Posts Tagged ‘Family’

It’s the second week in January and lo and behold… the world did not end. Quelle surprise.

Instead it is the usual January blues with credit cards bills piling up, bleary eyed office workers turning up to work, off-licenses noticing a down-turn as the “white month” is in full swing and gyms bursting with sweaty new year’s resolutions.

It is a new year. Full with potential if you decide to grab hold and do more than just wish. For some it is a change of life-style, change of focus, change of perspective. For some it is yet another year of half-hearted resolutions given after too many glasses of champagne. Resolutions broken just as quickly as the bubbles dispersed.

I spent the last two weeks thinking about what I want for this year. What I would like this year to mean for me. I guess I got sick of always having more or less the same resolutions that always end up lasting until February (in a good year). Of course the whole “get fitter, work-out more often and regularly” is still very important but that is not a new year’s resolution. It is a life resolution and a very tough nut to crack. So yes, I will once again try.

Apart from that one then? What will be different from before? So I could focus on ensuring I reach my targets in work, lose weight, work-out (see above), eat healthily, try to make a positive difference in the world even if it is just a small one … but those are things I TRY to do all the time (not always successfully).

I think this year I will just go with a general wish of doing what makes me happy and to set goals as I go along. The road to achieving and reaching those goals is what matters.

Thinking about it… I have some amazing people in my life. People who inspire me. People who I care about deeply and unconditionally. People who care about me. With friends and family like that, what else can I wish for apart from spending time with those who matter to me?

The rest will follow naturally really – I will do my utmost to reach my targets in work so that I get the extra cash to see all. The work-out will follow as I need to improve fitness in order to be able to do the things I like with my friends and stay healthy. The weight-loss will slowly follow with the fitness and the healthy food follows the fitness (as I cannot eat crap when I have been working out, it just feels wrong). And if an action from me can put a smile on someone’s face and if an action somehow helps the betterment of this world then I have made a difference. I can wish for nothing more.

So there is my wish for 2013 and beyond. Happy New Year.

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I am back to work now the last two weeks. Easing Stumbling back into everyday life… – funny how that happens so fast again even after almost three weeks off.

I had a lovely two weeks in Sweden visiting family. We have a few new family members this year and it was fun meeting everyone though I am not 100% sure of what they thought about meeting their “great-aunt”… lord, am I really a great-aunt!? Scary!

The two weeks were pretty hectic, seems like there were 50 people around most of the time. Not to mention several dogs, horses and cats. Even with all the visiting and seeing everyone; it was great. So much laughter and catching up.

I started in Copenhagen in Denmark and then went up the east coast of Sweden to my parents for a few days. I could only stay for a few days as they have a smaller apartment and with three adults, two cats and one dog it does get crowded. Not to mention that although I love my parents to bits; I can only take that many days before I go slightly mad. We then drove to my brother’s place which is inland. Well, I drove. I persuaded my Dad to let me drive his car. He was notably nervous as I mainly drive on the left hand side these days (he frequently reminded me every time we came to a roundabout…). Well let’s face it, I was not going to travel 200km at 60km/hour due to my Dad’s regrettably slightly diminished eyesight.

I stayed a good few days at my brother’s place. They live in the middle of nowhere. It is fab. So quiet at night. Surrounded by forest, horses, big dogs and seemingly a constant stream of people. Most days there were at least eight of us. I helped out a bit on the farm and loved it. Though I was less fond of those blasted horse flies and mosquitoes that took a liking to me. I did not understand why they were biting me like never before until I realized that they seemed to like the body-butter I used. So hint, hint… Body Shop’s Body Butter is great but avoid in the vicinity of horse flies. Though everyone else was grateful…

My sister and her partner (or maybe I should say boyfriend.. though can you really say boyfriend if someone is over 45?? Haven’t figured it out) arrived on her birthday so we had a great birthday celebration. I laughed until my belly hurt.

Then I left with my sister to go and see my nephew who lives in the most gorgeous idyllic place, in a place that is the essence of the county where I am from; Småland. He and his family live in this gorgeous red wooden house with white corners built in the 1600’s. They are surrounded by lakes, cows and more dogs and cats (seems to be an ongoing theme in my family).

Then as my last stop I stayed with my sister on the west coast of Sweden. Shopping, a bit of sunbathing (when the sun decided to actually make an appearance), a round of mini-golf (which I suck at ), lots of chats and laughter and meeting everyone else (and again some more dogs and cats).

