Matthias Maier | Stories | Week 11 | Close-up of a Magnolia blossom

Great little things

After another quite packed week, I am having some thoughts about the little things in life that give rise to great results and that are worth being recognized as precious as the results themselves.

There are weeks that have a highlight that stays in your memory and that you can talk – or write – about. In such weeks, I usually already have a text in my head and a cover picture in mind before I sit down to write the weekly review. But then there are also weeks simply filled with everyday life, i.e. with work, clarifications and routine activities that don’t seem worth mentioning. Like this week, for example.

Little things and their appreciation

The bad thing is that I can hardly remember what happened and wonder how I got through the days. What I do know for sure is that the week was full of work and I spent every day at my desk in the studio to get things done. In life, it’s often the little things that add up to something big in the end. They may be insignificant individually, but they are essential and I therefore want to value these small activities as much as the big ones. 

The beauty of this fact is that it can also be applied in reverse. We are often faced with a big task or a big problem that overwhelms us at first. But everything can be broken down into smaller pieces and made manageable. That’s why every big task starts with a planning phase. I determine which individual parts make up the whole, as well as when and how I can or should complete them in order to finish the project well and on time.

Matthias Maier | Stories | Week 11 | Spring is in the air

Spring is in the air

The pleasure of to-do lists

Since I do multiple things (calling them jobs sounds a bit strange, as it’s all about passion for me), I usually have several projects on the go and so it sometimes happens that there really are weeks in which one small task follows the next without being able to announce anything. At the moment, the projects I’m currently working on aren’t ready to be presented. Or they are really irrelevant, like the property management activities that are ongoing. Repairs, preparing utility bills, paying invoices… But there is still a sense of achievement. Firstly, because I do so many different things, I can make my working hours quite varied. And when I see the items ticked off my to-do list at the end of the day, I feel good and can end the working day satisfied and enjoy the evening without having to think about work.

Matthias Maier | Magnolia petals
Matthias Maier | Magnolia blossoms
Matthias Maier | Under the magnolia tree

Magnolia blossoms

My favorite organization tool

A few months ago, I switched back to the good old notebook for my organization. It’s simply more fun for me to record and organize everything there than in apps, which are practical, but where I simply miss out on the emotional side of things. It’s so nice to leaf through old notebooks and discover the doodles you’ve drawn in boring meetings or during long phone calls. Or you can stick in something you’ve found. A nice photo or an inspiring saying. Since I’ve been self-employed, I don’t have any more boring meetings, I’ve just realized…also a nice observation! Anyway, after a week like this, it’s helpful to be able to flick through a notebook and use the notes and sketches to reconstruct the week that would otherwise be lost forever.

Matthias Maier | Stories | Week 11 | The run-of-river power plant
Matthias Maier | Stories | Week 11 | Spring at the Rhine river

Impressions from a run along the river

Nature already knows of course

The idea of tackling a big project by breaking it down into small, manageable chunks is nothing new of course. In the moments I spend outside jogging, for example (a regular task of the health project, probably the most essential in my project catalog), I am experiencing how nature is preparing itself right now from the dormant phase to the growth phase. A few flowers today, a few flowers tomorrow. A little color here, a few leaves there. To complete the “spring” project at the end. And I always wonder if you can hear this sprouting? Not us humans, but perhaps some creature perceives it acoustically, the opening of the buds, the unfolding of the flowers. A crackling, a rustling, a humming… Questions I sometimes ask myself when I look at all this beauty that is spreading in front of my eyes.

Matthias Maier | Stories | Week 11 | Blossoms and walls
Matthias Maier | Stories | Week 11 | Blossoms and walls

Blossoms and walls

The journal to remember

And then there are the photos that I have collected again during this week, which has been so busy. Moments that I experienced, observations that I made. A brief moment in each case before I moved on. All small in themselves, unagitated like the tasks I work through every day. In the end, they come together to form a large, colorful collage that makes me think back on the past week with joy. 

Matthias Maier | Philippe Parreno's Waterlilies @ Fondation Beyeler
Matthias Maier | Japanese-Maple blossom
Matthias Maier | Landscape in early spring

Art and nature on a visit of Fondation Beyeler in Riehen

Main Image Stamens in a magnolia blossom