Someone to guide the way

Following a pretty brutal injury whilst on holiday earlier this year, I have to admit I have been feeling a bit down in the dumps. Recovery took a lot longer than I anticipated and it was dificult to lift my gaze to see what the future might offer. Maybe it was not the most clever thing to do to give up my job….. but it has given me plenty of time to reflect over life in general and my life in particular.

Core values have been on my mind a lot. As a mother, but mostly as a person and an aspiring Buddhist I have been wondering how I can balance my needs and aspirations as a person with providing positive rings on the water for my surroundings. This ended up with a shortlist of interests and beliefs as follows.

  • Dogs. I love dogs and get true satisfaction from being around dogs and that special feeling you get when you and your dog is in perfect sync and he/she seems to read your mind. As we don’t yet know what the future holds for us buying a dog is not an option. However, we have just have word that our landlord is happy for us to foster a puppy for a year for the #guidedogfortheblind. Our application went in today so fingers crossed they will accept us.
  • Creativity. I am naturally a creative person and one of the signs that I am not feeling great is that I stop making things. So I need to find a job, employed or otherwise that feeds my creativity. I am thinking writing, speaking, eventplanning or product development, textile or otherwise.
  • PIF, paying it forward. This is a concept that falls very well in line with my leaning towards Buddhism. To strive to smooth the path for others,  if possible, whilst going about our daily life. Call me naive but surely this makes for a better world for my children and their children in turn, and so on. I want my actions to speak of my beliefs so how do I ”tune” my life to reflect this?

My thinking now is that I will hopefully have a puppy to look after in the near future. I will naturally come to love this dog, even knowing that it will not be mine for life. This puppy will remind me to live in the moment whilst knowing that long term I am doing someting great for another person who will later benefit from a better life because of ”my” puppy. I have done this before and even though Charlies life did not turn out the way it was planned, the fostering experience in itself was a fullfilling one.

I am very lucky that my love provides for us all and I do not have the pressure to earn a certain sum each month, but I still have the ”need” for a structure, more than looking after a puppy. The plan is to create handmade beautiful things, interior and garden decór, and sell on the web and markets giving me the opportunity to use the digital marketing skills I worked so hard over two years to get. It will be trial and error and small scale using recycled materials as far as I can. It will also be something I can still do even if I get a job outside the house, but they will of course have to let me bring the dog to work with me 🙂

//Jeanette

Annonser

That’s it folks

I am leaving the country tomorrow! and the family will follow in a minutely planned logistical operation during the summer. Having secured a position as Technical Manager at one of Englands top Uniform Suppliers, the future promises both challenge and inspiration.

Having already lived in England for 14 years of my working life it is not really a bid deal for me, but I am grateful that my husband and youngest daughter who have not had this experience before are willing to give it a go. We have been planning our lifes in a ”double track” kind of way since last August when we first had the idea that we should move. Applying for jobs in both countries and letting fate decide  whether to stay or go. England delivered!

Of course it will be a bit hard to be separated, but we will see each other every three weeks and then in July/August we will all be together again, in a different town and a different house. Watch this space for news 🙂

We will miss many things, and other things not so much. Our door will of course always be open should any of our friends wish to visit Burbage in Leicestershire, UK

Good bye Sweden.

 

 

Ten years in Sweden

3650 days ago this morning, I was standing on the tarmac outside the terminal at Gothenburg City Airport feeling excited and petrified at the same time. I had left the UK after 14 years, my adult life thus far, and dragged my children away from their father, their friends and familiar surroundings. I had three never agains in my mind. I would never again renovate an old house, never again get married and never again was I going to have a baby. Today I am living with my new husband in a renovated house from 1926 and the family grew from four to five with the arrival of Beatrice as early as 2008!

