Våren har snart passerat

Så blev det äntligen fredag igen. Våren drar sin sista suck här. Träden har blommat förbi och lämnat rosavita täcken av blomblad på marken. Jag kilpper gräsmattan varje vecka, det växer så det knakar. Solen har gjort himlen blå och värmt luften ljummen sista veckan och vi har ätit middag ute varje kväll. Till och med myggorna har vaknat. Förra helgen tillbringade Johanna och jag i Los Angeles. Vi flög ner mitt i veckan för att möta upp hennes lag och spela en lång volleybollturnering i änglarnas stad. Jag vet inte om det är rätt att kalla Los Angeles en stad. Det är ett myller, fantastiskt vackert längs stränder och där palmerna står spikrakt mot himlen men avgrundsdjupt, otrevligt på sina håll. Värme, smuts och människor som utstrålar trötthet. Solbruna ben, skrattande barn och god mat. Trafik som inte går att komma undan, morgonrusning, lunchkö och även nattliga köer. Staden som aldrig sover. Varje gång jag återkommer upplever jag något nytt och jag kan aldrig riktigt avgöra om jag gillar det eller inte. De var en av de sista resorna med laget. Vi har en långkörare till Florida kvar men annars är det bara lokala turneringar fram till juli. Slutet på en era. När vi var borta firade Sofia sin 15e födelsedag. Ett år äldre, mer vuxen och ännu längre. Jag är snart omvuxen på alla sätt. Stora barn.

Här hemma började jag dagen med någon slags rengöring och upplockning. Det är alltid uppfriskande att jaga sopbilen vid 6.30 när vi glömt att dra ut tunnorna till vägen. Det hopar sig, både i hörnen och på öppna ytor. Lagom till det värsta var upplockat och undanstoppat så drog dammsugaren sin sista suck. Tvärdöd, tyst och väldigt stilla. Nu blir det ofrivillig shopping lagom till helgen. Och den gröna Electroluxen får hamna på sopberget.

Klättringen går stadigt uppåt och det tävlades ute på öarna när vi andra hasade runt i Convention Center i LA. Ytterligheter, glesbygd, färjor och naturen i gripbart avstånd.

Jag hade hoppats på säsongspremiär under veckan som varit och ännu ett lopp på lördag men det blir inte riktigt så. Segdragen förkylning, eller kanske allergier och en fot som lever sitt eget liv gör att det får bli några veckors lätt träning. Jag ägnade mig åt löpbandskilometer på hotellet för att undkomma trafik och värme vilket är så långt från uppfriskande skogslöpningar man kan komma. Kroppen är trots allt anpassningsbar och det är ju bättre att springa lite än inget alls. Jag delade hotellgymmet med några 20 åringar som körde discofredag trots att det både var tordag, fredag, lördag och söndag. Pumpade biceps, gjorde grimaser och kollade in resultaten i spegeln. Det är uppfriskande på något sätt. Själv har jag ju en sån otroligt helhetssyn, ha. Vem bryr sig om biceps när kolesterolet stiger och hjärtat åldras.

Jag försökte få upp de unga vuxna och äta frukost, lunch och middag, frisk luft, promenader och annat larvigt. De ville bara sova när det var spelfritt. Min egen dotter lydde mig trots allt men jag tror inte att hon uppskattade mina tidiga morgonringningar då jag gav sista chansen innan frukosten stängde. Jag predikar för aningen döva öron och inser att även de vuxna i sammanhanget tycker att jag är lite knasig. Men det bjuder jag på. Vadå rutiner, fasta måltider, frisk luft och rörelse för att kunna prestera bättre varje dag på en turnering?

Nu ska jag gå och röra på mig. Tacksam över att jag aldrig känner någon träningsbaksmälla, träningsvärken finns alltid men jag känner aldrig att jag inte har lust. Kroppen är lite av ett diesellok ni vet. Den mår bra av att köras runt, står den stilla så rostar den ihop lite. Kanske blir det discofredag, bänkpress och sånt man gör för syns skull. Eller kanske något mer viktigt. Jag famlar planlöst utan lopp och plan att följa. Men jag vet i alla fall att man vinner inga lopp med välpumpade biceps.

