Category: Living in the moment

When life gets in the way of.. well.. life!

We have all had this happen to us. We plan things and then things just don’t always go according to plan.

Most of the time we humans operate with a resemblance of a plan in our head. A plan that might or might not stretch a bit into the future. You know, stuff like;  a project at work that has to be done by a date, things you need to do at at home, things that involve family or friends. Just plans or intentions in general, for what we’ll be doing the next week, two weeks, month or year.

You start out OK, you get your project underway, you have half of the week behind you and then suddenly life gets in the way of… life… and all your well intended plans goes slightly awry!

Somebody in the neighborhood pops by, asking if you could look after their dog for a couple of days, to avoid the dog being all alone. Your mum suddenly needs to be picket up at the airport. Out of the blue, your neighbor needs your help – cause their bathroom floor is overflowing with water. It snows and you need to clear all the walkways. A person in your Condominium Association wants you to take a look at the building insurance, because he thinks its to expensive – and this “small” request gives you three weeks of work getting new offers, hosting a group meeting, writing up the differences between the offers, sending out emails and currently waiting for the votes to come in on what we want to do…  And the list goes on!

Yeah.. all these little extras definitely threw a wrench into my plans… the dog however, such a cutie 😉

 

When life knocks you off your track, there is not much you can do, but to wait until things calm down, and then start from where you left off 😉

Since I have very limited time I can sit by the PC (before my headaches gets bad), I had to put my blog and my digital projects on hold, while all the insurance stuff was going on.

Now however, I hope I can get a bit back into it!

John and Barb over at Decluttering the Stuff  are already knee deep in their digital decluttering, and are running rings around me 😉 But hey, watch out, cause I will catch up 😉

See you around!

The mad scientist!

Since I started on this minimalist path, I’ve been trying to stick with gifts that won’t end up stored away in a closet somewhere. Gifts that are either a replacement for something they need/use, edible, drinkable or at least a gift that can be used up somehow.

I was done with all my gifts a couple of weeks ago, but..  the other day I decided I wanted to add a couple of people I have never given to before.

I wanted to add one of the people that I use for some health treatments, and I wanted to add a girl I have gotten to know at the shopping mall, who is not feeling to good because of an illness.

With the girl in mind, who is struggling with an illness, I decided, why not make something that will make her relax and feel good. So the other day I got a little “mad scientist” and I mixed up a  batch of bath salts, for both of them 🙂

While I was at it, I figured I needed to replenish my stash of face and body oil, so I got my box of goodies out and went to town.

Not only did I mix some body oil and face oil for me, but this time around, I even ventured into the uncharted territory of mixing up some shaving oil for B!

And you know what? B is really liking the shaving oil. According to him, it’s at least as good, if not even better, than the ones he has used before (he could just be trying to be nice..  😉 ) Anyways, there will be no more store-bought shaving oil… 😉

Lets get back to the gifts! Since I had mixed up some new body oil, I decided to tie a small bottle on the bath-salt jars, to really make it a tiny spa treat.

I love mixing these bath salts, not only are they great for a soak and some me time, but their are also great to use to soak your feet (if you don’t have a bath tub).

Ingredients I used for this batch (2 jars) of bath-salt (it differs a little each time):
Makes enough for about 4-6 baths, or about 14-16 foot soaks. 

1 part Epsom salt (about 350 gr)
1 part Sea salt (about 350 gr)
0,5 part Himalaya salt  (about 175 gr – I just wanted a touch of the color)
25 ml sweet almond oil (don’t want it too greasy
but just enough that it makes the skin feel good)

Mix inn some essential oil, whatever you like – I used:
5-6 drops of Lavender (relaxing and good for the skin)
4 drops of Blue Chamomile (calming, cooling and good for inflammation)

You can use any salts, in any combination.
And the almond oil and/or essential oils are options you can use or not. It is entirely up to you 🙂

How to make it: 

Mix all the different salts with, almond and essential oils.
I leave the mix over night, spread out on a baking tray,
so that the mixture becomes “dry” and airy. (The salt draws the moisture inn)
When the mix is ready, I pour it into glass jars.