In some ways, it feels like no time at all, and in others like it is a bit unreal. Certainly life could have been easier for us as a family. We have faced periods of, through no fault of our own, unemployment that has meant having to say no much more than we would have liked. For me it has been a challenge on a personal level to find myself in this position, but an even greater challenge for me as a parent. It would have been nice to have had the opportunity to be generous to my daughters. To take them on trips, to allow them to try every interest they wanted, to have a more active life I suppose. Happiness has been present of course in family life and all the magical, clever, philosophical people I have met these years, many of whom I will carry with me forever. You know who you are ❤

Achievments and failures
During these ten years I have had many great years as a designer. I travelled across Europe and got to visit both New York and Miami on several occasions. One highlight was being able to go to the Metropolitan Museum in NY when the exhibition about the spectacular creations by Alexander McQueen opened. I still have the little metallic admissions button in my jewellery case. I have lived through the flare and then demise of a creative business venture. I have trained for two years to become a Digital Marketing specialist and I have had my first short story published in a proper book. Ups and downs in capital letters, but as with everything seen in retrospect it has changed me profoundly and made me a better human.

Love and loss
A sign of age, or just plain old life, is that people that have been there for all of your conscious time start to die. In passing they remind you that your time will come one day and they send a little sharp needle of guilt into your heart that you could have been more present in their life. By the time the needle strikes it is too late, was for me anyway. I so could have made more and regular calls to my Nan, but let it slip through the logistics of domestic life. May I remember this feeling when I am 90+ and waiting for my grandchildren to call! My eldest will be leaving home this summer which means I get to experience the first ”loss” that way. But this loss is also filled with my love for her and my complete confidence in her ability to create and manage her life and future.

A dogs’ life Charlie
3,5 years ago we became proud foster parents to a beautiful Labrador who we named Charlie. We trained him in social situations to prepare him for his future life as a guide dog for the blind. And we loved him all the way to the moon and back. After a separation of nine months Charlie came back to us. He had hurt his leg and needed an operation and could not be placed. We had already bought the Flatcoated bundle of fluff Buddha, but could not turn Charlie down. He did not heal the way he should and life became centred on rehab and trying to meet both the dogs’ needs with training, exercise and rehab. Buddha went to live with family whilst we focused on Charlie and may still come back to us. Sadly our brave, clever Charlie could not be mended and last Friday we had to put him to sleep as he had hurt his knee once again and could not use his leg. The sorrow and sadness is too great to be described.

The light at the end of the tunnel
seems to have appeared at last. If all the pieces fall into place as we want, then a better and happier time lie at our feet. The news is just not quite ready to be shared yet 🙂  In one of my favourite songs, one of the lines is “they talk to you like you are a helicopter, and you know that you´re a plane”… Well this plane, after a long time in the helicopter hangar, is on the tarmac waiting for the all clear from the tower, engines revving, ready to take off!

 

 

 

Guess is the learn and learn is actually the guess!

In the face of a rapidly changing society where gadgets and technology exist that can do more things than we are able to cope with the above statement sums it all up. It is an old truth, but still valid. We learn by guessing how things go together and it is the process of learning, ie the guessing, that gives the knowledge meaning. What good is knowledge if you don´t use it but merely cram it in and store it?

The fact is of course that we need both. Without factual knowledge about how things work, I mean both technical inventions and historical events, how can we hope to create a better future? But as obvious as this may seem, we have created, or are allowing to continue, a world that premiers greed and inconsideration.

  • Americans seem prepared to vote a chauvinistic buffoon for presidential candidate somehow making the leap of thought that if you have money you automatically have the integrity and diplomatic negotiator skills to run America. I dare not even think what damage he will do to the world L
  • Year 2016 we still have people that starve, that lack access to clean water and sanitation and nations that passively accept or promotes social injustice based on a person’s gender or beliefs.
  • Most of us are not living a life of integrity where you say, mean and actually act upon what you say is your moral compass.

