines and need to be cleaned again.

What a waste! Lets take our responsibility. As you can see in this example the effect of normalizing your personal water usage on a large scale is huge. Lets use our common sense for a better world and not only with water consumption!

Making the right choice

Tonight I finally managed to put our 4×4 car online for sale. Yesterday and today we cleaned it thoroughly and around noon we made a series of photographs. Only an hour after I put the announcement online I had growing doubts. Are we really doing the best thing in common sense? Let’s analyse the whole process that lead to this action:

  1. Ownership of two cars is rather expensive so we decided to replace the oldest car by one or two small motocycles.
  2. An old car uses a lot of fuel and has an expensive maintenance and insurance.
  3. At school A. had the opportunity to have lessons and do a theory exam for a special drivers licence (‘patentino’ that allows youngsters from the age of 14 to drive a small size motor vehicle).
  4. A. will have the possibility to travel without having to bother us.
  5. If one of us uses the only remaining car the other(s) will have the motorbike to move around.
  6. We will have to pay less insurance and less fuel.
It is amazing to see that all these points are money driven. And that they are potentially leading to spend even more or at least not making decisions based on common sense. Let’s analyse deeper the point I mentioned:
  1. If I manage to register the 4×4 car as an old timer I can save up to € 500,–/year on insurance and taxes.
  2. Maintenance is a risky point for an old car.
  3. We save money by having A. doing this with school compared to doing it at a private car driving school. It still costs quite some money and until now nobody was able to tell us what we were going to spend for the whole thing.
  4. A. has to travel 40 lm to go to school, too far to do with a motorcycle at her age for now. Other destinations she might want to reach are in colse and can easily be reached by bike.
  5. In winter and other bad weather conditions it is useless to travel with the motorbike especially in the case we need to pick up J. from his school in a nearby town.
  6. I was shocked when I found out that the insurance of a motorbike is very expensive. The less expensive one is more or less the same price as the car insurance with old timer discount. If we want to have two motorcycles this will just double the price and there will be no benefit anymore.
Having summend this up, It seems there is no commons sense in selling the car and replace it for a motorcycle but for the fuel consumption. A motorcycle uses roughly 2,5 times less fuel compared to the car. The price per liter is high since it needs lubricant added. In a year that is a difference of about € 200,– more for the car. In other words, to travel 2000 km a year with one motorcycle will cost about € 1200,–, to do the same with our 4×4 dong nothing the same! If we register the car as an oldtimer we will spend only € 600,–.
The only thing that remains is the maintenance costs that can cause nasty surprises with an old car. Replacing the car for another, smaller car is not interesting, you might only save some money by buying a cheaper car but it will be without the old timer benefits. In common sense it seems we have to stick to the car at least for now.
Selling it without getting something in return is not an option since public transportation is almost inexistant. As long as I have to travel regularly for my work there is a practical need for a second car for the remaining members of the family in the situation we live in now.