Vad som händer runt omkring oss har jag tappat kontroll över. Kanske Trump vinner, valutan devalveras och kanske våren vänder och ger oss floder av regn och dränker mina nyplanterade grönsaker? Vilken toalett får man egentligen besöka, dam eller herr? Och vem vill skaka hand med vem?Tydligen får man göra som man vill. Ve och fasa, världen är förskräcklig. Men ändå ganska bra.

The Open ending

CrossFit Open is for the fittest people on earth. It’s truly amazing the stuff they accomplish with their bodies. But at the same time CrossFit Open is for pretty ordinary, half-assed athletes, middle aged moms like moi. I can’t say that I’ve taken it so very serious but I feel like I want to finish what I started. Last year was a disaster, pneumonia first week of Open. And you probably know that it takes more than a few days to rest up. I am not very proud that I kept training with pneumonia but that’s life. Add a couple of tumors and surgery the months before and the mental part of life got very mental. And Ironman training on top of that, a stress that I didn’t get my 100 mile bike rides and long runs in on the right day because of nonfunctioning lungs. Sometimes you need to stick to your plan to keep your life on track. It all worked out and I was race ready, switched races and went to Alaska. Great decision.

This year’s Open is interesting. I am constantly worried that I will rip my shoulder out of place so I tend to be over careful. My inner athlete is stronger than the outside, it’s frustrating. And then I got some back issues during 16.4 because of bad lifestyle choices and french fries. Started 16.5 but had to stop after 5 minutes. Went to the chiropractor and straightened things out, rested for a few hours and went back to finish it. Phew. Closure. It is always good to finish something you started. A race is a race. Open is not like running a marathon or finishing a nasty adventure race when you finish exhausted but high on endorphins but I think it’s good to finish what you started. It’s a relief. Closure.

It’s easy to lose track and not see what’s around you. I just want to take a moment to say that I think you all are awesome. We all have different goals, backgrounds and lives but somehow we come in day after day and lift the same barbells, swing the same bells and stretch out on the same floor in our puddles of sweat. We all have our limits and barriers, mental or physical but we do the same thing. It’s all good. It’s more than good, it’s pretty amazing. A huge reason we all plan our life’s around class times is our coaches. I know we don’t always do what you tell us to, we drop empty barbells, we sometimes workout in a half assed way but we all appreciate all the work you do. But if you tell me to push my knees out one more time I will freaking explode.

Happy Easter

Charlotte

Kalket dammar

Jag har något slags ryggskott och jag har en teori. Under de senaste 7-8 åren har jag rört på mig dagligen, mer eller mindre. Inte något otroligt, fantastiskt men hasat mig fram, skuttat hit och dit, plumsat runt och hävt tunga saker runt omkring och upp. Ibland helhjärtat och ibland ganska mycket på rutin. Det konstiga är att jag njuter av detta. Jag kan dra benen efter mig när jag städar, mailar, handlar eller jobbar. Jag kan också dra benen efter mig när jag tänker att nu är det dags att springa. Det går i snigelfart, upp för trappan till garderoben. Jag maskar, känner efter. När jag väl kommer utanför dörren går det per automatik. Det är rätt skönt. Tro inte att det alltid har varit så, det tar tid att bygga upp. Som ni kanske har förstått så gillar jag när det är lite motstånd, halv storm, regn och lera. Varför duscha om man inte behöver liksom.

