When You Ask A Question, Do You Really Want An Answer?

A couple of posts ago I asked, “To move or not to move? That is always the question.”  Well, I got my answer: looks like we’re moving. Where? To Texas, but not in the same place as my kids and grandkids. We’ll be about 4 hours away, and that’s better than 12!

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My answer came in the form of a promotion for my husband. It’s really great! I’m so excited for him – and me.

It’s really one of those God-orchestrated things where you can’t believe how it all works out so nicely. Not to say that there won’t be challenges and difficulties, but you can’t doubt the rightness of it.

All my minimizing, weeding out, and decluttering is so worth it right now! There are things here and there that I’m getting rid of but for the most part, I can say, “This is what is going with us.” And, it’s not much.

I feel like the past two years has been setting me up for this move…

but…

there are still emotions. The untangling of my heart from this place, loosening of my fingers from around memories.

Also, holding my breath to see if my friendships can stand the test of distance. Fearing they won’t, praying that they will.

Change. Yuk!

Adventure. Yay!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is that conflicting emotions that battle inside of me won’t kill me and after the dust has settled I usually find that they can live together and both be right at the same time.

On a side note: I’m thinking about starting a vlog in conjunction with this blog. Would you like to see me and hear me and let me show you where I’m going? Let me know!

Thanks for being patient with me dear reader!

Peace,

Jill

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Natural Light, Fika & the #weekoflagom

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So, I’m still torturing all my Instagram followers with #weekoflagom. And again, I’m not really sorry because I’m sure there are some kindred spirits out there!

There are 2 things that I naturally do which I have found to be a Swedish characteristic and practice. One is a love of natural light and the other is the midmorning and/or afternoon snack.

I’ll confess to you that I really don’t care for the winter. Even though my heritage is Scottish and from what I understand it’s really rainy and cloudy there and one would think that cloudiness wouldn’t be a problem for me, I am actually really affected by lack of sunlight. It makes me depressed and it’s hard to get started when there’s a cloudy day which makes it feel like the morning all day.

So, when you come to my house, you’ll find that if I have curtains at all, they are thrown open all day. My walls are painted light colors in an effort to brighten up my house. And according to the book, the Swedes are all about natural light.

The second thing I have in common with the Swedes is the need for a snack or fika. Fika is actually, “taking a break for coffee and enjoying a small treat.” And most importantly, “It’s a moment to relax and “umgas” – hang out together and catch up with family and friends.” All you need is a snack (usually a cinnamon roll), a hot drink (usually coffee) and take some time to stop, relax and enjoy the small moments in life. What a wonderful idea!

I am having a fikasugen (a strong desire or craving for a fika)!

I need a fika right now!

I am going to have a fikapaus (to stop what you are doing and enjoy a fika)!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Peace,

Jill

Insomnia, Swedes and the #week of lagom

I’ve been posting on Instagram using the hastag #weekoflagom. People are probably getting sick of it by now. But, I’m finding the book and the idea of lagom (the Swedish idea of “not too little, not too much”) to be inline with minimalism and my personal vibe. So, I’ve been throwing up some ideas that I’ve come across on Instagram. And I want to share some ideas here with you.

Swedes are obviously very serious about their sleep. I am finding that sleep eludes me. Some say it’s my age, some say it’s menopause, whatever it is I just can’t get enough sleep. So, I’m reading this book hoping that something will help me. Here are some things according to the book that the Swedes do to help them sleep:

  • Go au naturel – sleep in only underwear or in the nude (Yeah, probably not going to be something I do. I’m a prudish Southerner by birth).
  • Use 2 duvets or comforters instead of one. That way you won’t have to fight if you sleep with a blanket hog. You can be in control of your temperature and comfort. (I kinda like this idea.)
  • Make sure your bedroom is clutter free and clean. Avoid busy patterns. Use calm, comforting colors. (I have already done this in my bedroom and it REALLY helps!)
  • Create darkness – (Not something that I try to do, but probably should.)
  • Prepare yourself for physically and mentally for sleep. Don’t expect to just jump into the bed and fall asleep in seconds. (Well, my husband does that, why can’t I?) Here are some things to do to prepare yourself for bed:
  • Read (Ok, I can do that.)
  • Listen to calm music (Alright, that’s possible.)
  • Knit (Haha! That would make me stress out! It frustrates me that I can’t knit!)
  • Paint (No. I would have to clean up after and I’m trying to relax not create more work for myself.)
  • Cuddle up with family or pets (Yeah, that’s kinda nice.)
  • Take a walk (Maybe, but I find that kinda gets me wound up.)
  • Take a warm bath (Now, that’s my kind of relaxation!)

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Well, no life-changing ideas are jumping out of the pages of the book. Do you have any drug-free cures for insomnia that you can share?

Peace & Sleep,

Jill

To Move Or Not To Move, That Is {always} The Question.

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In my opinion, one of the greatest challenges of being a person of my age & station (i.e. a distance grandparent) is that will we swim in the brackish waters between the past and future – and there is this EXTREME tension between the two.

