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Good evening! During the course of a protracted recovery process, I have obviously not been able to hit the gym. However, I have tried to exercise my mental six-pack with reading. I bought three new books in Stockholm the other week, one of them – Braving the Wilderness, written by Brené Brown. I recently got started with that one after almost finishing another one in Swedish about personality types. Consequently, I cannot tell you much about it just yet. The Swedish one, on the other hand, was sort of interesting but a little too long in relation to its content. In my opinion, the author would have been able to reduce the number of pages. The book is called “Omgiven av Idioter” (translation: “Surrounded by Idiots”) by Thomas Erikson. I believe I am a blue person, although with shades of other colours too. I suppose you will have to read it to understand what I am referring to!

Not only have I made my way through several chapters these days, but also – embracing boredom. I have spent a lot of time doing basically nothing, and that is how I came across this TED Talk below.

“Do you sometimes have your most creative ideas while folding laundry, washing dishes or doing nothing in particular? It’s because when your body goes on autopilot, your brain gets busy forming new neural connections that connect ideas and solve problems. Learn to love being bored as Manoush Zomorodi explains the connection between spacing out and creativity.”

I found this speech fairly intriguing because I certainly know what she is talking about. I came up with my most brilliant ideas whilst brushing my teeth, taking a shower and travelling on a coach in the middle of grey English nowhere. If you do not want to watch this TED Talk, then I urge you to read this article at least. I always thought being bored was, well, boring. Turns out, a little dead time every now and then will not kill you. Worst-case scenario, your brain will simply get some rest. Best-case scenario, it might provide you with a brand new business concept and you will have your future sorted just like that.

2018

New year, new beginnings and a completely new category that should have been here a long time ago. I am finally introducing to you, and myself – Self-Love. It is so important. My idea is to share motivational quotes and poetry on the subject, and of course, personal thoughts. Sounds good, I hope?

I used to play He-Loves-Me-Not with grams in place of flowers. I still possess parts of that mindset. 2018 I am going to start learning how to love what I see in the mirror. I know that I amount to more than the meals I have missed. No matter the looks, what counts is being someone with a kind heart.

Stop waiting for Monday, January first or anything else. Start now…

Survival of the fittest

December 31st, you elves, nutcrackers and snowmen! I suppose it is finally time to eat less, drink more and sparkle galore! However, I will not be doing much of that. I am bedridden and sick as per usual over the holidays. It is just my luck to get ill whenever I am off work for a longer period of time. Anyway, I am still capable of writing so here follows some traditional New Year’s resolutions, or whatever we should call it!

Next year I have to…

1. Create an exciting life. I am bored most of my time, mainly because I do not get to use my creativity as desired on a daily basis. My weeks has been utterly monotonous for too long. I must leap at excitement.

2. Continue my inner journey. I have learned A LOT about who I am during the last couple of months and it has been an adventure. It is so rewarding getting to know oneself. I am building up my confidence and self-esteem to the core which is an impeccable virtuous circle. Wow. I read articles and books, watch TED Talks and discuss with family and friends. I cannot wait to explore myself a whole lot more!

3. Stop chasing boys, start chasing men. Ha, just kidding. I am going to stop chasing all of them and start chasing merely my dreams. I realise those could involve a guy but no, if so I will try my best not to run after him because he is the one who should be running after me. I am a catch.

4. Take more risks. One cannot win if one do not even enter the game, right? I still have to overcome my fear of failure. I must defeat my way of thinking: “If I lose the highs at least I am spared the lows”. The real winners will always be the doers. It is all about action(s). Chop-chop!

Here is to new chances, same dreams and fresh starts! Next year, I want fireworks, butterflies, shooting stars and fairytales. May 2018 be magical!

Warm hugs

Today was magical, Stockholm.

Spice girl

Good evening from a X2000 railway service that terminates at Stockholm Central Station in less than an hour! This is certainly another type of ’training’ than what I have been up to A LOT the recent weeks. Let me put it this way – the gym has been a hit! Even though I am currently travelling backwards in a semi-comfortable chair, it is nice to just sit back and relax for a change.

Since I have a few days off work and other duties now, I thought that I should keep you posted while I am away. So, blogging starts here!

This morning I went for a luxury take away breakfast at Gateau but I could not resist a delicious pastry of saffron (as seen above) as well. Yummy! Pumpkin spice everything season is – to my despair – over. However, I am obviously moving on with other spices!

Escargot, this train go… Let me be Stockhome already!

Pink positive

And I know I will drink positive in these metallic pink champagne rosé glasses from MOËT. Imagine a New Year’s Eve party with one in your hand!