Förra veckan åkte vi till Spokane. Sex timmar i bilen och sedan 3 dagar av volleyboll på det. Jag agerade mamma, chaufför och medföljande kompis. Det var dubbla turnerningar, förmiddag och eftermiddag/kväll, alltså ingen dötid. Det var så illa att vi åt middag på hotellet vi 10 på kvällarna och då bodde vi på Holiday Inn, ingen väljer att äta på Hoiday Inn om det inte är panik. Det var tidiga mornar och sena kvällar och vi var totalt utmattade varje kväll. Vi satt på metallbänkar mest hela tiden, ibland på golvet och så stod vi lite på golvet. Och så sov vi på hotell och satt några timmar i bilen varje dag. Jag tränade inte en minut. Jag åkte till och med hiss men tog trapporna i stället för rulltrappan ibland. Och så drack jag en massa urdåligt kaffe och åt pommes frites varje dag. Och så körde vi hem. Och så blev det måndag och jag hade tid för att göra om ett tävlingspass (16.4 CrossFit Open) som jag missat pga resan. Hepp. Nu kör vi. Jag värmde så klart upp. Länge. Men sen satte jag igång med domarn bredvid mig. 55 marklyft på 155, check. 55 wallballs, check. 55 kalorier rodd, check. Sen rätade jag ut mig och det gick nästan, nej egentligen inte. Det var lite ostbågsform över det hela. Allt som jag egentligen är bra på blev jättejobbigt. Jag tänkte DNF i huvudet under hela tiden, vilket var knappt 12 minuter. Jag hann tänka jättemånga tankar på 12 minuter. Tänk om jag andas så hårt att jag till slut bara tappar andan. Vad irriterande att byxorna hasar. Vad konstigt det känns, jag älskar ju att ro. Jävla byxor. Andnöd. Nä, skärpning. Är alla snabbare eller är jag bara grymt långsam. Andnöd. Undrar om man kan ha en puls på 250. Springer man en tävling så måste man ju alltid ta sig i mål eftersom man måste ta sig till bilen och går man tar det bara längre tid. Sitter man på en roddmaskin är det ju bara att kliva av, motivationen försvinner liksom. Det var samma hjärnspöken som på Vancouver marathon för några år sedan, sista 300 meterna. Jag var övertygad om att det inte fanns någon målbåge och jag blev så förbannad att jag tänkte bara skita i sista minuten och kasta in handduken när det var 0.2 miles kvar av 26.2. Publiken vinkade och tjoade och jag tänkte bara va, har ni inga hem att va i, varför står ni här och tjoar? Och jo, jag kom i mål.

I alla fall så var det ganska pyton med ostbågen i tisdags men på något sätt så mjukar det upp sig under dagarna. Veckan har passerat och ryggen har varit hyfsat rak. Men min teori då? Jo, jag tror att sånt här händer när man inte rör sig tillräckligt (och sitter på kalla, hårda metallbänkar på arenor). Jag tror att om jag hade klämt in ett pass varje dag så hade kroppen mått bättre och ryggen hade nog inte bråkat så förfärligt när jag väl tog i. Enkelt. Så enkelt.

Och idag var det dags igen. Sista tävlingsdagen 16.5. Tjoohoo. Astaggad. Jag kom förbi 21 thrusters och 21 burpees och sen kände jag att det är nog lika bra jag går hem nu. Jag tittade på när de andra svettades så det blev pölar på golvet. Ostbågsformen kom raskt tillaka och jag tog en tur förbi kiropraktorn på vägen hem. Nu är jag lika rak som en salt pinne. Och så har jag köpt tungdlyftarbälte. Det är lite fusk. Det går egentligen bättre om man bara skaffar sig magmuskler av titan. Men jag kände att jag skulle kunna göra lite både och, titan och bälte. Hängslen och livrem. Dubbelplåster. Och visst, det känns ju lite 60-tal, manligt och ryskt. Kalket far och skriken kommer hela vägen från magen och det matchar jag med rosa skor.

March

My finger hovers over the mouse these days, I don’t seem to be able to post anything, unable to click.

Back from a long weekend of double tournaments in Spokane, the extraordinary city in the eastern part of Washington. I love to pack up the car and drive far. It seems like I am the only one in the family. One kid staying at one hotel and playing downtown, and the other kid staying at another hotel and playing at another arena. The car going back and forth, early mornings and late nights. Cracked the windshield the first day, not a good start. Add on a ton of bad food, lack of sleep, and sore bodies. Tournaments are tough for kids. It doesn’t matter how fun it is or how well you play, it’s intense. It’s a team effort. Rough patches in sports can feel like opening your heart to someone who doesn’t love you back. A long tournament really sucks the energy out of both kids and adults. Monday comes, the week goes on and the whole family is left with a hangover. The kids came home wanting real food, they are like super humans with metabolisms like Spiderman.

We came back to sad news from Brussels. Once again terrorism strikes Europe. I am grateful that friends living in Brussels checked in on Facebook. It’s difficult to understand, and maybe we don’t want to understand. Anger and sadness, and feeling helpless. Terrorists getting too close. Disturbing peace and trying to mess with our everyday life’s. The heart of Europe that was my hometown for a short time in the 90s. Je suis sick of this shit! And I follow the news from here and it seems so far away. I hear the kids talk about Belgium and their friends don’t know if it close to France or Russia, and that worries me. The world is growing smaller and closer yet some countries live outside and far away. Where is the center of the world? Trump worries me. A lot of things make me worried. And angry. And sad. It’s even more important to vote for a person capable of running a big country in a world in stress.

