Fear is not for the faint hearted


I recently took a 6 month sabbatical from my work. This means spending more time with my little ones and having two days off, just for myself. It was only to realize, two months into my sabbatical that I have a lot of fear. Probably strengthened by my utter lack of sleep, I only just recently noticed how much fear has taken over my life.

For one, I love writing and yet I find myself not taking the time to write this blog. When I asked myself why about five times, I realized I am scared to write because of what other people might think and fear of failing.  So am I setting myself up to fail. Why am I not doing the thing I love?

So I am taking fear head on, and doing some things I might not always have done.  I started making a bucketlist and am going to do some of the things on there. It is time to let go of this fear, get it out of my system and face the world.



Marie Kondo is kicking my ass – the books story

simson-petrol-110900At the moment, I am having a hard time with Marie Kondo. I started doing the book ‘The magic life of tyding up‘ because I wanted my life to be better, and mostly that my home will feel like a home.

However this book has been kicking my ass.  It is mostly because I have to collect every item of a specific category before starting.  So after my clothes debacle, we are onto the next category: books.

Books, books, books, I actually love books. However, books have taken over my home. They are everywhere, in the living room, dining room, kitchen, bedrooms, kids rooms, everywhere. It took a while to collect everything. Especially because I have a lot of books in boxes in my workroom. In total I had collected over 700 books. I divided them into four categories: children’s books, cookbooks, business books and the rest.  And off I went, does this spark joy? Wow, and so many books just didn’t make the cut.

All my college books – gone, most of my reading books – gone, a lot of business books – gone, some cook books – gone, children’s book – all the broken books – gone. And all of a sudden, I didn’t have that many book left, and it felt good.

Let’s be honest, I all of a sudden thought why do I have so many books? You read a good (non) fiction book, and then it just sits there on your shelf. You have about ten books which you always thought you would read, but hey, it’s been two years and you still haven’t read them. And then there are the business books which you had to read for work, just sitting there, reminding you off work every time you look at them.


So bye bye books, Thank you for the good reads, for making me realize I needed to let you all go. So all books went into the hatchback and off they went to the red cross for their annual book sale. Hopefully, they will get a new home.

And the books that are allowed to stay are just a well curated books that I want to keep, like my Harry Potter collection, some of my favorite fictions and non fictions, some self help books, my favorite cook books, some business books. My husband kept all his books. and my children as well. But at least we have a lot more space.

And so the books categorie can get checked off, and on we are to the next category: papers.

Vote for Love


Today, the Netherlands have their elections. We are voting for our future for the next four years. It is interesting how a small country can have 27 parties to chose from. In the end, our government is a mix of different parties. However, how do you chose if you want to vote and how do you chose which party you are going to vote for?

Well, after brexit and the us elections, I chose to vote. When you vote, you have a voice and your voice counts!.

The last weeks the media has been all about the elections and there was a lot of negativity and I was sick of it. And apparently, I was not the only one. 12 chief editors of dutch womens media thought it was enough and that it is time for some positive energy. Their message: vote for love – do not vote con,  but pro, and let your heart speak when you vote.

This message was powerful and made me first think about my values and what I wanted on the big political positions before looking at what the different parties stand for. I voted for love and really let my hart speak.



Finding your voice


Foto by Jason Roswell (unsplash)

Finding your voice is something special that everyone needs to experience at least once in their life. I used to know who I was and what I stood for, however, somewhere along the way I lost my voice. I became a wife, a career woman, a mom, a …. well let’s just say I was so busy with living life and living up to everyone else’s expectation that I lost my voice.

So I guess this blog is my way to find my voice or well myself again. And find that sparkle that I have always had. How to let go of being perfect? How to let go of wanting to have people like me? How to let go of not disappointing? How to start being me? I don’t have the answers to these questions, but that is  what I want to find out.

