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A couple of things to hold onto while surfing into 2011

November 17th, 2010

Filed under: LIFESTYLE


Riding the wave through to the end of the year

“Uh-oh” you can end up with a lot of sand in your face if you lose grip on what’s important
Okay, it’s time to regroup, to rethink. Nope, it’s not 31 December (yet, thank goodness). Nuh, it’s not my birthday! No one died. It’s just time to go “pheeeeeeeeew” and decompress.

Why? Because The Dossier was always meant to be a resource and a collection of files to document what’s happening around where I live. It was never meant to be a promotional vehicle for every single event that makes its way to the region. This is a site that’s meant to document what’s enriches life here in Eindhoven. Where’s my focus gone?

Waves of enthusiasm are there to be surfed. Or are they?
It’s strange how, if you’re an upbeat and perky person, you can allow yourself to get swept along in a wave of enthusiasm. It could be just me or perhaps it’s just what happens on a continent that’s geared towards festivals. There’s always some sort of “something-week” or “event-y” happening. It must have something to do with the concentration of populations, which does my head in. Back when I was working for a Dutch electronics giant a few years ago I got totally overwhelmed by the concentration of events and productivity that bombarded the activity calendar after the European summer.  I couldn’t withstand the tide for very long.

Tracing the wake of Eindhoven’s festivals the last three months
The tide has rolled out momentarily, but in any case let me describe the last 12 weeks/weekends: in and around Eindhoven since September we (I) have had, in a sort of rambling order since Summer (not including having a day job and doing random interviews with arty people around): Zimmer Frei, Hallo Cultuur, Pret-a-porter (Paris), Flux-S, Resilience photo exhibition, Armut Macht Geil, Muziekgebouw redesign opening, Design Academy’s Symposium of Time, PICNIC, Dutch Design Week, Brainport International Weekend, Glow, Popronde and STRP Festival is just around the corner. Sheesh, before you know it you’re out buying a new calendar at a 50% discount because you didn’t realise we’d rolled over into a new year.

Focus is on the horizon
For The Dossier I go see a lot of cultural stuff, because I love it. I love The Dossier! But sometimes I am sick, feel sad, am not in the mood, not interested. I don’t write up about a third of the stuff I get to because it’s lost its newsworthiness or the wave heaps some other random thing on my plate. I feel guilty because I’m not producing and sharing, for I want to share with the world what there is to do in Eindhoven and why I love living in a big village, really, but lately I’ve started to lose my balance. I have been churning out stuff and I need to go back to what it’s all about. And if there’s anything in particular I want to bang on about for why living in Eindhoven is great, it’s that the pace isn‘t like it would be in cities like Amsterdam, or Melbourne. I used to ride my bike for 40 minutes to get to work every day when I lived in Melbs – because of traffic and hills. I now allow 7 minutes before any meeting I have anywhere in the centre of Eindhoven. Of course it’s not perfect. Sometimes, I miss the food back home … it’s inventive, fresh and often surprising. But then I have friends here who celebrate life’s festivities with great food which is mostly organic and vegetarian (honestly, it’s miraculous how they find the ingredients and it’s always so delish). For example, I’ve been invited to a “Sinter-Winter-Thanks-for-Everything-Giving” party next week – a combo of Sinterklaas, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Whether you’re from Germany, South Africa, Israel, Eindhoven or further afield … all cuisines bung in a plate spilling over with delicious yumminess and we make a family feast of it. Next month my younger sister and her partner are coming over from Aus to spend Christmas with us, and of course there’s my Dutch family too, to look forward to some quality time with and to be reminded of the stuff that counts.

So I think some “family” time is well needed and I’m glad I’ve been able to stop a moment and realise this before I became completely frazzled and lost all sense of direction. I think it will help me shake this feeling of urgency and of being swept along (rather than masterfully surfing) without any foothold to the end of an amazingly eventful and fun-filled year.

Have you had any major dumps or a fabulously smooth run into shore?
Is it just me? Is there anyone else out there feeling the adrenalin rush of riding the wave of post-summer pre-silly season activity as the year draws to a close? Share your story to contrast with mine, or if you feel the same way, maybe we’ll both realise we’re not alone!

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