I can’t believe it’s May already. We have forever been waiting for spring here in Stavanger and when it finally showed up a few days ago, May was just around the corner.
It’s been a couple of months since my last post on this website, and I’m sorry for dropping off the face of the Earth like that, leaving you guys hanging, without even a heads up. My apologies.
You see, a few weeks back my mum got ill. Nothing really serious, just a bit of a “bad” cold we thought. A couple of days into it, I woke up to a text from one of mum’s neighbors telling me that mum had been rolled into the hospital during the night.
Since mum has a habit of getting from bad to worse pretty quickly, due to her past history of pneumonia, combined with her not doing too good with medication, because of her autoimmune disorder (Sjøgrens), (we have had a couple of scares before) I wasn’t leaving much to chance this time… and booked a ticket to UK right away for the earliest plane we could get on.
After a nine hour trip B and I got to the hospital checking in on mum quickly before we called it a night. Over the next few days we visited twice a day, talked to the doctors, discussed medication and what we needed to do, to get mum back healthy.
Thankfully because of her quick admittance to the hospital and a few days with antibiotics through an IV (pretty much the only thing that works anymore) she was bouncing back and it was decided that she was well enough that she could go home 🙂
We stayed around for a while to take care of her, you know.. alt the little things of cooking, shopping, walking the dog, being mean making sure she took her meds 😉 and in general keeping her company, until she was back on her feet well enough she could fend for herself.
We are back home now, and I’m happy to say mum is getting better by the minute, as I got a text a couple of days ago that she was out and about doing a little shopping 🙂
I’m sorry I’ve got a couple of you guys worried about what was going on, but I haven’t felt much like writing…
But hey… I’m back now… so hopefully things should pick up a little 😉
I have about half a dozen unfinished blog post that I can’t seem to get out. I write… have a brain fart…. and that ends that endeavor!
And it happens over and over…
And then there are all the little projects I want to do (and tell you all about) where I get all the stuff out.. take a picture for the blog post… have another brain fart, and here we go… again 😦
So you might say things are not going according to plan…
My intention was to spend the day making a large amount of broth for future use (first time ever doing a dedicated broth “run”), pay my bills, write on my blog and hang out with a friend watching the newest Star Trek movie 🙂
And guess what… another very sudden stop!
I had two large casseroles all decked out with broth bones, ox tails and vegetables. I was all ready to go. Two large casseroles was on the inductions cooktop with full heat for a quick boil (before I put them back on a simmer) and I had just put on a small casserole to make some tea.. and BANG!
My cooktop blew up!
OK, so it didn’t physically blow up, but the fuse blew, and it did say bang.. and when I threw the fuse breaker back, sparks flew and killed the mains at the same time.
No worries… I pulled the plug on the cooktop, and activated the fuses again.. all back to normal… with one teeny weeny exception..
The cook-top no longer worked.
I left it alone for a about half an hour (to let it cool down) just in case it would spring back to action.
And guess what, it did. Yaay! 🙂
But only half of it. Noooo! 😦
Turned out, the half I use the most, was dead as a door nail. All it did was give me all sorts of funky error messages that was not mentioned in the manual (go figure).
I had no other option but to call a repair man to find out what was wrong with the darn thing. A few minutes into the conversation he concluded what was wrong, and gave me an estimated repair cost.
Well guess what! I could literally buy a brand spanking new induction cooktop, for what he said the repair most likely would be.
My cooktop is 10 years old, and no way I’m spending half it’s cost on repair when I can get a new one for same price as the repair.
So guess what… after sorting out the two broth casseroles that was already warmed up before everything went pear-shaped, by putting one in the oven and the other one on the remaining working burners, B and I took off to look for a new hob.
Hours later, after reviewing several, we came home for a rest and a cup of coffee.. to see if we could narrow it down to one or two.
Revived from the coffee, we took of for town late last night, to a shop we hadn’t visited already, as it looked like they might have something just up my alley.
Did we find something?
Yes we did, I think.. maybe.. if I can make all my pots work on it… which I haven’t quite succeeded at yet. So tomorrow will show, if it’s a keeper or not (yes, I’m hard to please).
Stay tuned.. and I’ll keep you posted on where I end up on this.
