Astrid & Irene: What we really want

We both have quite a list of things—big and small—that we want in our lives: To feel as footloose and fancy-free as when I was eighteen. (Irene) To bike to work every day. (Astrid) To travel around Europe in a camper van, spending nights in idyllic locations. (Irene) Yes, me too, and to buy a cool old van, without wondering whether it will break down or if it’ll keep its value. (Astrid)

A lot of kissing and enjoying love without over-complicating things. (Irene) A quick swim in a lake in the dunes every morning, to have that vacation feeling even on workdays. (Astrid) To master the breaststroke and paint the living room pink. (Astrid) To read a lot of philosophy books instead of Netflixing again. (Irene) To worry less about whether I can catch up on my sleep. (Astrid) To take up goldsmithing again and open a web shop. (Irene)

The beauty of these lists is that they keep us focused on the big picture. Sometimes it’s not really a goldsmith web shop we want, but more freedom in how to organize our days. And we don’t really have to swim every day, but it reminds us to take time once a week to do something refreshing outdoors.

As we were reading through the stories for our newest issue, we came to the conclusion that it is also good to have a list of things we don’t want. Also just to keep us focused. Thanks to Peggy, for example, we now know that we do not want to become an essentialist at all (because that would mean we’d always have to make conscious choices). Sjoukje showed us that it’s okay to stop documenting every second of your life. And Annemiek made us realize that wanting to be happy all the time is perhaps not such a useful thing to aspire to.

But the best list that is in our pile of notebooks is the list of the things we are grateful for. A list of all the good things we already have in our lives. Ultimately, that is the best list to focus on. Realizing that there is already plenty of good stuff makes daydreaming all the more enjoyable.

  • This editorial can be found in Issue 30.

Fotografie Danique van Kesteren

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