Here we are, already into the month of October. I can’t believe how fast time is going by! What on earth happened to September?
Oh yeah, that’s right, September I was knee deep into my declutter challenge, no wonder time flew by!
So… what have I got up my sleeve for this month?
All I can say, is, that there are going to be a few trips and a whole lot of celebrating 😀
Yesterday I celebrated my stepsister’s 50th. It was an awesome party, and a very, very late night 😉
Next, is a trip to UK, to celebrate my brothers wife’s 40th birthday. We’ll be stopping at Mums for a couple of days first, and then it’s “London, here we come” 😀
As soon as I’m back from England, I’ve got a few days at home, before I’m off again. This time it’s Oslo time, to celebrate my younger stepbrother’s wife’s turning 40.
So you see what I mean by there being birthdays all around 🙂
And what’s on the agenda as soon as all the birthday celebrations are over?
Well, then I’m off to a spa and wellness center, for 4 days of bliss 🙂 (I’m gonna be needing to recover from all the partying you know 😎 )
Will you be hearing from me while I’m on the road? Off course! I will certainly try. Somewhere in all this I should find a moment or two, to jot down a few words!
A fair warning, mind you!
I will not be bringing my laptop on any of the trips. I was thinking of testing out a iPad mini only scenario. I would like to find out how well I can manage, especially on blog related stuff.
You see, I am working on this minimalist list of items to bring, on future travels, and if I find I can get away with iPad only, for blog related stuff (or any stuff really), I will have significantly lightened my load. And then… maybe… there might be some hope, that I can get down to my minimalist backpack.
OK! Confession time!
I have never really properly finalized a post without my laptop! I reckon there will be some trial and error until I get it right (and probably some cursing.. now lucky you, you won’t need to listen to that, poor B on the other hand… )
So, this is my disclaimer!
I give NO guarantees for how it’s gonna look… I’m just saying 😏
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 🙂
It’s November 1st, the day after that day where kids roam the streets, looking for candy.
I hope you all had a great Halloween last night. The kids here in Norway have embraced the US tradition of going trick and treat, so I prepared myself for an invasion. I was right to be prepared, because by the time the night was over, 50 kids had visited me, and I only had one very very tiny bag of candy left.
In this day and age, where a lot of people mostly look out for themselves, we are no stranger to the kids following suit. And part of my evening was filled with a bunch of kids who showed up in one “horrible” costume after another, with blood pouring, heads chopped off, almost “running” me down for some candy 🙂
But… there was a moment, that profoundly touched my heart. A moment that showed me that there are compassion among kids, that they care for each other, and want the best for each other!
Riiing… the doorbell rang, and I opened up to a pile (8 or 9 of them) of young “men”, most likely in the age group of 9-11 (a bit hard to tell considering they were wearing masks). Who very politely took turns to get their bag of candy handed to them. They thank me nicely and I closed the door.
Riiing… I opened again and I look into the blood dripping face of one of the kids that I just closed the door on. He asked if he could get one more candy bag for a friend and he pointed to a kid with a yellow reflex vest standing a bit in the shadows. “Yes off course, just tell him to come over and I’ll get him one..” Mr. Yellow vest was at that time turned and slowly walking away..
“He doesn’t want to, he’s afraid, because he has no costume”, I feel my heart breaking as I hand the candy over to one of the other kids who run over to Mr. Yellow vest with it, and I ask Mr. Blood dripping face if they want a small bag for Mr. Yellow vest to collect his candy in. “Yes please, that would be grand”
Then I suddenly hear “He is crying” and I look up and the kid that handed the candy to Mr. Yellow vest is beckoning the group. My heart drops and I rush to give the plastic bag to Mr. Blood dripping face and he hurries over together with the rest of the group to comfort Mr. Yellow vest.
I felt so sorry for Mr. Yellow vest, and I just wanted to go over and give him the biggest hug ever.. But his group was already taking care of him and the only thing I could do was “shout” (ok not really shouting but a raised voice since they were a few feet away) over to them that a costume didn’t matter, that the candies are for everyone and that people wouldn’t care if he was wearing costume or not…
After a moment Mr. Blood dripping face turns towards me and waves at me saying that “He is ok now” and they start to move slowly down the street.
This group of young men have stayed with me since last night. In the middle of times where bullying is a real problem, it is heartening to see that there are kids out there that care, that care to stay by their own, to rally around a sad kid and help him out. It would be so easy for a group to “jump all over” a kid that sticks out and beat him while he is down. But this group choose to include and help and do anything they could to cheer him up and make him feel better.
These young men will forever stay with me, for they truly touched my heart.
Would you believe it, today is my one year anniversary. One year! I’m sure for people out there, who have been at this for years, one year is nothing, and I get that. Hopefully I will be among those one day. But for me, here, today, one year of blogging is significant!
A year ago, I decided that a goal for 2014 would be to shed on average one item a day. And I got this idea, that I would start a blog to keep me on track, which as you can see, I did 🙂
So why is celebrating one year such a big deal? Well, you see, when I started out, I had this intention to blog for a year, but to be quite honest with you, I wasn’t really sure if I would actually manage to stick with it. I’ve tried journalling before and never succeeded (and I’ve tried several times), so why would writing a blog be anything different? But believe it or not, here I am, one year later, still posting the occasional words on my blog, and that’s why one year is such a big deal. Not only was I able to stick with it, but I’ve found that I like doing the occasional writing, and being part of a blogging community.
Little did I know, when I started out, that this world of bloggers, would enrich my life, as they have truly done.
This year, I have changed some of my ways. I’m sure some of this change would have come about any-ways, because of the journey I’ve been on the last few years. But there are no doubt that I have changed even more because of the blogging community.
