Tag Archives: change

Embracing Change

Today, I feel inspired.

Today, while at work, I have attended a focus group regarding change and how to deal with it. This was informative to say the least. In fact, it made me realise how important it is to be positive in life – how to be determined, and to work hard for what you believe in.

In the last few months, a lot has changed in my life:

  1. In summer, I was made redundant. It was a real struggle for me. I have never been in this position before, and I certainly did not see it coming. I was in shock for a number of days, and I could not believe my luck – This could not come at a worse time, with the wedding coming up. After a bit, I had to face the music and started by overhauling my CV. I made sure I got a few good recommendations from some ex-colleagues, and started looking for a job. A month later, I got a job offer which I accepted and here I am.
  2. A new job and a new role later, this means more change and adaptation! Here I was, learning the ropes again. Luckily, I do love change so I took this challenge head on. Four months later, I feel like things are good again and I am settling in nicely.
  3. Friends. Well, that was another bump in the road – However, I decided that after all I have been through this summer, all those who did not care should be of no concern of mine. I made a decision to let go of what was worrying me – There was no longer a point investing my energy in them. Upwards and onward, they say.
  4. In the recent months, it was decided that myself and Daniel should look for a house to make it our own. This means that I will be selling my house. While this is something I want, it also requires myself (and Daniel) to uproot from the places we now call home. I am excited that we get to do this, but again it will not be an easy task – rewarding none the less.

In conclusion, change should be embraced with an open heart. While it might not feel positive in the beginning, things will get better – but only if you let them.

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The Relationship Masks Are Slipping, But What Can You Do If You Don’t Like What’s Underneath?

The early days of a relationship are always a show of sorts. We put on our best faces for dates and try to paint ourselves in the brightest light possible. If we really like someone, we may even change our views to please them or tell white lies about our true natures.

But, when the relationship gets underway, that mask has to slip. In many ways, this is a good thing. When you let down that guard, true love can come in. Sure, the promise of your ‘perfect man’ might have caught your attention in the first place. But, you may not know he’s ‘the one’ until you seem him at a weak moment.

That said, this slipping of masks is often a painful process, and can be fraught with unpleasant surprises. It may be that there’s a habit or quirk to your partner’s personality which you really don’t like. When you think about it, it makes sense that they would hide this. Who goes on a date and grandstands their worst personality traits? Over time, you may come to realize that your seemingly gentle boyfriend has a nasty temper. Or, perhaps that attentive man spends more time on his phone than you first thought. The issue which makes itself known may be even severe, like a gambling addiction, or something like depression.

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Picture Credit

Sadly, this period is where many relationships end. And, believe it or not, that’s rarely due to the realisation that Mr Perfect is only human. In fact, most of the time, our attempts to change our partners put the nail in the romance coffin. You know how it is; you look past his temper because you think you can cure him of it. You assume that, because he’s with you now, his depression should evaporate.

But, here’s a horrible truth; love isn’t an instant fix. While it is a crucial part of life, it can’t just clear the way of problems. What’s more, approaching a relationship with thoughts of changing a person is the worst thing you can do. It suggests that you love your idea of them, not who they are. And, we all know that love is about accepting someone for their true selves. In fact, the only real time change would be the best route open to you is if this bad personality trait puts your partner at risk. Otherwise, you should attempt to help your partner when you notice these issues. It isn’t easy, but it may be the only way to keep your relationship healthy. And, we’re going to look at a few of the ways you can achieve it.

Recognize their triggers

For the most part, traits like these come with triggers. It’s likely certain things set off that raging temper, for instance. Equally, there may be certain situations which drive a gambler to hit the casino. As their partner, it’s your responsibility to notice. Do this without comment or judgement. Observe and accept the situation. Then, do what you can to help them avoid situations like these where possible. If you see your raging man getting mad, grab his hands and do a quick dance around the room, or something equally fun. This will distract his attention, as well as reinforcing your relationship. You may also notice that he’s more liable to gamble when worried about money. If you’re at the stage where you’re living together, do what you can to keep finances in check, or discuss ways to make more money. Again, this will help with communication, as well as distraction. It may be best, though, not to outwardly tell him about the triggers you’ve noticed. Making him aware of your observations could turn to a trigger in itself. He’ll also then be able to tell when you’re distracting attention, and that could drive him further towards the places you don’t want him to go.

Point him down a better path

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Picture Credit

This step is tricky. Get it wrong, and you could slip into the territory of trying to change your partner. But, if you take your time here, you may find that you can point him down a better path. The trick here is not to speak in definites. Merely make suggestions which you think would improve a situation. Do this subtly, so that your man doesn’t feel you’re preaching to him. It could be that leave a program on television discussing ways to deal with anger. Or, you may want to look at sites like Casino Guru which could at least recommend reliable casinos if he is going to gamble. If mental illness is the issue, talk to him about his treatment options. Through discussions, he may find he settles on a new approach which could work well. And, you can achieve all this without ever directly attempting to change the way your lover behaves. Instead, he’ll come to associate you as a reassuring presence who helps him make his own decisions.

