Sunday, October 15, 2017

the shining light

shoe per diem, october 2017 -

I'm afraid I've turned into one of those awful persons that is some kind of positivity beacon, in a sometimes very bleak world. But to be honest it can't be helped, because life right now feels pretty amazing. And as the recent quote "Take responsability for the energy you put out into the world", really stroke a cord in me I'm taking that quite literally.

And while I'm far from a Facebook fan (to but it very mildly, I'd rather use a four letter word here, but let's keep a civil tone) and basically use it for sharing articles about environmental issues, animal rights, feminism and equality plus cute animal videos and never anything really personal. Sharing personal stuff I mostly do face to face, texts or in emails. But guess what, as this past week has been even more of an emotional whirlwind than the one before that, not all without hurdles and stress but overall so awesome, I've posted several updates of unexpected things, conversation and random meetings that has touched me and made me go all warm and fuzzy.

Here goes - I apologize in advance because this might be quite sickly sweet to read, but I'm just amazed, happy and ever so grateful to experience this. Pure magic as far as I'm concerned. And if you who've said and done this happen to read this, thanks again. Gold. -

I've never had a great need of confirmation, a simple thank you as a sign of appreciation will usually do. Even if it's nice to get a little praise now and then. But to actually work with people that not only says thanks regularly but also, you're brilliant, such a star, magic lady, you're fantastic, you're in charge and so forth that's certainly different. And pretty darn lovely. It does make you work even harder to outperform yourself. Or just being yourself with extra oomf.

And it also is an eye opener, because I've come to realise that I've actually been professionally under stimulated for a very long time, with bursts of joy for various projects, but nothing like this. And that I've in parts settled to be happy enough and grateful for those bursts. While I in fact want it all, but haven't been able to find the right context, the right people.

But, lo and behold, I do believe I have now. And not that I want to overuse the word gratitude, but, well... It's nothing short than miraculous that we've clicked so incredibly well in such a short (and incredibly intense) time, compliment eachother so well. Working hard towards a common goal, a colourful (literally) environmental case of David vs Goliath. The raw energy in this teamwork is simply gold worth.

I'm thinking a lot about if you say or write things for the world to see and hear, what you want, and need, they will come (and it doesn't have to be a baseball court). Law of attraction. Things happen when they are meant to. Meetings too. Synchronicity is real. (But I still prefer the synonym serendipity.) And as I think I've touched upon before, most of us live too busy and stressed lives and aren't open enough to actually see how real this is.

And it's only through really devastating things we begin to see things and life for what it really is, can be, should be. And that's magic. We create our own magic, if we are open enough.

This by no means mean that life not will continue to be rough, full of bumps and heartaches, from here on now and then. That's just life. But if we know that magic, the truly good stuff and people, exist too, it's easier to cope and get through. When the going gets tough, the strong get growing.

Back to my amazing week, as I wrote in the last post I wasn't sure if a content project I accepted would be worth it financially vs time put in. I'm still not. But I'm surprised at how great it was to work with a finicky editor. My main flaw in the feedback was that I'm writing in too dry a style, not enough warmth and humour - clearly we're not talking about my blog here

But yes, I know, one of the articles was on such a dry and un-engaging topic, that little lawyer I jumped in and wrote for dear life. But overall, great and not least useful feedback. And as he said, things can be worse than writing in too dry a style, too many writers write in a sloppy, trivial way and obviously can't spell. And that's clearly so much worse than being a dry lawyer at heart.

Next up on the list of heartwarming, little things that happened during the week that was;

I was waiting for the train at the station when a stranger walked up to me (an older gentleman) and said "I just want to say that not many people measure up to you." It was so incredibly touching. I guess it was because of my always colourful outfit. But whatever reason, such a darling thing to do! Shared on Facebook, and I have to say, the concurring compliments keep coming. People  can be so sweet. Love and kindness is in the air.

Dare to compliment. It doesn't cost a thing, but a bit of courage. And it can make someone's day.

And then by the end of the week it was time for the first big meeting with client in the above mentioned passion  project. I was both looking forward to and dreading it a bit, because of hurdles regarding trust. I expected some tough talks on said issue, things that needed to change and future strategy. 

But you know what, it was a brilliant day. Powerful, inspiring, productive and fun. With some people I hadn't met before - remote work only - yet it felt like the most natural thing to finally meet. And I was told by the client that I go by the nick name 'Magic Pia' - I mean, seriously, how lovely is that?! And who knew that something I was part of 13 years ago, another tough time in my life, would cross roads with this work today...

It's a great artisan eco-paint company, truly amazing, high quality product and why story. They deserve every success and the world desperately need their products. I'm just blessed to be working with them, and not least our fantastic little marketing team of three. Fun bit is that the CEO was so inspired by the bobbaloos and Sonny Angels that most always appear when food appears before me, that he wanted them in their product pictures too. Clearly he's a man of impeccable taste. So perhaps that will be a new trend from here on.

