Sunday, August 13, 2017

on being a free spirit


Someone said I look like a fairy today. As much as I can't for my life see why - dirty bedhead hair and shabby, old sun dress etc. - it was a fun and sweet compliment. Presumably one of those fairies who dance around at misty meadows on summer nights with flowers in their hair and not the willowy ones in Lord of the rings.

And it got me thinking  about how truly liberating this grief recovery process has been. How I feel lighter, brighter, strangely more me for it. So perhaps the (giggle worthy) fairy-like appearance is something that shine through from within rather than the outside appearance. When it feels like a heavy weight has been lifted off your tense shoulders, it's visible not just feelable. In fact I feel more like my free spirit self than I have in a long long time.

We have a few sessions left and I have to say, without exaggerating, it has been one of my best experiences in life. Sad it had to come through a heartbreaking event, but looking back at my life - and people that inspire me - it's not the happy days and circumstances - no matter how grateful I am for those - that has led to true growth, deeper understanding and compassion, a step up the ladder of becoming a better human being, fellow earthling. It is the hardship, the sorrow, the troublesome days.

Though I most certainly do not advocate a positive, upbeat attitude and outlook at all costs at all times, because I think that creates a false image of life, living and the world. However, the way you react to those tragedies we all go through in one way or the other, those hardship, setbacks, troubles and what we decide to focus our energy on, that's completely up to ourselves.

Don't become bitter, learn another life lesson and move on to greatness instead.

Which quite possibly is easier said than done for some, being born where I am, brought up in a loving family, being fortunate in so many ways and grateful for so much, I know I can't begin to grasp the hardship some, less fortunate people go through in life. But I'm sure you get my point here.

Since I wouldn't have had the chance to go through this process if it hadn't been for my British Shorthair breeding - 

which as far as I'm concerned is a thing of the past, another thing I'm so grateful to have been a part of, all the lovely lovely kittens over the years, cat show successes, happy new owners, my own quirky, darling snoopervisors. But as much as I love the breed itself I also think there are enough cats, dogs, animals and yes, humans too out there wanting love and a safe family to call their own and no need to produce new ones. Quite the opposite imho. Oh, I digress.

Instagram and LinkedIn I posted this (in Swedish) in both channels -

"To work with this book has been a large and important part of my summer. Never would I have thought that I would share deeply personal things in a group of unknown people, but it has been an amazing experience. Liberating, cathartic, challenging, evoluting, healing and something of the most important things  I've done in my life.

And why do I write this on LinkedIn? Because partly, we are complex people, our private and professional lives influence eachother much more than we might grasp. And I know this book/process would make many people feel much better. And with that become better professionals, colleagues and business owners.

Partly, without (my British Shorthair breeding), Instagram and LinkedIn I wouldn't have had this valuable opportunity - you who have been a part of this journey, you know who you are, you are worth your weight in gold and I am so grateful to have been a part of your journey too!

..... "

Which brings me to the free spirit part of this post. Many many years ago, during my sick leave for burn out and as a part of the settlement with my former employer - situation briefly described here - I went to a career coach. I think we had about 6 sessions together, I don't think I was any closer to what I wanted to do after those sessions as such, but he was a likeable guy and I got some reasonable good advice and food for thought. 

At one of those sessions he suddenly went quiet, looked at me and said "Your skepticism towards authorities really is very deep. You're truly a free spirit!". I laughed and said that it was probably true, just that I hadn't seen it like that before. All these years later it's actually one of the best and most insightful compliments I've ever gotten.

I should have started my own business back then already I suppose. But at the same time I don't think I was quite ready for it. And for some reason I still had faith in the Swedish labour market. Many, many, many hard lessons later I took the jump and it has been fantastic in oh so many ways, still is. At the same time as I admittedly more and more miss working with others towards a common goal, you know, the my kind of people thing and fuzzy feelings galore.

In general the labour market has changed so much since back then, I believe that today, in certain organisations and companies, there is room for free spirits to flutter and sprinkle magic dust. So I remain hopeful and stoked that will soon be the next logic step for me.