And the broth?
Well that task is going quite well, thank you. It’s simmering nicely, on the stove as we speak, slowly being reduced into an amount that hopefully will fit my freezer 😉
Seems like I’ve been a bit “off grid” (again), and I apologize.
It’s not like I have actually really been off grid (wouldn’t that be kinda cool to try), I’ve just been hanging around the house, in a offline all hunkered down kinda way!
Let me explain! You see… I had a fantastic trip to Italy for a few days around the month-end July/August… a trip I will tell you all about later.
Now, someone… thought we obviously had had such a great trip, that they (whoever they are) figured it be a great idea for us to enjoy our trip even more after we came home… and promptly decided that giving some of us (we were 38 people on a trip) food poison on our last evening, was a swell thing to do!
Yes you heard me right!
A few of us came home with a gift!
Some from the travel party got hit already on the way home, and I feel soooo sorry for them. Being sick is bad enough, having to deal with it an a all day travel day, sucks big time.
Me? I got home, before it hit… but then… it hit hard.
Because of the meds I take on a regular basis for my chronic migraines and tension headaches, I’m already having some stomach trouble, throw in a sever case of food poisoning, and there you have it.. a receipt for disaster.
So this is what I’ve been up to.. staying at home tending to a spike in migraines (from the trip) combined with food poisoning, and you can see why I’ve been laying low.
The ONE redeeming factor?
I’ve lost 6 pounds!!!
And, I can’t say I’m hating having lost them, now if they will just stay off, I’ll be a really, really happy camper 😉
PS. Note to self. Never, ever… eat under-cooked meat again… while traveling!
We’ve had beautiful weather the last few days, I mean seriously gorgeous weather, nice and warm, like 25-26 degrees C in the shade.
So you know the whole nation of Norway (OK, maybe just the people on the south-west coast), is out and about, rather than sitting cooped up inside.
It makes perfect sense to me to use these warm days getting stuff done in the respective gardens, and yesterday it was my stepmoms allotment that was being worked. B (being the nice guy he is) handled the cutting of the grass, while I was working my fingers to the bone, cutting a large hedge, with an electric hedge trimmer.
It was all going pretty well, I was down to the last few yards, when suddenly the stepladder I was on, decided it had had enough of it all.
I had gotten up on top of it and was leaning in with my hands on my hedge trimmer to start working on the top of the hedge, when the ladder decided to just take off with me on top. It fell outwards and I had no choice but to follow (as I did have my feet firmly planted on the top step).
And I crashed… hard! Mostly on top of the darn thing! And let me tell you, that stepladder have some sharp edges 😦 All I remember is hitting the ground hard on my right shoulder, enough that I needed to catch my breath (a few minutes), before I managed to scrape myself off the ground.
I decided to call it a night, there was no way I was going to tempt fate getting back up and finish that hedge. That particular decision might have had something to do with the fact I was bleeding all over the place, from scrapes on my leg and shoulder, and I needed to clean that stuff off.
I’m not one to run of to the doctors prematurely, but it didn’t take me long to realise that my shoulder needed to be checked out, as I could no longer lift my arm. So off to the emergency room we went. 4 hours, x-rays, one tetanus shot and 3 doctors later, I was declared OK. No broken bones 🙂 Just a severely internally bruised shoulder (leg, hip and neck).
I’ve been told it might take up to 3 weeks before it’s healed 😦
Which is quite a bummer, as friends from abroad came in this morning and we had been planning to go on hikes in the area (which demands a bit of climbing.. read: use my shoulder). I have garden plans, like clearing up plants and painting the garden brick wall. And not to forget I have my little scanning project.
I know that computer work is going to be out of the question the next few days (one hand typing), so guess what! Yepp, you are right, there won’t be a lot of
sensible stuff out on this blog for a little while. I might post a picture or two, depending on what my friends and I are up to.. but actual words! Probably not… much 😉
Yepp… that would be me!
Pretty, ain’t it?
It’s ridiculous how long I’ve been working on this post… I started it weeks and weeks ago.. and then I completely forgot all about it lurking around in the drafts folder… until I suddenly went.. oh crap.. didn’t I..??? Yeah you guessed it, I suddenly remembered that I had not posted it after all. How the heck could I forget?