Then on Friday evening I got a text from the sales director - who's a really fabulous woman with some unexpected features I learnt about when we drove to lunch, features that made us click even more - saying "I'm completely in love with all your pictures on Instagram! Oh you are so great, have an awesome weekend! Hugs" - you can see how it's not a mystery that I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy after this week, right? That special feeling is all around. And I'm simply incredibly grateful (sorry) happy about it all. 

I think the grief recovery process started a really serious shift in thinking for me. Opened up channels I was only vaguely aware of before that. I will not say the G-word again, but really...

Dearest October, do continue to be this amazing,
I love you something extra special for it this year.

Friday, October 13, 2017

vegan cinnamon buns

vegan cinnamon buns, october 2017 (kanelbullens dag)

Delivering on my promise to share the recipe for the fabulous vegan cinnamon buns I baked for Kanelbullens Dag (Cinnamon Bun Day).

The recipe says it'll make for 40 buns, but I only got 25 and they weren't even that big. But really good just the same.

Plantbased kanelbullar

50 g fresh yeast
5 dl oat milk
150 g dairy free butter, room temperature
0,5 tsp salt
1 dl casting sugar
2 tsp grounded cinnamon (can be omitted, but why go there?)
~ 14 dl wheat flour

Filling:

0,5 - 1 dl icing sugar (found that 0,5 was perfect if you're like me, not too fond of very sweet buns)
2-3 tbsp grounded cinnamon
100 g dairy free butter

pearl sugar or almond/hazelnuts (chopped)

Melt the butter and milk in a pot to 37C. Crumble the yeast into the food processor bowl (or a big bowl if you plan on doing by hand) and pour some of the milk/butter to stir to dissolve the yeast. Add the rest of the liquid, cardamom, sugar and salt. Add almost all of the flour (you'll need some for the baking) and work it until dough is smooth and lovely.

Let the dough rise under a baking cloth in room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Then knead the dough a bit on a floured baking table. Roll the dough with a rolling pin so it is about 1 cm thick and rectangular-ish (you can also cut the dough in two pieces, might be easier to work if you don't have a big table).

Mix the ingredients for the filling and spread it over the rolled dough. Fold the dough into three layers (length wise). Then cut about 15 long shreds of dough (or 30ish if you have used up all the dough and not half). Spin and swirl the shreds (not my forte, but I kind of got how it should be done in the end) and tie them into a bun. Put them on baking sheets on baking paper.

Put the oven temperature on 225 - 250C.

Let the buns rise under a baking cloth for 30 minutes. Brush the buns with water and sprinkle pearl sugar (and/or chopped almond or hazelnuts if you prefer that).

Bake them in the middle of oven for 5-8 minutes.

Best enjoyed freshly baked. But will freeze well too.

And do let me know how your fabulous cinnamon buns turned out!

vegan cinnamon buns, october 2017 (kanelbullens dag)

Sunday, October 08, 2017

this is what i'm made of

the future professional life - book release with hammer & hanborg, sthlm music house, sweden, oct 5, 2017

The week that was, the first of October, my birthday month, has certainly been an emotional rollercoaster - not at all as the devastating one of 2016, I'm needless to say grateful for - but partly from work related stress and anger because of unrealistic expectations and demands from client. But at least I wasn't alone in feeling this. Hopefully we can clear this up, set up a decent structure and move on to (more) greatness this week.

To partly stress mixed with excitement from new project finally starting. Which also got me thinking about how much extra time one generally has to put in to learning new project tools. Project tools and procedures that some seem to think is the most natural thing in the world that *everyone* knows already. It isn't. And even if they're easy enough to learn they initially also take a lot of extra time to get the hang of. A more or less steep learning curve. I've done it before, I will do it again. But to be honest, a lot of the time the technology is really time consuming, not necessarily time saving and efficient, even if that's what we like to think it is. Smart yes, time saving, well...

I'm also thinking that when the technology and (less than well thought through) routines take so much time, that really doesn't bode well from a financial point of view. The budget and compensation level aren't realistic anymore. I'm pretty fab at working fast without losing quality, but sometimes there's only as much as you can do when it comes to that. Partly because of technology, part because of human behaviour out of your control.

And working my way through texts and technology I get this distinct feeling of much ado about nothing. I'm my own worst critic so I really really REALLY look through everything a gazillion times before I hit the submit button. Pretty sure I will still have to do some rework of these initial texts. And since it's not a passion project I'm also pretty sure I don't see it as a long term thing for me, unless I'm able to really work down the time spent on each task it's just not worth it. But still, always grateful for the opportunity to diversify my skills and work.

