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Friday, June 14, 2019 6 comments

Friday's Musings: Of Many Errors & Trials

Hola,

All I know is that if someone I trusted was to roll on up to me right now and offer one of those perfect, open-arms, no judgment-eyes hugs, I would probably break down and cry my heart out like I've not done in more than a few years.

One thing I supremely detest about social media is that we only post the best news and the most filtered pictures because we're all trying to beat the most recent happiest of happiest of moments on our inner (or Internet) timeline.

God knows (as do my 3.8 followers) that I do it, too, but this little blog of mine that can - especially on Facebook (insert iconic, ironic sound here) - still remains after nearly 8 years a place that my 3 boys can visit later if they want to learn more about me.

So, this is another punch-you-on-the-shoulder love letter to you guys about always being honest. And hey, shit, it's not as if I do it all the time - (see above :) but this is one definitely one of those times, ok?

The other day, I officially announced that my six-month job working at a commission-only, Spanish real estate agency hadn't worked as hoped and I'd landed in a deep, deep financial, friendship, family and relationship hole.

As I spoke aloud of all the shitty things that were happening all at the same time, of course (!!) I was in simple awe as I listened to myself verbalize how much I've fucked up my life.

However, a small piece of me knows I'm down on my knees for a reason that will make sense one day. (It's just no fun living the longest day that's cost so much.)

But I'll never quit on myself - or Spain.

I still have my faith, and the saddest thing is that I listened to Christian music as I wrote this and I belted out the words to so many songs (like You are Holy by Michael W. Smith) but haven't listened to for so long, because I thought I knew best.

Silly Koopmans.

PS: Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol is another great song, but if you're ever lucky to listen to this one with your girl leaning or sleeping against your shoulder while on a road trip... life will never be the same again. 

(An hour later, and I'm already more positive than I've felt in a long time. Music is powerful, as is a positive message, something I've been lacking in for quite a while.)

Yes, I accept and take full responsibility for the choices I've made and will live through them and turn the corner whenever that comes because this, too, shall pass. I've never been so humbled as I have been lately and perhaps I had it coming because things were running so smoothly and pride definitely goes before the falleth, but like I said, I'll never quit, nor give up.

Can't wait to see you 3 boys in nine days. You are, as always, but especially at this moment, the shining light in my tunnel.

I love you guys.

PS: These last 7 months are definitely getting their own chapter in the memoir/WIP :)
Wednesday, May 22, 2019 7 comments

Midweek Moments: Of *Casera* Chips and Crispy Cars...

Hola,

I've been a slacker this week, and didn't have enough pictures to fill the post, so I delved back a few weeks to supplement the current crop.

Most of these were taken in Antwerp on May Day, and if you don't mind me saying, Belgium is where the best chips/fries come from -- and I'm most definitely in Belgium's camp when it comes to the age-old question re. who invented French fries...


So sexy to turn a corner in my town and see an old Roller relaxing between two palm trees...

Though grumpy about flying so damn early, can't ever miss the chance to snap a sunrise :)

Yeah, I'd scarper and hide in the shade if I was you, too, Mrs. Fiat

Oh, you silly people!!

My *Hero* sign. Now I *know* Belgium beer is better/stronger than mere Alcohol :)

But why?? (At least the numbers are sequential. I miss my Spanish door numbers!)

Yuh, this ain't Walmart/Giant/Albertsons/Publix :)

I guess the owner of the 4th house from the left lost the bet...

When time passes slowly...

Calm before the storm?

Like I said, Belgium invented fries!

... and a few sauces, too :)

Here's to you, Antwerp, you supreme chip-maker you!

"You see, officer, I lost me plane, but when I saw the sign pointing me in the right direction, I knew all was well..."

So sad to turn a corner in a neighboring town and see this new car abandoned...

Monday, May 20, 2019 5 comments

Monday Music/Musings: Wicked Game by Chris Isaak

Hola,

Not quite sure where I'm going with this one yet, which I suppose makes for good musing notes.

The main reason for this blog is to give my three boys more insights (in the future) into what makes/made me tick, especially when I'm not around to look them in the eye when they roll their own eyes and ask me the why's questions.

And, while fun travel posts are easy to write, today's post caused a little heartburn as I ate a huge piece of humble pie Sunday.

The details will be in a future post... Hell, I'm not going to make it too easy for you boys, (don't Google it lads, click through and read the next few posts:) but I've had a few non-health-related wake-up alarms these last weeks and months, and Friday I answered the call.

Funny thing is, and forgive the mysterious clumsiness (the humble pie remains stuck in the old craw) but I process everything in my own way and time. I'm a huge pushover, but don't push me toward "your way," as I will gleefully do exactly the opposite -- unless I believe in the cause -- and then, I'm your presidential campaign manager.

Anyway, focus Mark, focus.... dear Lord...

So, yeah I stepped way out of my comfort zone and took care of some shit I had to take care of, and the results weren't half as bad as expected.

I guess the easiest way to explain without explaining is to say I rolled the dice six months ago on a project and while it hasn't worked out professionally, I now move forward knowing I did every-damn-thing I could to be successful, but when it comes to sales, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

#ThisTooShallPass. 

So, onward and upward I go (again,) and with several irons in the fire, including one that would completely freak me out if  it were to come to pass... a very slimmish chance to have the dream writing job I thought had passed me by. (Even if I don't get it now, I'm super stoked to have gotten even a sideways glance.)

PS: That song? Check it out if you don't know it. It's one of my absolute favorites and today it fits like a snug bug in a dodgy rug.
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 6 comments

Midweek Moments: Pix Mix!

Hola,

Most of these are from the last week, as is my general rule, but keep an eye on the last one :)

Called the Jumbo Floating Restaurant, but I don't get it. Didn't even see one elephant.

Lucky to be the only ones on our sampan boat, no harm in a dodgy touristy pic then :)

They use bamboo for scaffolding in Hong Kong...



The old lettuce patch is now home to a BBQ grill & pizza oven. Noah wants cheese, hold the onion!

European elections are scheduled for May 24...

...Some candidates have *dedicated* volunteers!


Everyone's just making sure the banner doesn't fall :)

Met some clients at their hotel... Wasn't jealous at all!

How cool is this for a livingroom light fixture!

Skyping with Son #3... all I asked was if he could see me? :)

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