The free spirit card above? Well, that's from a blog reader turned friend - the day I spent with you in Heidelberg in October was one of my best in 2016, thank you again! And yes, I will blog about the Schwarzwald trip one of these days, I will... - and arrived a while back. Apparently she thought of me when she saw it at Trader Joe's; hedgehog, pink boots, Midsummer flowers in the hair add a free spirit. I was touched! It's pretty amazing when someone actually pinpoints me that well by reading the blog. Even if I suppose nearly 12 years of wording is a decent source for pinpointing. Nevertheless, touched.

And tomorrow, the commuter trains are back on track - doing a special free spirit happy dance under the stars!

Friday, August 11, 2017

as close as i'll ever get to colin firth in a wet shirt


One of my favourite castles in the whole wide world, Skokloster, currently has an exhibition called 'Jane Austens värld' (Jane Austen's world), with original clothes from 'Pride and Prejudice', 'Sense and Sensibility' and 'Emma', with focus on women's roles in society back then (late 18th - early 19th century). And as much as I adore the television and movie adaptions of Austen's books, oh my am I grateful I live here and now...


The guided tour was really good but I have to say that this particular piece was the highlight of the exhibition. For all of you who, like me, swooned over a certain someone in a certain scene in 'Pride and Prejudice' - you know why.

After the tour we could play dress-up and try on regency clothes, for some reason it wasn't a popular feature for the visitors in my group. But I decided to try on some hats at least. With an ever present Colin Firth.


It was the wonkiest mirror ever which made me in an A-line dress look even wonkier and as much as I love playing dress-up it's not much fun when you just look weird and there's noone around to laugh with, but a stern Colin. - Oh why couldn't you have smiled just a little bit during our brief moments together?


All in all a lovely day though. You can't go wrong with castle + waffles + tiny dog company. And a close encounter with Mr Darcy's once very wet shirt.


PS On August 19 they apparently host a Jane Austen ball at the castle, tickets sold out, but it does sounds pretty fabulous, wouldn't you agree? DS

Friday, August 04, 2017

dancing under the stars


The long, light, warm summer evenings and dark, starry lit nights lately have been a truly treasured thing for me. In the perfect seclusion of my garden I put on headphones and dance like nobody's watching but the bewildered cats - who demand regular belly rubs, back pats and cheek scratches before they continue chasing night insects and eachother through the dry, summer grass and shrubs - and the ever watchful stars above. It has been a lovely source for me to collect my thoughts and impressions of the day, feeling empowered and inspired. 

And I'm so grateful nobody can see me.

You know how last summer in the city was kind of cancelled due to the chaotic, stressful public transport situation with replacement buses for the commuter trains? This has been the case this summer too (which makes it the third summer for it). However this time it hasn't been the same stations involved as previous years so the replacement buses and options have been a few more. Slightly less stressful, but very time consuming and annoying just the same. 

Since I did have a few business meetings during these summer months I had to get a travel card, because single tickets would just be ridiculously expensive. And with a travel card and no real plans other than a workation staycation kind of summer I've been experimenting with those different travel options, buying lunch or coffee to go, sitting myself down on a bench with a view and simply feeling very fortunate in life, circumstances and not least the beautiful city I call home. Always followed by a long, brisk walk with my own thoughts as company alone. Which make me all but alone. 

Those days when I have no particular job to finish, no particular place to be or time to meet, when I can just stroll, sit, think, take silly pictures and be mindful of my place in time - they've been blissful. Such a lovely breathing space and reminder that amongst worry and searching for my place in life, my kind of people, that special feeling, life is quite spectacular. 

Filled with tiny moments of wonder.

And then yesterday I had a job meeting. I'm not sure if it was an interview, because that was my mindset going there but in the end it was just a really great meeting for a position that I feel would be perfect for me, my background and skillset. And I got the impression that feeling was mutual.

What's extra fascinating is that pretty much a year ago I was involved in a recruitment process for a similar position in a similar company, which turned out to be so very awkward and completely wrong for me, with my gut feeling basically screaming at me to get out when I stepped into the room. I have never felt so out of place in an interview situation before or after. It was like we were from two different planets, speaking different languages. 

I really didn't get their product/service, they had basically zero enthusiasm and vision and how could anyone thrive in such an environment? And how was I suppose to be able to market and sell it with no passion to be found?