I also know that in the long run it's good for your development with a bit (or more) resistance. But I believe that resistance and obstacles to work with is much more rewarding if it's a passion project, wouldn't you agree? So I also see this as a good lesson in what I really should spend my time with, work with, and what I shouldn't.

This upcoming week I'll also start another little gig that makes me really happy. I'm going to be food inspirer on Instagram for the great vegan food box from the all organic company Årstiderna (The Seasons). I've found myself in the same ol' rut when it comes to cooking lately, very uninspired in general so I've ended up eating oat porridge for dinner more often than not. It's going to be such fun to be inspired AND inspire others to green, sustainable, healthy, animal friendly and not least very tasty cooking! I tried their vegan food box this past spring and it was lovely, especially one of the dishes was incredibly tasty and easy to make - beetroot quinoa. (I'll share the recipe soon.) You can find the account on Instagram at @veganskamatkassen - hopefully I'll see and inspire you there soon!

I'm constantly fascinated how seemingly vastly different things, happenings and not least people end up being connected in the strangest of ways these days. Or maybe this past year has been one great big eye opener. I've always said I believe in serendipity (or syncronicity, but that's not nearly as lovely a word) and magic and when the time is right things start to make sense. Perhaps this is the amazing time for it now. I keep trusting the process.

In 2013 I also wrote about being in a happy place, everything didn't work out as planned back then. And to be honest I don't think I was this at peace then with my life and how things are, in parts have turned out to be through things out of my control. The soul searching, the hard work, the aha moments this past year, especially these past six months have been exceptional. And the fine fine people I've met in all this, what can I say but wow, an abundance of gratitude for that.

Now, what about the pin above? Ever since I read about the amazing title in 2014, I think it was, it has been my dream job title. Not that I really would like to be employed as it, but if it could be a gig, a project, now that would be quite quite awesome. However I don't believe that true happiness and content at work necessarily come from having a sea of pom pom balls in the office, having a table tennis room, funky design or even free food. Neither do I believe it stems from open-plan offices (quite the opposite, my dear!) or forced team activities, scheduled fika breaks working from an unrealistic notion that everyone is created as an extrovert clone.

I believe that the secret (which shouldn't be a secret these days really) to a happy work environment is to actually see the difference in personalities and needs - and please do get rid of those ridiculous open-plan offices! - to create a happy and productive co-existence for introverts, ambiverts and extroverts where everyone respect the respective needs on a daily basis. We are all responsible for the work place culture, yet so many don't seem to get that. That's where I think the Chief Happiness Officer would do a great job.

the future professional life - book release with hammer & hanborg, sthlm music house, sweden, oct 5, 2017

I'm also willing to take on the role as CLO simultaneously, Chief Listening Officer. I firmly believe the world needs more of those. Too many people tend to talk too much, very few listen. And look where that has gotten us, in so much unsustainable, void of compassion trouble.

All the awesome work title pins I got at a brilliant little book release on the future of the professional life, where I also got to meet the robot Ariel and other neat people.

Must not forget to mention I baked some great vegan cinnamon buns for Cinnamon Bun Day on October 4 - that will also be a recipe I'm going to share soon. I know I'm not sharing as many recipes as I once used to, the reason is not only the lack of inspiration I mentioned above, it just somehow seems a bit trivial when there's so much other amazing stuff going on in my mind and outside right now. But the world do need more easy and tasty plantbased food so I promise I'll share some delicious recipes this week.

I had also set out to write something about the infamous Impostor syndrome in this post. Because it's crazy how no matter obvious competence you have and evidently skilled you are as well as comfortable and confident in your self esteem, the ugly notion of being a fake pops up its head now and then. If you came to my home you would not believe I'm such a perfectionist as I am in work, far from. I'm a bit Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in that aspect. I find that both liberating and rather annoying. But still, a clean home is a sign of a wasted life, it's one of my favourite quotes for a reason.

But pops its useless head up it does sometimes, that syndrome, even more so recently when people I don't know so well yet, or people I didn't know thought so many amazing things about me, say truly great things about me, even recommend me without hesitation. So again, wow, gratitude. And I don't say this with any fake (slightly pun intended) modesty, I really feel blessed and grateful for this. And I'm getting better at ignoring that pestering syndrome, which obviously has nothing to do with a lack of self esteem. Funny how things are, and how the brain works. But of course, I should know that by now, and it doesn't have to involve the offer of a ride.

"I Got that sunshine in my pocket, got that good soul in my feet" -

bring on week two, sweet October of mine, I'm so ready for your greatness!

Sunday, October 01, 2017

what's your theme song?