And here we are, almost done with February. And I still haven’t given you the update on how I did with my 2015 goals! 😳
How can I make it up to you? Well I guess I could just go ahead and give you that update!
Before I do, I have a teensy-weensy disclaimer!
2015 turned out quite differently than I had anticipated. As some of you know, I had to throw in the towel at work, June 2015 for health reasons. Following that particular decision, a few things happened during the fall, things that was completely outside of my control, which unfortunately, took a toll on my health.
I know, I know.. it’s a poor excuse… But excuse or not, it is an explanation for why I completely flunked on some of my goals, as you will see below.
I did have quite few goals, and even though I flunked a lot, I did accomplish one or two…
So here it is, my (ahem) “quick” update, starting with one of the ones I actually passed 🙂
My overall goal when it comes to my house mortgage, is to pay it down as quick as possible. Every January I pay a lump sum towards the mortgage (a quick explanation of my mortgage). My goal for 2015 was to to save up NOK 60 000,- for my lump sum in January 2016. And I did it. Actually I was a ahead of schedule and had saved my yearly down payment by October. With a little extra savings in November.
I did debate paying down more than my 60 000 this January, but I decided I’d rather invest that extra money in mutual funds, as the interest rate on my mortgage is really low.
With this last payment, I’m down to 1/4th left on my mortgage, only 9 years in 🙂 Do I get a woot, woot?
I had a bunch of declutter goals. Just as in 2014 I wanted to shed an item a day. In addition to that, I had a few other “projects” like reading myself out of my bookshelf, watching myself out of my movie collection, and (the big mother of projects) photos!
My declutter goals for 2015:
- 😀 365 items – 561 items out the door – the big purges are mentioned here, here and here…
- 100 Movies – 68 movies
- 😦 Cut physical DVD series collection by 30% – I’ve only gotten rid of one series which probably amounts to all of 1%
- 34 books – 27 (I ran into too many I wanted to keep)
- 😦 Photo collection – I never had a proper goal on this as I have thousands of photos, and the idea was to – keep key photos as physical photos, scan the other ones I’d like to have access to, and get rid of the rest. – All I can say…. it IS on the list for 2016 (and 2017… and 2018… and…)
ONLY BUYING NECESSITIES
2014 was a year I focused a lot on only buying necessities ( I want, I want – I want it now!!!), and it served me so well that I continued in 2015. I had some non necessities allowances though;
- 😀 Books – buy only 10 books/magazines – I bought 6 books (4 of them e-books), no magazines
- 😀 Flowers and plants – same level of 2014 – I cut about 60% on 2014 results
- 😦 Eating out – reduce 25% on 2014 results – we have already established that this item is something we struggle with. So it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that we flunked this one completely. Here are the statistic:
- we ate out 39% more times than 2014
- average cost per meal was reduced 9,5% – resulting in
- total cost for 2015 was increased with “only” 25,9%
Even though the results are pretty bismol (with the exception of average cost per meal) there is one upside in it all.
You see, both B (my eating out partner in crime) and me stopped working early/mid 2015. B took out an early retirement + was hit by company downsizing, leaving the workforce early spring. And I, well I started the year working only 20% until I left completely in June, when I went out on 100% sick leave.
We have found out in the past, during holidays and such, that we eat out more when we are not working. In lieu of the fact that most of the year have been non working days, for us both, I’m actually surprised that we did not increase our cost by more than 25,9%. So yeah, we gotta look at the bright side of this 😉
- ❓ I can buy up to 10 non essentials throughout the year – Hmm lets see, I bought:
- 2 lamps at an antique fair – the lamps are going over my dining table (been looking the last 5 years – finally found some I think might be cool.. as soon as I change the wiring 😉 )
- 1 pair of shoes (needed a pair that can work as my one pair only for minimalist travel)
- a few Lush products to test out deodorants and shampoos in solid form (travel)
- a couple of eagle creek super light travel pouches (travel)
- 6 pieces of clothing – 4 replacing worn out items, 1 item filling a hole in my wardrobe, and 1 just because I wanted it…
- 1 frame for a poster (picture finally on the wall after years and years in a roll)
- a set of omaggio vases
Depending on how you want to count these non essentials, it’s either a flunk or pass scenario. If you look at it from a “if every single item counts separately” then, yes I bought more that 10 items. But if “each purchase count as one” (eg lush, lamps, vases..) then I guess I kinda passed? You know what? I’m leaving it to you to decide 😉
ACTIVITY AND EXERCISE
The goal for 2015 was to build up to, by the end of the year: 7 days of activity a week, with 3 of these as real workouts.