This meeting yesterday, this product/service (beautiful design, great potential), this vision, this enthusiasm, it was the complete opposite, this I completely got. And embrace. Without reservation. And for you who know me by now, irl or by words only, you know I'm not easily smitten - if it's not a furry animal - rather the opposite. So I'm *a bit* surprised, but perhaps this reaction is how it's suppose to be when it's right? And honestly, things are so much better when you don't have this and that reservation about the product/service you're supposed to work with and what value you can bring to the table, when it just simply makes perfect sense.

When someone actually seem to appreciate me for being me because of my particular skillset and broad background - where the common denominators have been communication and text production in various forms - and not despite it. Rather liberating. And surprising. As much as I got them they seem to get me. 

Not sure what will happen now, but I've decided to feel stoked because it's a great feeling. I've also decided to trust the process - which isn't my strongest feature (hello impatience my ol' friend) - and when things happen they are meant to.

My weekend will now be spent working with the next chapters in the grief recovery process handbook and prepare for our next group session, first after a month's break, next week. It is a time for healing, tears, laughter and meaningful insights. It is the time for moving on. 

And dancing under the stars.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

the way the mind works


Or in this case specifically my mind. But it's also a 

a) reminding lesson in how we react to seemingly minor, mundane things and behaviours is based on previous experiences (and values)

b) more often than not you're your own great therapist (given you're reasonally sane and insightful of course)

The first time I really really grasped this was when I was on my lengthy burnout sick-leave (now over ten years ago) - 

sure the workload was heavy, but the real reason was it was basically a workplace from hell with a very unhealthy company culture of bullying, insecure bosses and lackeys who kept targeting one of the lawyers until s/he broke down and was replaced by a new, unsuspecting target. Specifically those who did the best job, thought outside the box and weren't afraid (initially) to speak their mind. And yes I was soon the perfect target. -

I could write a long long post about this of course, and I have written several touching on the subject when I began blogging - hey it's almost 12 years ago now! - but I'll just say as much that even if I was in that hell for too long, and the recovery took years, I'm also a much much better and healthier human being for it. One of my best life lessons, even if it felt like far far from that back then, deep under the duvet. And of course, Little Loaf would't have moved in here if it hadn't been for that dark period in my life.

That workplace experience also shaped me and my reactions to a lot of ways people behave - hello master suppression techniques, you don't escape me - when I shy away, when I genuinely dislike or embrace people and organisations. And yes, back then I got it why we all react in ways that seem logical to ourselves but possibly spaced out and irrational to others, our previous experiences set the stage for actions and reactions. Fight or flight mode.

And that was merely the prelude to the recent event I was to write about. A mundane and genuinely kind offer that threw me into a calm panic mode. Calm as in it wasn't a scary situation at all, quite the opposite, but my mind went into overdrive and I realised I've come so far in this past year and at the same time I'm so shaped by both my values and all those years before that it's both great and sad really.

A month ago I had a business meeting. The journey there by commuter train would take about 1,5 hours followed by a walk for about 15 minutes through a depressing industrial area trafficed by heavy vehicles. It was raining when I left home, it kept drizzling outside the train window for 1,5 hours but when I reached my station the sun suddenly appeared which felt like a great sign for the meeting to come.

After 300 metres the heavens opened and an absolutely mad rain began to fall. Never mind, I have a fancy Marimekko umbrella that will keep me dry. But then the sudden gusts appeared and I soon realised having a fancy schmancy umbrella would not make much of a difference from not having one at all. Half there I was basically soaking wet from shoes to shoulders. And got a crazy painful blister from nowhere. The rest of the walk I frantically sang 'High ho high ho it's off to work I go' to cheer myself up.

Had some time to try and sort out my drenched look before the meeting but it was quite obvious it had been a *rather* wet walk to get there and the person I was meeting was quick to offer me a ride back to the station after the meeting. I was needless to say grateful for the kind offer but these were my three instant reactions -

1. No way I'm accepting if the person driving doesn't pass the station on his way to something work related to where it's necessary to drive. Just because it might be convenient for me doesn't mean it's a sound environmental choice. I'm already wet, I can walk back too.