October. Already. Where did September go? My birthday month is here. Which this year holds a birthday I'm far from comfortable with. But age is just a number, I know. And the older, and wiser, I get the more comfortable I am with myself, my quirks and fabulastic features. 

And if astrology is anything to go by the next +1 year will be a wild, fun and amazing ride for us Scorpios - and whether you believe in that or not I'm most certainly in a place in my life, after all the sorrow, hard work, introspection and growth I've been through this last 1,5 years, where I'm more open and receptive for amazing things to happen than ever. Bring it on, Universe!


I've never been interested in fitting in - to be honest, aren't we all born to stand out in some way or the other? - and even less so with age. Right now I'm only interested in the finding (keeping) my kind of people mission and making a positive difference for the planet. Which is more important than ever, for us all. And with that does come a very firm statement of who cares about fitting in, it's so much more important to be the best You you can be, find meaning and a purpose, to leave the planet a better place than it was when you entered it. Simple, and difficult sometimes, as that.

Which brings me to the next part of this post, the sentiment I touched on in the last you are unlimited post - "Take responsability for the energy you put out in the world".

I stumbled over this conversation between Marie Forleo and the fantastic Brené Brown - whose TED talk/s I'm sure you've already listened to - and was blown away. 

Because despite being a word-person to the bone even I sometimes have trouble putting my feelings into words. This talk however puts a lot of the way I think, feel, live into beautiful, inspiring words. It made me laugh and cry. A friend said she felt a strong affirmation of herself and her life from listening to it. And yes, I agree wholeheartedly.

It's a 36 minutes video you really should listen to, you will be a better human being for it. And then start having those meaningful conversations!

I've just ordered the book "Braving the Wilderness" too, really looking forward to delve into it and explore new dimensions.



Which brings me to the last part of this post, the theme song. You who, like me, watched and loved Ally McBeal know what I'm talking about. That special tune that lifts you, make you feel strong, capable, brave, confident and irresistable. What's your theme song that lift and urge you on?

Mine has been Proud for some years now, it just encapsulate so much of what I want to be and do. It fills me with a strong sense of all the above feelings, every time. (Also the Cape Town video is lovely.)

I dance to it a lot - albeit the dancing under the stars days are most likely over for this year alas - but my absolute favourite dance tune right now is without a doubt Can't stop this feeling (similar to Happy some years ago). It just makes it impossible to sit still, I dance until I'm breathless and like nobody's watching. But for, as always, bewildered cats.

And that sums things up for me and my life right now, things and actions to be proud of is a work in progress but I can't stop this feeling of wonder, gratitude and happiness in general. It's such a lovely lovely lovely feeling to be in.

I keep trusting the process.

PS October 1st is also World Vegetarian Day and the start of World Vegetarian Month, that's most certainly something I'm proud of having been for over 30 years. Even more proud of being 99% vegan for these last couple of years of course. Naturally aiming for 100%. DS

Sunday, September 24, 2017

you are unlimited


Ever since I began gulping down tea pot after tea pot like there was no tomorrow back in high school, accompanied by philosophical discussions about life - 

because that's what the Humaniora students did. Well, at least us who actually thought a lot did, which to be honest, looking back, the majority of my class mates probably didn't. I loved high school, I just  didn't have much in common with most of my class mates though. But then again I've never been interested in having a gazillion superficial friends when I can have a few close and important ones. And that I had, hence the philosophical discussions over lots of tea

I've known that in tea is wisdom.

It's even better when that fact is proven by the tea's equivalent to fortune cookies - Yogi tea quotes.

These above and below ones I got recently and they both struck a special cord for me. 

Because you see, I've been spending the majority of these past few weeks working hard on a special work project - yes it has finally begun! -, which has left me in different measures exhilarated, stressed, amazed, confused and dash annoyed. I guess this is what agile teamwork is, which is great in a way - especially when our different skills seemingly blend together so very well, that's the amazed part, because I don't know these people and they don't know me yet and still, smooth working... - but I also think there's a need for more structure.

Things like, can we please schedule the online meetings and the most important update phone calls a few days ahead. If possible, when possible. And since I'm obviously the last one onboard I don't have the full story of the project and its background, beginning to grasp it obviously after these intense weeks, but still, the lawyer and (semi)control freak would have liked to be a *bit* more in the loop before I got started.

On the other important hand though, and here's the exhilarating part, I've learnt so much during these weeks only. Thrown headfirst into a project with no clear roles or really specific tasks as such I've done so much more than I thought I signed up for or was suppose to do. 

Simply because a) it's such a worthy cause (brand), b) I always approach things as a great opportunity to learn new things (and practice old ones) even if there might be initial kinks and c) when there seemingly aren't any specific roles I might as well do the most of it, enjoy the headfirst situation and get to work. 

