Matthias Maier | Stories | Week 14 | A view down to Basel from Wenkenpark

Cheers to everyday life

Of some weeks, only a single highlight sticks in the memory because the rest of the time was spent doing business as usual. This everyday life that we always perceive as insignificant and yet takes up so much of our lives.

I notice it when I make a quick note in the evening of everything I’ve done during the day. The entries are similar and often what I cooked for dinner seems to be the only thing that distinguishes one day from another. 

But everyday life is not a bad thing in itself. It’s just a fact that it exists and in order to lead an independent life, you can’t avoid doing repetitive things. This makes it all the more important to value the things you constantly do and making them satisfying.

Matthias Maier | Façade decoration
Matthias Maier | On the bridge
Matthias Maier | Love

Random nice things seen running errands in the city

Every day a new start, a new chance

First of all, I think it’s important to understand that every day is a new beginning in itself. And a period of time that we have at our disposal to create something, get something done and make progress. Ideally, to bring us one step closer to our goals. For this reason, I am friendly towards every day and am happy every morning that I have been given this new opportunity. I am definitely a morning person and find that every morning feels a bit like the first of January or a blank sheet of paper on which a text is written or a painting is created. 

In order to appreciate and enjoy everyday life, I find it necessary to incorporate little things that bring you joy. They really are little things and I’ve always done them, even when I was still working as an employee, sometimes with very long working days. Small routines that give you stability, even when things go haywire and everything turns out differently than planned. Beautiful things, little things that are fixed points that make you happy when you see or experience them.

Matthias Maier | Stories | Week 14 | Still life with two cats

Still life with two cats

Celebrate profanity

It’s like the difference it makes when I have a lot of work to do and just throw myself into it and start doing things in a haphazard way or whether I take a moment at the beginning to plan the work and then implement it much more consciously. I can get up in the morning, shower, get dressed, go out, grab a coffee and something to eat on the way and enjoy both while the computer boots up in the office. Or I can get up a little earlier, make myself a coffee and have breakfast at my table at home. And if I light a candle and listen to classical music – things that only take a few extra seconds – my start to the day takes on a whole new quality.

Matthias Maier | Boundary stone - Swiss side
Matthias Maier | The forest turns green again
Matthias Maier | Boundary stone - German side

Beautifully designed old boundary stones marking the border between Basel (Switzerland) and Baden (Germany)

Add little things of joy

There are a few things that accompany me through every day. Making the bed in the morning, for example – on the one hand, there is the satisfaction afterwards when you have completed the first task, and on the other hand, there is the wonderful feeling when you come into the bedroom tired in the evening and find an inviting bed there. Flowers. I always have flowers of some kind in my apartment. I often put them where I spend most of my time. Sometimes in the kitchen, next to the sink, where I prepare meals and then do the washing up. Art, or any beautiful things that tell stories and that I have placed all over the apartment. They are not expensive objects, often from thrift stores, but things that are dear to me. A water bottle from a beach bar on Mallorca, on which I have screwed a soap dispenser. I use it, filled with washing-up liquid, instead of the plastic bottle from the supermarket. The disco ball in the window that, when the sun shines on it in the morning, fills the whole apartment with dancing points of light.

Matthias Maier | Stories | Week 14 | Chrischona Communications Tower
Matthias Maier | Stories | Week 14 | Chrischona Church

Buildings on Mount Chrischona seen from the beechwood

Treat yourself good

Cooking your own food. Consciously planning time to prepare something healthy. Always try something new, think up your own menus and see how they taste in the end. I usually buy vegetables that inspire me in the store and only think about what I could cook with them later. Here too, taking the freedom to experiment as the mood takes you, instead of always cooking the same old thing.

In principle, they are all unnecessary things that you don’t need. But that’s exactly what makes them something good that you do for yourself. A little luxury that brings joy and happiness and makes you content.

Matthias Maier | The gate
Matthias Maier | Barn
Matthias Maier | Swiss garden

Views from the road

Discovering the rural side of Basel

So this week 14 went by as rather inconspicuous and with the usual work. It wasn’t until Sunday that the program changed. The highlight mentioned at the beginning, which gave this week something special that I will remember for a long time. A day outdoors, on which many pictures were taken. I’m still breaking in my new hiking boots before I go on my first longer hikes. As the weekend was unusually hot for early April, I put these shoes on, packed water and something to eat and set off in the morning. Out of the city, into the forest, up to the heights, immersed more and more with every step in the spring, which is spreading almost explosively. A short hike through the green part of the small canton of Basel-Stadt, which is otherwise more notable for its urbanity. A veil of Saharan dust, which covered the initially blue sky as the day progressed, created a somewhat hazy light towards the end of the hike and gave everything a special atmosphere.

Matthias Maier | Stories | Week 14 | Wenkenpark
Matthias Maier | Unfolding fern

The beautiful Wenkenpark in Riehen

Main Image The city of Basel seen from Wenkenpark in Riehen