Yeah, that didn’t happen (re my disclaimer) – I did pretty good during summer with an average of 6 times a week, but I took a crashing nosedive end of August, resulting in this goal going straight out the window for the rest of the year. So yeah.. a big, big fail 😦
As always, I enjoyed my garden as much as possible. In addition I had a few other projects.. mostly helping out family and friends with little things in the house.
I did however have a bit of a larger task, helping a friend who got a new house in 2015. Picture this, a house built in 2000 with interiour like the 1970s! Yeah, non painted pine, red, orange and yucky cream/brown/puke coloured wall… and thats for starters. For her it became quite a renovation project.. so B and me tried to help out as much as my health would allow. You know things like; painting, drawing up the new kitchen, delivering doors to be spray painted, changing door handles, cutting moldings to fit new wardrobes, more painting, installing the wifi, hanging curtain rods, “create” (rather adjust) a couple of ikea kitchen units to fit the space… you know.. all the little things that comes up during move in and renovation 😉 It turned out to be a fun and very social summer as she had lot and lots of friends helping.. oh yeah.. and there was lots and lots of great food, do I need to say more 😉
All in all, it was a great summer season!
This concludes my “How did I do on my 2015 goals”!
About time, you might say! All I can say is.. Yeah, I know 😳
The last few months, I’ve had quite a few time-out moments.
You’ve probably noticed it, from the lack of consistency on this blog.
You might even go so far as to say I’ve been a bit lazy 🙂
Not the slouching on the sofa eating nothing but chips and pizza lazy (well, actually I’ve done a little of this too), but more the haven’t had the energy to sit down and write on my blog, clean my house, answer e-mail, exercise, kinda lazy.
With all the stuff that has been going on centered around my health, work and disability issues, I’ve had a need for an extended time-out. There are times in life where you need to listen to the body and follow it’s lead.
Just take the last week of January for example, which turned into quite a few busy days as it was the last week at my company. I think the air went out of me a bit after I officially said goodbye to my workplace. And I decided to just relax and do nothing.
So instead of rushing around doing all the things on my todo list (and there are a few things on it), I spent my time reading, watching movies, watching minimalist packing videos on youtube, hanging out with friends, booking a trip to Italy this summer (woohoo – and yes, I will write about it), being visited by my neighbor’s cats (soooo cute), sleeping in… you know! All those little things that makes life worth living 😉
The world around us is moving at a pretty fast pace and we as people are trying to keep up. We rush through life, with never ending to-do lists and commitment. Often never really stopping to “smell the roses” so to speak.
We stuff as much as possible into our days, rarely present, too focused on getting things done and racing against the clock. If you ask me, I would say that too much of this is exhausting and draining.
Yeah, I know, there is nothing really wrong with rushing – a little – but it’s difficult to rush and be present at the same time. I would go so far as to say it’s almost impossible to do so.
So why do we do it? Well, there are a lot of reasons for why. Some of them are because of; habit, avoidance, self-importance, guilt, competition, control, too much on our plate, pressure, false perceptions and sometimes even laziness (yeah, go figure)…
Let me explain!
For a lot of us rushing has become a habit, we are so used to it we don’t even notice we are doing it. It has become a state of mind, unconscious and addictive.
We fill our day with constant movement for a lot of reasons, one is we might actually have a lot to do :-). But often it is because one or more of these reasons; we don’t want to deal with our own feelings or stuff, we fear judgment, we want and need to feel needed, we feel guilty or even unworthy when we slow down, we feel like we “need to do stuff” to “be loved”, and sometimes might we feel like we have to do everything or life will fall apart.
Other times we stress because we feel a pressure to perform – from others and ourselves, we are afraid of missing opportunities and we don’t want to be bypassed. You might say we stress to impress.
