Swiss expat work and life

That’s most likely true, as there is almost always someone better (or worse) than we are at doing something. So, then the question would be, “So, What? What’s important about this and how does it affect the issue at hand?” Is this truth worth you stopping? Most likely, not. Instead find the reason you are doing x and evaluate its outcome; then find a way through it and keep going. This little thought process of questioning can work for the other two possibly true assumptions, too.

How do I know for sure is not true? Well, the easy answer is, I can’t know for sure. But I personally choose to believe that we allare 1) good, well-made humans 2) capable of growth and learning and 3) are trying our best. I choose to think and believe positively about my fellow human beings.


And, usually my assumptions about you are true. Thus, you are not stupid, with help and learning you can handle it and maybe you can learn to lead (it’s a skill, not a character trait). Coaching helps a lot with these kinds of false assumptions.

-If you knew the oppositewould happen, what would that look like? (This is your answer, so it may not be these, but I’ll give it a try: someone else better at x- so the opposite is: I am an expert at x; it will be difficult- the opposite is: it will be a piece of cake, done in a jiffy; I may cry- the opposite is: I may smile). Say it aloud, that opposite.

And, whoops! You’ve gotten lost in the middle of the presentation. What to do? Come from that “happy place” and breathe, remember your one main point, find yourself, breathe, and start from there. Nobody’s perfect, after all. And the more you practice the less you will get caught losing your place. As a friend said yesterday, practice prevents slide presentation karaoke (just reading what’s on the slides), and all those “ahs” and “ums”.

My son had his first piano recital a few weeks ago. Practice does help to make perfect, but that swing from anxiety to visualization of the perfect performance, to reality of making a mistake or two in the concert, to swinging back to the happy place and moving on is the key to successfully finishing the piece, especially if you have never played in front of anyone before.

I have. I have friends and family who are very ill, maybe you do, too. And then I went to a museum last week where the exhibit was stolen art, stolen from Jewish families in WWII. The stories behind the art are very difficult. Very tragic. The recent stories of opportunism regarding children and adults held in the US in prisons run by private companies (earning money off of tragedy) makes me sick. So, then I move back to my happy place, walking the dog, reading books (and believe me, I am reading a few), and visiting with friends. Work also helps and energies me, whether it’s teaching, coaching or something else.

When I believe that change is part of our human abilities, all sorts of possibilities open up for me, for you, for the person in front of me. Wow, what would you like to change? I don’t mean physical appearance and other superficial things. I mean, would you like to be more organized? You can be! Would you like to be a “go-getter”? Well then, you can be! Would you like to… the possibilities are enormous. But you must take that truth, I can change, to heart and really believe it.

Then, take that belief and put it to the test. Act like it is true. You have to start moving, trying and trying again. There is work in change. It’s not just a mindset, but a way of living. Thus, to become organized, you have to start organizing and setting up some systems of organization. It’s not “magic”, it’s thinking and acting in new ways. It’s learning and changing. It’s a process. And you must start somewhere and then move to change.

When I start working on the change I want, the probability of a failure must be accepted. We all fail and then what happens after the failure is key. We must look at that failure, and not punish ourselves, but really look at it, reflect on it, learn from it, and take it into consideration for “the next time”. When we feel that it is okay to make mistakes, to fall down and get back into the “ring of life”, we are going to make the change we want. We who learn from our mistakes are the ones who succeed in the end.

The party started with a “postenlauf”- a mix of treasure hunt and silly games all in one. Of course, a neighbor won. After all, we are all neighbors in my small village. After the postenlauf awards ceremony, we were treated to an apéro with free snacks and drinks, and then there were speeches and then, finally, the time to go get our free book. Then we stood in line for the photographer to sign it. While se stood we looked at our books and admired each others’ photos. They were beautiful.

The book process began more than a year before. As part of an art and culture project supported by the Swiss insurance company, Mobilar, photographer Ruth Erdt actually moved into our village, Freienwil, and began meeting people and taking their portraits. She lived with us for about six months, taking part in the village activities, meeting people and taking their photographs.

Frau Erdt probably asked the same things to each of us: what’s important for you (hobbies, etc.); where do you enjoy hanging out in your home or in the village; which activities do you enjoy doing at home. With these questions she built her inner picture of us, as individuals, as households and she really tried to portray them to the world. The product was a beautiful book.

Some people chose not to be in the book. Schade*. Maybe they felt shy, or maybe they don’t identify with the village that much. Or maybe they had a myriad of other reasons. It’s sad they didn’t, though, because somehow the project became bigger than itself: a book of photos. It has had a unifying effect on us. We are we, and we are ourselves all at the same time. The party last Saturday, the sharing of each others’ lives in pictures, the positive vibes when we all said, “Oh! What a great photo!” to our neighbors. It was amazing! Saturday’s book launch and party was a cultural and hisorical event, a time marked in our communal life history together.