2. I'm an independent, grown up, professional person that can cope with annoying things like very wet weather and blisters. I must not get used to accepting rides when there's really no need for them.

3. The realisation that for most of all those years with M I was far too accepting to taking the car instead of the bus/train when we did things together. The car was like an extra limb to him, when it was more of an environmental and health issue for me, yet it was so very convenient... And time saving. And... I am now effectively weaned from that.

I could have declined the offer after the meeting. I didn't. I kept debating with myself when I waited. When I saw the car, a company car with logos but still your usual modern car much like M's car, it put me in some kind of weird 'oh no, I can't open the door and step inside because I will now be back in the passenger seat of my life with someone else driving' panic mode. 

You know, your average irrational behaviour and thought that seems so obviously logical to the person with a certain experience. The thing that saved me from saying 'thanks, but no thanks the weather is clearing up' and just run was that I hate making a fool of myself, especially in a professional situation and I'm insightful enough to know why I reacted the way I did. 

But the 5 minute car ride felt really awkward, I played normal, - albeit still a rather wet and damp version of normal - chatting away and to make it even worse my glasses broke. One of the sidepieces just bizarrely fell off. I didn't mention it and tried to keep the glasses on my nose like it was the most normal thing in the world to have one sidepiece only. Soon that world looked really lopsided and I almost fell out of the car at the station because I couldn't see properly and for all the tension of acting normal for 5 minutes while my inside was in turmoil.

I hope I was a good actress. And I seriously doubt the person in question read this blog. (If you do, feel free to have a good laugh at my weirdness.)

At the same time as it was an encouring realisation in how far I've come on the journey of redefining myself as a me alone it was also a bewildering feeling of being ridiculously childish, a stubbornly independent weirdo who blow things out of complete proportions as well as an insightfully wise and value driven human that makes/wants to make conscious decisions for the greater good not only my own convenience in the moment.

Sometimes I'm just so liberatingly uncomplicated, easy to grasp and please, others my brain take me on the wildest rides over seemingly random, mundane things. I guess that's just a case of being a multi-layered human being. An odd bird. And growing up with an always analyzing, deep thinker father like mine.

All in all, high five to me for realising the whys and the hows for my calm panic reaction to something as simple as a kind gesture. I have no idea how I will react when something similar happens again one day.

But at least I got a blog post out of the ride that turned into two quite different rides, outside, inside.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

that special feeling


Remember I wrote about a new and interesting project I accepted in the beginning of the year? But also a project that initially left a bad aftertaste due to financial reasons - I'm a freelancer not a serf, and seriously, if companies don't pay reasonable money to the ones that actually do the very job in the end, us freelancers, then that will never ever be good practice or decent behaviour, is that really what your company wants to stand for?

That said, to not be engulfed in the financial resentment of not being reasonably paid - which have and will happen to us all one way or another sooner or later - I've decided to always, always look at it as an opportunity to learn new things, grow and be a more well-rounded (professional) person, add skills to the CV and not least do a great job before I move on. Because badly paid or not, moving on is the fabulous option at the end of a gig we freelancers have, we're rarely bound to any lengthy contracts.

So what have I done these past few months then, part time? Well, I've been contracted subconsultant in the role of career coach for international talents. An integration project specifically targeting immigrants from different backgrounds and countries with the common denominator being they have an academic degree.

I've put in lots and lots of hours, I've been moved, nagging, hopeful, annoyed, impressed, angry and very happy. But for the financial reasons it has been a fantastic learning and growth experience. And as it turned out, surprisingly enough, also a great way to make a real difference both in a single person's life as well as in society. Noone can change everything but we can all make something change for the better.

The heartwarming outcome for one of my participants - an electrical engineer from the African continent - has been that after finishing his 12 weeks traineeship, at a large Swedish corporate group that's also one of Europe's leading generators of electricity, he has been offered a permanent position with them.

Which made me so incredibly happy to hear. And not least seriously proud to be a part of the process. The company itself, or rather the employees I've been in contact with, have also impressed me a lot, their honest solution orientation, getting people on board in the project and openness. Kind of blown away about it all actually.

To be a subconsultant is obviously not financially sustainable, but I will forever be grateful for this experience. And the people I've met, the stories I've listened to, it has made me into a better human being. And made a real difference. On so many levels.

