Text with all your heart

(M) a life without a smartphone - a sequel

My last blog post was a while ago. Which was not because of a creative break, but mainly because of the little baby who is slumbering peacefully next to me. The plan was that I could at least sneak into the office PC at night every now and then. Most of the time it worked with the other three. But baby 4 is a showcase child with a strong need for closeness and is simply happiest when you carry it around the clock. (Preferably from mom, which is probably due to the secure food supply) In the meantime our joyful rehearsals are crawling and then forget about the pronounced need for closeness when he is occasionally overwhelmed by an at least as pronounced thirst for adventure. In short: You shouldn't take your eyes off our dearly and dearly loved baby for a second. Even shorter: I barely made it to our PC in the office. So for the last 8 months I was practically not only without a smartphone but also often offline. For a few exceptions (the last blog entry was in August!) I bribed the older children with questionable educational means (including ice cream or gummy bears) so that they just “quickly” take care of their little brother or even secretly do it for me in the evening Tablet stolen from the children's room in order to write Facebook posts with one finger. Not only do I not have a smartphone, but I also don't have a laptop or other working mobile device with Internet access. At least I had, because I've been a very happy notebook owner since Christmas. Overjoyed is not an exaggeration, because whenever the baby is asleep (as it is now), then I can sit DIRECTLY next to it (or lie) and write. Which I love to do when I'm not sleeping too. Win-win for the cuddly baby and me. Writing again (finally writing again) is a bit like riding a bike after winter. Or skiing after the summer and I'm so happy. But with all the joy, this long (almost) offline time was also a huge gift for me and our baby. We could fall in love with each other undisturbed and infinitely intensely. Forging thick, solid bonds that hold us together. Because we were completely there and really there. Our summer nights outdoors under the falling stars, the long walks, the first fireflies that I have missed so much in recent years. That was all much, much nicer with you in my arms, my sugar-sweet Michl. I just didn't have a hand free for anything but you. (and of course for the rest of the happy family)

(M) a life without a cell phone was one of the most read posts on the blog. I could hardly believe it myself, 15 years ago it was completely normal for all of us not to have a smartphone. Why, I wonder, is it no longer conceivable for most of us? Why is it so difficult to do without it? The fact that there are now terms such as “Digital Detox” (cell phone fasting) shows once again that there is actually a need in this direction.

Our oldest daughter has now turned twelve and has been the proud owner of a brand new smartphone in a chic marble cover for a year. (The cell phone case is almost as important for budding teenagers as their profile picture on WhatsApp) I didn't want to convince them of a life without a smartphone. That doesn't make any sense either. It's just my life without a smartphone. My very personal one. Every now and then we discuss it and both come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as worse or better. That everyone has to decide for themselves. “But it can also be a wonderful life without a smartphone,” I answer all of her good arguments. And then she agrees with me a bit and maybe she thinks of me and the fact that you can actually “survive” without a smartphone. At least that's what I wish for.

Like last time, for example, when I went to the playground with all the children. I sat down on a tree stump on the climbing frame a little further away. Every now and then, out of sheer high spirits, I climbed the monkey bars or helped build the sandcastle, but I really like to just sit. (who knows the old Loriot sketch - I just like to sit here?) Just because I was just sitting there, I saw it too. As the only one. Because everyone else did not see each other, because apart from a funny grandpa, who was sitting with his granddaughter in the oversized basket swing and what it seemed, was having the fun of his life there, she all looked in her ... now guess what ... smartphone. Occasionally they took a picture of the children they had brought with them or actually put it down for a few seconds to distribute the contents of the break boxes they had brought with them or to open drinks bottles. I forgot my camera again. (Incidentally, the snacks for in between too) Which was a shame, because the pictures of the proud children in front of the now quite impressive sand castle in the warm evening sun would have been good.

Another time I took our daughter to the school bus. When she got in, I waved to her to finish. (Of course, the kind of waving that it's still cool and no one will notice it except the two of us) It was still a bit dusk in the morning and so I could see the flashing cell phone screens much more clearly than I would like. “Why is everyone staring into their phones? Why don't they talk to each other? These wonderful young people who would surely have so much to say to each other. " I didn't mean to judge it at all, but somehow I did so, so I tried to understand it. “Yes, yes, I already know the time is different. In the past ... oh now, stop doing earlier ... ”My thoughts were talking to myself. “It's just the way it is now. You shouldn't see that so closely. That’s nonsense, as if it depends on whether you talk to each other on the school bus or not. They already talk to each other enough, don't worry. "

But I admit I've thought about it. In many ways it would have made perfect sense to just buy one of these things now. Then I wouldn't always have to annoy my husband (now our daughter too) to briefly check the WhatsApp groups again, where all parents (except me) have important information about football games, judo competitions, birthday parties, school supplies or whatever else there, exchange. I don't like being the exotic one that you always have to call extra to make sure I know. In fact, I feel extremely uncomfortable. But then I realized that it is actually not that often that I missed a really important piece of information (at least I don't know. Hoho). I can also count on one hand how often I had to be called on the phone afterwards. And if someone really calls me about it, then they do it of their own free will and - I'll just assume that now - gladly. I've scrolled through all of the WhatsApp groups just to be really sure. My conclusion: I did not find any really important information. Or I overlooked it, because of all the things that in my opinion were or are ultimately unimportant.