How to do this, I have no clue. I am figuring this out as we go. I do know I like to explore life, do experiments, read (a self help book junkie), laugh and well, just try not take myself seriously (that last one will actually be hard work.
So let’s find my voice.

Hello world


Hello world! My name is Zoe Carmichael. I am a woman, wife, mother of two youngsters, a career woman, a traveller, a creator and well ……a bit lost. I came to that realization a year ago while on vacation. For the first time in a long time, all I had to do was be there for my husband and kids. No cleaning, no laundry, no cooking, just enjoying the atmosphere and running after two little ones. After a week, I realized I had lost my sparkle. You know, that twinkle in my eye…..that spark in your step…..the way life just looked good.

So I stood still and decided life needs to change. I was so busy with being a good mom, having a career, being a wife, that I forgot about myself. I was stressed out, living on to do lists and just tired all the time. To be honest, change has been slow. My youngster (1 and 3) have decided that sleep is overrated, so this mom is tired all the time.

I have decided to start this blog to share my journey to find my sparkle again with the world. I am a mom on a mission to find my sparkle and share it with the world.





A day off not well spent


Photo: Clem Onojeghuo (unsplash)

In my eyes, a day off should look like the photo above. Relaxing with your loved one(s), enjoying the moment and enjoying life. However, today did not look like that. I took a day off because I was tired and overwhelmed. My husband confirmed it by telling me I had been snippy lately, which was my sign that I was stressed and needed a personal day. There was so much to do, so much on my plate, how does this thing called life work.

So I took my day off. And was busy with catching up on mail and emails, cleaning our house, shopping, watching Netflix and going to the hairdressers. In short, trying to shorten my very long to do list.

While I was sitting at the hairdressers getting my hair colored, I thought “What am I doing here? Am I spending valuable time sitting here because of vanity?” And then my hair color turned out horrendous, so I had to spend a total of three hours in the seat and the battery of my phone was dead.  So all  there was, was silence…. And I was the saddest person…. All because I had to sit still and actually feel emotion. There was nothing to distract me from how I felt. I realized that this day, the time spent could not be taken back. Time is so precious, and all I did was waste it.

So my next day off, will be spending time my time wisely – spending time with my family, relaxing, enjoying life, laughing and putting the to do list away.

When all you need is rest…..


Foto by Morre Christophe (unsplash)

I looked at this picture and just thought “wow, this is what I want”: some rest and peace, sleep, lots of sleep, time to be me, time to find me again, time to find my sparkle.

Motherhood is amazing and it is also hard. Once you become a mom, you have to refind your balance: the balance of life, love and who you are. A mother, a partner, a lover, a friend, a career woman,  a neighbor, a …….. however, you are also you. And well, I haven’t found that balance yet. I fell into the trap of becoming a mom and predominantly being the wife and mother, and somewhere out there trying to do something about my career and trying to be a good friend, but ‘me’ does not really exist. I have sacrificed ‘me’ for the greater good, for a clean home, for a home cooked meal, for soothing my babies when they cry, playing with them, feeling as if I have to be on call 24/7 for my family, for my job, for my friends, always feeling guilty about something.

And right now, all I need is rest. If you would ask how my dream day would look like, I would love to check into a luxury hotel, turn off my phone and sleep. Just be in a nice beautiful comfy fluffy bed and not have responsibilities, just let go of the to do lists, of the worry, of the constant on call, just let go and sleep.

So this is me: a 37 year old mom of two, wife, parttime consultant who does not get enough sleep. I have not slept well for it feels like ages… my one year old does not care for sleep or care that mommy and daddy are going insane with waking up three or four times a night. I looked in the mirror today and could not recognize the woman in the mirror. Let alone the lines that have decided not to go away, I see eyes that do not radiate joy. Where did the sparkle go? You know that twinkeling in my eye I always had and the sense that life is beautiful and fun.

So I decided that I am going on a mission to find my sparkle. I don’t know where to search for it or where I will find it, but it has to be out there somewhere or somewhere in me….