Our society and us ourselves, tend to value doing over being. Sometimes it is easier to rush through life than to slow down. Rushing allows us to live on the surface, while being present takes energy and intention, as we will have to look deeper into ourselves.
So what is a person to do?
I have definitely been rushing through life at times, and I know I’ve been guilty of more than one of the reasons above for doing so.
I have however noticed that several of these reasons no longer are the same stress factors as they used to be. Maybe it’s age or maybe it’s because of this minimalist path I’ve been on. I believe it’s both.
With age comes wisdom they say 😉 I believe that as you move along in life, you’re priorities changes, and what used to be important to you might no longer matter as much.
I also know that my path towards minimalism, bundled with my health issues the last 5 years, have really had a big impact on me. Because of health, I have had to learn to slow down, and reduce the stress in my life. Because of minimalism, I no longer care as much about what everybody else thinks. There is no reason to “keep up with the Joneses” (not that I ever really did, but now even less so), there is no need to compete (because I’m good enough as I am), I definately don’t “need to do stuff” to “be loved” (if you don’t love me for who I am already.. well that just tough 😉 ) And I could go on…
I think it’s beneficial for everyone to slow down a little. Slowing down and being present can benefit your health, relationships and self being.
So how do we stop rushing through life?
Well for starters, we need to learn to take a break now and then. We need to listen to our body.
If you are tired, take a break. If you are stressed, do something for you that makes you happy. Go for a walk, play with your dog, open a window and look at the sunset and inhale, go for a run, read a book, work in the yard.. whatever that gives you a moment of happiness.
Yeah, but that’s not always easy to do.. you say.. I’ve got so much on my plate!
I know it’s not an easy thing to do, but try this one on for size: Stop and ask ourselves why. “Why do I need to rush right now?” and “What is the rush?” Knowing why often reduces the pressure, and if you can’t even figure out why you are rushing through that particular task, why not just go ahead and stop altogether! Stop and take a breath. Take a moment to slow down, to allow yourself to be present.
Slowing down and letting go, allows you to be happier, you’ll make better decisions, you’ll inspire others, and it could change the way you look at yourself and everyone around you.
Too much stress on the other hand, and it can have a detrimental affect on your relationships and health. Just look at me 😦 It’s high stress over years and years, not listening to my bodys signal, that has ultimately resulted in me now being on disability. So please don’t be my kind of stupid, ok?
Let me tell you a little story!
A few years back, my boyfriend at the time, asked me a question while I was on the phone with him, telling him how I had done absolutely nothing that day. His question stopped me cold… He asked Did you do it well?
I didn’t really understand what he meant at first.. What do you mean, did I do it well?”
He answered back.. You’ve said you’ve done nothing all day… but did you DO it WELL? Did you do nothing well?
I had to stop and think, and realised that no I had not done nothing well.. Quite the opposite! I had jumped from one thing to another all day, not really accomplishing anything (hence the done nothing part)
I learned a valuable lesson that day! I learned that if you are going to have a “lazy/happy/fun” day, make sure to really have a lazy/happy/fun day. No “running around” working on things, no guilty trip over things that don’t get done. Instead, make sure you totally relax into that day 😉
So here is to taking a moment, a timeout so to speak, and doing it well!
I’m taking a cue from these guys, why not join me in a moment of your own 🙂
Today is a bit of a milestone for me.
Almost 33 years ago (well 32 years, 7 months to be exact), on June 29th 1983, I started my career at my company. Today, on January 31st, I’m leaving it all behind.
Some of you might remember last summer, that I had to throw in the towel at work because of health reasons, when I had to go back to 100% sick leave, and apply for disability pension.
I’m happy to report I’ve been granted the pension 🙂 Sadly that means I will have to say goodbye to my company and my colleagues.
I started as wee little girl right out of high school, and work has been an integral part of my life, as I’ve lived for it. I love my job, and I love hanging out with my colleagues, so it’s sad having to leave.
During my time there, I have done a lot of interesting things and I’ve met a lot of great people. It’s been challenging, fun, some tears, more hugs 🙂 ups and downs, calm days and crazy days, but most of all – there has been loads and loads of laughter 🙂 I’ve made lots of friends, some who have turned into “family”.
