The Positive Diary #11 – Grandmas and wine

16th November 2018Work weeks can be harsh. Especially when you have to go against your natural biorhythm in order to secure yourself an extra free Friday. I am a born night owl and therefore waking up at 5 A.M. means basically that I have to wake up at the same time I would prefer to go to bed instead. Thus, the first half of a week doesn’t work well for me – I am basically too tired to do anything – to study, to write, to create, even just to post on Instagram. I usually only focus on surviving these hours between the time I wake up and the time I jump back into my bed. It feels like a complete waste of time and it makes me feel distorted, useless and lost.

And then, the Friday comes.

Fridays are usually these only cheat days on which I let myself rest for a while. For example, I usually hate when I spend too much time on social media or when I watch a TV show the entire day but on Fridays, I try not to freak out about it so much if it happens. But luckily, today wasn’t that day.

I slept a great amount of time, just to wake up refreshed and happy, surrounded by my two chihuahuas. I made myself a healthy, nutritious and yummy breakfast and then I took a wonderful autumn walk through our two lovely villages in order to take a train. I wanted to visit my grandma after somewhat long time and enjoy the time and chat with her. I guess, when you have the coolest grandma, living in the most magical house with the most beautiful enchanted garden, there is no other place and no other person with whom you would rather spent your time and caught your breath.

I am so grateful for having such a charming and tough lady for a grandma. We always talk some old and well discussed stories through once again and I eat disturbingly too much of a cake she baked for us. And once we open a bottle of wine, I always learn something very new from my grandma’s youth. I couldn’t be more excited and fascinated by her stories! I listen with a great smile on my face and once again, I wish to borrow a Tardis from the Doctor so I could pick up my mum and my grandma when they were both seventeen and take them to party to Woodstock. That would have been something!

I am currently reading a book called Women Who Run the Wolves and I believe it is one of the main factors behind the great change of my attitude towards my feminine side. I also believe this change made me to see today my grandma not only as a caring energetic old lady, or a mother who lost her child, but also as a young rebellious girl and a grown-up self-confident young woman who isn’t afraid of anything. This mighty picture of my grandma gives me a pride stronger then ever that I, right me and no one else, am a granddaughter of hers. I am the one who bares the light and the resilience of women from our family towards the future.

While thinking about the life of my grandma, I always felt I wanted to be just like her. And I always wanted to be just like my mum, too. Now, when I’m older and I have a very different perspective than I used to have when I was fifteen, I can see that despite their quarrels and disputes, my mum and my grandma weren’t that different as it might have seemed in the past.

So, today I just wanted to express how grateful I am for being a successor of a feminine power in our family. I will hope I will manage to recall this pride and this feeling of belonging once the dark days come to me once again.

How do you honor your elders? Do you like to listen to their stories? Do you, too, imagine what a life must have been like when they were at your age?

Let me know and enjoy your weekend!

With love

Wicked And Clever

Šárka

The Positive Diary #10 – Re-charging with friends

6th November 2018 – Hey diary, I know it has been a while. Again. I guess it was very difficult for me to just think about gratitude in the last couple of weeks, let alone actually feeling grateful. But as it happens all the time, new days and new weeks come and once you are down, you can always be sure that the things will get better soon.

Today I want to talk about these crazy nights with our closest friends which somehow manage to make us feel weightless. No worries left, only happy memories of dancing as if it was the last dance and singing so loud as if we just got mad. We all need nights like these once in a while.

I am always very nervous when a new visitor is about to come to our house. Let’s be honest, it isn’t the prettiest house in the universe but still – I haven’t felt so happy, safe and whole nowhere else on this planet. That is of course the reason why I can’t resist inviting my friends to hang out and sleep over.

This Sunday I planned a meeting like that with my two friends from my master program. It all went so well that we ended up going to bed at 5 A.M. and our legs still hurt from the consistent dancing and jumping around. Why am I writing about it? Well, like I said, the last couple of weeks were pretty dull. Nothing made a real sense to me and I felt like an empty bag being dragged by a wind. This our little session changed everything and it was the day after that, when I had to cancel my work appointment in order to survive the day, when I realized how much I needed this!