The weather was not great unfortunately during my two weeks but I had so many laughs that it did no matter. Not to mention all the absolutely fantastic food. I normally do not have a second helping but during these two weeks I ate until I was stuffed til bursting point. Best food ever! Oh a few beers, cocktails and wine found its way to me as well…

Then it was back to Dublin for a few days of chilling. I rounded off my holiday with a long (20km) walk along the coast of Dublin with a good friend. The sun was shining (for once) and it was fabulous.

I’ll leave you with a few pictures. Hope you all had a lovely July as well!!

All quiet in the hood:

Småland:

Then there was a bit of time for just pure chilling as well:

The bonds between friends, family and lovers are like intricate threads shifting in the wind. Sparkling with all the colors of the rainbow. Like shimmering gossamer in the sun. If we could but see them.

Across the universe threads drift, connecting every living being together. Some loosing an all too light connection. Some ripping apart. Some holding on forever.

With every being we meet and seek; a new thread is created.

Those illusive threads that stay strong have knots that could tell a tale of rife, of sorrow, of forgiveness, of understanding and an unyielding strength – if only we knew how to read them.

These are the threads we knit together with those we love.

In the fiercest gale the threads are stretched taut but do not break. In the darkest night they glimmer to show us the way. In the farthest distance they reach our hearts.

These are the threads we knit together with those we love.

Time seems to have flowed past at speed the last few weeks. All the sudden it is mid-January already and no blog post has been written. Ouch! Not sure how that happened.

I spend Christmas with one of my best friends together with her boyfriend, who also happens to be a good friend of mine, and their two adorable boys. Two boys, who at the tender age of 4 and 7, were extremely excited about Santa coming. Their faces when we called NORAD’s Santa Tracker was priceless.

So Christmas was full of early mornings and lots of toys but it was also relaxing and with more food than it is humanly possible to eat. One thing to keep in mind: when putting a bottle of Bailey’s in the freezer… yes, the cream stays frozen but not the pure alcohol… it does give quite a kick!

Oh and this sweet shop is just fabulous. They have all kinds of chocolates, hard-boiled sweets, fudge, toffee, liquorice and so on. It feels like you are stepping back in time when you enter.

As usual the long weekend ended way too fast and it was time to go home once again. Back to a really busy week in work, which ended with a pretty chilled out New Years Eve. I really enjoyed spending it with a very good friend, just eating cheese and crackers and drinking some wine. I guess in a way I “should” feel a bit freaked out that I rather stayed in (like my parents) than went out into town (getting pissed in a crowded pub) but to be honest it was great just chilling. Hmmmm…. not sure what that says about me.

Well, I made up for it a bit the weekend just gone by. My sister and her partner came over for a weekend visit. It was great!! There was lots of fish & chips, Guinness (OK, not much for me as I still am not too keen on the black stuff), pubs and lots and lots of laughs.

My sister and I, in stitches as always.

Proper fry up’s (sausages, bacon, scrambled eggs and toast) in the mornings kept us going. We ended up in a variety of places. All from the traditional Irish pub with a traditional Irish music session to the heavy metal rock bar in town. It was brilliant fun and over way too fast.

So now I am sitting here, trying to survive the rest of the month. The January blues and all that. As most others I am properly skint and like many I am looking over my budget and mulling over various health ideas. Oh the joy…

But at the same time, it is a new year and new opportunities looming around every corner. I do not really do the whole new years resolution thing but I do try to keep some ideas in mind. I will make this year mine. Not decided how yet but if the world will end in 2012 (like some seem to believe) then I want go out with a bang and a smile on my face.

Or in the wise words of Eleanor Roosevelt: “Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.”

The second advent candle is lit aaaand here we go again… It is once again time to write those frustrating, easy-to-forget, I-have-no-idea-what-to-write, wonderful Christmas cards. Every year it is the same story when it comes to writing and sending Christmas cards, as you might remember from last years post. There are some cards that kind off have to be written (let’s face it, my parents do not really get the whole e-card thing) and so I sit here once again trying to come up with something clever, joyful and most of all unique to put into the cards and as usual I have Christmas card writer’s block. Sigh…

On a positive note I have actually remembered to buy cards this year. I have not waited until I receive the first card in the post and then run like a manic, possessed woman into the nearest card shop to grab the first pack of cards… and not realizing until I get home that I bought a pack boldly stating “For Santa’s Naughty Boy” with a picture less than suitable to send to my parents. Ugh… yeah.