As great as the work itself has been, there is one thing I am absolutely sure of, and that is – that it’s my colleagues, former colleagues, “family” and friends, who will always be the reason why it was as a great place to be. And the people are the reason why it’s hard to leave. It has been a pleasure working with them all, for all the inspiration and wonderful memories they have given me.
I know that often – out of sight is out of mind – and I’m sure I’ll fall out of touch with some, but happily I have good friends there, that I know I will keep in my life for a long time to come 🙂
As I leave the company, all I can say is a big – Thank you!
Thank you, all my colleagues, who have enriched my life! I will keep you close.
And now… what will my future bring? I have no idea, but I’m sure I’ll manage to fill this next chapter somehow 😉
I just got back after a few days in Oslo, the capital of Norway, hanging out with some friends who was visiting from US, and it’s time to get serious with my decluttering again. During this summer anyone that have been reading my blog, knows my items out-the-door have pretty much been non existent.
I’m not sure why I have this persistent thought that I need to declutter some more… my house is pretty much under control, I have gotten rid of tons of stuff the last few years, and in most peoples mind I never owned that much in the first place.
I think it’s part of this minimalist journey, wanting to shed more, I see it with a lot of the other “minimalists in making” that I follow as well, that as you declutter and get rid of things, it spills over in other aspects of your life.
As we declutter we become more aware of the things that matter, of what is important to us, either in the items we own, the people we are with, or the things we choose to spend time on. So we continue to declutter our; physical items, digital stuff, mental clutter, social interactions and work stuff, in hope that we will reach the right balance. The right balance between health, family, friends, work and you!
For most of us, it’s a work in progress, a continuous path we are on, one that might never end, as we slowly evolve into the people we want to be.
And this is why I think I still feel compelled to declutter, I’m not yet where I want to be, as I still have loads of “stuff” I want and need to sort through.
Sometimes it takes an event or a major issue to wake you up! An event or issue so big, that it compels you to change your ways.
Me getting sick a few years back, have surely been an eye opener! It has put a lot of things into perspective, and made me realise a few things. I also lost my dad to an illness about 2,5 years ago, which really brought home a few truths, about how I had some of my priorities wrong.
I know I never really write much about the inner changes, this blog has mostly been about decluttering the physical stuff. I guess it’s because the physical stuff is more tangible, it is something you can show the results of.
The inner stuff is harder to put down on paper, especially since the change often is so subtle, you hardly even notice that it happens, until your are way down the line. Then all of a sudden you realize that you have changed, changed the way you view a few things, changed what is important, changed some of your priorities…
It’s this change that made me realise that there are certain things in life that is no longer worth the cost of having it in my life. It’s this change that resulted in me finally deciding to throw in the towel with work and prioritize health. Without this inner change, I would still be at it, working away, ignoring my health, slowly working my way down in a ditch I might never have gotten out of, while at the same time do irreparable damage to myself.
It’s this inner change that might one day make us realise, that the things we used to live and breath for, no longer is the center of our universes.
We might suddenly realize that, “Hey, I don’t care all that much about this thing anymore, this thing that used to be the most important part of my life, this thing I prioritized over everything else, to very often, the exclusion of everything else… whoah!”
I don’t write about my inner changes much, because I don’t know what to say, I can’t quite formulate it all. The only thing I can say, is.. that the changes I experience on my minimalist path, makes me more centered, calmer, more aware of what’s important, less materialistic, more aware of where my energy goes and more in tune with whom I want to be.
It’s a slow process, and I’m on my way.. not quite there yet, but on my way!
And the strangest thing, that every time I shed some physical stuff, it seems to help me along my path to shed some mental stuff. It’s probably because I have to seriously think about if the item is important to me and why. It might also be because I’m getting into the harder stuff, the family stuff, the photos that bring back all sorts of memories, the stuff after my dad, the stuff that carries with them their own ghosts.. some of them my ghosts…
So this is why I declutter, so that I one day might get it all cleared out!
Dear Minimalist Sometimes and friends!
