Conscious Living is a series which takes a closer look at living a life full of thoughtful choices and conscious decision making in order to live a life full of meaning, self-love, and respect for ourselves and the world around us

Portraits of Rae Tashman taken by Thommy Weiß for

Go ahead and grab a cuppa, because boy have I got a story to share with you today…

Over the last few weeks, I have come to realize that the one area we tend to systematically be just a wee bit too optimistic is when it comes to how much time we have and how much we can accomplish in this amount of time. We often overestimate our enthusiasm, energy levels, and attention span and grossly underestimate how long a task actually takes.

During the better part of the last two months, I have come to learn this through my own personal experience of moving house while trying to still hold everything else together. Luckily, since I have taken a dive into the wonderful (read: completely terrifying and stressful) world of freelancing, although LFB has sadly suffered as a result, I have been able to make the move and am 80% finished. There are still things to deal with in the old flat and the new, but it’s manageable and I am back to a semi-normal work schedule. I swear, if I still had my regular 9-5 plus LFB, I think I would have just sat down in one of the empty rooms of this new flat and just cried.

Still, even if I had not made what has turned out to be the biggest move in my life – I had moved from shared flats to shared flats and dorm rooms to summer housing before, but those moves, although also frustrating and time/labor-intensive, do not compare to moving a complete flat to another flat – life somehow seems to get in the way of, well, life… and always at the most inopportune of times.

Portraits of Rae Tashman taken by Thommy Weiss for

Take for example what happened to me last Wednesday: I was all settled down at my desk for a nice long day of productivity, thinking how nice it was to finally be getting back into the swing of things with LFB, when lo and behold, the doorbell rang. I say, rang, but it was more like an incessant constant ringing, as if someone was button mashing the buzzer next to my name downstairs. It only came to a stop after I made it to the intercom and picked up the receiver.

On the other end was a man who worked for the house in which I rent my flat, come to yell at me for not throwing away my garbage correctly. You see, in Germany there are bins for white glass, dark glass, paper, plastic, compost, and normal garbage, and the paper bin was overflowing. This man had found a box with my last name on the packaging, so he had come a-ringing at my door. I was steamrolled with a slew of reasons why it was not okay and how I was going to get reported, until I interrupted him stammering, “Can I please can i please get a word in edgewise?” (Okay, I didn’t really say this because we were speaking German the whole time, but you get my point)

I told the man that I was well-aware of the garbage problem, because over the 6+ weeks I had been in my new flat, the paper was not once removed. Had the paper garbage can been emptied in a timely manner, there would not nearly be as much paper garbage build up as there was.

Portraits of Rae Tashman taken by Thommy Weiss for

You see, in Germany, the only paper that is removed is the paper that fits INSIDE of the garbage bin. I explained that in the beginning, I broke down my boxes to fit snugly in it’s resting place, but as the garbage was not picked up, I (and my neighbors) were left with no choice but to pile the garbage on top. I of course did not break down the excess garbage into tiny little pieces because they would have just ended up as a pile on the floor and I would be the asshole that did it (although apparently had I had done that, it would have technically been the correct thing. LOGIC?!?!)

I also added that I might have had my name on a box, but considering the fact that the restaurant downstairs and the two neighboring houses share the garbage bins with my house, it’s pretty safe to say all of the garbage did not come from me. (If there is anything I have learned in Germany, making a solid AND logical – this being the most important feature – argument that cannot be refuted is the only way in which your point will ever be taken into consideration/you will receive some kind of respect in return). I also explained that I had already contacted the housing company to express my disappointment, but the woman had not yet set up an appointment with me.

Upon hearing my sass, evaluating it, and realizing I was entirely correct, I was told that they would wait to file a report until next week, but that I should at least remove my boxes so that when they return next week to “photograph the evidence,” they can make an extra note that I have disposed of my garbage properly.

Portraits of Rae Tashman taken by Thommy Weiss for

I had explained to the man that it was insane to spend over 4 hours just breaking down boxes to dispose of somewhere else, but guess what? That is exactly what I did with a friend of mine. FOR FOUR FREAKING HOURS. Yup, you read that correctly. We basically spent the entire afternoon and evening breaking apart boxes, renting a DriveNow and physically driving the garbage to another garbage location where the size of the garbage can was equivalent to the amount of people using said garbage can. (A lot of the garbage was mine, as I had a lot of moving boxes from Ikea, which is why it took so long, but I made sure to leave all other garbage right where it was as to make a point. Because principles, amirite?)

