Do an Intoku today

Intoku is Japanese and roughly translates to; something good done in secret. A good deed carried out without seeking recognition or appreciation.

In times of blurred lines between what’s real and our filtered social media lives, this Japanese concept feels incredibly refreshing.

And isn’t it telling that there is no equivalent word in many Western languages?

What good do you do when no one is watching? Something you don’t share on Instagram?

Here’s a challenge. Do something for someone else today without telling anyone about it. The genuine good feeling you’ll get from helping someone is much more valuable than the appreciation you would get if you tell the world about it. When you remove the need for validation and the motive behind your action, only a pure, real feeling of happiness is left.

Be normal or be yourself

As we constantly project a polished, normal and successful life and are exposed to others’ equally amazing lives in our feeds, we risk forgetting who we really are.

Does the courage to be different come with age? Does the confidence to be original develop over time, with different experiences? Or do we need self-esteem to be ourselves?

As we constantly compare ourselves with others, do we risk diluting our beautifully weird and amazing personalities?

The world is more boring, less creative and dare to say; a worse place, the more normal we try to be.

How money can buy you happiness

We usually don’t equate money with happiness – openly at least. At a stretch we say money can make life easier.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about money in relation to time and freedom. How long should you stay in a job you don’t like? How much money do we need before we retire? Or if you start at the other end – how big of a house or car do you really need to be happy?

If toddler parents constantly struggle with time poverty – how can we get our hands on more time?

I read an interesting article from Psychology Today about money and happiness. It claims that there are 3 ways that money can actually make you happy. Buying time is one of them.

5 surprising things about becoming a mom

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1. The Mariana Trench of Love

I expected I’d sit and watch the baby for hours but I was not prepared for the bottomless love I feel for Otto. (The Mariana Trench is the world’s deepest oceanic area). He still feels part of my body in a way. Even more surprising is the intimacy I now feel with my partner. I thought the baby cuddles would fill my closeness quota, but no. I feel even greater love for my partner and want even more hugs and kisses. A very pleasant surprise.

2. Helicopter Mom Deluxe

I was convinced that I would be a chilled out mom. Someone who doesn’t use hand sanitizer before every meal or obsess over how warm the baby is. But how wrong I was. I have a helicopter mom default setting and almost feel physical pain when he cries. If someone coughs in the supermarket (the longest trip we have taken so far), I wish that there was industrial power antiseptic spray I could use.

3. Prestige flestige

I was happy to discover that I left most of my career and life performance anxiety in the delivery room. The fact that it took two weeks before I updated the blog after giving birth didn’t bother me at all. A nice side effect indeed. A sort of must-dos detox.

4. Total world isolation

I never understood the so called baby bubble before it hit me. People told me to ‘enjoy the bubble’ or ‘we’ll see you when you’re out of the bubble’. The less charming side of this bubble is perhaps that you don’t have time to read a newspaper, watch your favourite series or use conditioner when you shower. On the other hand the rather pleasant side of the bubble is that things that world affairs or my housing cooperative politics seems completely unimportant. That said, I couldn’t ignore the terrible saga of the US presidential election. On election night I for once appreciated the night feedings so I could follow the news coverage.

5. The mother of efficiency

I now have two settings. The first, a distraught, apathetic zombie-like mode that is often on after a rough night. The second, a hyper efficient mode when I can empty the dishwasher, pay the bills, do the laundry, update Instagram, call mom and bake a pie, all while Otto sleeps. I, who am usually a task master and have spent my life chasing efficiencies and multitasking, am in awe of myself as a new mother.