I’ve been following a debate in the Swedish news the past weeks. If they should allow only women a few hours per day at pools. There has been incidents were men get too close, men that can’t handle seeing women swimming with lighter clothes on. And women that swims covered with clothes believes that they should be able to swim with only women. This worries me too. It has taken a long time to get where we are now. Women’s rights, equal rights, men and women, voting, equal pay, maternity and paternity leave. Why? No. Equal. Think about it. At first I felt that the women should have their hours for themselves but when I actually thought about it… no. I don’t think it is right. We are different. If there are men that can’t handle it, move on. We swim, live, work, run…together. Don’t ruin decades of work. Men and women are different but we live under the same sun.

And as always…a training update. I try. I really do try. I am not really a Marvel superhero at the moment, not even trying to act a part. But I am healthy, balanced and pretty strong. Maybe that is good enough. I am trying to build the machine, feed the flame with firewood. But sometimes it’s not all that fun. That’s where I am now, at the intersection of I’m putting in 2 hours per day and not feeling it. I complain in my head before I run. I hear myself take deep breaths, of boredom. I can’t help it. I need something to look forward to, something impossible and beautiful. Mud, rain, wind and some snow. It builds character. You want to look forward to a warm shower. You want to look up at a mountaintop with a pumping heart and tired legs feeling overwhelmed and saying to yourself – Hey, it looks pretty gnarly but think of the view at the top. At the intersection of pushing your limits and experiencing joy is where the magic happens. I need to find that check point on the map. It’s close, I am sure. And goddammit, I really want to be fast again.

We have two scary opossums in our backyard. A man and a woman. We have even seen some opossum porn and it was not very nice. Rabbits, birds, dear, raccoons… you are all welcome. But opossums. Holy crap. Have you seen the teeth? And the tail? Just sayin’. I am more scared of opossums than bears. I sing every time I take the trash out.

WLC

Once again it’s taken me forever to write an update but I think I suddenly lost my ability to read and write. It might be the carb deficit. Or lack of coffee. There is a blogpost waiting on the computer, ready to be posted but decided to wait. It is about PE, movement, young people’s brains, the importance of learning how to move, jump, bounce, run, jog, crawl, roll around, walk on your toes, heals, walk on uneven ground (not the playground)… All that stuff you do every day teaching elementary school and spend a lot of time outside with the kids. We need to use our bodies to activities that store muscle memory and skills that we need as adults too so we can walk on our feet, squat, move our bodies and keep moving until we are old. I realized that I sounded like an old fart, super preppy and basically bought by the fitness industry so I’ll save it for another time. And it doesn’t work very well with the American school system either or the helicopter society. Parents with small children, kids are supposed to come home with lots of mud on their clothes every day. A playground with concrete and plastic toys is a bad sign.   

Since I don’t have a “real goal” in the horizon I decided to sign up for a challenge. Everything with the word challenge is good, it means it’s some kind of competition, keeping track of numbers… This one is called The Whole Life Challenge and includes a whole bunch of different perspectives in our life’s. I am the worst sceptic ever. I don’t believe in anything if I don’t get forced to try it and I usually have to prove it myself, whatever it is. I am the eternal non diet person, I really don’t think diets work. I guess I am too hungry. It needs to be whole hearted changes over time, small steps, but here I am. The WLF is a diet for a lot of “followers” but I see it more like vacuum cleaner and eye opener to get my faults and weaknesses out in the open. The whole thing goes on for 8 long weeks and we are 3 weeks in. As long as I keep decent food in the house and stay away from Happy Hour it’s easy. It includes a minimal amount of exercise, mobility, hydration and sleep every day. You also need scribble some reflections and every week has an extra challenge like diary writing, contacting people important to you, turn of media for an hour/day. And then there is the food thing. It’s clean eating, no sugar and very little dairy and grains.  