I've always seen myself as a champion for animals and animal rights - because those rights are intricately linked to women's rights and human rights (and not least sustainability), I just wish more people could connect those darn dots by now! - and obviously deeply concerned about environmental issues, climate change and sustainability.

But as much as I know integration is an important issue that hasn't been taken very seriously for decades - and look what that's led us - I've never, for various reasons, seen myself as someone working with such matters. Nor have I seen it as a sustainability issue, but I've come to realise social sustainability is equally important to environmental sustainability, without either we can't have a stable and sound society and world. Or a healthy future, if there's still a chance of that.

I don't know where the road will lead me from here on, professionally and privately, but I'm open and expectant for whatever exciting things, opportunities and people that will cross my path. And again, so very grateful to have been a part of this. Turned out I was pretty great at connecting with the right kind of people and doing a job I'd never even concidered. And somehow this experience has tickled my ol' lawyer-gene and background. Who knew.

And that special feeling? Well, that's the magic blend of stepping outside your comfort zone, learning new things while applying your skills, doing a great job, meeting new, interesting people, making a real difference working with others, being a part of something more hands on substantial than writing web copy, content or managing social media channels. Even if its always rewarding with satisfied customers, and fun tasks, I have to admit that so far those assignments haven't touched my soul in quite the same way as this one did.

This was simply rewarding on a whole other level. And that's a warm and fuzzy feeling I want more of in my professional life. Though from here on, accompanied by a reasonable payment, thank you very much, Future.

Yours truly with gratitude,
P

EDIT: On July 26 I had my very last project meeting with my last participant from Syria - the outcome was just as happy as for the electrical engineer, he got a job offer! This time in hotel management and booking in the largest Swedish hotel chain, with hotels mainly in the Nordic countries but also in the rest of Europe. Once again, hello warm and fuzzy feeling! 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

hello emotional flooding


Who knew active work with the grief recovery process would open up a veritable flooding of emotions? As if I wasn't an (over)analyzing person before, now my mind is on some crazy overdrive with thoughts and feelings everywhere. I know it'll be all good in the end, but current status: exhausted. Mainly. When I'm not feeling exhilarated and expectant or wistful and blue.

Just before this summer's period with substitute buses for the commuter trains begun - 

three years in a row, hopefully this will be that last year... It's been such a stressful hassle, and I haven't even been forced to commute for a job every day. This summer it basically means a journey from door to door takes double the time ie for me getting to the city takes about 2 hours. Which is just crazy. So as much as I'd love to just take the train to the fair capital and enjoy unpretentious walks, views and fika I can't stand the hassle so unless I have booked meetings I need to attend my city trips will be very scarce until the trains are on again on August 14. Which means I have  a  l o t of time with my brain as my company alone this summer (as last year)... Hooray -

it was an intense period of meetings and meaningful conversations. It felt like a great idea to cram in as much as possible of that before the substitute period/most people's holidays begun. In hindsight perhaps it wasn't a very wise move.

Life right now is like a bowl of summer strawberries - some juicy and sweet making me go all week at the knees, others sour with a bitter tang and some are even moudly and inedible. But the overall impression is sweet and delicious, I think.

My intuition and gut feelings are stronger than ever, but at the same time I'm not really comfortable following their every instinct. What I am comfortable doing is saying no to things my intuition says is not for me. I'm working on becoming comfortable in saying yes more often. And being more proactive in certain situations - but that's scary...

Stronger and more determined for every day - except for the blue days, but they shall always pass - I'm just incredibly grateful for so many beings and things I've had, have and will have in my life.

Referring to my last post and the internet dating thing - that isn't me at all but one must brave one's prejudices now and then. My experiences so far (which have made me think of a making a podcast on the subject):

:: The first site I tried has continued to disappoint and entertain (because it's so poorly user experience designed). With few exceptions the men seem obsessively interested in sports, training and drinking wine, intellectual interests are far and few apart. Add to that bad selfies and badly written profiles. 

As I have no interest in paying for the *service* I can't search for vegans/vegetarians which is my basic criteria. I have also purposefully written my profile in a way that's either pretty scary or intriguing. The only one who has dared to contact me so far was a very short guy who had pictures of himself drinking supersized champagne bottles. I. Can't. Even. 