Because you know what, the upside of slightly hazy areas of responsibilities is that noone can really object to who's getting things done, as long as it's within the brief and with the mutual goal in mind. This part we're working on now is only a first step of many in a long project. It will hopefully get a sign off this week so we can move on to the next. 

Going above and beyond what I intitially thought would be my role, well it has been fun, really fun. Somewhere down the line it will pay off in different ways, opportunities, karma etc. And when I was feeling stressed and confused a few days in to the project I got this tea quote telling me I'm unlimited and yes, yes of course I am! And since I am a Jill of many trades, why not expand on that?

For me this experience so far has also been a real tangible test on that thing I have such difficulties doing, the one thing I've been blog talking about for years now, but also the one thing that has been coming much easier for me to do ever since the grief recovery process. To trust the process. And the gut feeling. To breath, relax and let my inner (semi) control freak have an extended holiday on some tropical island far far away.

And even if I'm well-used in working with overseas clients and remote work we've then basically worked via emails and Skype. This time there have been other project management tools as well as more phone calls in 2 weeks than I've probably had in the last 2 years - you know, I the odd phoney... And since our little team are situated in Finland, Sweden and England respectively we communicate in some delightful blend of Swedish and English. Which has actually added to the fun.

The curious thing is that when I began writing this post I thought I was going to write about how much more we needed structure, specific areas of responsabilities, what do we expect from eachother, to be able to perform better, avoid misunderstandings and unnecessary stress. I still partly think that would help, but at the same time it has been a fascinating and unusual ride of trust. And a more positive experience and full of learning in a reasonably short amount of time than I ever thought it would be. Looking forward to whatever will be next.

And then the first few weeks in September there was a sudden, unexpected influx of various new job/clients opportunites. Even if I well know by now that over 50% of them always fall through in general, for various reasons, I got a bit flustered. Because what if many of them would lead to something more substantial than just a thought and initial meeting, and that they paid enough and/or were interesting enough, which would I have to chose to decline? And could I really afford to not say yes (both from a financially and the FearOfMissingOut point of view)? 

Or should I just see the next 6 months as a gritty working period, adding to my portolio of experiences and building financial stability? And the silver lining is of course, for a free spirit like me, that I mostly work from home - proud place of awesome pink office - and can usually set my own work schedule just as long as I meet the deadlines.

But as a part of my new trust the process stand that has so far worked out for the best, things partly fell through as usual, partly will begin shortly and more later this autumn. Things happen when they are meant to. Life is much better enjoyed when you bear that in mind. 

Which, again, is not the same as just sit back relax and wait for things to happen. Be active in a way that your comfortable with, and do step out of your comfort zone regularly, and take responsability for the energy you put out into the world - which will be the topic of my next post, the wise words doesn't come from me, but more of that next time.

Not only over these past few weeks, but over these past few months I've been grateful for so many things, for so many experiences, for so many people that have suddenly come into my life and changed me and my path forever. And when I feel flustered, disappointed, even deflated at times, I always remember all those things I'm grateful for. What has truly been the worst 1,5 years of my life has also been one of the most evolving and yes magical even, 1,5 years of my life. Especially these past six months. Which brings me to this second quote I got a few days after the above one.

Grateful. Always.

Friday, September 08, 2017

happy 12th blogoversary


The Blog, this blog, turns 12 today. 

After a both emotionally and physically exhausting week, mostly in a good way but not only, I alas don't feel very witty or capable of writing something profound about the blog journey of 12 years.

But I will say as much as it has been a true haven during both ups and downs in my life. Not least in my most challenging, heartbreaking as well developing, insightful and healing last one and a half year of growth.

When I look back on my post from the first few years I admittedly sometimes shudder of embarrassment, the way I wrote then and in parts how I looked at the world, the topics I chose, it was a very different me. That said I let them be were they are, available to be read, a testament of 12 years of development and finding my voice, both as a human being and in writing style. 


My blogoversary was spent with a lovely LinkedIn-lunch, a possible new client getting in touch, an unexpected meet cute of the doggie kind and not least a cup of tea and a perfect cinnamon bun contemplating 12 years of blogging. Who knew this would be where I'd find myself after a decade plus?

And of course, thank you, dear readers, who keep coming back for more, and sometimes leave those kind and heartfelt comments. I treasure them all.

Happy 12th Blogoversary to me, may it feel meaningful for many more years to come!

Sunday, September 03, 2017

the b project


First, let's have a cup of coffee. Or contemplate having a cup of coffee. Or in this case muse over a picture of a cup of coffee. Specifically the above picture of a cup of excellent oat latte that looks like it has been one third drunk.

Which it hasn't. Not the littlest sip has been taken from it yet. The one third gone was partly spilled when I tried to put the cup down on the table at the same time as my backpack slid down my shoulder. The rest of it spilled right before this picture.