Long story short, shit happens. A lot and often and usually when you least expect it. And this shit sets you back and fucks with your initial plans, but you just sort of have to go with it, and be happy you were able to at least check off a few things from your to-do list that day.

Sometimes life just feels like one giant never-ending to-do list, but this is why I think it’s more important than not to step back and also take time out to enjoy the sunny weather, have a laugh with friends, or oh, I don’t know, binge-watch 6 episodes of HIMYM (Sorry Not Sorry). It’s also important to remind yourself, that while you may have a road map with overly positive estimations of completion times, you are most likely going to overshoot those estimations by a long shot. And you know what? That’s okay!

Portraits of Rae Tashman taken by Thommy Weiss for

There are a lot of plans I have for my photography website as well as LFB and most of these plans have been bouncing around my head and ending up on lists for months. And although I wish I could snap my fingers and make all of these things happen straight away, life doesn’t work like that.

Now, I do believe in working hard and being ambitious, and I’ll be damned if I don’t at least eventually make that things that I want to happen happen, but I’m going to adjust my estimations,add in a lot of room for slack and cut myself a break. Because I am trying my hardest and I know you guys are too. So give yourself that well-deserved pat on the back and keep going. Because I know you guys are worth it, but even more importantly, you should know you are.

Photography: Thommy White
Editing: Rae Tashman

Follow LFB on You Tube!

Stay conscious, Rae



Rae Tilly

Rae the EIC of LFB and YEOJA Magazine. She is also a photographer and social media influencer.


  • Oh my goodness. That is extremely frustrating! But you’re right because shit does happen. Ya just gotta learn to get through it. I hope everything is going well for you now <3

    Enclothed Cognition/Bloglovin

    • rae

      So true! Shit happens, but you just gotta keep moving and roll with the punches! Thanks, Keri!

  • I know this post is about time, but what stood out to me the most is how to approach a stressful situation when someone is agitated. As you said, standing back and making a logical argument in a calm way is so much better than getting caught up in the emotions of the moment. There are times when something like how full the rubbish bins are is really important to a person even if not for us, and it is good to just acknowledge that instead of trying to make them see that how full that bin is isn’t the end of the world.

    Inma x

    • rae

      Oh so true – I think it is so easy to sort of take the emotional route when we are frustrated and upset or see how unfair a situation is, but if we can approach things logically, and “argue” (for lack of a better word) this way, then people are more willing to listen to us and see what they might have not seen upon first glance! So glad that you were able to take that away from this read!

  • Vaida Tamošauskaitė

    Oh Rae! You’re one big hero! I so feel ya at this point, as I always get very much affected by things like those! But within time you learn to take it easier. Or life teaches you that, haha :) You’ve done a great job by being logical and radical, and not getting too emotional. And yas – take a deep breath, and have some proper rest! :)
    Vaida |

    • rae

      Thank you so much Vaida! You are always so sweet! And yes, it does get easier once you go through a few of these situations already! Thanks so much, and so sorry that I have not gotten back to you sooner, but I plan on emailing you straight away!

  • Excellent point! I, so often, like to list things that I need to do in a day, being “slightly” too optimistic of what I can achieve in one day. Out of the 15 things that I should have accomplished I then tick of 3 and am disappointed and promise to work harder the next day. It is posts like these that can make me see the situation in perspective. Thank you! :)


    • rae

      I think it is important to celebrate the three things you did manage to check off your list, rather than be focused on the things you were not able to accomplish! So glad you found this post useful!

  • This is basically my me (the majority of the time) summed up into one post, because if I had made my mind up to work hard on something with that surge of optimism I get periodically, I go for it. I’m talking writing plans, not sleeping just to work, neglecting things I should be doing just so I can work on the things I want to do, and when I do start working and things don’t go to plan and fall to shit — well, I think you’ve been there enough times to know what I’m talking about.

    I’m way too harsh on myself though, I think, but I think I’ve gotta take your advice on board and re-adjust my own estimations/approximations, because, on hindsight, the things I want to do and yield are gastronomically out of proportion with myself as a single body of 18-year-experience, ha!

    Anyway, thank you for this one, Rae, and I hope the rest of the moving goes well for you! Cheers! x


    • rae

      Yes! Remember that you and you most of all need to be fair to yourself and be your own fan club! Step back, adjust your estimations and celebrate the little milestones rather than focus on the things you have yet to accomplish!

  • Morgan Miller

    I love the hair! Just gorgeous! x
    Morgan |

    • rae

      Thanks, Morgan!

  • sileas

    Wow that’s so irritating, I’m sorry you experienced such a hassle. However you made the move and I’m still very impressed about your positive thinking and ambitiousness!

