While this is my fourth major move as an ‘expat,’ I have to admit there are some things that may seem basic to others, but that I’m still learning with each new move. I’ve gotten much better at negotiating, getting what I deserve (and want), and making sure I’m valued for what I’m worth. Having said that, maybe it’s social conditioning or it could be biological… but I’m well aware that I, like many women, still have the tendency of being ‘too nice’ or not being aggressive enough in communicating my demands and making sure they are met. Here are a few things I’ve learned in a career of 15 years (so far):
It’s that time of year again where we get to look back on the year that was and resolve to do better and be better in the year(s) to come. While changing for the better is ideally practiced every day and at every possible moment, there is something romantic about doing a yearly ‘one-time-big-time’ exercise of taking stock of our lives and doing a ‘life cleanse’. Getting rid of physical things Often, sorting out what’s in our heads can be difficult and overwhelming. What helps me get in the right frame of mind to ‘sort’ life out is physically clearing out my closet, cabinets, boxes, luggage, and getting rid of anything that brings no added value, meaning or joy into my life. I’ve always been averse to owning many things, but for one reason or another, I’m not completely spared from the annoying human habit of inadvertently accumulating all sorts of useless stuff over time. I actually did it, I threw out more than a dozen trash bags full of old receipts, packaging, useless brochures, …
While the concept of brunch can apparently “be partly traced back to the upper-class British tradition of hunting luncheons,” it’s the Americans who popularised Sunday brunch, complete with boozy drinks. I’m neither British nor American, but I’ve always enjoyed the idea of having a laid-back morning somewhere between “very early” and “oh no the day is half over” while enjoying a spread of eggs, pancakes, coffee, and juice while musing over life with good friends.
Do you see yourself as a victim? Or do you see opportunity even in hard times? Do you go through life blaming the world for your situation? Before I get into that, allow me to talk cinema for a bit.
When wine is served in beautiful crystal glasses by Swiss-trained waiters in three-Michelin-star restaurants, it’s difficult to let the imagination travel back to this fermented beverage’s humble beginnings. Long before it became a bubbly that can push a cork out with a hearty pop, and long before it acquired the grace to flow smoothly out of an expensive bottle, it hung loosely and peacefully on a grapevine, constantly handled by rough suntanned hands in a family vineyard halfway across the world.
You know that glow some celebrities have that makes them look way above average and stand out in a crowd like some sort of goddess? It’s called beautiful skin.
In my line of work, I’ve met enough celebrities and TV personalities to know that the ethereal beauty that makes them so mesmerising goes beyond makeup. Beautiful, healthy, youthful skin makes a world of difference and for those moving around in elite circles, they have access to some of the best products out there, not to mention time and money for regular facials, spas and the full R&R treatment.