My optimism and joy from life has return miraculously and I felt whole, grateful and full of love and understanding once again. So I am here today to remind you of your friends and of the marvels which only spending some time with them can bring you. You don’t have to dance, a little chat over a cup of tea will suffice. Even when you are not in a party mood, once you share your insecurities or pain with someone you can trust and rely on, it will make your pain more bearable.

But – sometimes the best thing you can do, even in those darkest moments, is to forget about everything and just to enjoy the night as if it was your last on the Earth. Whether it will help you to heal your soul immediately or whether it will give you just a time-out to gain some power back, it can do a miracle.

Think about it next time, you will feel so desperately in need of energy and purpose.

Take care!

With love,

Wicked And Clever

Šárka

5 Tips on How to Become Fluent in Foreign Languages

While learning a foreign language, there always comes the moment when we are ready to speak with a native speaker. At least, our exams and tests say so. But the truth is, that speaking a foreign language is also a lot about self-confidence. For those of you, who have been struggling with this issue, I have listed down five tips to overcome the insecurities of actually using the language you have worked so hard to learn.

 

  1. Solid basics

Of course, this is crucial. You need to have solid knowledge of the language you are trying to speak with confidence. I am learning English since I was twelve and I have to admit that I was very lucky with people who I got as English teachers. Special thanks go to my teacher from high school and another one from my journalism bachelor program on my university.

There are however few things you can do even though you weren’t as lucky as I was. You can always try to find a suitable course of a desirable language near your place or you can give a try to an online course as well.

It is also important to have a good textbook, grammar website or a CD-ROM at hand, so you can always check a phrase or a grammar when you are not entirely sure.

 

  1. Watch a movie, TV show or play a PC game

This is my most favorite part since I am a big lover of American and British TV shows. In Czech Republic, the dubbed movies and TV shows are a very normal and popular thing. And while watching them in English, it feels little bit less as a waste of time to me. This is a great tip for those who want to improve their conversational skills.

 

  1. Read a book, listen to an audiobook or a podcast

For those who want to strengthen their abilities as storytellers in that particular language or for those who seeks to expand their vocabulary, there goes my number three tip. What worked great for me was the combination of reading the book and listening to the audiobook at the same time.

Podcasts are quite a new phenomenon to me, as my closest American friend recommended it to me few months back, but they are great! I appreciate them especially on my way home after a very long day, when I don’t really feel into listening to some music. And when you find a podcast that really attracts your attention, these can be great also for your cardio exercising.

 

  1. Join a buddy program!

As you will hear in my video, buddy programs are the best! Not only it will strengthen your language skills, boost your confidence and give you the approval of native speakers themselves, through buddy program you can meet the best people in your life and start a new friendships for a lifetime. I was in a buddy program for about four semesters and this experience also helped me to get better with socializing and pushing my introvert limits beyond.

This tip is much easier to do for those who are still in college or in high school, but I believe there are some options even for those who already work fulltime. Go and check my video where I came up with some ideas!

 

  1. Talk – no matter what

You need to get used to you speaking the foreign language. In order to do so, there is nothing easier than starting to talk to yourself with that language, so you wouldn’t feel awkward every time you are forced to use it in public.

We all know these moments, when we are getting bored at home or when we have to do some silly manual work just to have it done – doing laundry or cleaning the house for instance. And these are exactly those moments which you can use to practice the language. This will give you the sense of how you actually sound while trying to pronounce the words correctly and also a save space to correct yourself if you make a mistake.

 

Bonus tip – ENJOY IT!

I would say that this tip, despite the fact it is just a bonus tip, is crucial for your success with languages. You should enjoy the process of learning the language and have fun with it. Study the language for yourself and this attitude will make it joyful to you.

 

Here comes my YT video about the topic where I discuss some of the tips further. Enjoy it and let me know which super hacks do you use to become better and better every day!

