Passionate Dreamer, Mother of Two, INFP, Traveller, Writer, Reader, Life-long student, Sales manager for European company subsidiary in Asia. Sometimes Naive Optimist with a Love for Words.
I just realized I am doing an involuntary career - moving up the corporate ladder at high speed even though this was never what I wanted.
I want to change the world, do something meaningful, fun and still have plenty of time with my family and friends. How did this happen? And how can I change it?
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.
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.
“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.
Image via Wikipedia
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.
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.
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).
I apologize for the silence in here. I have had and still have a lot of thinking to do. I want to change a few things on the site and will get to that before I return to regular blogging. Be warned that it might take a while for me to get the stuff changed – this is not really my field of expertise…
There are also a lot of things pending in our lives at the moment. For the longest period (or at least a month) I thought we would pack up the family and move across the globe again sooner than we thought. Now I am starting to think it might not be until next summer. Which is both good and bad really. I can’t wait to go, but at the same time our life here is so good, the kids are thriving and there is a lot for me to do still. I am finishing up some course work (Human Rights and Diversity) and getting engaged in gender issues through a non-profit where I am on the board. Slowly we are decreasing our stuff and my husband is engaged in a rather promising collaboration with a friend.
Slowly slowly we are aligning our life with our values. The slow pace of the changes is therapeutic to me – I am a very impatient person and tend to want all change to happen yesterday. Realizing that slow is often how you achieve lasting change, I am now quite happy with the slow changes. As long as there is change in the right direction, which there certainly is this time.
I promise to have more content coming up in the coming month and then I will get back to regular posting again. In the meantime – subscribe so you don’t have to come back checking for new posts but get automatically updated.
”And I want you to spend a lot of time at the ocean. Because the ocean forces you to dream, and I insist that you, my girl, be a dreamer”
Cheesy quote – yes I know. But I love this quote, even if it is from Dawson’s creek. It is a young mother’s wish for her baby girl, and if you ask me, it is a really good wish.
Image via Wikipedia
I grew up in a city built on water in the northern corner of Europe and spent my summers sailing, swimming and boating. Very few things make me happier than waking up to the sound of seagulls. Maybe this is why I ended up the hopeless romantic dreamer that I did.
For my children I also wish that they grow up learning how to dream. I consider dreaming big one of the key competencies. How else can you be creative, imagine things that could be rather than just settle for what is? Kids do not need to be taught how to dream big. My six-year-old already came up with the great idea of “deconstructing all atomic weapons and making something else from the pieces”. My three-year-old wants to grow up and be a water skier, a police man, a fire fighter and a knight. At once. So what they need to learn is obviously not how to dream, but how to keep dreaming as they grow up.
My conclusion is that more time by the water is required in order to secure that they continue dreaming. We always try to spend time in nature when possible but with our current address that is sometimes challenging. We also make sure that the kids have an endless supply of books and audio books.
How do you raise a kid to be a dreamer? Or how do you make sure you keep dreaming as an adult?
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
But there is another quote on the same topic that also speaks to me, especially nowadays:
“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.”
Gandhi believed that you can change the world by changing yourself. Actually his logic is the reason why I set up my road map to changing the world the way I did – changing myself first. Afterall, the only person I can ever expect to change is myself. If I manage to change my ways for the better, people will follow. And the world will be a better place.
Easier said than done though.
It sure does feel more tempting to take a two-week volunteer trip to build a school than to change myself first. However, I need to start with that. I am skeptical to two-week volunteer trips anyway. It seems very inefficient to have me fly all around the world to build a school. I would not trust myself to build anything, let alone fly around the globe to do it. I believe there are much more efficient ways to change the world – donate, invest for impact or educate yourself and others for example. But I might be wrong about voluntourism. Let me know what you think!
The team at It Starts With Us have picked up on Gandhi’s message of change starting with yourself and are running an interesting concept. They join together via e-mail each week to complete an assignment that takes each participating individual less than 15 minutes. The idea is that with thousands of people working together, big things can be accomplished by small actions. I like their thinking and have been on the team for about a year. Check them out! www.itstartswithus.us