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

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!

 

 

 

A friend in pain.

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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.