 

Learning Tip #2: Gratitude as the Essential Key to Success

As you already know, I am putting a big emphasis on building gratitude through my Positive Diary series here on my precious blog. I feel like once you will master the ability of gratitude it can expand into every branch of your life and bring you the most unexpected joy and happiness. Therefore, I decided that this surprisingly free of charge, but invaluable ability should be covered as one of my learning tips for being more successful in what you want to learn.

 

My new YouTube video aims exactly in this direction. I shot it during the last week and since then, many things in my life has changed. But I still believe in what I say in the video and I sincerely hope I will believe it until the rest of my life.

 

Why, you might wonder. Well, I have to admit that while practicing gratitude on everyday basis through my positive diary, working hard on my projects and attending my favorite classes at school, I was the happiest I have ever been. Of course, some days are harder that others and it is so easy to forget about one’s goals and gratitude in a face of a life’s strugglebut what is important is that you always need to find a way back and a will to fight back. And again, remembering your practiced gratitude can help a lot with this comeback as well.

 

I hope you will enjoy my tiny video which captures one beautiful day in Prague and one important message. And let me know how do you power your dreams; how do you manage to complete your goals.

Happy Sunday, my friends!

 

The Positive Diary #9 – Czech medical care

20th October 2018 – Dear Diary, it has been a while, again. This last week was quite a mess. I turned twenty-six last Sunday and since then, everything went downhill. Not only I have found out about the inconvenient of studying while being older than 25, my younger brother, the light of my life and my very best friend, found out that he has a type 1 diabetes. What a shock it was, considering he is about to turn twenty-one next March. To my great surprise, today in my positive diary, I want to talk about medical care here, in Czech Republic.

 

When our mum died, I was so furious about the same system. After what felt like ages, during which my mum was told from various doctors that she is totally okay and if she feels bad, it is probably because she fakes it, she was hospitalized and two months later, she passed away. I was fifteen then and I wasn’t able to understand how this could have happened. I was angry as I was never before. Since then, I always considered your days over once the medical system gets you. I am much older now and, not only based on our latest experience, I have to admit that even here it depends on the people you encounter on your journey, as almost in every case in one’s life. (Also, our mum’s disease was quite rare.)

 

Visits at hospital can be harsh. I know it myself from the visits of my grandpa, as he was fighting a lung cancer, and I know it from the look on faces of my grandparents, as they were coming home from the hospital in the final stage of my mum’s disease. But this time, I was pleasantly surprised, as everyone – nurses, doctors, nuns, and other nursing stuff – was always smiling at us, always eager to explain what bothered us, always happy to answer the dumbest questions of ours.

 

Therefore, today I want to say how grateful I am that my brother was so lucky. I am also grateful that he discovered this freaking disease early enough and thus, there was less space left for the disease to start mess with his body in a hard way. I am so proud and so happy I have my wonderful brother and also satisfied I was able to be with him during those crazy days. (And to freak out about it, just a little bit. O:) )

 

 

Take care until the next time!

With love

 

Wicked And Clever

 

Šárka

The Positive Diary #8 – Ability to cherish our memories

12th October 2018 – We all know these days when we have to do something, some visits or some work we aren’t entirely into. I was wondering today, how I will manage to survive my today’s obstacle, and I was thinking about gratitude from the moment I opened my eyes this morning. I was home alone, with my dogs only, so I had time and space to think it through. At first, I thought I will be grateful for things I have already discovered and wrote about, but then I remembered something from my past and started to laugh loudly and from the heart.

 

My today’s task is not going to be as dramatic as it might sound– we have planned a visit at my mother’s-in-law. The weird thing is, these people are always very nice to me – or I can at least say, they try to – but during the nights there I have these most awful episodes of sadness, inescapability, and I just feel trapped in a life I don’t necessarily want to live. It is a horrifying state of mind. Therefore, no one can possibly wonder why I am so worried when we are almost on the way there.

 

But, and I need to stress this, I am living a new life now. And I don’t want to ruin it. Therefore, I hope I will be able to live it through with a gratitude I am trying to cultivate here through my positive diary notes. Today, I want to write about our ability to cast almost forgotten memories back at the moments we tend to lose our hope.