Because what isn't visible - but would have made an excellent cautionary video - is that the outdoor seating at this cafe is partly pretty unsafe. My chair fell backwards from the elevated veranda when I prepared to take the picture, and I managed to grab on to the table in a very awkward position while flashing an uncomfortable amount of my underwear to the good people of Stockholm. I was hanging on there for some very long seconds before I decided that we. would. not. fall. down on street level the chair and I.

Had this happened some years ago I would probably have been so embarassed I would have avoided the cafe for years. Now I'm just glad I survived. And was a source of a hearty laugh. Which certainly is one of the perks of growing older and wiser, embarassing things just aren't that embarassing anymore. Grey hair still is a nuisance though.

Someone called this a Bridget Jones-moment, which I think perfectly illustrates it. I'm still waiting for my Mark Darcy to appear though.

Once again, this wasn't really what I was going to write about, but the arm in the picture with a delightful bracelet belongs to the B-project partner. B as in B personality, specifically the bit that focus on us not being morning people but often night owls. And the introvert/ambivert traits. 

We've talked about creating something really lovely with this, having mulled over the perfect name for the project and suddenly it just came to me the other day. Eureka! In fact it's such a brilliant name for us who are really nerdy about word plays that I would like to shout it from the roof tops, but I won't even mention it in blog because the project is still in early planning stage. Let's just say I'm a bit giddy over it. It's not a big project per se, but I think it will be a lovely, social and fun project. For B people.

I'm currently giddy over quite a few things really. Several great job opportunities/clients (new and old). Like the great meeting I had a month ago, things finally began to happen this past week, but it's still pretty unstructured so I'm looking forward to straightening out question marks and start working, creating a bit of magic, getting to know people and learning new things. It will be great to have natural sounding boards while still being trusted to do my thing. Can it actually be that I have found my tribe? Time will tell.

This weekend I'm preparing a proposal for a very neat and unexpected communication project - thank you again, LinkedIn! - which I had a very nice meeting about last week. Fingers crossed.

It also looks like I'm going to continue with the career coaching part time this autumn too, but this time as a consultant not subconsultant which will mean a more reasonable payment. Plus I have so many new contacts and leads from this spring that a lot of ground work is already done, by myself. Since it was a job that gave me so many warm and fuzzy feelings and fueled my soul it felt like it was too soon to let it go, I'm grateful if we're able to work the details out in a mutual beneficial way.

And in October one of my old clients from 2015 probably will return in a new shape, that will be fun. It's all about cats, dogs, wildlife projects and nature, so right up my alley that too.

I'm really looking forward to doing a work schedule for my autumn.

When things keep slowly falling in place like this, with different pieces in the work puzzle coming together, I can't help but remembering a question someone asked me earlier this year when I sent out an SOS for a part time job - "Do you really want that part time job or would you be happier with having your schedule as full of clients as you want instead?"

It isn't a question with an obvious answer. 

I do miss working with likeminded others with a shared vision and common goals, but that doesn't mean I have to or even want to work with them side by side part day in part day out. Just a touch down and a chat now and then would be perfect.

I love having overseas clients but I wouldn't want my work schedule filled with them because that would basically be like working in an office just doing it from home. With no offline touchdown ever.

The brain exercise and constant creativity flow that comes from having a varied set of clients and assignments, meeting different people on a regular basis, owning my days and never having to feel confined by the restrictions of a physical workplace, that is simply gold worth in my world. (That it will be worth its financial stability weight in gold is obviously also the ultimate goal.) 

And I'm honestly not sure that would be possible to have as an employee. That you feel the job is as challenging, exciting and evolving in the long run as running your own business. Free spirit me talking. Ambivert me.

Then again, if something truly irresistable would turn up, who knows? 

For now, I'm just really stoked about my work autumn. And grateful for this past summer of completions and new beginnings - which I do hope will turn into a glorious Indian summer of course. Not at all ready to say bye to summer dresses, bare legs and sandals just yet. Or outdoor coffees.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

excuse me, may i adopt you?



This will be a post of very, very random reflections.

In April I posted a photo on Instagram of my mother and I under the cherry blossom trees. And for some reason that prompted the comment "You two should start a YouTube channel!" - I found it hilarious. We would certainly fill a gap. But none of us are the least bit keen on being in front of the camera (unless it's under cherry blossoms obviously) and even less in front of a video camera/phone. 

It would have to be in Swedish. And what would we talk about? Food? Wind forward a few months, I've done the grief recovery process which obviously has opened up a veritable flood of emotions and I've spent a good portion of the summer of reflection talking the ears of said mother about relationships, life, love and human behaviour. And every time, just before her ears might have been ready to fall off, she replied with a simple, thoughtprovoking comment that (almost) shut me up.

