Niente pane, niente pasta, ma si amo tutti fratelli per un po di formaggio
(No bread, no pasta, but we are brothers anyway, because we have a piece of cheese)
Well, sometimes cheese is all you need. .
Sharing a meal is something important for me. We are trying to tech our children to not just eat, but to enjoy a meal together. Not easy for small kids with lots of energy. Sometimes it is not so easy for us adults either.
Cheeses (Photo credit: Smabs Sputzer)
On the topic of cheese this is something we miss dearly since moving to Asia over two years ago – the cheese here tastes like plastic and the good cheese that is available is very very expensive. Lucky for us we have good friends visiting from Switzerland next week – our only request for hosting them was that they bring us some lovely Swiss Cheese. So on Monday we will have another opportunity to share some cheese with very dear friends. I am already looking forward to it.
“People are like onions. Everytime you think you know something about them, you discover another layer underneath.”
Image via Wikipedia
This quote rings true for most people I know, but also of a lot of other things. There are many dimensions to most situations, and you should not be too quick to judge is one important point for me.
In the Asian culture where I live today this from my perspective is true for most everything. As soon as I think I’ve got something figured out, another layer of complexity appears and makes my newfound understanding irrelevant and I am back to a new (but higher) level of confusion again.
Seeing how confusion is the first step to learning I enjoy this cycle of confusion and understanding. If you believe in lifelong learning I guess we must become used to lifelong confusion.
“Whatever comes, face it on your feet.”
An anonymous quote that has pulled me through many tough situations. No matter how tough, the situation will pass and my job is to remain calm and handle the situation to the best of my ability. Nothing more. Nothing less.
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“I wish it need not have happened in my time, said Frodo. So do I, said Gandalf, and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” Tolkien
Another Tolkien quote. As you probably have guessed his works are very dear to me. I feel as though this quote captures the essence of what we need to do in order to lead meaningful lives – we need to decide what to do with the time that is given us.
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I am trying to do just that and that is one of the reason why the blog is so silent. I am also trying to sort the technical issues I mentioned before – that is this far not going so well. Will be a couple of weeks with only Tuesday Quotes I am afraid… But I will be back.
“Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.”
Another one of my longtime favourite quotes. I have been over-obsessed with freedom and independence for as long as I can remember. When I was younger it would often take illogical forms – such as asking for advice and then doing the exact opposite just to prove how independent I am. Well, I don’t do that as much anymore, but still, freedom has very positive connotations in my world. A backdoor, an open return flight, a decision that is yet to be made – all those things mean good vibes for me.
But at the same time what I value most in life is actually what severely limits my freedom. My children and my husband - they are so very very dear to me, but truthfully: they limit me. I have a responsilibity to think and care for others now and I can not do some things on a whim. But this is a tradeoff I have done not only willingly, but I love it and am so thankful for the chance I have had to exchange some of my freedom for the love that is family. I would have it no other way. But after my family, freedom is top of my list.
Freedom is still what I aspire, but it only comes second on the list of my priorities - first on the list is love. So in a confusing way the quote is both true and not.
“There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give to out children. One of them is roots. The other is wings.”
This quote speaks for itself I think. It is a tricky balance giving your kids both dreams, ambitions and self-confidence, while at the same time trying to help them be down to earth and give them the feeling that they belong.
For us the past years have been a lot about how to give the children roots. Living in another country than your own for a defined period like we do (we are based in Asia for a little over 3 years) can give the whole family a sense of rootlessness. We have no immediate family here, we look and sound different to most of our neighbours, and we also know that we will not stay here forever. My oldest son sometimes asks when we will move back “home”. Knowing that both we and many friends are not permanent residents here is quite special and the kids get used to class mates coming and going. I have worried that they will not have roots. But after almost two years here I don’t feel that way anymore. We have many good friends here and that they might move away does not change our friendship. Communication across the globe is also a lot easier than it used to be and we stay in touch with friends and family via Skype, e-mails and facebook. The kids skype and play video games with friends on the other side of the globe without thinking twice about it.
And when you stop to think about it nothing is fixed anyway. Anything can change. Indeed, if I look back on my own childhood, many things did. What remained as my roots are my family and friends – my mum, my grandmother, my two younger brothers and my friends from back then. Here it goes again – roots is not about possessions or a physical location – it is about people.
That being said we have tried to get the kids physical roots as well. We have a small and very basic shoebox summer cottage (it is tiny - one small bed room with no running water, no toilet, shower, TV or telephone) where we try to spend time during summers. This coming summer will be our sixth summer there (time flies) and the kids are already talking about what they will do when we get there, what they will eat, who they will meet, what they will play and if they will run barefoot or not (yes!). I believe for them this shoebox has come to represent everything that is great about being a kid on summer holiday.
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He used often to say that there was only one road; that it was like a great river: it’s springs were at every doorstep and every path was it’s tributary. “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door”, he used to say. “You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no telling where you might be swept off to.”
I love this quote. Not only is it by one of my favorite authors, but I have always loved the imagery, that stepping out of your door can take you anywhere. (Btw, I think Tolkien might have been INFP like me, but that is a different story).