Maybe I have too much time on my hands, maybe I read too many books, I don´t know but like so  many others I have started to shake my head at the world. Specifically at how the world is described to us in popular media. Media consumed through lack of time in the everlasting quest for happiness through external stimulation and attention.  We could try a society based on compassion and actual absolute regard for human life and integrity like:

  1. Causing harm to others is a bad thing, a pretty simple rule to remember.
  2. We don´t need half of what we have, decide what you need and go for a quality product that does not cause harm to people or nature at any stage in its lifecycle.
  3. Use less energy. It´s easy if you try.
  4. Premier people and companies that have embraced sustainability and circular economy.

I am not saying people should not be able to profit, merely that we should aim for that prosperity to come from ideas and enterprises that enhance humankind and the environment, equally, on a global scale.

I am guessing that we have not learned enough from history. I am guessing that we are only able to find a sustainable way forward by holding up our hands and admitting we have got it wrong. I am guessing the future I want for my children lie in a society based on compassion, empathy and sustainability. I am guessing that most people struggle to visualise a society not based on stock market reports, me to. I have learned though that I don´t like what I see. I have also learned that if I keep guessing and questioning I will understand more, and every guess based learn I tuck under my belt gets me closer to a better understanding of what my contribution can be in the big scheme of things.

This got a bit more serious than intended so I compensate with a picture of my cat.

2016-03-02 09.17.30

// Jeanette

The title is a quote from the very clever Edvin Lock.

 

A friend in pain.

Bild

When the snow came on Tuesday morning he went wild. He was in the garden like a mad snowmole, racing around like he had found a thousand bones at once. Today he is lying on a mattress in the living room whimpering and feeling groggy from painkillers after hurting his leg yesterday. As much as I shared his joy over the snow I now wish there was a way for me to share his pain. To carry if for him and makes his day easier.

My black friend has been through a lot in his short 3,5 years. He has had three operations on his left hind knee, the same one that is now causing him trouble. In total he has been in noticeable pain for about a year with good periods in between and it feels so unfair that he is hurting again. He will have a restful week and then we´ll see how his leg is doing.

He is a sturdy Labrador, our Charlie. A crazy construction of bulky body supported by “stick legs”. As black as the night and the wisest and kindest being on earth. As most dog owners will tell you, it is sometimes hard work caring for a dog, they need so much more than just food, water and walks. But the love, companionship and loyalty they give make the responsibility worthwhile. Charlie

Charlie has just gotten his puppyish playfulness back this past autumn. Again he has been inviting us to play tug of war, throw his ball or demanding our attention with a firm paw. We have also started tracking in the forest which he finds immensely exciting. When Charlie was a little fluffy ball of fur he would lie on my feet when I worked from home, shadow me through every movement of the day and fall asleep in his bed next to ours every night. He is good at picking up emotions and will always offer comfort to anyone in need, a proverbial gentle giant.

Today as so many days through his rehab it is I that have been watching over him. Listening to the rhythm of his breathing and offering cuddles and comforting small talk. He responds with wagging the very tip of his tail and reminds me that even in the hardest of moments we are best friends and that he understands and appreciates my love for him.

Another type of inexperience.

Even though one of my dogs is a trained guide dog for the blind, I find I am struggling to see where I am going from time to time… Not that I am blind but the road ahead does seem a bit obscure sometimes. As I put one foot ahead of the other on the road of job seeking my dear Charlie mostly acts as personal coach and reminder to stay in the moment and focus on each day as it comes. Seeing the road is not easy as it twists and turns quite unpredictably.

“Dear Mrs F. We regret to inform you the position you applied for has been filled by another applicant”

“Oh, Thank you for letting me know. Could I ask for some feedback so that I can improve my applications in the future. I understand you are really busy, but as the answer came from an actual person this time, rather than a system, I thought I would at least ask. All the best / Mrs F”

  1. Happy to help… We think you have a fantastic profile but we’re really looking for someone with less experience.
  2. Happy to help… We think you have a fantastic profile but we’re really looking for someone junior that has experience in all the criteria we have set for this post and anyway we judge you to be overqualified.
  3. Happy to help… We think you have a fantastic profile but we’re really looking for someone with more experience.
  4. Happy to help… We think you have a fantastic profile but we’re really looking for someone with at least five years of experience for this junior role.
  5. Happy to help… We think you have a fantastic profile but there were other applicants with more relevant experience than you have.