And that made me think it would actually be pretty neat making a podcast instead. It's a really tiny seed of a thought still. And the emotional flooding has been a part of my grief recovery process and redefining myself, it's very likely it's a stage that has passed. Not sure if it's material enough for it anymore. Although I suppose when it comes to human behaviour and relationships there's always new material to dig from. 

It's just that I think that this summer of so many reflections have been so so full of insights and it would have been nice to make something more... substantial of it. Just a thought.

Maybe we could even discuss the weirdness of internet dating - which will never ever happen for me, I've kept my carefully crafted profile at the first site, but it's just a weird, creepy, uncomfortable and desperate world. I would never ever be comfortable giving my phone number or last name to anyone I'd met on a dating site. Which really says it all. And if you can't even spell your name or your job title right (!) do not bother to flirt me, mister. It obviously makes for good, little stories to giggle and sigh over, but really it's like a parallell, artificial universe. At least I can now say I gave it two months, but I know it's just too creepy and unnatural for me and soon is the time to just delete my profile - how to combat Weltschmerz, or how many cats you can employ before you're considered a crazy cat lady? I'm a great listener, but I'm pretty good at talking too.

Talk about talking. Even if I've always talked a lot with the cats it was only until I went to Schwarzwald last October and spent my solo week there I realised how inclined I was to make small talk with myself even in public. Embarrassing, I know. And how chatty I've become with shop clerks, something which I've always found a rather annoying trait. 

I had pre-booked a taxi when I landed at the airport late on Saturday night and I saw myself chilling in the backseat with the iPhone. But instead I was so grateful to finally have someone but myself to speak Swedish with again, starved even, that it was completely natural to sit in the front passenger seat and chat constantly for 45 minutes with a taxi driver I'd never met. It was surreal.

Something else that feels surreal right now is that suddenly a lot of things seem to happen on the job/new clients front. When it rains it pours. Nothing is signed as such. But several things feel very promising. And exciting. Old and new. I suppose if it's anything to the law of attraction notion this is certainly the time for it, with me being where I am in life. With emotional burdens I didn't even realised I carried to that extent having been lifted.

A friend I hadn't met for many months said I ooze a special kind of calmness now. And that my current charisma is fantastic. How about that for a fabulous compliment? I can't stop marvel about the fact that I feel more grounded, calm, comfortable and yes, happy than I have been for many years. It's a strange and exhilarating feeling. And very welcome. Very welcome indeed. And what I feel on the inside might show on the outside. To be in The Zone is a great thing. I've seen the light. In a very atheist way of course.

Another strange feeling I had recently, very unlike me, who basically never had the urge to adopt anything else than small, furry animals. But I met such a delightful, grown-up person that was so cute I got the strangest idea it would be perfect to adopt said person and possibly carry around as a feelgood, good luck charm. I can't remember I've ever had such an urge before. Maybe this is an in The Zone side effect? 

Be as that may, paws up for groundedness and bubbly feelings.

Friday, August 25, 2017

homage to the wind and the heart

wind turbines <3 on the road to berlin, germany, june 2015

Whilst the original grief recovery process ended last week, we've decided to work with another unfinished relationship to get into a different mindshift, which will be so useful in life from here on. Admittedly I struggled to find one important enough to process, the only one which I apparently isn't as over as I thought - given my reaction to something on my Instagram feed some weeks ago - is my crushed professional long lasting dream of innocent.

But even if one can grief process that as such it felt a bit awkward and silly - though I have promised myself to never ever feel so passionate about a brand again that I allow it to actually crush my heart a bit - so I settled for a friendship that ended abruptly some years ago. In a hurtful, unexpected way but still not something I really dwell over since people are weird sometimes. And why they say and act in certain ways has nothing to do with you, but them and their experiences.

I think we all felt much much calmer today after saying farewell to so much pain last week. It was much more a matter of fact to read and share today. We were all grounded and empowered.


And for some reason - not only because it was a distinct autumny feeling in the air alas - I decided to wear this organic cotton sweater I got some years ago which never really has felt appropriate to wear - and not only because it's beige, analyze that if you will... - with a quote that resonated so much in me when I saw it back then. And still does.

The heart is a compass. And so is the gut feeling. (Also, today was a great hair day, despite the dreaded greys...)

It was so lovely to hear how much we could relate to eachother today, the way we look at relationships and the importance of communication. Again, I'm so very grateful to have met these women. One of life's little miracles. You are not alone.

Which brings me to the wind homage of this post. We're in it together.

These days most commercials leave me either completely uninterested or really annoyed, angry even. Very, very few make me happy, touch me or leave me in awe. But there are some precious exceptions to that rule of indifference and annoyance. And this is one. The Swedish energy company E.on produced a brilliant TV commercial this spring with ingredients that actually brought me to tears.