Take my word for it

We often talk about how actions speak louder than words, but I have got to be honest with you – as always. Actions without words does not appeal to me (either). I am a woman whose body and soul are one with the words. The more I express them, the more they come to me. In the end, I overflow. I have to get them out of my system. That is how my words rule and this, is how I rule the wor(l)d.

Actions are crucial. Words are necessary. I am coming from a place where my words were not always welcome. Words in terms of strong arguments. It did not matter if I was right. In fact, that was undeniably the major reason to why I had to zip it. The truth of certain actions was too perplex to be revealed through this very mouth – through my words. Implicitly, I was better off keeping everything within me; within the stomach, head and heart of a child.

Actions and words apply to multiple levels of life in several ways. I do need the talk through actions, but words must be present in one way or another on a daily basis, too. Actions and words go hand in hand. Words do not mean more to me than actions, I merely figured that words generally mean more to me than to others.

Never again will I put the weight of unspoken words on my shoulders. They might be able to handle it after an infinite number of hours in the battlefield, however they do not deserve it. I shall stick to this commitment for the rest of my life and I a woman of my word.

Words are not just words to me. I use them wisely and I love to play with them. However, that is a whole other story. I love deep talks, connecting with other people and finding the right words to say… It is not as easy as it may seem. In the progress of getting to know myself better I have learned a lot about communication. Here are some keywords (sentences):

1. Active listening versus passive hearing.
2. Be aware of personal perception filters.
3. Listen with your ears, eyes and gut.
4. Understand as you seek to be understood.

I warn you, with me you will always get too many words but I ensure you that they all have meaning. I do not do words for nothing. This post is long but now I feel confident that nothing is left out and nothing has been wasted. At times words fail. On the other hand, actions failed me first and that is where words fill in.

Some of this might be difficult to understand. I am being fairly personal but at the end of the day, I am writing this for no one but myself.

I often feel the urge to explain in words (preferably written) and I continuously expect explanations from others. For instance, I cannot take no for an answer. I need to know why. I constantly seek to comprehend and it is hard for me to understand beyond reasons. There has to be at least one and it most certainly has to be reasonable, or I will argue. It is both a weakness and an asset, I would say.

I rarely raise my voice. I cannot even remember the last time. I learned the hard way that there was no point. Instead, I raised my words. I am happy to say today that they have taken me far from where I once were. Words are so much. They are integrity, compliments, humour – you name it. Words are what you make them. Make them count.

For anyone to get to know me inch by inch, that person will have to get to know me word by word. Nevertheless, there is more to me than words, but how could I possibly tell you about that? I can only show you…

Après-ski

About a week ago, an old pair of Shepherd (of Sweden) sheepskin slippers crossed my mind. My mum gave them to me many years ago and I have not seen them since. I sent her a text to ask if she knew where they were. One minute later I got the reply: “At my place, in the closet. Do you want them back?” She is funny. Of course I want them back, winter is coming and I am in great need of all things furry in order to stay alive!

These marvellous pictures are from Newport. It was love at first sight with every single one of the items. I am dreaming of a Christmas spent in a snow-covered chalet in Switzerland but I will be in Stockholm this year. However, I thought that I can bring the après-ski vibes to me! I have visited my family’s Swiss cottage a couple of times before. I can ensure you that it is just as dreamy as it seems in the magazines! The atmosphere up in the Alps/mountains and the typical interior is truly delightful.

My mother asked me yesterday what I want for Christmas… Here you go, Ma! Imagine the cosiness with those mink Aspen slippers (one cannot have too many), the polar bear or the wolf Whistler cushion and blanket/throw. Besides, the fur is faux but looks super authentic! Oh, and how stunning is this ‘julstjärna’ as we say in Sweden? My flat would certainly get a brilliant Christmas ambience with these impeccable design details!

Le Specs

How cool are these sunglasses from Le Specs? I want them all! I actually ordered one of them already, but you will have to guess which pair…

Will you accept this rose?

My little sister Emma is nine, accordingly, last year she was eight – which was the age of which she started to watch Bachelor! Not The Bachelor, but the Swedish version which I would say is more down-to-earth than the American, yet with a lot of drama… My mother has found Em watching Bachelor on the iPad several times. Ha! She is just marvellous, and for that reason, and because I love her (so much), I decided to surprise her with a little gift the other week. I do not have much money, but I do find my ways to show the people I care about that I appreciate them. So, in all its simplicity, I bought her a beautiful rose and asked her: ”Emma, will you accept this rose?” which she found really funny and was very happy about. Sometimes it really is the thought that matters. Think about it!