Note! 

Because of the almond oil and especially the blue chamomile oil,
it won’t smell absolutely wonderful when you open the jar.
In the bath though,it smells pretty good 😉

Note 2/Disclaimer! 

As there is almond oil in the mix, be careful in the bath as it gets slippery. 

Also, you should rinse off the tub after use,
with some dish-washing liquid, as this will cut the oil.

If you worry about the oil, just omit it from the bath salt, as it’s nice without as well.

Need some me time? Why not give this a try 😉 

 

 

12 years old – again!

The snow is still sticking around, but there has been a bit of rain, frost, rain, frost .. so it’s slowly going away. The forecast is warmer weather so I guess in a day or two it’s gonna be completely gone 😦

A couple of days ago, B and I went for a walk. We figured we should enjoy the snow, while it was still there.  We roamed my neighborhood (by foot), and decided to swing by hole no 14, on the closest golf course (just to stretch the walk a little).

It was the smartest thing we did all day!

As we got close, we were hearing a lot of screams – joyful scream – and the closer we got, we saw a bunch of kids (or rather young adults) on all sorts of sleds, playing in the snow.

B and I was hanging around at the top of the hill, watching one kid after another throwing themselves down the hill (and it was a good long hill), when I spotted one of those cheap miniature plastic sleds, that barely will fit your bum (you can see it, circled in the picture).

It was lying there all in it’s loneliness… I looked around, almost all the kids were either at the bottom of the hill or on their way down the hill. The only two kids left, just ready to go, had their own sleds, and had no idea who’s sled it was.. (yes I checked).

I looked at B, I looked at the kids, I looked at that inviting looong hill… I looked at B… then I grabbed the sled, threw my butt (well gingerly placed my butt) on the sled and off I went.

Fast as a rocked down the hill, swirling around on my way down, hitting a few bumps, tearing past a bunch of kids.. finally coming to a full stop, way, way down there, with the shittiest grin on my face 🙂

I gingerly picked myself up, grabbed the sled and started the super long (did I mention it was a long hill?) walk back up.

It took forever, and it was hard on an untrained body (and I didn’t have the best of shoes).. but it wouldn’t have mattered how long or hard it was to walk back up, that was the most fun run I have had in a while (how often do you get to act like a kid). You couldn’t have erased that grin for anything in the world.. I’m still sitting here with the silliest grin on my face thinking about it.

I finally got back up to were B was patiently waiting and put the sled back where I had found it. Turns out (I ran into their teacher) that it was a couple of school classes that was out during their gym hour. It was one 6th and one 7th grade class.

While I was talking to their teacher, telling her she should really give it a try, it was so much fun, I was feeling like 12 🙂 One of the kids piped up; I’m twelve! And a second kid echoed it with : Me too…

I couldn’t help but smile.. here I was, 53 years old, hanging out with a bunch of 12 years old, playing in the snow!  What a hoot!

Life don’t get better than that!

Have you been 12 today?

Eye candy! 

A couple of days ago, I visited one of my favorite places in town, Selvåg garden center.
You can probably see why its a favorite of mine 😀

 

Off course… being in heaven like this.. I just had to bring a little of it with me home 🙂

I love roses and this container was just waiting for a punch of color

And this yellow one, has been a staple on my patio the last few years. It get super large, and the color pops…
which I kinda need because in a short week or so, the Rhododendron are all done for the year…

I’ve also been looking for a large container, and when I came across this rust colored one, I just couldn’t help myself 🙂

And remember my awesome find last year? It’s the next one on my list.
So stay tuned for my next plant installment 😉

October – a crazy birthday month!

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 😀

ballonsYou see, October is the month for birthdays, and big ones at that!

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 😏

 

Being “lazy” can be a good thing!

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 🙂

A lazy day

What touched my heart – the aftermath of hallows eve!

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.

 

 

 

 

Good night!

It’s not much, that beats, crawling into a freshly made bed, after a long warm bath.

Hey, Frodo, scoot over! You’re hogging my space…

Ahhhh…..

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Little did I know – 1 year of blogging!

1 Year

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 🙂

Happy anniversary!