 

My happy memory, the one that made me laugh this morning, isn’t that old. It came from this June when me, my classmates and teachers spend five incredible days in Jeseniky Mountains. The memory involves a story about me and one of my best friends being drunk, but the funniest part – in retrospective, it definitely didn’t seem funny back then – was when we were climbing a mountain the day after, in the most sunny and warm weather and with the second greatest hangover I have ever had. The jokes and quotes about how we are going to die very soon was comical. And except that we felt very sick, it was a perfect day.

 

I love to think about my memories like if they were ordered as books in a book shelves in my private room where I am the only one person able to entre. And when I feel sad, broken or lonely, when I am trying to remember something, I can go through them page by page and search and live it again and feel these emotions again. I believe that we can learn to focus more on the books which contains happy beautiful memories and we can cherish them in these moments when we feel down.

 

I know it is better to live our lives in the present moment, but sometimes we have no other choice than to live something inconvenient through. And in these moments, it is better to grasp any helping hand we can than not to do it.Our heads can be mighty allies while fighting. So, let’s be thankful for this ability to resist bad thoughts by remembering the good ones from the past – or maybe by daydreaming the ones that are yet to come.

 

I wish you the most joyful, colorful and memorable weekend!

 

With love

 

Wicked And Clever

 

Šárka

The Positive Diary #7 – Stealing some time just for ourselves

8th October 2018 – Tell me, my friend, how was your weekend? Mine was, after what felt like ages, very peaceful and I was able to dedicate some time to myself only. And it felt great!

 

I found some time to practice yoga on both evenings. I managed to write articles and fiction, too. I edited another video which was my goal I set for the last two weeks. I also found some time to clean a bit, but not to get crazy about it or super tired. I took time to enjoy the silence and peacefulness of being at home on my own. I posted on Instagram but didn’t spend entire day scrolling down. I managed to stay calm when my husband tried to make me angry. I cooked delicious meals for myself and ate them with love. And most importantly – I have enjoyed every minute of it!

 

Today, I would like to appreciate these moments we steal for ourselves because these are the basic steps towards happiness and gratitude. I feel like we always crave for the love of others but sometimes we forget to give love and care to ourselves to begin with. It took me some time to learn it and then again it took me some time to actually live by this rule but now I am not surprised I wasn’t feeling happy and whole back then.

 

We are sometimes taught as we grow up that the self-love and self-care is a selfish thing. I say f.ck it! There should always be balance in everything we do, otherwise the nice things stop to make us happy. Therefore, we should always remember, while giving so much love and care to others, we shouldn’t forget about ourselves either.

 

Be grateful with me today, for being able to steal some time for ourselves and for doing so with a deep love and understanding.

No regrets allowed here. 🙂

 

Have a wonderful evening, my friend, no matter what you are up to!

 

With love,

Wicked And Clever

Šárka

Krkonoše Treetop Trail: Trip to an Extraordinary Lookout Tower

In a new video I posted today on YouTube, you can see one of our summer trips during our vacation in Krkonoše Mountains, Czech Republic. I have to say that the lady at the ticket office seemed to be quite strict when she didn’t allow us to take a small chihuahua in a bag with us and that made my stay there tiny bitter. And as you will learn in the video, I honestly expected little bit more than what we’ve got, basically because there were so many people talking about this new popular kind of lookout towers.

 

 

But I don’t want to be only negative for sure. There are plenty reasons why you might want to visit the place as we did. Firstly, the building and its structure is very unusual and in a playful mood you can find yourself enjoying just the way it all works together. The informational stops are definitely interesting and even though they are not thorough or packed with knowledge, they plant a seed of a doubt and start to question the way we usually think about forests and wood. There is also hidden world of soil and roots at the basement of the tower itself and even here you can find and learn many new interesting things.

 

The tower is open every day except on the 24thDecember, therefore you can visit the place at any time you will. Like I said at the beginning, the place isn’t very pet friendly, so you might want to leave you dogs at home. It could destroy the whole trip as one of you would have to wait outside with the dog. The easiest way to get to the tower, which is situated in Janské Lázně town, is by a car. You can also go by a bus but you will have to change to another bus at least once during the three hour way from Prague.

