Go hard or go home

Written by: Jehan Daal

Dying, it is not what I planned to do in the next minute. But in April and May it was all I could think of. I was so ill that I could not tell everyone how ill I was. I needed every fiber in my body to fight.

Every breath was hard. I had to fight for it. And fight my brain’s voice who told me that he didn’t get enough oxygen to stay alive. I knew that, but there was nothing I could do about it. I knew that panic would cost me more oxygen, so that was no option. This planner was forced to live in the moment, to survive every minute and those minutes would become hours and days. But I couldn’t think of that at that very moment.

Anyway I promised myself that if I would get better, I would enjoy the little things in life. And I got better. It took some medicine, but most of all a tied collaboration between my mind (I will not give up/I refuse to die/ f*ck death) body (my lungs had to work hard to get the fucker out) and my soul.

“By the time it was Monday 12 p.m. I felt like Hermione from Harry Potter. I was floating instead of walking.”

Over the last weeks I slowly started to feel like me again. I went back to working fulltime earlier, but I finally I had some extra energy left after work. Yeah baby. I made a list of the simple things in life that make me happy . I promised myself that I would make time for it. Time to enjoy life again!

Here comes 7 things that are on my “little things that make me happy” list!

(*Note that family and friends and others are not on the list. I do love you, no worries. 😉 This is an aside from that, things I could do myself list!)
  1. Matching my nail polish to my outfit: Goodbye years of losing people I love, having a loved one who was fighting cancer, by illness and hello long nails. By the reducement of stress my nails started to grow again whoop whoop! So nail polish it is.
  2. Reading: When I was a kid and teenager the volunteers at the library knew exactly who I was.( I came in at least every Tuesday and Friday and left with 4 other books.) When things get hectic I stop reading. Time to read again!
  3. Writing: my big love that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. I bought a book 333 things to write about and yes honey I’m writing.
  4. NTC: Nike Training Club. Let’s get back into it, shall we?! My Milners are waiting somewhere. And I cannot wait to train my lungs.
  5. Running: I’d be happy to put my alarm at crazy early times for you. That is just so us, isn’t it?! Can we get going? My Saucony’s are waiting and so are the clothes in my closet that no longer fit me! 😉
  6. Cooking: I like cooking, time to try new healthy recipes and smoothies again! Anti’s (Antillean people) love food, including this Dutch version. 😀
  7. The Bump. Every now and then you bump into a new person. This is someone who is totally the opposite of what I am. On the outside as well as on the inside. Interesting right? So I decided not to think, but to observe and I enjoyed the journey inside someone else’s head for change. Two lessons that I got from this person by listening to and reading this person’s words: “great things can happen when you live in the moment” and “there is a way of enjoying life more while having a fulltime job if you shift some priorities”.  Thank you for that. How I can apply that on my own life, that will be the next step.  *LOL*


So those are things that I try to fit into my daily schedule after work, cooking, eating and cleaning the house. Work is very hectic at the moment. My colleagues are preparing for Holidays and need something from marketing (=me) before that. The reason that the Visual Designer and I (=marketing team) skip lunch a couple of times in order to get our things done. And we have to do some work at home in order not to get behind.

It was Monday. A day filled with meetings, but management also ordered Indonesian food. A table was filled with rice, meat, eggs, vegetables and vegetarian food (for me). They turned up some summer music. It was my turn to get food and then I felt it. I was no longer walking, I was floating. Caused by love right? Erm, confession: I sleep max 4 hours a night. What the fuck? Yeah, I know! I try to do so many things in a day that I feel all pumped up during the night. My head is spinning of all the small things I want to do, because life can be over before I know it. When I look at the clock it is at least 2 am in the morning if I’m lucky.

That Monday I got home. I had to mop my house, because I painted my stairs and there was dust everywhere. At 8.30 pm I could hardly keep my eyes open. I wrote down everything I did in one day and added the larger projects to it (painting the stairs for example) and I was shocked. I am so thankful that I am alive that I have created a ridiculous schedule for myself. I crossed out some things on the list. It was 9.30 pm and I was a sleep till the next morning. The rest of the week I went to bed early.

I’m pretty strict for myself as you probably already know. I thought of what the manager from HR said to me.
She: “You are the only one who isn’t going on Holiday yet again. You got some hours left from 2014 and 2015 as well.”
Me: “After one day of absence I receive 20-30 emails. If I take one week off I’m so far behind that I’m in desperate need of another Holiday.”
She: “Perhaps that should be management’s problem this time.”
“I would like you to work a bit extra next week.”
My manager tells me.
I know what I will do. The week after that I will take some days off. And I’m thinking of planning another week away from the office.

And you know what?  It is time to get Go hard or go home off my list and adding “Doing nothing” and “Holiday” to it.



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