Focus on the future

Focusing on the future is always a good idea in a relationship. If things start to stagnate, it can lead to frustration and disillusionment. But, it becomes even more critical in cases like these. If, for instance, your partner is depressed, a focus on your plans as a couple could be a considerable incentive for recovery. If it’s a mutual decision, a determination to have kids in the future could be all it takes to encourage your partner to get help. Equally, this could encourage them to face up to addictions, be they gambling or anything else. The knowledge of future parenthood could even help with anger management problems. After all, no one wants to be that parent who shouts all the time. Bear in mind that it’s essential you let your partner lead conversations like these. If they aren’t ready to discuss this kind of thing, pressure could push them further into a negative place. But, if you’re both in the same headspace here, the future could be the best tonic.

Our Etna Experience

Each holiday has at least one big highlight, and while we were in Sicily, one of the highlights was visiting Etna. I admit, it was long overdue – in fact, visiting Sicily was long overdue! I bet not many Maltese people can say that they have not been to Sicily by the age of thirty. The thing is, that I am fascinated with the UK, and I mostly ignored all other countries for a big chunk of my life. It was in 2016 that I started exploring properly and I have not looked back ever since.

We left Etna for our very last day, it being so close to Catania airport. We arrived at around 9:30AM after a two hours drive from where we were staying. The Etna car park, by the cable cars was almost full. It happened to be May the 1st, which is a bank holiday in most countries, so there were a lot of tourists there.

Steffi enjoying Etna, Sicily!

We bought our tickets and made our way to the queue for the cable cars. Once we were at a reasonable height, we queued again for 4×4-style buses. Most of the tourists were laughing hard while we made our way on what we could only describe as a bumpy ride!  It took us to almost to the top of the volcano in no time. It was rather astonishing seeing people walking all the way up from ground level, seeing that Etna is 3,500 meters high up. I bet it takes most of the day going up and then down. We thought it was money well spent as this way we could enjoy walking around and inside the craters for a longer time.

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As you set foot out of the bus, you realise that the temperature changed drastically. From almost 20 degrees to around 2 degrees! Once you get accustomed to the change of weather, you start to embrace the surroundings. The view is breathtaking, the colour of the gravel varies from black to red to yellow. I have never seen so many colours on such a huge stretch of mountain-like land. It was simply amazing being there. No words were enough to describe what we saw, what we felt being so high up, on such a clear day. You could see steam coming out, touching the floor underneath your feet feels warm. You could tell you are walking on top of an active volcano. A bit scary and risky, but it’s an experience I will never forget.

We spent roughly two hours walking and exploring, and around three hours in total including the transport. The souvenir shop comes highly recommended. While we were there we tried several liquors and the famous mandorla wine. We ended up buying some, as well as lava made statues and decor, adding onto the issue we already had since we traveled with just a hand-luggage for a five day long holiday! On the way down to the car-park, there is a restaurant which in our opinion had the best arancini in Sicily. Do give them a try if you feel peckish!

When to get married in Malta: Seasonality

Maltese brides and grooms tend to play it safe when it comes to their wedding. Even if you are not a bride-zilla, you would most likely still not want a rainy wedding day as this would disrupt all your plans, be it traffic, wedding venue and dirtying your oh-so-white wedding dress! Funnily enough though, we don’t always think of the pros and cons that each season in Malta comes with!

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No snow in Malta, but you catch my drift!

Spring:
The weather starts changing from cold to warm
Happy guest mood since winter is over, and soon it is time for summer
A lot of fruit and veg are back in season, which means more variety when it comes to your menu
The grass is greener! And the flowers start bloom. Needless to say this will enhance your wedding photos, and no doubt, the floral choice for decor is at its best.
Allergy season (this was the only reason why I couldn’t go for a Spring wedding!)
Children are still in school, which might cause certain parents to not attend your wedding

Summer:
Risk of rain is close to none
Longer days, breezy evenings
If you are choosing Malta as your destination wedding, it is more likely that guests will attend as they can combine the wedding with a holiday, and the kids are off school
Summer season is the most popular season of all. If you are very specific on dates and venues, you have to plan very much ahead. Two years minimum, but three years ahead is advised
Noon summer weddings should be illegal. It is crazy to say the least!
Peak wedding season. Guests might choose to attend another wedding, not yours

Autumn:
Milder weather, ideal for noon weddings
The changes of the colour of leaves and trees makes for a magical and romantic background to your wedding photos
Children are back in school, which might cause certain parents to not attend your wedding
Risk of bad weather

Winter:
Classic and traditional Christmas themed weddings are amazing
Availability of venue and other suppliers are abundant
Cheaper deals on venue and vendors due to being off season
Noon weddings are appropriate as days are shorter
Brides have more dress options
✗ Bad weather is likely
✗ Wedding photos outdoors might be a bust due to weather conditions
✗ Festive season might discourage guests as they might rather spend it with close family
✗ Guest may be short on money as it is Christmas season

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Happy New Year!

So, every new year we all say how we are going to change for the better, or  how we are going to start exercising, or perhaps be better with how we spend our money etc.