Same kind of jobs, same level, same criteria asked for in the ads and the only answer that seems reasonable to me is number five. It truly is a jungle out there and perhaps I need a sharper machete to cut my own path instead of trying to find an existing one.

Of course every employer has a wish list, just like I do when it comes to the dream job but being told I am inexperienced in the wrong way, or too experienced, makes me feel half the applications are a waste of time as the true profile for the job is much narrower than the ad. Not in a sour grapes kind of way. More like ”gosh this must create an awful lot of extra work for everybody involved that slows down the whole system”…

I just can’t wait for the day when I can turn my back on my Sisyphus stone of application writing and start to make a difference. Preferably in a workplace where my work also helps improve quality of life for individuals or society as a whole. In the meantime I shall go and pet my retrievers to ground myself and try to remember that the true value of a person is based on internal quality, not external attributes.

Merry Christmas to all.

// J

Marketing spam gone mad

I decided to have a look through my junk mail folder. Desperate I know, but I thought perhaps there might be a reply from one or any of the jobs I have applied for but heard nothing back from. Good thing I did, Halleluljah, the folder held several pleasant surprises.

I immediately realised Christmas is saved. Forget the angst about the cost of finding presents for my daughters.  I have won at least five brand new Iphones in the past month, as well as a couple of holidays. Isn’t life raining sunshine and money on me?

To top it all there was the added silver lining of two unknown relatives in America that has sadly passed away but left me their considerable estate. All I have to do is send my banking details….. I was warned that life would change for the better when I started meditading on a daily basis, but this result is amazing after only three weeks.

Good thing I have come into some extra cash as I was also made som very special offers. Pills to pick me up and bring me back down again, fantastic creams to make me look younger as well as connections to find myself a beautiful russian bride. Not sure what my husband would say though.

As the icing on the cake I was offered pills that are guaranteed to enlarge my genitals, but I can’t really see the point so I think I will pass on that particular offer.

It fills me with awe to be this incredibly lucky, just before Christmas and all. I wonder how many more are this lucky every day/month/year, and decide to act on the e-mails. Some must surely do that, as the offers keep coming. Otherwise people would stop sending e-mails like these, wouldn’t they?

A random invitation to my dentist

Did you get an invitation today from a random woman you barely know? A standard request that left you a bit confused and possibly a bit curious? I confess it may have been me. Somehow I told Linked In that I wanted to send a standardized invitation to connect to 176 people in my mailbox. I have made many new connections today, which is good I suppose but I also cringe a bit as I feel a bit unprofessional and worry what some of the recipients think…

Who are you?
One of you may be my dentist. Some of you I have probably sent job applications to. About 60 of you are parents to children in my childrens’ Schools and some of you are their teachers or even headmaster…  I think one also went to an author I admire and wrote to say how much I like her books…  We may have been listed together in a mail list, I don’t know. I am just not as certain as Linked In that all of these invitations should have been sent.

To my new contacts
Hello and welcome to my sphere 🙂 Let me derandomize myself. I am a designer/productdeveloper that has just finished a two year vocational degree in Digital Marketing/Communication. I lived in England for 14 years  but now I live in Gothenburg, Sweden. I love creative writing… well, everything creative really, and spend a lot of time with our family dogs Charlie the Lab and Buddha the Flattie.
I am a great believer in the power of the universe so I am choosing to believe this slipup happened for a reason.  Should you have a need for someone like me, or know someone that does… at least you know where to find me now 🙂

To my existing contacts that I wasn’t connected to on Linked In.
Well hello and nice to see you. How are you doing and are your dreams coming true? As you understand from above I am still working on mine. One step at a time. The core of my dream is twofold at the moment. I really miss the creative buzz I got from design and product development but know in my heart I can get the same from writing so either direction will get me to my destination. I also really miss England, but am not quite sure what to do about that.

