And how a simple ‘sandwich’ may help you combat decision fatigue

Photo by MATPRAT

Ask any Norwegian what they had for lunch today and the answer will likely be matpakke”— packed lunch. A staple in Norwegian life. A national icon.

I have been living in Norway for seven months now. And I started packing my own lunches for school from the day 1 — Yup, that’s pretty much the only way if you want to survive without having to sell your kidneys to pay for a lunch.

Yet, it didn’t take long until I noticed my lunches were a bit… different from my Norwegian classmates. At first, I thought the fact that everyone else…

A tribute to two beautiful, wounded women.”

Image taken from here.

“Honey, it’s not worth getting upset about. Just let it go!” you say, quickly interrupting my last sentence on the phone.

“I know mom, I know. I just…”

“You’ve learned your lesson from this experience. And now it’s time to get over it. There’s no point in ruminating about a past that can’t be changed and letting it make you upset.” you intervene once more.

“Yeah, I guess… Yeah, you are right.”

An oath to my imperfect self.

There I am, sitting at my desk, definitely not procrastinating — just being exceptionally productive on watching this 3-year-old from my window, playing tag with her parents for the past few minutes.

She just wants to laugh, to move, to run. Me too. But there I am, sitting at my desk, not going anywhere, neither physically nor mentally.

I am engulfed both by this little girl and my desk that hurts my elbows. They hold me captive, tightly. So I am just sitting there, watching her: cheerful, full of life. I am envious.

The sun starts rising above the horizon…

Photo by Mikita Karasiou on Unsplash

No, eating brown cheese in your matpakke is not one of them.

It is no secret that Norwegians, as with all the other Scandinavian nations, slay when it comes to living a happy lifestyle. But aside from high salaries and quality education available to everyone, could there be anything else that has an impact on this desirable outcome?

I have been living in Norway for almost a year now, and below I listed three of my observations as to what you can learn from the people of this beautiful country about happy living. …

Photo by Victoria Bilsborough on Unsplash

Tonight, I have a sore throat — to the point where even the simplest act of breathing hurts.

And fever.

And clogged nose.

And a terrible headache.

In fact, my whole body is in pain. So much so that dragging myself to the bathroom seems just impossible.

I’m in a foreign country, far far away from my home.

I miss my mom’s herbal teas with ginger and honey. And her tight hugs she gives me when I get sick. Too bad I can’t see her until June.

And I’m crying.


This is all I could write last night before deciding it’s enough.

And how the Zeigarnik Effect made me become more mindful

It’s 08:30 in the morning. I’ve just laced up my shoes, checked if I took my headphones (got ‘em!), zipped my down jacket and slowly closed the door behind me not to wake any of my flatmates.

I still feel sore from yesterday’s killer workout. So on my way to the gym, I‘m signing up for the yoga class to take it easy for today.

All right, all right. I know. I haven’t been doing yoga for almost 6 months now. But I was strict in my practice before then. I can handle a 90 minutes yoga class.

Easy peasy…

¹Repeated Action + ²Intention = Connection

Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash

It’s Sunday morning in Turkey, where I grew up.

We, like most people in the world, like to wake up relatively late on Sundays. We stay curled up in our beds a little longer. We hear our parents’ enthusiastic voice calling us to the kitchen, usually several times. When we notice we can’t spend the whole day in our cozy bubble like a koala, and when the parents’ voices start to get heated, we go to the bathroom to do our business.

We then head to the kitchen, ready to start the Sunday for real.

And this… is exactly where…

the sea within¹; to see within²; to see from the inside out³ (Icelandic)

Photo by Joe Pascavage on Unsplash

The gray tshirt

Left on top of my luggage


Watching the snow outside

Don’t know what’s being written

What it knows though, is that big tree

Reaching its branches out

To hug the snow flurry

The gray tshirt

Waiting for the nights


To be hugged again

To be smelled deeply

The gray tshirt

Sadly known as size M

No one knows it covers a heart

Larger than M

Larger than the star system

The gray tshirt

Smells like forest

Smells like wood

A little like salt

A little like sea,

The one within;


Ece Aybike Ala

Human being |

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