From my end, this year I will not do any new year resolutions.

 

I think I am old enough to realise, that all the new year resolutions are broken one day or another, so I am going to be realistic and simply try to lead a good life, which I believe I have done so in the last 29 years 🙂

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Thanks Google for a gorgeous London fireworks photo.

 

May I remind you that I started off this blog as a new yearbr resolution back in 2014, and luckily I am still pursuing this; mainly because it has been of substantial help to me in expressing myself both in writing and creativity.

Throwback to my first ever blog post here. And, before I leave you so I go and share this day with my family, here’s one of my best articles from last year – All the best guys!

I am going through changes…

Five more days, until I say goodbye to Betsson.
Yes, you heard things right.
I am leaving Betsson Group. 

After almost 4 years, I have decided to move on to a new challenge, to a job which will hopefully take me where I want to be. For years, I’ve expressed my unheard wishes, so I decided to take my future in my own hands, sort it out myself.

With a grunt, I shall leave behind, the company I have worked for the longest, and some of the best colleagues I ever had the pleasure to work with. Truth be told, all my closest work mates bar one, have moved on to another job role before me, so I am not too displeased with my current situation. Besides, friends should find a way to communicate and to meet up, so let’s see the outcome of this little experiment 🙂

So what will happen of me, and of SteffiSays?

I will be taking a much needed 4 weeks off, out of which, I will spend 1 week in North Wales and 2 weeks travelling (Roadtripping, baby!). Right after, I will do some house maintenance, and will start working in my new job in the fourth week of September. SteffiSays will stay, there’s no way I will abandon my personal blog which has served me so well in the past 2 years!

Excited?
Hell yes! 

Although for the time being I will not say much about my new job, I am ecstatic for this opportunity, and for a company to believe in me and see my potential. I believe that in my new role I will be able to make a lot of changes and positive differences to drive the company in the right direction and to the next level. So, CHEERS!

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Age, is the question.

When I was much younger, think – early teenage years, I used to believe that being 18 years old was old. Because you know, you are officially an adult, you can drive, you can vote… you name it! When I got to the age of 18, I was worried on how I will feel when I am no longer a teenager. 10 years later, I am terrified of the idea of being 30!

This time three years ago, I was a very busy bee. Why you ask? I was in the process of buying property for the first time, as after 3 years I was tired of stuffing my money in rental properties and having nothing to show for it!

What I didn’t know was, how time consuming and difficult it is to find a place you love, in a town you like and with all the specs you wanted. In the end I settled for a 2 bedroom house, with a yard and a cellar. Almost three years down the road, and I do not know how much money I have put into the house, but I cannot say that it is ready. Truth be told, I haven’t gone down in the cellar for over 2 years, and I have changed my mind on what  I want to do with it a dozen of times.
First I thought I wanted a spa Jacuzzi and a gym area, then I thought a library dungeon sort of thing, and now I think I am settling for a cinema / bar area combo. Needless to say, this project would cost A LOT of money. Money which I still don’t have… and by the time I get to do it, I would probably think that this current idea will not fit my lifestyle (due to age, situation, who knows!)

As rime goes by, I wonder. What makes us who we are? What changes us? Is it age and experiences themselves, is it people? Or is it just us looking for something new…. for a new project or challenge?

Which language do you think with?

This is a weird one, I know.

I have been, for years on end now, thinking and “talking to myself” in a foreign language. By foreign language, I mean English. Malta is a bilingual country, and in fact we start learning English at the young age of six. I always loved the language and the literature that came with it. I always carried a book with me and preferred British TV and movies over Italian (I’m mentioning Italian because all of my friends watched Italian TV when I was growing up).

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Although I love the English language, I knew that there is one barrier that I won’t be able to surpass. This is, because even though I know that my spoken and written English is better than the average Joe’s, I will never have enough practice verbally to become super fluent and master it as it was my first language.

It was in 2011, when things changed for me. Leaving Malta meant that I had to leave my mother tongue behind (to an extend). When I landed in Manchester airport, I knew that at this point,  I have to deal with people in English. I think, that this is when my head decided that I should start thinking in English. I think, this was rather beneficial (yes, I googled it):

  • Apparently, if you think in a foreign language, you are not only practicing the language itself but also learning new vocabulary. It’s almost like when you are reading a book for the very first time.
  • Another reason according to a study is that since a foreign language provides psychological distance because you need to make a bit of an effort to use it, it will affect your reasoning and decision making in the sense that they become less biased, more analytic, and more systematic.

In reality, in my daily life, unless I am speaking with my friends and colleagues, everything else is done using the English language, which means that I was very surprised that it took my brain this long to switch languages:

  • Reading news, blogs, articles
  • Google searches are conducted in English
  • Reading Books
  • Listening to music
  • Making use of laptops (or computers) and phones using an English interface
  • Watching TV, Movies and Series

Am I the only one who took this leap? Do you think in your native language or did you choose another familiar language to do so? I want to know! 🙂

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//Obviously this is targeted to users who can speak multiple languages rather than just the one.