First of all it made me realize that I am not doing as bad as I thought, that’s always a boost for your confidence. We actually eat well, thanks to multiple allergies among the kids. My kryptonite is cheese and chocolate. Exercise, mobility, hydration and reflection (or the weekly challenge) feels easy, I didn’t have to change much. Sleep and food, that’s where I have to think a little. So far I’ve reached my sleep goal, 6 hours/night. After really analyzing why I don’t get enough rest, why I have trouble fall asleep and mostly why I wake up and stay awake it was an easy change. I cut back on coffee (once again, like race prepping). I still drink a couple of cups in the morning and sometimes a cup with lunch, but that’s it. Surprisingly I switched to green tea that in my opinion smells like something you find underneath the lawnmower. I drink a lot of Maroccan mint now, I know very lame. Cutting alcohol is for sure a game changer. Even if the amount was limited before it seemed to get my heart rate up and that’s why I wake up. Or that is my professional opinion. So I am at +6 hours, 43-44 beats, better sleep restoration and actually awake during the day. That’s always nice. Sadly it’s easy to see other patterns too. To many hard workout days without resting makes me sleep really bad. So this is really nothing new but it’s interesting to track the numbers. 

Food, that’s another thing. I had to change my breakfast habits. At 6.30am I am a crispbread, cheese and coffee kind of person. A yogurt and an egg if I have a long day planned. I think my Swedishness sits too deep, we love our bread and open faced sandwiches. Since I had to cut most grains, dairy (except yoghurt), potatoes, sugar etc I had to rethink a bit. So it’s eggs and fruit for breakfast. Banana pancakes tastes pretty ok when you get used to the texture nd if you overload it with berries. Lunch and dinner didn’t really change much actually, just some tweaks. I miss my regular smoked salmon (contains a lot of sugar) that is my go to lunch with scrambled eggs. It’s a lot of sweet potatoes and cauliflower around here at the moment. And no brie or morbier for dessert. That’s probably the worst part of all this.

All three kids are eating most of the stuff I cook and I only have to add on a few things here and there to make them happy. I think the biggest thing is snacking. From now on snacks consists of nuts, seeds, eggs, yogurt, fruit and veggies. And I love snacking, nuts, fruit, peanut butter on apple slices… But no cinnamon buns. Mindful eating during the day is the thing. I’ve been eating on the run for a long time and then it’s easy to eat too much or too fast. I usually grab a banana on the way to the car. Eat some trailmix or pretzels while waiting for the kids. A cappuccino and another one, and some crackers… And a double espresso after dinner. And an apple, and some more nuts… So I pack on a lot of calories eating nuts and still do but I don’t care. I am hungry! 

On the plus side it’s a bit more fun to cook again. I’ve tried new things and even the kids seem to think some of the stuff actually tastes good. It’s a little bit of a treasure hunt at the grocery store. A lot of things you eat every day that you think is pretty ok actually contains sugar and other extra stuff to make it look good. I felt pretty excited when I found wild frozen lingonberries without sugar the other day.

I wish I had spent some time to make my plates look a bit nice and professional but here you go. Some of last weeks food:

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A salad of leftovers and meatballs with cauliflower mash.

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Cauliflower hash brown w prosciutto and lingonberries and some oat and seed crackers.

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Stew w veggies on spinach and thick spinach soup with eggs.

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Chicken w herbs and wild rice and Greek yogurt mixed with frozen berries and pistachios aka fake ice cream.

Happy 2016

I bumped into a friend today and she asked me if I was in hibernation or if something was very wrong. It has apparently been almost a month since my last update. So here we go peeps…

Welcome back and happy, happy new year. A new year. A blank new, unwritten year to fill up with new experiences, trips, hikes, rides and happiness. 2015 was mucho in many ways. It was a pretty good year for all of us but at the same time I feel really happy to turn the page and start over. For me the Alaska race was a big deal, all the training leading up to that and so was the surgery a few months after and all the training to get back after that; the highs and lows. I am lucky to be alive and kickin’. And I would for sure do the same thing again even if it meant hopeless pain, broken body parts and scary experiences. I have learned a lot about my limits and would for sure love to try to push them further. I am still recovering from surgery. It was a mean one and my whole upper right side is messed up, but it’s getting there… give me another 3-6 months and I will be as good as new.