I have no interest whatsoever in depicting myself as a graceful damsel in distress-like woman with no real views or values of importance. Of course I don't have a sign around my neck irl with all my views and preferences/demands, I'm actually quite easy to talk to and grown up enough to realise you can't mould someone into some ideal person that tick your every dream box. But really, some basic standards isn't too much to ask for and if you can't be really clear about who you are and what you're looking for (in a way that some might find intimidating, no pun intended) on a dating site, then when can you?

I'm not desperate, I'm discerning. And will forever continue to be.

:: I then remembered there's a dating site for vegans/vegetarians, perhaps that would be a better bet? 

It turned out to be a like a chat room for teenagers and full of pimply 20 something guys. I deleted my profile after five minutes.

:: There's a dating site that actually has a rather cute TV commerical, well, might as well try that one too while I'm at it.

That was a mistake. In fact it was truly scary. About five seconds after I had registered a profil with a photo it had a gazillion visitors, messages, flirts and likes. So many desperate men (or stalkers) looking for love, who knew. I must have lived a very sheltered life. The experience was so creepy I promptly deleted the profile.

As this experience so far has surpassed my every prejudice my only conclusion is that I was right, it isn't for me. And it will never be. I'm sure it suits some, their stars align and that's just lovely. The answer to most everything is love. But the answer on how to find it differs. Which is great, because how boring would life be if we all looked for meaningful relationships in the same way, in the same places?

Next blog post - job related. Promise.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

the grief recovery process


Hi, hello, long time no blog.

And again so much, yet so little, has happened I don't know where to start really. But I suppose the most important thing I've done since we last met online is that I'm doing grief recovery in a small group. Turned out it was both really difficult to find a good tip on grief counsellors and they were really expensive. And in order to get a therapist that is connected to the public health care system (ie you only pay a fixed sum) you first had to go see a doctor to get a referal. A lengthy, emotional process to get there.

And then a friend suggested I'd connect with her former manager who had experience in this. To cut a longer story short I'm now doing much of the work myself and then we meet in this group and talk, listen, cry and laugh together with the help of my friend's former manager as the guide. It's so cathartic. We're going through the grief recovery process with help of "The Grief Recovery Handbook", we're half way through it and will reconvene in August after the summer holidays.

I never ever thought I'd enjoy (possibly not the right word here, but "find it useful" sounds too dull and unengaging) group sessions, talking about deeply private and intimate things, some of which I've never told anyone before. But I think 4 people is just the right number for it.

Friends and my mother have commented I'm looking more relaxed and open since I began with this. And I have to say I'm feeling much calmer. And the strange thing is that I discover things about myself and why I act, react, do and feel things the way I do in life in general through this process. I'm getting much more out of it than the grief recovery itself. Which is amazing.

When it comes to work I've accomplished a lot of things, but not as much as I would have liked. I still worry about my finances and am still looking for that brilliant part time job. Not a lot you can do about it over the summer though, in Sweden, where pretty much everything closes down in July. Especially one work thing I've accomplished, as part of a project, has made me truly happy. It deserves a post of its own - and will hopefully be written in a not too distant future.

With all this recent and current liberating of emotions and thoughts, talking with friends about relationships and what the future might (hopefully) hold I did something today I've sworn I'd never do - I've signed up to a match making site. I see it as part of a study process of human behaviour and not really something that suits me.

But every decision you make move life forward, one way or the other.

I'm open to meeting new people, of course, but I'm not really open to dating yet. I'm not sure I'll ever be. It just feels like a really awkward thing to do. But feel free to laugh about it. I know I have, when I've looked through all the so called matches of men that has been lined up for me.

Seriously, after all the questionnaires I filled in, after being VERY clear with the importance of vegan, vegetarian, sustainability, animal rights values, these are the men your algorithms match me with.

If this is what the world has to offer I will be forever single. 

Or quite possibly the best people, my kind of people, as I suspect, don't use dating sites. I'm just too opinionated and strong-willed to have any "success" at this, too odd. And that's fine, adapting and compromising too much would not make me (or anyone else) happy.