On my second cup of coffee now and… oh crap(!!)… I just realized I forgot to get stamps! Wonder if I could sneak these cards into the work mail…. hmm maybe not.

Well posting cards is needless unless I actually come up with something to write in them. Think I might brew another few cups of coffee – have I ever mentioned that one of the best buys I have ever made is my Gaggia espresso machine? I could probably write paragraphs about that but let’s not digress.

OK, time to stop ranting nonsense here and actually put pen to paper (or pen to card, if you are going to be picky about it).

What is love?

It is a question that has been asked and answered throughout time. Each answer seems to trigger a new question. The search is never-ending.

Poems have been written, songs composed, films created – all to describe, answer and seek love.

Some find it, some loose it, some are still seeking. The variety of love is endless. Love for a friend, love for a partner, love for family… etc . Some varieties we can understand or at least relate to. Some we can never grasp unless we experience it ourselves.

Love is a very personal thing. It can mean different things to different people. For some it is all-encompassing, a passionate roller-coaster breaking all boundaries and moving mountains. For some it is the steady beat that never ends. For some it is tragically lost and then found again – in all its bitter sweetness. And so forth in all it’s variety.

Love can also change. Change shape, change beat. It can gently enfold us. It can knock our breath away. It can cause unbearable pain. It can make it all worthwhile. It can be shouted across the roof-tops. It can be a silent whisper.

What is love?

 

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While I was away on my holiday I still tried to be online every once in a while, cos let’s face it… I am way to curious about what is happening everywhere. It was during this time that a blog post from the lovely Nikki B, on monogamy, caught my attention. Read it, share it, discuss…

I shared the post with my sister and others and it seemed everyone had an opinion on this subject. This prompted me to do a post about this, trying to consolidate the points raised.

Traditionally monogamy has long been the “correct” way to live your life – the whole “for ever and ever ’til death do us part”. I look at my parents who have been married for over 50 years – was it meant to be that way?

Going back generations, life was very much different. Life was harder, more physical demanding and taxing healthwise. People created a family and died much earlier than today. The sanctity of marriage and a monogamous family life ensured that the next generation had a stable, safe ground to grow up in. Time to rear children was limited and many did not live many years after this was done. Yes, I am generalizing now but I hope you get my drift.

This idea that we are meant to be with one person our whole life no longer seems viable. Today’s generations are very much different. The health care of today (First World countries) ensures longer lives well past our biological child rearing years. During my discussion the most common opinion I encountered is that we today are a society mainly made up of serial monogamy. (No big surprise there.) That life today has several stages.

Starting out young. Falling in love and promising never-ending love for all time. Maybe in the late teens or early twenties. The following years people change a lot. The influences are too many to count and as individuals all develop and sometimes the person they are with develops in a different direction. The first cracks in the foundation of the relationships appear and for many it is the beginning of the end.

More mature (hopefully) and perhaps looking for someone to start a family with the next stage takes shape. Children are born and raised. Life is all about schools, activities, parenting. Life becomes a project to keep afloat. Then when the children have flown the coop – then what? Can the relationship survive this transition? For some it does and for some… it doesn’t. Once again people have changed and developed.

Entering maturity and with many years still ahead people try to find someone to be with that matches their desires, hopes for the future and love.

These stages are just an example raised. In my opinion these and more stages exist for almost all of us, in infinite variety. With kids or not, with same-sex partners or not. Etc.

Enter the next discussion – would you be in an open relationship? Personally… I am not sure. I have no problem with anyone else wanting to do so but me… I am not sure I’d like to share. Might sound a bit silly but there it is. It is not that I am a jealous person. I have actually never been jealous of any of my previous partners. I believe jealousy rears its ugly head due to insecurities and doubt and I can honestly say I trusted the guys I was with at the time. BUT knowingly sharing my partner with someone else… hmmm it is an interesting concept and I will never say never. Most of the people I spoke to about this were very hesitant to the idea. Not condemning it (which is great) but it was not something they were interesting in trying themselves. Maybe I will delve deeper into this subject in a future post.

The most important thing to remember is that we must keep an open mind. Serial monogamy, one person for life, open relationships or whatever variety is out there is a personal choice. Not everyone wants an open relationship or to be with one person in a committed relationship all their life. We must choose what feels best for ourselves and what makes us happy. At the same time we must understand that others around us might want something different and that it is nothing wrong with that. Being open, understanding and keeping a discussion alive to see the different point of views that are out there. Not too much to ask for really is it?