For you who have read this blog for some time, you know about my love for wind turbines. Fields of wind turbines, wind farms, row upon row of them on hills, in the sea, they are mesmerizingly beautiful to me.

In fact, tall, strong, confident and environmental friendly, one of these gentle giants would make the perfect partner in my book of ideals. Well, at least if it weren't for the not so minor details that the conversations would be very onesided as would the meals, plus zero cuddles to be expected. Oh, I digress.

The ingredients in this commercial that blew me away - no pun intended, really - were;

- the beautiful filming and storytelling
- that they managed to make such a beautiful, melancholic version of a really cheesy, awful Eurovision song contest winner (Fångad av en stormvind/Caught by a heavy gale) that captured both the mood and the energy source perfectly. (The artist that sings is actually the woman in the commercial.)
- the fact that you can apparently go up in the turbines and stand there on top of the world of gentle giants. Yes I know it's for installing, repairing and maintenance, but still I would absolutely love to do it. It went straight onto my dreamy bucket list of things to experience.




You can see the making of the commercial and other clips on YouTube, which will paint a fuller, not so glamourous, picture of it. And needless to say, "Fångad av en stormvind" with El perro del mar is currently one of my absolute favourites on Spotify since a few months.

Thank you heart. Thank you wind. Much love.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

grey hair i don't care


I wish I could wholeheartedly say that was true, that I didn't care about the grey hairs. But I do. 

My father's hair went grey in his 20ies, my mum's in her 50ies and I was *blessed* with it in my 30ies. Ever since then I've coloured and highlighted my once natural rich, red chestnut colour. But for partly chemical reasons partly it's really in vain-reasons I stopped doing it in 2015. Decided to work with not against the greys.

In April this year I suddenly realised it was so grey I could probably go into retirement. And this past year of sorrow and struggle has not exactly helped either. Luckily I neither look nor feel like a little ol' grey haired lady. But still, it's kind of a struggle to come to terms with the fact that it will never be that chestnut colour again, unless I colour it. I won't be the brunette that's me. Ever again.

It doesn't really matter if friends say it looks cool and intended. To me it looks like my hair is covered in cobwebs (very age befitting). It doesn't matter that I think women my age or younger look supercool and stylish because they actually don't care about their hair going grey. Or if they even colour it grey - and yes I've made Instagram albums of cool grey haircuts and styles to be inspired by. Not sure that works very well so far though.

I definitely find it much easier to accept my wobbly bits than those grey hairs.

Used to visit my hairdresser every 10 weeks or so. Now I haven't been since January. Partly because I'm in the mood for it to just (scarecrow) grow - and I know she'll want to put scissors to it. Partly because I don't really trust myself to not be talked into doing something about it when I feel miserable in those always unflattering hairdresser mirrors.

At the same time I'm defiant. I won't be one of those ridiculous persons who fight age in unnatural ways, instead of simply enjoying life and having a healthy lifestyle in general. With or without grey hairs. I will not let something as natural and superficial as my hair colour define me.

But the struggle is real. Especially with a looming birthday in October. Other's have made it past it and survived. Strangely enough. And it does scare me. Age is just a number. But it can be a rather scary number.

Currently I have a decent tan and natural sunbleached highlights, that will most certainly change in the coming months. And it won't feel glamorous and natural at all. But maybe coming to terms with this new me is also a part of redefining myself?

I'm also thinking about how I want that looming, dreaded birthday, with lots of grey hairs to show for it, to be. I have no interest whatsoever to *celebrate* it with a party, partly because I have little or no interest in parties as such, partly because I don't think it's anything to celebrate. 

I've always prefered to travel somewhere for a long weekend trip on my birthday. But then we've always been two on that birthday trip. And as much as I actually loved my Schwarzwald trip last October and how great it was to be a solo traveller, I'm not sure I'm really ready to solo travel for my birthday. Or perhaps I just think I'm not?

But I really love good irl conversations on my trips too, and talking to myself and random chats with strangers isn't what I call good and meaningful conversations. 

In my head I see myself having one of those amazing breakfasts at Café Im Literaturhaus in Berlin on my birthday, and dinner at a fancy vegan restaurant. But then again, Berlin is so much connected with our lovely trips over the years and I don't think I'm ready to just go there alone for my birthday. I think it's better to spend that dreaded birthday in a yet unvisited city where I can create my own memories only. I suspect it will be a bit sad anyway. To meet it on my own. But I also think it would be even more sad to stay at home and not travel anywhere, so far destination unknown.

What's your relationship with your grey hairs? And age and birthdays, especially your own dreaded ones? The former just is what it is I suppose, something to come to terms with. But any great suggestions for the latter much welcome.
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