Yeah, I know… I know I’ve been completely out of touch lately. I bet you’ve been wondering if I dropped of the face of the earth, considering my spotty writing performance lately. Well, I’m still here 🙂
I’m really sorry I’ve been out of touch, but there is a reason.. I’m not saying it’s necessarily a “good” reason (even though I think so), but there is a reason nonetheless! Anyhow, there has been stuff going on that have occupied my mind a lot, and unfortunately there haven’t been much “energy” left over for the fun things like hanging out with the blogging community.
You see, a little while back, I had to make a decision, a decision that will affect the rest of my life!
Yeah I know, that sounds really dramatic, don’t it? I guess it’s not really that dramatic (in the big picture of things), but to me it’s been major!
Let me get you up to speed!
Remember I wrote last year about taking a couple of months hiatus from work, for health reasons? And how that two months turned into 6 months before I started back up at work January this year? I told about starting slow, first 10%, then 20% from about mid February, and how my plan was to continue to step it up to 30, 40, 50…
Not so much, I’m afraid… A few weeks back, my plan took a nosedive, straight into the ground.
Let me tell you a little non related story: When I was about 17 or 18, I was out biking, in shorts, since the weather was great. I was going down a long hill, picking up speed, not a care in the world, because I was having a great day. At the bottom of the hill there was a steep turn that I just flew through, not realising there was a bunch of gravel on the ground and that I really, really should have slowed down! Next thing I knew, I slammed into the ground and skid so hard that by the time my body stopped sliding, I had gravel in places I don’t want to mention 😉 And I think I remember not having much skin left on my left side either. Let me just say, I was not a pretty sight, by the time I finally managed to pick myself off the ground 😉
A few weeks back, I mentally slammed into the ground, just like I physically did on that bike, years back. It all happened, when we (my doctors and me), or rather I, realized that my health was not quite where we had hoped and wanted it to be.
“Realizing” this is one thing, making the decisions that naturally would follow such realization, is a whole other ball game, trust me!
It’s been 5 years since this “story” started. During these years, while I’ve been working (any % between full and nil you can imagine) I have done all sorts of “weird and wonderful” treatment, to try to get healthy enough to get back to 100% work. I really focused on treatments during my hiatus last year, in hope that a break and extensive treatments would work out.
I’ve been so focused on getting back to work, that I have never really stopped to think about if getting back to work, really was the best thing for me, health wise.
Work is and have always been a really important part of my life (I live and breath for it). I love my job, and I love hanging out with my colleagues. And having to make a decision that will have such a permanent affect on my current life, and not to mention the rest of my life, has not been an easy thing to do.
But, I’ve decided to throw in the towel when it comes to work! So that I can focus/use what energy I DO have on getting my health as good as I possibly can, and maybe have a little extra left over for me.
It seems like (I have found, during my conversations these last weeks), that what I have finally figured out (yeah, I’m a bit slow on the uptake), my doctors, specialist and even my representative at NAV (Norwegian Labour and welfare administration) seem to have figured out a while back. But since I’m the ever optimist, and have had such a drive to get back to work, they have not pushed their conclusions, they have waited for me to figure it out on my own.
It’s been 3 weeks since my meeting with HR, my boss, the company health department and the union, where I told them, that my doctors and I had concluded, that I needed to go back to 100% sick leave, and that I would apply for disability pension.
Just like I’m quite shocked that this would be the result, I think they got a bit surprised as well, especially since I’ve been so optimistic that I would beat this illness and get back to work.
It’s taken me days to write this letter/post (not to mention weeks) as I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around that this would be the end result after 5 years of struggle.
I’m under no circumstances stopping treatments and focusing on getting healthy, it’s the work part of my life I’ve decided I’m leaving behind.
And it’s tough! I still get a bit teary-eyed, thinking about it. I’ve worked for my company for 32 years and it’s going to be hard to leave.
So, what now?
For now, while I’m waiting for the results of my application (which might take a few months). I will continue to focus on my health with treatments, workouts and rest.
And hopefully, if the weather holds, you’ll find me in the garden – we all know, how I love tinkering around out there 🙂 And knowing me, since I’m a bit of a restless soul, I’m sure a small “project” or two will pop out of the woodwork at some stage – I get awfully “creative” when I have a little time on my hands 😉
I don’t yet have all the answers on that, but I’m sure I’ll figure some things out in the months to come.
So stay tuned and I’ll let you know, as I find it out 😉
With love, Anne Lene