The best thing about this though is that when I read through my eloquently written - compared to the well-educated guys in my age group that apparently haven't bothered about writing since they graduated high school - descriptions, I kind of fall in love with myself instead. I'm just a quirky adorable person, with amazing values and pretty decent writing skills.

And I believe in magic, serendipity and when the time, place and person is right it just happens.

At least I got a good laugh from it all, and confirmation of my suspicions/prejudices. I will now continue with the grief recovery process, my part-time job hunt and being as happy as I can be with just amazing me, myself and I. And the fabulous felines.

Monday, June 19, 2017

the cats want a dog


Remember I wrote about an unexpected phone call and a possible offer of something I hadn't thought of at this moment in time, back in the Easter post

Well, it was a little dog that needed a new home urgently due to her dog family bullying her. And it was a Pomeranian, which is a breed I've had a keen eye on for some time. Irresistably adorable, smaller than a loaf dog, quite a different sort and without herding or hunting instinct. Perfect fit for the cats. And not too difficult to carry in a bag when we take the bus or train.

I had a think overnight and in the morning I realised it would be a chance to do good and take a step forward, make a change for myself and someone in need. I called the owner/breeder - not the acquiantance that alerted me about the situation - but she didn't pick up the phone and never returned the phone call. I texted her a couple of days later. Never heard from her. I thought, despite the slightly odd facts about the case, she had suddenly simply found another new home for the dog. 

However later I learnt she decided to keep the dog despite her being so bullied by the other dogs and the situation so urgent. Since she for various reasons didn't think it would be in the dog's best interest to try another home. People are weird.

The situation however made me realise I am now very open to a new little dog in the family. I was alerted to another pom at a nearby shelter a couple of weeks ago. He was absolutely irresistable and I immediately let them know I was interested, with credentials. Two days later their website said all the little dog (it was him and four girls) already had new homes. I have absolutely no idea how they could screen the new owners properly that quickly. And yesterday, two weeks later, I got an email saying he already had a new home... Their communication and administrative routines clearly need as serious overhaul.

I'm sure they make an excellent job with all the poor dogs they take care of - the shelter in question has recently been subject of a reality show and I'm really impressed by the job they do - but my heart can't deal with getting my hopes up and then ending up being one anonymous privy in a long line of privies. So I've let people know I'm looking for a little doggie that needs a new home, a dog that can get along splendidly with cats, I think that's a better way to go. Fingers, toes and paws crossed.

And the excited Norfolk terrier in the top pic isn't Malte, it's just an adorable little girl named Berta that I met when grocery shopping the other week. Her personality was so much like little loaf's. It reminded me how sweet it was to have a dog, much more work than the cats obviously, but also rewarding in other ways.

One day the right one will cross my path. We look forward to that, the cats and I.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

looking for my kind of people


Dear Blog, it has been exactly one month since I last blogged. Which is the longest (voluntary) blog hiatus I've had. Not for the lack of thoughts and things to write about, but it is after all better to live and experience those thoughts and things than writing about them.

I can't even begin writing about everything that has happened during this past month, so much meetings, seminars, inspiration and people - but at the same time, here and now despite all this nothing has drastically changed for me personally, as far as I know. And when all the activity slowed down last week and I welcomed a breather I was struck by a horrible cold, that has been a most unwelcome companion for over a week now. I haven't had this nasty kind of cold for years so I suppose it was the body's way to say slow down. And hopefully I've now boosted the immune system for years.

The climate change has certainly been very obvious this year, the last (?) snow we had on May 9. Craziness. And then a few days later early summer arrived. We've had some lovely summer days with temperatures around 20+C and over, but the evenings are still unseasonably chilly. Summer colds are definitely worse than winter ones and even if I'm not allergic to anything the pollen season has been adding to the nastiness of it. Ah well, I'm feeling better now, if not all well.

Talking about climate change, I attended the Climate March in April. I do not do marches or group things, but still I did this one, because just as the sign I made says "you know it's serious when even the introverts turn up". Had a nice march with friends but it was really dispiriting to see how poorly organized it was plus how appallingly few people that turned up for the march. Was I the only introvert in Stockholm who realised how serious our situation is?