 

While being in Krkonoše, especially when you are not a ski lover or when you are visiting during the summer, the treetop trail is one of the most attractive places to visit, despite the high entrance prices. I believe that if you won’t follow the hype around it and if you will leave your pets at home, it can be a decent experience.

 

Have you already been there? Are you planning to go?

 

Let me know what your opinion is and have a great time!

 

Learning Tip #1: Start now!

As I was thinking through what I actually can do pretty well to share it with you and to make your life more comfortable through my advices, I realized there is a one thing in which I excel: Studying!

You might say that I am a nerd, but it wasn’t always like this. I needed to find this role and now – I basically cannot imagine my life without learning new things, without deadlines for essays and without the stress before and relief and joy after I take a difficult exam. I believe I got used to this role by conquering certain ways of studying, focusing and putting my studies always first.

If you wonder how I did it, today is your lucky day! I have decided to create a new series about getting better at school or at studying itself because, let’s face it, you don’t need to be at university or high school to will to learn something new, right?

 

My first advice might seem trivial, but I remember how many times I’ve failed to follow it myself. If you want to get better at something, anything, you should start immediately. There will not be better time to start and if you manage to begin to work on your projects now, you will avoid the emotional breakdown at the end of the semester as the deadlines start to attack your sanity.

The same rule applies to difficult exams. In case you are a jittery student in the same way as I am, you can trust me on this – by preparing responsibly and in time you will be able to reduce your stage fright to only a necessary level. That is because you will know, while going to the exam, that you put the maximum effort into preparing yourself for the exam.

By starting now, I don’t necessarily mean you should lock yourself up in a school library and shouldn’t go out until the exam period is over. I only mean that continuous preparing is much better than only spending some time with the study material right before the exam. As I know from my experience, everything is easier to remember when you heard of it several times in the past. And the same works for studying.

 

You can now weigh how much effort will it cost you to start with just a few baby steps now comparing to how stressed and nervous you will be if you let it be until the deadlines threaten with open fire on you (trust me, I’ve been there).

 

Choose wisely. 🙂

 

IMG_3587

The Positive Diary #6 – Gratitude for the daily life

1st October 2018 and the week after – Dear Diary, it has been already few days since you heard from me last time. The reason is simple – I was out of office for several days with my master program. And how the story went, it made me realize how terribly grateful I am for the luxury of my own comfortable and fulfilled life.

 

The first hint – when we lost our signals on our phones. We felt little bit uncomfortable because we knew all of us has someone home who wishes to know that the traffic was okay, and we made it to the camp safely. Fortunately, our friend with his car was there too so he was able to drive us to find the lost signal, at least to let people know we arrived in one piece. Social media and other fun were out of business for that time as well but that is not always a bad thing, right?

 

The second hint – when we saw our accommodation. It was this ugly filthy small shack with several beds and a draught. Given that the night temperatures were forecast to be around zero, I was little bit scared every evening and wondered if I will make it through the night. I have to admit my sleeping bag wasn’t in a good condition and I truly underestimated how cold nights could actually be there.

 

And the third hint – when few of our classmates started to be sick with gastric flu. Not only there was no signal and no place to take a rest, no one wanted to be infected because our day trips on this particular outside block class are sometimes very challenging and there is no way you could use a bathroom when you are sick. You can’t simply because you are all day long outside in a terrain.

 

This made me feel incredibly grateful for what I have in my daily life. Just the option of taking a nap in a nicely warm room, hidden in your blanket and cuddling with your dogs, is a pure happiness. Being able to connect with people is also very convenient and I would say once you get used to it there is no way back.

 

So today I wanted to say how grateful I was this whole week for what I have in my life. I know there are so many people out there – no matter if I’m talking about our society or people outside of it – who aren’t that lucky. I have a roof over my head, I have a warm bed with two living and breathing heaters in a form of chihuahuas, I am on my path to fulfill my dreams and I am surrounded mostly by people who makes me stronger and prouder of who I am. I have everything that matters.

 

 

I wish you to have the most amazing weekend!

 

 

With love,

Wicked And Clever

Šárka

 

IMG_3534.gif