And without having a cell phone myself, I saw it myself in the second row. Friends who no longer talk to each other because they misinterpreted a sentence on WhatsApp. Parents who quarreled in the class group because they could not agree on the graduation gift for the teacher. Children who block each other even though they were once happy and are not even aware of how hurtful that can be. I always believe that WhatsApp messages are not suitable when something “important” needs to be clarified. It takes a lot more courage to say something supposedly unpleasant directly to someone's face. But only in this way does one have the chance to clarify it in depth. Even the best emoji doesn't help.

It's been a long time since my cell phone threw itself in a dramatic way in front of the train before my eyes. In fact, it's over 14 years and I haven't cried a single tear after him. Sometimes I imagine what it would be like if. When I stand soaking wet on the soccer field with our son because it has just started to rain like a torrent and didn't notice that the training session has just been canceled because of it. When I stand in the wholesale market and have forgotten the shopping list again and try to remember what I absolutely must not forget. When the duty roster at the Arzbacher Hof changes and you have to call everyone personally to let us know. One message to everyone would make it so much easier. But also when our daughter is staying with a friend and I want to briefly send her a good night message. I think of Tom and our beginning, when I still had a cell phone and honestly, for a short time (and only because of us), I almost became “addicted to cell phones” myself. Or to all the many people I would love to text back and forth with. It would certainly be a good feeling to have them all saved in my smartphone and to know that I could reach them at any time or that I would then, more often than now, simply tell them what they mean to me. Or how easy it would be to take photos. I always carry all my equipment with me. And how often had I calculated it, then not with me when the moment would have been perfect?

But then I think back to how relieved I was when I lost my cell phone. That even the smart phone revolution didn't bother me that much. I'm online too. Even right now. But when at family celebrations, sooner or later, the smartphones are on the table just to “take a quick look”, then every time I get a little pang. I think it happens too quickly and too unconsciously. As with Momo and the gray gentlemen, without noticing it, we gradually lose more and more of our precious time, which is only really valuable when we share it. Our cell phones are small enough that we can take them with us wherever we go. We only put them away to briefly charge the battery and we don't really trust them, but they have the power to change our behavior. As we are used to being available around the clock, we assume this to be the case with ourselves and with others. Everything we don't know can be googled immediately and whenever something is really beautiful, we try to capture it instantly in a perfect picture. But moments actually pass more slowly when we are right in the middle of it with all of our senses. Only then do they literally get under our skin.

A friend once asked me why I am against smartphones? No no. I'm not against smartphones, I already mentioned that in my first post and then explained it to my girlfriend again. On the contrary. I think it's one of the most incredible inventions ever! Think about what a smartphone can do? It has saved all streets and places on earth and can lead you wherever you want or translate any language for you so that you can understand or be understood. The choice of apps is almost limitless, and when used properly, it connects people around the world.

The smartphone is a powerful tool. It's up to us what we make of it.

My life without a cell phone wasn't a decision. It just happened that way. I just don't need it. My love was and is just not big enough. Why can you read about a life without a cell phone in the first post (M), if you want.

I definitely don't want to convince you here. But I want to show you that whenever something is not right for you, you can choose another path. That you should never let yourself be persuaded what you need and what not, even if you do not correspond to the norm. The Internet in general opens up a whole new universe of possibilities, but don't forget that there is an equally vast universe hidden within you. And don't forget that a filter in your head and heart is invariably more important than the one on Instagram. Because you think you feel ... and you decide. No matter how smart your smartphone may become, it never replaces what defines us humans, namely the ability to marvel, feel pain and fear, laugh, cry ... and most of all to love. You decide what freedom means for you personally. With everything you do, with everything that you will still experience and that lies ahead of you, please be sure to follow love (#followlove ♥) and this is still best shared in "real" life. (# sharelove ♥)

As always, I am very happy about your thoughts.