If you are my dentist, or feel that it was just too random an invitation and we have nothing to share. I apologise and promise I will not be in the least offended if you ignore my invitation.

All the best to you and yours ❤

Jeanette

Tankar om Tabu

Som en del av min kurs i kreativt skrivande ingår att undersöka sina känslor inför tabun och skriva en novell om något man själv finner tabu. Även en text om tabu i mer generella termer ska lämnas in, och är den som följer nedan då jag tycker den passar som blogginlägg, om än en aning lång…

En tanke eller handling som är förbjuden i sitt kulturella eller religiösa sammanhang”är den mest förekommande definitionen jag kan hitta på ordet ”tabu”. Genast tänker jag att definitionen är förlegad i vårt multikulturella samhälle där det närmast känns tabu att värna om just sin när kultur eller sedvänjor av rädsla att kränka det som känns främmande. Men lösningen på upplevt främlingskap och på integrering kanske ändå kan ligga i att vi tittar på våra personliga tabun och deras grundorsaker för att bättre förstå vår komplicerade omvärld.

De allra flesta människor vi möter torde hålla med om att det är tabu att äta upp sina medmänniskor eller att mammor inte ska skada sina barn, så börjar min tankesträng om tabu. Men när jag letar efter fler absoluta tabun så blir det svårt att fylla på listan. Allt annat som jag skulle vilja var tabu, som våld, krig och utnyttjande av andra på otaligt vedervärdiga sätt (du vet nog vad jag menar) verkar mer vara listade under ”inte helt moraliskt försvarbart, men vi gör det ändå” för mänskligheten i stort.

Här kommer några frågor… Vill vi att vårt land skall bedriva handel och officiellt utbyte med länder där kvinnor och barn lever under förtryck? Tycker vi att det är ok att vi producerar och säljer vapen? Vill vi äta produkter som framställs på ett för oss vetenskapligt bevisat dåligt sätt för både våra kroppar och vår miljö? Är det ok att äldre sitter ensamma, att barn trängs i sina förskolor med för få pedagoger? Fyll gärna på med dina egna upplevda obegripligheter lokala såväl som globala.____________________________________.

Ett tabu måste vara främmande.
Kanske något motsägelsefullt tänker jag alltså att vi måste skapa tabun, genom att lyfta obekväma ämnen och utbilda mänskligheten. Eller, är det egentligen någon som svarar ja på mina frågor ovan? Det kanske det är, vilket i så fall blottlägger min egen inskränkthet i tanken. Det är tyvärr så att ett tabu ska vara något som tanken ryggar för, som är svårt att rationellt stödja, för att det ska förvisas längst ut i ögonvrån som något oacceptabelt och främmande för den mänskliga naturen. Ovan frågor faller tyvärr inte i den kategorin.

I min research runt tabu var det i stort sett uteslutande material av erotisk/pornografisk natur som dök upp i sökresultatet. Av titlarna att döma finns det gott om sociala relationer mellan människor (och djur) som ännu anses ge stimulans just genom att etiketteras som tabu. Här får jag sticka ut hakan och erkänna att för mig får det gärna fortsätta vara tabu. Jag varken förstår eller kan se behovet av pornografi. Jag ser bara nackdelarna, men avstår från att gräva djupare i resonemanget just nu då det skulle resultera i en inte särskilt nyanserad bok…

Det finns en lösning.
Vad ska vi göra åt det då? Finns det en lösning på det här tabulösa samhällets brist på moral och etik? Absolut finns det en lösning. Men som med alla enkla och geniala lösningar så krävs en enorm insats av gemene man för att inte tala om våra politiska företrädare. Vi måste ALLA ta avstånd från det vi inte kan acceptera som en representation av hur vi vill leva. Och vi måste göra det privat såväl som publikt. Vi måste undervisa våra barn och ifrågasätta människor som gör uttalanden som skär i våra själar.

