Every Second

Make every second count. Every single one. And by making it count, I do not mean being active all the time but doing meaningful things. And that can be many things. Sleeping is meaningful. Mind-wandering is meaningful. Even not doing anything for a while is meaningful. But also working on motivating personal projects, sharing time with the people that are important to us, and creating instead of consuming. Time is a scarce resource. And it is not renewable. It is too valuable to spend it scrolling through an infinite sea of random content which, like a painkiller, is designed to provide temporal relief from repetitive daily routines.

 

Aerial Tower

During break times at school, I sometimes dreamt of inventions that I would love to become true at some point in time. One of them was a tiny aircraft that I could control remotely and that could fly around the playground. I imagined how it would take off, circle around the buildings, maybe enter one of them via a window, exit via another window, land on the rooftop, and so on. Most importantly, the aircraft would have a small camera that would allow me to see in real-time on the remote control what the tiny pilot would see. At that time, I thought that building such an aircraft may be feasible but that having the camera was definitely just a dream.

The view from the air reveals so many new and exciting perspectives

More than twenty years later, I finally realized that dream. The aircraft I dreamt about turned out to be what we now call a drone, and having a real-time video stream happens to be standard. I had tried a number of affordable drones before but all of them were hard to control and were not even close to my dreams as a school kid. Finally, last week I rented a DJI Mavic Air. The experience was amazing. I did not fly it around my old school buildings as I once had imagined but at a very special location, namely, the Tower of Aschbacherhof. Please find below a short flight summary in gorgeous 4K :)

Six Months

It is hard to believe that half a year has passed since I moved to Munich for a new job, a new home, a new everything. During these six months, I continously felt that I did not have enough time to do all the things that I wanted to do. And I think that is a great thing because it means that I had the urge to go out and do not just one but many new things. While my to-do list keeps growing just as in Madrid, it is more diverse than before. In particular, I am very happy that it now allows more giving back to others, which is the shortest path to happiness that I know. I am still far away from there, but at least now there appears to be a way forward :)

Happiness in simplicity

Only Lyon

A twelve-hour ride on a night bus from Munich to Lyon. That sounded like a plan to me. On the bright side, I slept significantly more than I expected on that bus. On the not-so-bright side, the bus stopped what felt like a million times, which means that I also woke up again and again. Mais a la fin, on est arrivé en France! The slogan of the city is "Only Lyon" and indeed, we only saw Lyon ;-) On the way back, I drove all the way to Munich myself by car. This made me feel how far both cities actually are. While we were faster than the bus, it still took the whole day... and a lot of traffic jams, which at night had of course not been there!

The "Musée des Confluences" is at the "confluence" of the Saône and the Rhône

The facade of the museum: each triangle has a slightly different orientation

At the other end of the city, facades are not that modern

Pixel art for non-french speakers ;-)

But not all of the street art in Lyon is pixelized

¡Cuidado con la pelusa!

Pushing the button will be "taken into account", which does not sound very promising

The metro line we took was fully automatic

Rail of one of the funiculars that travels up the mountain on one side of the city

A very popular but rather new church awaits at the top of the mountain

Less is More

The first day, the house was really empty. A wardrobe and a shelf that I had bought from the previous tenant. That's it. But I loved how uncomplicated and simple it felt. A few walls, a few windows, and the bright sunshine filling the room with light. At that time, I was reading "Everything That Remains" by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. It is a wonderful book about minimalism and my house at that point in time was really minimalistic. I decided to do an experiment. Instead of going to IKEA and buying everything that I thought I needed, I would buy it on demand and only after being sure that I needed it.

I do recommend this book :)

The first time I ordered at IKEA, I bought a bed. That seemed quite necessary. But I did not own a table nor chairs until two weeks later, which made me really be aware of the value of having dinner sitting instead of standing. I have done my best at only buying things that I need or that I really enjoy. I never actually went to IKEA since I knew that the moment I entered the store, I would be bombarded with things that I apparently "need" at all cost. I only went once to a physical store to buy a vacuum cleaner and I still regret it. The salesman did not let loose until I did buy the more expensive model that I did not really want.

Minimalism explained

I do not agree with everything in the above book, but most of it makes a lot of sense. As they say, "the problem with homes, however, is that once we establish a long-term dwelling, it's easy to accumulate a bunch of junk we don't need". The problem with that is that "the more you have, the more you stand to lose". Thus it is better to only have the things that actually add value to our lifes. And most importantly, "Love people, use things. The opposite doesn't work."