My husband and I decided to make our home, right here, in this house I’m sitting in as I write this, 22 years ago. We’ve been in this general area for 33 years, 3 years after we got married. So, basically, we’ve been here our whole married life. We’ve raised our kids here, made memories here, established lifelong friends and careers. We’ve forged trails and worn paths. It’s home.

And that is precious and wonderful to me.

I raised my kids to explore and reach out into the world. I fully expected them to leave and go. But I imagined my husband and I and our home as John Donne describes how he felt his wife was to him, his “fixed foot.”

“Our two souls, therefore, which are one, 
   Though I must go, endure not yet 
A breach, but an expansion, 
   Like gold to airy thinness beat. 
If they be two, they are two so 
   As stiff twin compasses are two; 
Thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no show 
   To move, but doth, if the other do. 
And though it in the center sit, 
   Yet when the other far doth roam, 
It leans and hearkens after it, 
   And grows erect, as that comes home. 
Such wilt thou be to me, who must, 
   Like th’ other foot, obliquely run; 
Thy firmness makes my circle just, 
   And makes me end where I begun.” 
Foolishly, I guess I thought my kids would “end where they begun.” I don’t know why I thought that, I mean, left home and never went back. It was silly for me to think my kids whom I raised and was an example for would be different.
So, here I am, having established this kingdom, a castle, a homeland with my kids and grandkids –  my heart – 800 miles away.
It seems daunting to leave all this history and start building a world again. But the tension often gets so unbearable especially when they are struggling or sick, I want to be at their side to be a help and support.
I know there are options, compromises, I guess you’d call them. I have a friend, a grandparent, who sold their house and bought an RV and is traveling the US. That’s a bold move, to so totally let go of the past. Maybe I’ll get to that point one day.
And I know, as I age, my role as the “fixed foot” will inevitably change. My kids will become the anchor and I will depend on them more. I’m just not ready for that.
So, for the time being, I’m weighing my options, living on FaceTime and becoming very familiar with the 800 miles between us.
But the questions still haunt me: “Will I move?” “If so, when?” “Should it be sooner than later?”
Got any advice, suggestions, my blog friends?
Peace,
Jill

 

I’m Not The Only One! Death Cleaning

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My father-in-law sent me a Washington Post article on “Death Cleaning.” I was so excited to hear that I’m not the only one who thinks it’s important to clear out unwanted things and get your s@#%* in order before you “bite the big one.”

According to Margareta Magnusson I’m about 10 years too early. She suggests starting at 65 years old.

But really, the Swedes embrace the concept of “dostadning” which comes from the Swedish words for death and cleaning. It’s basically what I’ve been talking about: gettting rid of unwanted things so your family doesn’t have to deal with it and getting your affairs in order.

The article quotes Karin Olosfdotter, Swedish Ambassador, who says that her parents are “death cleaning” as well as their friends and she thinks it almost a “biological” thing to do.

It’s funny because I have run across my people in my own age range and most of them are doing it and if not, they want to or are thinking about it. So, I think it could be a biological thing. A lot of people don’t do it because it’s so hard, though.

We should come up with a word for death cleaning here in the US. I think I have. It’s called “getting your s@#* together.”

I’ll have to get Magnusson’s book when it becomes available in the US in January.

I’m glad I’m not alone and this whole throwing out experience wasn’t actually a mental breakdown.

This day after Halloween might be a good time to start “death cleaning.” What do you think?

Peace,

Jill

#2 Grandboy’s First Birthday

So, I realized that I never told you about my #2 Grandboy’s First Birthday! I told you about #1’s Sea Pal Party, so let me tell you about #2’s Elmo Sesame Street Party.

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Little Man turned 1 back in August and his Mom & Dad did it up right! Little Man loves Sesame Street, especially Elmo and The Count. So, Mom found a giant vinyl sticker of most of the Sesame Street characters and they had a few friends come over to help put it on the wall.

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Then Mom came up with snacks in keeping with the theme…

She was SO clever! And I made the Smash Cake…

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The red dye didn’t stain his face too bad, haha!

They had indoor and outdoor games for everyone…

 

And Husband made Little Man a motorcycle, too!

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A great time was had by all! What a great day celebrating our Little Man!

Peace,

Jill

55 Years Old Now!

I’m sorry I haven’t posted. I’ve been busy getting this and that done on my book. I had hoped that it would be ready today, but I’m worried that the release will be a few days later. Oh, well, stuff happens.

One stuff that happened is that I turned 55! I’m so glad that I was able to celebrate it with my kids and Grand boys.

I wanted to see what 55 candles would do to a cake and so we LIT IT UP!

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The husband wasn’t able to be with me so he sent some pretty flowers…

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I thought it would be funny to do a milestone facebook post like all the new moms do to mark the development of their babies. So, I did one and Little G helped me with a photo to go with it.

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I hope to be able to say that my book will be available later today or tomorrow, but we’ll see.

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Peace,

Jill