Digitalt bekräftelse urholkar tabun.
Världen är vedervärdig och människan har tappat respekten för de företeelser som möjligtvis någon gång tidigare i vår kronologi ansetts förbjudna. Eller ska man resonera att de tabu som funnits styrt över hur människor framställt sig framför andra mer än de styrt vad människor gjort bakom privatlivets stängda dörr? Att tabun försvinner kan då, helt ovetenskapligt, förklaras med den digitala revolutionen. Våra tidigare så privata sfärer är numer till hög grad sökbara. Det finns en hets att lägga ut material till allmän beskådan för att generera bekräftelse i jakt på tummar upp, stjärnmarkeringar, hjärtan och kommentarer. Med bekräftelsen kommer känslan att det man delar inte är avvikande och blir då normaliserat.

Min ovetenskapliga och personliga analys av tabu och tabuisering är följaktligen sorgsen och en aning uppgiven, blandat med hopp om att jag missuppfattat min omvärld.

Det är dags att välja riktning
Vi har till synes slutat med tabu och ersatt med lokala sociala konventioner som gör det svårare och ibland omöjligt för oss att förstå varandra. Varför pratar vi inte lön, eller vad vi röstat på i Sverige t.ex.? Följaktligen har vår tids ”tabu” effekten att driva oss isär istället för att skapa enighet runt vad som är så främmande för vår natur att vi stöter det ifrån oss ens som en möjlig tanke. Människans tävlingsinstinkt (eller jaktinstinkt) driver oss framåt och får oss att skapa, utmana och utveckla. Tyvärr utan urskiljning mellan vad som skapar mänskligt värde och vad som bidrar till ökad konflikt. Det är dags att slå vakt om öppen och medveten debatt om olikheter, rättigheter och skyldigheter. Tystnad och rädsla får inte skapa ett socialt tabu som kväser samhällsdialog och ifrågasättandet av våra normer.

 

Det där med kärlek

Idag firar vi tio år sedan vi blev kära, min älskade och jag. Det var ett precist och utmejslat ögonblick då vi båda kände att, NU, där hände det något mellan oss. Såklart har det inte bara varit solsken de här åren. Men det goda har vunnit över och  vi har en både stabil och innerlig relation.

Då jag hade ett kraschat äktenskap bakom mig sedan innan tyckte jag det var lite synd att vi träffades så snart som vi gjorde. Hade väl tänkt få lite distans och inte binda mig igen på en gång. ”Ring när du är redo” sa han då för han ville ha mig på riktigt, inte på lösa premisser. Det var modigt tyckte jag och föll lite mer…

Vardagen har såklart tagit över, som den gör. Men vi anstränger oss att bygga på vår relation och hitta sätt att ha kul. Vi har nyligen börjat bugga igen, något vi båda gjort som unga, och vi har så kul tillsammans. Vilket spiller över och även gör oss till gladare människor och föräldrar.

Jag föll för trygghet och snällhet den där höstdagen 2005. Föll för lojalitet och den där känslan av att han alltid skulle sätta oss (familjen) först. Men mest av allt föll jag nog för den där intuitiva känslan av självklarhet. Med honom skulle jag alltid kunna vara mig själv och bli älskad för den jag är.

Idag, med tio år i bagaget kan jag bara konstatera att den där känslan var korrekt. Yttre faktorer påverkar inte den kärlek, lust, förståelse och samhörighet som finns mellan oss. Jag hoppas att jag nu inte jinxat det hela i universum utan att vi har typ 40+ år kvar tillsammans.:)

// J