You never know, I might let you in on some of these changes, over the next weeks and months 😉
It’s funny, how when you start a journey, it’s like the universe align itself to help you out, and put the right people in your path. And that’s how it feels, one year in. Starting a blog seems to have been one of the better decision I could have made. Through my blog, I’ve met some wonderful and creative people, who’s writings I can’t help but to be influenced by.
I’m really looking forward to continue this journey of mine, together with all of you, who so graciously have invited me into your “homes”. Without you, this blog would surely no longer exist!
I can’t wait to see what the next year will have in store for us all 🙂
Lately I’ve gotten into a bad habit of turning the TV on early, and even though I don’t always look at it, it steels my attention and the result is that I’ve been spending way (and I mean waaaay) too much time in front of the tube. Yesterday I realized I need to give myself a detox. A TV detox.
Now, since there are a couple of programs that gives me immensely joy to watch, I’m giving myself a daily limit.
And my daily TV limit is – 1 hour.
I know for some this sounds like a lot, but from where I’ve been going lately, this is a severe restriction.
The same goes for my smartphone/iPad time. I tend to get a little engrossed when surfing the web, and before you know it, it’s been hours. So just for measures, I’m going to throw in some restrictions on this as well.
So here it is – no more than 1 hour combined Smartphone/iPad/PC use daily.
There might be one and only one exception to this rule! Sometimes preparing a post takes me longer than an hour. So should I run into that issue during my enforced detox, I have hereby granted myself permission to finish my post 🙂
Now, how long will this detox last? Hmmmmm, let’s see… Why don’t I start with two weeks and see how that goes.
So what if I fail? Then what?
Then! I get no TV whatsoever for a while….
When do I start? Well actually, I started today 😉
Why do I do it? Because I need to be more mindful on what I spend my time on…
And to steal a detail from my friend over at What I shed Today – Shedding style: reduce 😉
I can’t believe this is my 100th post!
Little did I know when I started out, how much having a blog would mean to me, and I never thought about all the milestones I would go through having a blog.
My first post – The start of my journey!
Suddenly I had my first like and my first follower, woohoo… But how on earth did they find me?
And thank you Jen over at Me woman you man for making the first comment on my blog – oh my I was excited. The cool thing! She is still with me 🙂
Soon followed the 10th post Taking a stab at my bookshelves, my 10th like, the 10th comment and my 10th follower – Ed my dearest friend 🙂
Fast forward and I’m hitting my 100 likes, my 100 comments and after a while my 100th follow by My botanical garden.
And not to forget! My first award, a Liebster award, quickly followed by a second Liebster award I sadly never wrote about, which was given to me by My Light Bag who got it from Laura at The next 50 years who got it from me 🙂 My third award was a Sunshine award and I believe I have a fourth award waiting for me (from Heather at Simply Save) whenever I get my act together to write about it 😉
And here I am; 170 followers, 3956 views, 735 comments (I believe the stats are counting mine as well, so half maybe?), 63 countries later, doing my 100th post!
It never dawn on me, starting out, that I would find kindred spirits, make blog friends, and feel like I belong to a community. Or how I would miss people when they stopped blogging (hopefully only for a while). Or how bad I would feel when I don’t have the time or energy to keep up with my community (I guess it’s just like with regular friends).
I never thought about how much pleasure I would get out of having a blog. How my mind is forever making post in my head, even though sometimes they never make it down on “paper”.
Or how I would be changing during the course of blogging and moving along my minimalistic path. How other bloggers have made me think about all sorts of things from taking better care of the environment, become more thrifty, eat healthier, travel more, single living (nice to know I’m not alone) and take better care of my health. I even believe the blogging community helped with my decision of taking a time-out!
I just want to thank you, my faithful followers, commentators, bloggers, for making my days more cheerful, mindful, reflective and sometime just plain happy 😉
I’ve been out of touch the last couple of weeks, so what on earth have I been up to?
Well, let me tell you. It’s been really, really busy, and fun 🙂
September this year, I’m turning 50 years young 😉
I figured a 50 year birthday is worth celebrating properly!
On my actual birthday I’ll be in Houston, celebrating with a bunch of friends and loads and loads of margaritas 😉
But I decided I needed to have a Norway celebration as well! So last weekend I threw a PARTY, with friends and family at this end of the world. Woohoo!!!
The plan was for an outdoor grill party, but the weather gods for some reason just wanted to throw rain at us, so it turned out to be an indoor grill party. Good thing it was a smallish group with only about 20 people, since my house ain’t that big 😉 I do however, feel sorry for the grill-chef that had to spend all her time outside gilling in the rain (I did fix a temporary roof over her, but still…).
Even if it was a small group it was a wonderful mix of family and friends. Mum and brother from UK, stepbrother and girlfriend from Bergen, friends I haven’t seen in like forever, mixed with friends I see all the time. It was a great opportunity for all of us to catch up.
It was a party filled with fun and loads and loads of laughed, I don’t think I have laughed that much in a long time (yes, tears rolling). I love throwing parties like that 🙂
Definitely worth a repeat. Now if I could just find an excuse to throw another one… 😉
My little furry friend is gone, and it’s all quiet in my house again!
The owners came home a little earlier than planed. The owners dads (who normally keeps Molly, is terminal sick) suddenly took a turn for the worse, and they needed to cut their trip short. 😦 My thoughts go out to them.
Out of the blue, they showed up to pick up their little girl, and within minutes everything was packed and they were gone!
As much as I was “looking forward” to get my house back, it sure is weird now that she’s gone.
I find myself looking around to check on where she is, even though she isn’t here anymore. It’s funny how quickly you adapt to having a pet, and change your routines.
Guess it’s going to take me a moment to get out of that again.
I feel like an empty nester 😦