A new friend

Fotowand

I am still living in the same city I studied in. Most of my university friends are not. I wondered how on earth this “making new friends in the city I live in” thing might work for someone working from home, whose only outing often is a short trip to the supermarket. Things shifted a lot when I became a mother.

Not only did I notice much more other pregnant women and young families walking about, I suddenly found myself in new surroundings, meeting new people, too. At prenatal classes. In the hospital. Post-natal gym. At the toddler group. Looking back, I see certain situations that taught me small lessons about this thing I call friendship, and my part in it.

I remember my mid-wife talking about the upcoming prenatal class, telling me that you usually click with at least one other woman attending, and that these friendships can be truly special bonds. However, after our first class meeting, I wasn’t so sure about that. The other pregnant women seemed nice, yes, but did I just meet my new best friend? Nope. I had honestly forgotten that you don’t just meet new friends, but make new friends.

I remember waiting at the hospital for a pre-registration of sorts, and the couple sitting opposite to me were talking about the color repeat of the shades, and some friend who was studying architecture. Now they seemed like people I could imagine being friends with. We talked a bit and wished each other luck. By coincidence, I met them again in the hospital a few days after we had both received our babies - more small talk, and we mentioned we might even meet again when it’s time for kindergarten or school. What I didn’t do is ask for their name. Or e-mail address. Boo.

Back to the prenatal class. Things changed when I was told Max had, again!, turned in my belly, and that it might end in a C-section. Which I was not expecting. I dug out the number of one of the girls I knew was facing a C-section, too, and called her. She didn’t answer her phone, but we bumped into each other the next day - and met for an introduction of our babes a few weeks later, then went to post-natal gymnastics together, met for breakfast, met for tea, went shopping for baby clothes (without our babies, nonetheless!) and now I see my new friend once a week at toddler group. So this is how it works. Talking. Connecting. Meeting. Inviting. Sharing bits of life.

Oh, and I asked my extremely cool hairdresser (who is self-employed and a mother of two boys) if she wants to meet up at the playground sometime, too. She said yes :)

Apart from “mom friends”, I have found that attending local meetings of my professional organization (Alliance of German Designers) is a great way to meet other designers who are in a similar work/life situation. Although both parents working self-employed seems to be a rare combination. I’d definitely love to get to talk with more families facing (and overcoming) the same everyday challenges!

Inspired by Elise’s article and call for comments. Thanks, Elise!

An un-update of Project life

messy desk

I first started thinking about Project Life in 2010. Actually I could just stop right after this first sentence, and the story would have already been told – or I could sum it up with this second title all on its own: “Thinking about Project Life”.

Thinking being the key word here. But thinking is not what this project is about: it is about creating. Project Life is a concept and product created by Becky Higgins to simply document your life – using divided page protectors to hold journaling cards, photos and those little bits and pieces of everyday life you want to keep and remember. Sounds easy, right?

So this is what happens: Discovering it via a blog I read. Loving the concept of collecting and storing little bits to tell my story. Pondering wether to jump in or not. Wanting to try it out. Agonizing about the shipping cost to Germany. Starting to collect little snippets anyway. Talking myself out of ordering the kit. Deciding to whip up the basics myself. Starting to let things slip and not preparing anything to make things easier. Continue collecting and writing down stories for a while anyway. Not choosing photos. Hence not printing or ordering any. And then, ten months later: Sorting through a big stack of what feels like junk, throwing away lots of memories-turned-meaningless packaging snippets, pulling together three random pages of notes and clippings. Still no photos. Deciding to do it “right” this time around. Seeing all these perfect examples of neat title pages and up-to-date week spreads on my favorite blogs. Thinking I can do this, too. (I am a designer! I love paper! I have a life!) Feeling giddy to make it happen this time around. Agonizing about not being able to order the page protectors from amazon.co.uk yet. (Laughing about their perfect name, “Type A”.) Deciding to whip up the basics myself. Letting it slip. You get the idea.

Right now on my desk: two American Crafts page protectors standing in for the “real thing”, a stack of upcycled journaling cards, some with rounded corners, some still waiting to be punched, three cards bearing content, at least a handfull of “things I want to include” that still have to be cut down, the beginning of what might or might not turn into an opening page, random pieces of paper and the feeling that this, again, will probably not turn into anything I had in mind, although I think I love this project. I really do.

This can’t only be me. Any other un-updates out there?

we

Walking

nervous. excited. waited. surprised. overjoyed. welcomed. named. hurt. snuggled. cried. connected. carried. pushed. sat. slept. came home. laughed. walked. listened. sang. danced. watched. bathed. showered. changed. wiped. cleaned. screamed. healed. woke. checked. talked. ate. nursed. drank. learned. forgot. remembered. wondered. wandered. tickled. rolled. discovered. soothed. leapt. curled up. dreamed. skyped. dressed. undressed. washed. baked. cooked. drove. visited. worried. were seperated. reconnected. refused. touched. scratched. cut. combed. cooed. asked. grew. gained. celebrated. charmed. ventured. trusted. blubbered. loved.

welcome

Max

So good to see you, Max. I love you, my baby boy. August 4th, 2011, 10:46 pm

growing

growing – no. 1

growing

growing – no. 3

growing – no. 4

growing – no. 5

Only a couple of weeks to go - or maybe even shorter! Amazing. Crazy. Scary. Wonderful. Exciting. Awesome.