I'm still no closer, as far as I know, to that part-time job goal of 2017.

A few times I've thought I've been but they've turned out to be far from the great opportunities they looked to be - two misleading ads, one job was a case of "wanting someone passionate about working in an office with no need of flexibility" and the other interview was a case of blatant mansplaining. Sigh. I thought we had come so much further in 2017.

But I'm working on it! And of course continuing to run my own Prosit business. Which I hope to do for oh so many years still.

A few highlights of these past few weeks have been -

:: A lovely breakfast seminar about diversity at Junibacken experience centre/museum of Astrid Lindgren's magical storybook world. It was before the museum opened - no visitors, only the utter delight of experience the quirky building, the stories, the ambiance and not least the Storybook Train (which made me tear up). The museum is also a conference centre and open for private functions. I didn't know and I think that is such an awesome place for it!

:: A great TED Talk with global speaker and writer Navi Radjou about Frugal Innovation, which was pretty mindblowing, to say the least. You can listen to his talks here. And you really really should, you will become a better human being for it or at least strive to be.

:: Another lovely breakfast seminar at sustainability agency Futerra where co-founder Solitaire Townsend talked about how they work with Theory of Change. Brilliant. (Incidently it seems like a pretty perfect place to work at...)

:: Geek Girl Meetup 2017 - Geek Evolution. A day of geeky unconference talks by inspiring women only. In a mad world there are so many great projects out there!

Since it has been another busy month I haven't had time to really think a lot about my need for grief counselling. But I have got some nice tips of people I'm going to look up. When you're busy with practical things, with inspiring stuff, there's no time for those difficult thoughts. It's when you have to reflect they come. So yes, when the time is right I will do something about it.

This past month I've also thought a lot about how difficult it seems to be to find my kind of people work-wise. I may be a bit of an oddball, but I never thought my reasonable needs for regular solitude, flexibility and general decent behaviour could be so at odds with many workplaces still. It may be naïve but I really thought a lot had happened since I was employed years ago. Seems alas it hasn't.

Or perhaps it's just the usual case of there's a time and place for everything and when we find eachother, that illusive workplace with my kind of people and I, everything will finally feel awesome, right and we'll create magic together.

My quest continues.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

do you want spagetti or macaroni?

cherry blossom, kungsträdgården stockholm, april 2017

After a really busy month, as well as naturally emotionally month, I've realised that despite coming a long long way this last year I now need professional grief counselling. It has been a year of getting myself through a day, week, month at a time. And some days have been great, they really have. But there have also been many days when I've been playing the role of normal, brave and strong. Despite feeling far from.

I have accomplished a lot, grown so much, over this year. But with all the practical things I've been forced to deal with I haven't really had the time to process the grief as such. At least it doesn't feel like that now, I feel emotionally stuck. I have lost my foothold. Feeling more melancholic than ever. Even if some days still are really great.

But I feel that if I don't get professional help - sometimes there's only so much writing, talking with friends and cat cuddles can do to help - I will continue to feel blocked and unable to move emotionally forward. No matter how smart and analyzing cookie you are, sometimes you need a helping, listening, questioning hand that's able to give you the right tools and point you in a healthy direction.

So parallel to working and continuing to sort out practicalities - neverending story - this is my current project. Yes, looking at it as a project makes it easier somehow.

As far as the work is concerned I'm alas no closer to that illusive part time employment (as far as I know) but I have ticked off 3,5 of my 5 professional goals of the year, huzzah. More of that in another post I think. I've actually applied for a few full time jobs too, because they've sounded great as well as flexible. Turned out at least one wasn't flexible at all, despite what they claimed at the interviews, they wanted someone who was "passionate about working in an office and didn't need flexibility". Yes actual quote, really, in 2017. I'm glad I got away, we wouldn't have made eachother happy in the long run.

Oh, I feel I have lots of things to write about, but I also feel that this post should be mainly about being stuck in emotional cross roads of sorts. Simple daily sentences like "Do you want spagetti or macaroni for dinner?", who knew you one day would miss such mundane comments so much? Life is short, potentially much shorter than we could ever imagine, and I desperately want and need to get emotionally unstuck. There is no going back, there is only moving on.
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