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday. The last proof of the holiday season around here is the wreath on the front door. It needs to go but I keep forgetting. I almost deleted this Christmas’s playlist yesterday but realized there’s only 10 months before it’s time for a new Christmas so I might as well keep it.

2016 started out with a bang. Well, not really since fireworks are not allowed but it’s been busy since the first day. After going through all five calendars we realized it will be more than a busy season for the kids and I am looking forward to lots of sports related trips with the kids. And soon we will for sure know about our senior’s plans for the fall. This college thing is not all a pleasant story, it’s a never ending process. I can’t remember that it was this difficult back in the days…

Johanna, Caroline and I started with a trip to Portland on Friday, then Eugene this weekend, LA, Anaheim, Spokane, Anaheim again… over and over… (It hits me every time, Portland is a nice city but it is a weird place.) There will be lots of miles in the car and a lot of frequent flier miles this year. All three kids have a lot of team tournaments coming up for different sports. (My Sunday work schedule will be a bit complicated from now on so if you want to hire a HR/marketing/principal/teacher/exercise enthusiast/adventure racer with many combined years of experience for a regular non-weekend job, I am yours.) I can’t believe Pottåker, Börje and Åland felt far for a match when we lived in Uppsala and it makes me laugh a bit. Let’s fly to Florida for a volleyball match or two for the weekend, it’s only a 6 hour flight and a different time zone. My perspective has changed in many ways in the past years and it’s still a work in progress. I guess that is how it is when your kids grow up. This Sunday we passed the 8 year mark in the US, it’s a long time. The world has changed in 8 years, we have changed in 8 years and I really hope it is an ongoing progress.

So, new year’s resolutions. Lose weight, gain weight, move around more, or maybe less, eat more vegetables, less chocolate. No, just no. I don’t think that’s the way you change. So, no resolutions. Just do your best and if you know better, do better. Try to make good choices and enjoy life. Be loud! But not as loud as Trump (I am sorry, I just can’t help myself.) The world is completely upside down, religion is a hot potato as always and the problems are escalating every day. I am clearly not the one to give advice but use your head when you vote. It is important to understand that the person that will become the president of this great country after President Obama will have a huge impact and will play an extremely important part of the whole world’s wellbeing. Think of the big picture and choose wisely. Save the world, peeps.

I do have a resolution and that is to find a new goal. I am lost without a big goal to work towards. It will not be a huge race or something crazy cold and wet. I am thinking and will probably figure out something sooner or later. No more marathons on asphalt or boring city races. Mountains, trails, beautiful sunsets, long runs over bridges, snow and beautiful nature, yes. No boats! Well, kayaks doesn’t count as boats. Feel free to send me suggestions if you think of something grande with a cherry on top.

A few years ago I wrote a post for our three daughters and I am including a little part of that post again. I cannot remind them often enough how great they are and how proud I am.

§ Be nice to your sisters, always.

§ It is ok to be homesick (can we still call it homesick?) and long for all loved ones in our other country… they will still be there next summer. Facetime!

§ Never get in a car with a drunk driver. Call home, any time. And never ever drive drunk!!

§ Work out. As much as you can and as hard as you can. And it is ok to look sweaty, not very cute and feel like you are going to puke. It is actually good for you.

§ Always work hard in school, it will pay off. But remember, you can only do your best.

§ Never be afraid to ask for help.

§ It is ok to spend a lot of money on shoes, especially running shoes.

§ Don’t worry about love when you are 17, you have plenty of time. I am sure you will not even remember the name of the cutest guy in 12th grade when you turn 30. I don’t. Life goes on.

§ Accept people around you. Nobody is perfect. Not even you.

§ Do your thing. Be different. But don’t wear too short skirts.

§ Travel as much as you can.

§ Laugh often and hard. And laugh at yourself.

§ Keep your eyes on the ball, in sports and in life.

§ Learn how to drive a stick.

§ Cook and bake bread. Enjoy food, it is good for you and it brings people together.

§ Change is good, scary but good.

§ Do things that scare you.

§ No tattoos or visible piercings. And no, I will not change my mind about this.

§ You are all three so much stronger than you think.

§ If you can’t think, go for a run, a long run. Or a long walk, I know you really don’t like running as much as I do.

§ Stay educated and keep learning.

§ Read books.

§ Don’t stress… you have a long life ahead of you.