    • rae

      It was definitely a hassle, but after living here for a while, I have gotten pretty used to these situations! Thanks so much, Sileas! Approaching things positively and rationally tend to work out the best, I find! Easier said than done, though, of course!

  • tiffanytales

    Your hair is incredible. Great post! x

    Tiffany Tales – A British Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

    • rae

      Thanks, Tiffany!

  • This was eye opening to read! But so interesting, and I’m so impressed with how you handled the situation. Definitely a lot of food for thought here though. Also, I just need to say you are absolutely beautiful! x

    Martha Jane |

    • rae

      Thank you so much, Martha, so glad that you enjoyed this read and could take many different things away from it!

  • Wow, interesting to read about the garbage process for Germany. I hear you about having wrenches thrown in to plans. It’s always unexpected and it is never pleasant. It makes you learn the hard way to just roll with the punches (I say that like it’s the easiest thing to do, haha).

    • rae

      Glad to hear you found this post interesting, and yes, wrenches always get thrown into plans – I guess we need to just keep in mind that it is more often the norm than not that a few things are going to go pear shaped along the way!

  • Ewww that’s not a happy door knock :c good thing you kept yourself cool!
    And I agree, shit happens and you have to live with it and move on.
    And who doesn’t love How I met your mother?! Xx ICE PANDORA

    • rae

      No no it definitely was not a happy door knock, but it is what it is! And right?! I just finished the entire series and am now so sad because I feel like no other sitcom will ever compare. If you have a suggestion though, however, do let me know!

  • Yikes that dude seems like a douche. Think like a piece of Teflon, just let that stuff slide because it’s so not worth your energy!! I can’t say this enough but I’m so happy for your move and can’t wait to see the stuff that comes out of your studio!

    xo, alice / T Y P E N U

    • rae

      I don’t think he was trying to be a douche – it just seems like people are very unwilling to go past the facts or what they perceive to be the facts here, which is why responding with a logical argument and evidence is the best way to go – but I do think that it’s a valid takeaway – that when you approach things logically it seems to go over the best. Sadly, the one drawback of this approach here in Germany is that people do not really care about “fair” and tend to not be moved too much by personal stories/have much sympathy to situations. And thanks, the studio is still a long ways from being finished, but it will get there!

      • It sounds like a more stubborn culture; I encounter that quite frequently as well in my country Taiwan!

  • This was such a good little reminder for me during a stressful week.
    “Upon hearing my sass, evaluating it, and realizing I was entirely correct” – HAHA, yes!
    It’s unfortunate that you had to spend 4 whole hours doing that, but you definitely wrote about the right takeway from all of it!
    I adjust my expectations constantly when it comes to uni assignments and study, however long I think it will take I try to account for it in double the time


    • rae

      It was unfortunate, but hey it made for a hilarious story for the blog, so I guess the best that you can do is try to always take something away from each situation, good or bad, but especially the bad ones. And it is really good that you are so flexible with time adjustments! This skill will help you a lot in life!

  • Wow Germany has some complicated rules about garbage! What a asshole that this guy had to come over to you and yell at you! I think you responded very well! Sucks that you had to take apart boxes for 4 hours! Yikes!

    That lipstick looks amazing on you by the way!

    • rae

      They definitely do! And yes, it was definitely not the nicest thing to be greeted with that morning, but I am happy I was able to sort it out without anyone punching each other, lol.

  • Wow that is so annoying. We have garbage rules here in my building but not quite like that. I hate when you argue with people, and they know you’re right, they still refuse to back down and admit they’re wrong smh
    Blue Jazzmin

  • That guy sounds like he was pretty worked up aha. Good on you for not responding in the same way and instead just doing your thang to solve the issue!

    I recently under-estimated the amount of time it would take on a mural job (oops!) but luckily they were in no rush and BECAUSE I work mostly freelance, I was able to spend more time on it. I find that working mostly freelance actually gives me the flexibility I need to deal with life as it happens. Even working at a café wouldn’t grant me that flexibility, since where I’ve worked in the past it was as bad as if I had killed someone’s cat everytime I needed to take an unplanned day off. ha.

  • Omg, I hate when people start arguing with you only to realise that they’re in the wrong and then they don’t even apologise – well atleast you made a point by only getting rid of your own garbage, haha!

    Pop over to my blog!


  • ahh that’s so annoying ): I definitely have a problem with overestimating sometimes. Maybe it’s better to aim high and fall a little bit short than to aim low and fall shorter? Of course, not too high, else that feeling of overwhelm can get too real -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s