With all my heart

Pictures: Leni Linke, Tani Geisreiter, pixabay

The perfect wave

The blog turned five at the beginning of July. Quietly, just as it all began. However, writing has literally been with me since I was able to write. Because I like words so much. And because I'm so convinced that we all have to tell our stories. As often as possible. Only when we share them and not just keep them to ourselves will they gain strength.
Oh how much I love all the colorful stories myself! How often have I been able to explain to our children so much better what I really wanted to say to them, precisely because of them. Mrs. Störtebecker and her cinnamon rolls, the cloud sweeper Nimson, the wonderland train, the crazy family from the pink house, for whom we still haven't found a real name ... we spun them all in our imaginations until they became almost real to us and all at once somehow belonged to us. I promised them that one day I would write down our stories. Just to be on the safe side so that none of them are forgotten. And maybe to look it up again. How was that again ...?
“Mom, where do our stories always come from? ”You ask me then. I could answer you that there is a mine that is quite hidden behind the misty blue mountains. Only people with a pure heart are allowed to visit there every now and then. We want to avoid mass tourism as much as possible and as much as possible. That's why you find the way there by chance, in any case not when you look for it. Right in this mine sits a small, trolly dwarf, with apple-red cheeks and disheveled, moss-green hair, which stands on end for him in all directions. Rumor has it that he is either very old or either very young. Probably a bit of both. In any case, it is said, this little dwarf knows all the stories on earth. The ones that have ever been told and even those that no one has ever heard of because they don't even exist yet. He alone decides which stories will be carried out into the world. This is really an extremely important task!
But it is also true that my heart just beats faster and faster when I am allowed to write. At every summit meeting, when I can meet and “see” someone. About the thoughts that won't let me fall asleep at night before I've written them down. About the texts when I search for words until I finally find them on the way to describe what I am feeling. In fact, it is the words themselves that come to me, I just write them down. That's all. It's not about me at all. That's important to me. I just want to tell stories ...
Just like that of the surfer who waited a lifetime for the perfect wave. Until the day comes when everything is different. Because the wind is blowing from a different direction, because it feels different and because suddenly it knows with absolute certainty that the time has come today. Then he will forget time and space and set off. He only acts according to his instincts and then it comes very slowly rolled up from a distance, powerful and gentle at the same time. Soon it will be here ... the perfect wave! Without thinking twice, the surfer grabs his board and starts swimming. Towards his wave for which he has waited so long! For an eternal moment they are one, the wave and he. Everything is quiet, everything makes sense and all questions open up to him before he reappears seconds later. Overjoyed. Tears of happiness and just to go “normal” surfing again the next day.
That is my feeling that accompanies me. Since I've been writing I've been waiting for my wave. The perfect wave. The one text that says everything I ever wanted to say. Because I know I haven't written it yet and because I know I'll have to wait until the wind is right. Until I'll feel it in my bones, until everything tells me now. Come on. Then I'll take my board and paddle towards it ... my perfect wave. Until then, I'll go surfing a bit.

(Pictures cover picture M.Linke / Laguna Beach and L.Linke / Arzbach)


Some thoughts….

So yesterday it became official, which we all suspected anyway. The exit restriction continues across the country.In concrete terms, this means for us that the Arzbacher Hof will remain closed until further notice and our children will not go to school or kindergarten until May 11, 2020. Every citizen is affected in a very special way, some more, the other perhaps a little less. An infinite number of predictions are made through the media every day. Ultimately, however, no one can say exactly what it will be like when it goes "normal" again and whether it will ever do that again. Crises bring changes. The direction in which these changes go is ultimately always up to the thoughts of society. If cohesion and compassion determine the predominant actions of people, then this will ultimately shape our future as well. But when the feelings turn into fear or even egoism, the negative is automatically increased. Without wanting to think naively, I am convinced that people are fundamentally “good”. Perhaps his surroundings have shaped him into something different, but with the best will in the world I just can't imagine a newborn child being born with prejudice or being able to harbor any form of hatred. Love in abundance but very much ...

Right now they are skipping the information. It is often too much. So much that everyone has to filter out what is right for themselves. I am currently reading a Facebook post by Mama Nisla rocks and blogs, which is aimed at the children and which really goes to the heart. Oh yes, I think how true it is what she writes. And that affects us too ...


Our oldest daughter who was looking forward to her “Judo year” so much. All major tournaments are canceled and we don't know how everything will be next year. The orchestra days at school that she won't go to, but that she had longed for for so long. Our son's communion has been postponed, all his soccer games and all the tournaments. Any training in general. There is of course no children's gymnastics for our youngest and she too will have to spend two months without her beloved kindergarten and friends. The monthly meetings of our mini chefs and all planned events have been canceled until further notice. It is questionable whether their big gala dinner, the highlight after the two years of training, can take place in July as planned.