Beauty is the opposite of perfection – it’s about confidence, charisma, and character.

Happy 2016!

Charlotte

Ebbs and flows of suck and happiness

There is a certain ease and weightlessness in balance. And I guess that is what we all aim for. Balance. In between, good/bad, just in the middle. A lot of days it feels like I am trying to get away from that default setting of being out of control. Ten years ago balancing full time work and three small children I thought time and balance was the same thing. As long as you have more time you feel like your life will be more in balance. That is not right. At this point I am not sure what balance is, hang around the house and move flowerpots around, or move things around on your pinterest board (I don’t even have one)… seeing people you care for, knowing where you are going, sleeping often and long, staying well educated, being fit and healthy… So far, half a life in and all I know for sure is that life is ebbs and flows of suck and happiness. Mostly happiness but some really sucky things too. I guess that is balance. Since we all learned that we need some bad to appreciate the good or is that just what people say? Do we get one bad shoulder to really enjoy and appreciate the good one? So freakin’ confused here. And I am pretty sure some people would say that God or a higher power has something to do with balance and appreciation too. For the record, I consider myself a very balanced person with a few outbursts every now and then. One of those outbursts happened last night. Cursing, kicking and feeling seriously pissed. And a bit disappointed to miss a nice night with good friends.

Let me tell you about water behind the refrigerator. Yesterday, late afternoon, I did some vacuuming and saw what I thought was some water on the floor all the way in the corner on the side of the enormous fridge. And of course it was water. Nothing scares me more than water on hardwood floors in a rental. Two hours later I find myself on the floor with tools around me, water turned off and a leak more or less fixed. In a black dress. In those two hours stuff happened. Two kids at home working around the house desperately trying to make me happy. We are talking headlights on, darkness, turning of water, a little bit of screaming, calling plumbers but realizing that I am man enough to fix this myself. And why do I hear Donny Osmond singing I’ll make a man out of you in my head? And one husband in another state texting me hints and tips. I declared for the kids that this means take out, the kitchen is not to be used. And I had to skip my planned event for the night since I didn’t want to leave the kids home alone without water. After driving around trying to decide what to eat we end up at a place we haven’t tried for a while. I am waiting for the food in my black plumbing dress and who seems like the owner walks in and gives me the most smashing, nice compliment. It was probably just a trick to make a customer happy but I sure am a sucker for nice compliments from random men. I guess this means balance, one nice compliment for a few shitty hours wrestling a fridge and trying to save the floor from water. And food was delish and company awesome. I decided to drink a Cotes the Rhone with my spicy chicken. And we ate with chop sticks in front of the TV watching old reruns of Big Bang. Balance. Kind of like marry trash with class.

Another thing I’ve been balancing for the last weeks (or years really) is my mind. It’s been almost two years since I removed my evil tumor from my leg and so far so good. At that same time it was found I was scanned for more tumors since this type usually likes company on specific places. Another one was found in my brain. Not the best place to hide tumors. I know now that this particular one seems to be slow growing and not very evil so it’s no danger on the roof as we Swedes would say (which makes no sense for the rest of the world but it is kind of fun to say). I’ve been to checkups and MRIs, been doing blood draws and keeping track of numbers this past two years. The worst part of things like this is not the contrast running through your brain, bumps and bruises you get or the time you spend at the hospital. That time is the easiest part because you can focus on the shots you get or the hours in the tube. (And to all of you that are claustrophobic…it passes after the 10th time or so. It was a lot of negotiations with the technicians the first times but it passes, I even tried to bribe my way out. I fell asleep the last time. After this I even think I could go cave diving.) The worst part will be the days between the MRIs and the results, that’s when your balanced mind seriously get a blow. The second you get in to your car feeling healthy as a tiger shrimp you feel like someone hit you in the back of your head and your gut at the same time. But nothing is really different from yesterday and life goes on, right. And then it takes a few weeks to restore balance after a mental discharge. The only reason I am writing this is really because I got good news this time, nothing is growing. I am off the hook for a while or at least I don’t have to see the crew every season this coming year. I don’t need so frequent checkups as long as nothing happens. So this means restoring balance and figuring out what the next step in my life will be. Balance and letting it tip over to the positive side.

This is your only life…let’s make it sing loud.