Tears and hugs

Tears. We have cried a lot this past year and we still do, at least some of us. Caroline and I get all worked up and one look can be enough to get it started. We listened to a song the other day that reminded us of Ross and then the tears just didn’t stop for a long time. I think tears are healing and I really hope I am right. Tears drizzle down your cheeks in the most unexpected moments. It might be a female thing. I know men cry but not like women do. Maybe one difference is that we are expected to cry. I was told by a doctor yesterday that it was ok to cry. He told me “you don’t have to play tough”. I didn’t. I am wired wrong. This is me. I had to explain myself and we ended up having a long conversation about tears, how and why. He put my shoulder back in place after I bumped it out just a tiny bit. I thought I fixed it by myself but I couldn’t get it all back in. He did a quick little movement that made the pain go away. An instant relief. The dizziness disappeared and that brain blockage that comes with pain started to ease off. I didn’t cry until 10 minutes later when I tried to explain that I didn’t want this to ruin my swimming. I really need to improve my swimming. I don’t want to sink in a lake in Idaho. And I finally feel like I am starting to master rope climbing. And the tears burned behind my eyes. Then he handed me a tissue. I’ve broken body parts without shedding a tear but there are moments I can’t watch my kids without tearing up. And I don’t get the music part, why I cry when I listen to music. The human body is a mystery.

Another thing, I feel like I need to explain myself and fellow Swedes. There are always articles and blogposts that are around about ”how you know you are Swedish”, ”crazy things Swedes do” etc. Some are very true and when you live in a multicultural community it can hit you hard that people have different upbringings. That makes life interesting but sometimes a bit complicated.

We like our coffee breaks (fika), we take our shoes off in the house, we have one word that is not possible to translate to any language that we use all the time (lagom). We like our healthcare system, maternity laws and employment laws. We absolutely never hit our children. If I saw someone do that I would call the police.

One very important thing is that we hug. I get reminded every day that I have to back off. We hug when we meet friends, colleagues, people we barely know. Men and women. The closeness doesn’t bother us. So if you think Swedes are cold people, think again, we are just different. To friends and acquaintances here in Washington, I will most likely hug you again. Get your guard up if you don’t like hugs.

Music worth a tear

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