But with everything I see one thing very clearly: it is a crisis and without exception that is always a massive turning point. This time it affects us all. In fact, it affects the whole world. But how many personal catastrophes often hit individual families that no one could foresee? Serious illness, financial loss or even sudden death. It just happens every day. Always have. Especially in exceptional situations it is clear that everyday life cannot go on as planned. Of course, all family members then suffer massively. But I believe that all the things that our children have to do without at the moment are seen as a whole and can really be coped with in the sense of something bigger. I even believe that it is precisely in such situations that we have to try to sharpen the necessary foresight in our children. This includes, for example, that a fancy birthday party is not a tragedy and that you can still be confident that you will make the best of it. In fact, this special time is also a chance, despite all the suffering that is happening now and of course also wants to be seen. When all external influences disappear, when all appointments are momentarily losing their importance, there is time for us. Time for the people with whom we live most closely. That may be a different challenge for the extended family in the country than for the single in the big city. But for everyone it is an opportunity to go deeper. For once, all economic factors are disregarded, (the health ones anyway) for us this time was and is also a gift. For us personally it is the case that we spend most of the day together anyway, but to be able to spend as much time as a family again without appointments or obligations is a real blessing. It feels like vacationing at home. This situation would never have happened under normal circumstances. These days we are waiting for another child in our family and I am very cautious about whether it has chosen this time to come to us? Despite everything, there is so much peace and love in the air that your heart literally opens. I think you can be optimistic. I believe that I can now use this time constructively and still be full of compassion for all those affected is not a contradiction in terms. On the contrary. I think of the war years and the many hardships, in addition to all the incredible suffering that people experienced back then. The comparison puts everything in a different light anyway. But now is the time to ask the really big questions. Every man for himself. The answers will come to us the deeper we search for them and the more honestly we answer them. I believe right now that we can do so much together, change so much and emerge stronger from it all in the end. And last but not least, whatever may be.
Be sure to hold on to love. That's all that counts.

Then I read another Facebook post by Nina Betz that touches me deeply. Oh, I think to myself how important it is what she writes.


It is imperative that we integrate death more into our lives. Right now he's crying out for attention and to be seen. Only today did I find out that an uncle of mine had died. A few weeks ago it was a dear aunt. Every goodbye is sad. The closer you got to people, the more you loved. But if we fully accept death, fear will lose. Much more, we will live in such a way that in the end we will not regret anything. How valuable it is to be able to say that you have lived a life, your life. With all its ups and downs, but in such a way that one remained true to oneself in all one's values ​​and truly loved and was allowed to experience love. That's why I say again ...

Hold on to love That's all that matters. Do not be afraid. Everything will be fine. ♥

For the current occasion

I think I feel like many of you. If someone had told me two weeks ago that all schools and daycare centers across Germany would close, I probably would not have thought it possible. Yesterday it was clear to us that we would also close the Arzbacher Hof for the next two weeks. Despite the whole crisis, which somehow affects everyone in some way, we suddenly have a little extra time for ourselves. The weather is fantastic, we stay outside the whole day as best we can. In short: we make the best of the whole situation.
Then something that makes me think. When it became clear on Friday that all schools etc ... were closing and all other events had been canceled, there was no longer any doubt that we now have to seriously think about how things will continue in the Arzbacher Hof. In the afternoon we received a couple of calls in a row, which I still find difficult to understand today. The first caller, anonymously of course, insulted us as irresponsible because we were still open in view of the situation. I almost couldn't answer him, he was so upset. Shortly later the next call from a woman who also went in the same direction and asked whether we had at least made sure that we could have enough disinfectant available in all rooms. Then I hear all sorts of stories, e.g. from people who start arguing in supermarkets because the flour is out. Or the many disrespectful comments that are written under the pictures that are posted showing people in crowded cafes from last weekend.
I think this situation is new to all of us and just happened all of a sudden. It just took a few days for the message to get through. And I think you just had to take this time so that everyone could make a really well-founded decision for themselves on how to handle and act with it in the future. In any case, it doesn't do us any good now if we blame anyone. Be it Politk or anyone else. I find it really amazing how quickly it can be done.
Please keep acting with an alert mind and an open heart. Do not judge the behavior of others so quickly, but look much more at how you can behave yourself in the best possible way and how it best serves the community. And precisely because it is physically not possible, we should all shake hands and stand together now. Our thoughts and compassion should be much more with those who have been hit hardest and still hits. There's no place or time to accuse you at all. The most important message is that we are all human after all and that it is now up to us how we see the world.
Feel for one another. Think of each other. Act carefully.
Most of all, hold on to love.

How calm came to me - 7 tips for more serenity