Freedom of choice and flexibility

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Carrots in the bag

Oh, how good it feels to have trained my flexibility so much over the last couple of years. And to have let go of the thoughts of making perfect.

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Backpack with gym equipment

This morning, as I had just left the house to go to the gym, I got a call from the radio station where I used to work and where I’ll be working this upcoming summer. They were in big need of a host for the afternoon show and hoped I’d be in the area.

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Running from the gym to the train

I was happy to easily make a plan to make it work – and to be able to continue from the gym to the train and onwards to the radio station. No need for more things or different clothes, it’s become so much easier for me to handle the situations that come my way, and to take it as it is. (extra plus for having picked rather good clothes this morning).

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Bought a salad on the way and had lunch as I prepared

From the moment I said yes to make this day of work happen, I also realized there was no prestige in this for me – all I had to do was to be calm and relaxed, knowing that I can handle it.

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Two and a half hours of live radio

After arriving, I had a little more than two hours to prepare myself for the live show – without a personal login to computers, quickly learning how the show is built up, and with hugging former collegues and some small talk in between, I made it!

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There was a producer that had planned and prepared the topics of the show, and reporters doing good work to make it all come together. I am so happy I took the chance to see how it all worked out and how sweet the people were to me.

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Preparation

It’s been about two years since I last broadcasted a whole radio show like this, doing most of the technical stuff myself. After a day like this, it’s clear that it helps to rely on that everything will be good and to humbly work with what some call ‘a beginner’s mind’ – even though I know some of this since long, a lot has changed and is new to me and I learn a lot by letting others show and help.

Finally back home with Anders and time to prepare some food for tomorrow’s lunch. Because, I’ll be working also tomorrow!

Have fun, enjoy your life and maybe take on a challenge every now and again.
//Wivan

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Weekday thoughts

Here comes honesty:
Being back in Sweden is both wonderful and at times hard. For me, being here arises many questions – a lot about the future and what I really want with my life. And it’s great to be able to take time being slightly confused.

It’s so nice to be around family members and loved friends; it helps me being more relaxed and that’s probably one of the reasons why these questions sometimes arise.

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Easter decoration

Spending time with other people is also a very good way to see our own patterns, thoughts and responses to situations. Like a magnifying glass right in front of us. Often, as humans, we look at those “magnifying times” as painful or hard, but one can also see it as great learning and gifts.

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Our "what-we-want-in-Sweden-lists"

Today I bring out the lists of what we longed for to do, eat and who to see that we wrote when we had decided to leave Sri Lanka and go back to Sweden. It’s a great way to remember what we love and have missed while being away.
We have already done many things on those lists, and yet it’s so much left!

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Easter lunch - lots of the foods we love

Still we are taking things slowly and easy, no need to rush and do all at once. So, the unpacking and moving into the house we have rented at mom’s place is done one step at a time.

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Soap bubbles, lots of them!

There always has to be space for fun and peaceful things, like soap bubbles and laughter.

With love,
Wivan – who’s now off to the store to buy foods to put on the grill!

Practicing being apart

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Last week going to Höör together

Since November 2014, when we sold our house and took off to Southern France, the two of us have been together most of the time.
Choosing to live in a different style, often staying in other people’s houses and in countries we’re not familiar with, it’s been our new normal – always together.

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In Bali, last November

If you have read the blog for a while you might know that we do have different internal “time zones”, and actually spend quite some time separately, but still – we’ve been staying at the same places most of the time.
Last summer there were some exceptions when we worked in different places, and went for some trips separately.

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After bathing an elephant in Thailand

When we’ve been in France and Asia over the past six months, we have been together every day, rain or shine.

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After morning surf in Sri Lanka

Last week I spent one night away from Anders, and now I am off on my own for several days. Yesterday we didn’t even speak on the phone, and tonight I try to not call him again just because I am used to always talking to him… It’ll be so much fun to get together again on Saturday!

Gosh is it a good reality check to see how closely we have been living! As a couple we have always been used to having periods of separation – if only a weekend here and there. But it has been a way for us to see each other from a distance, to remember what we love about each other and to also enjoy our separate interests on our own or together with friends.

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First day back in Sweden

So now we practice being apart, explore our interests and to talk with others – which is also a challenge when you’re used to mostly talk to this one person who knows you really well and just gets you.
17 years we’ve been a couple. By spending time apart we keep the curiousity alive and still have things to tell each other.

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Moon over the ocean

With love,
Wivan

How the cold affects my body

Skin gets dry. Especially the legs and arms.

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Lower legs super dry

My eye lids got a shock after the long journey and I had eczema for about a week when we arrived in Sweden.

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Swollen and hurting eye lids

Nose bleeds are back – something I use to have during the cold winters.

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Bleeding nose after the train ride

My hands are itchy, dry and get small rashes. The nails break constantly and cuticles crack and bleed.

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Itchy hands

It’s been good to see how these things appear suddenly and clearly is a reaction to the cold and dry weather. Things I simply haven’t had problems with in the tropical climate of Asia. Instead, in the warm, other things have occured – like ear infections due to all the water activities.

In this colder climate, I see how I am more active because it’s possible to move and do without getting exhaused.

I am so grateful to have been able to experience a full winter season in Asia, something I had dreamed of for a very long time.

Take care,
Wivan

KIS(S)

Keep It Simple (Stupid).

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Beauty

Constantly reminded, and happy to have seen so many contrasts, we try and keep things simple even if we are back in Sweden and have decided to settle down for a while.

Here, in Northern Europe, much of the basics for living are so comfortable and it’s easy to get caught up in making perfect or comparing with others.

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Simple packing

After living with less things and constantly coming to new places, we try to remember to let life and the experience be in the center rather than making the outer things perfect. It’s more important, to us, to have fun, feel relaxed and meet ourselves and other with compassion and love. When caught up in the spinning wheel of “should have, could have, would have”, those basics are easy to run away from. Maybe we all of a sudden believe in the thoughts of all we “should” do, have or be, instead of asking ourselves what is important and joyful to us.

Keeping it simple can be done in many parts of life: how much foods we buy and store, what to pack for trips and traveling, when communicating with others, in the planning of activities and every day life, how we interact and play with kids (and how many toys, activities and things they “need”), how we design our home and how perfect we want it, social life, to what degree we engage in and at work, and more.

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Train ride to get to Gnesta

When packing to go north to visit my dad and extra mom, I found myself worrying about what to bring, and then I was reminded about the simplicity we’ve had during the long-time travels abroad; if something is missing – either borrow or buy what I need, or be without. And it’s very rarely so important that I can’t be without for a few days.

It also is very good to only unpack what we truly want and miss from the storage; there are many things that are still in the boxes! And I mostly wear the same clothes I’ve had in the past six months, only some warm hats, jackets and underwear is added.

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Today snow!

When in doubt, we think of our life and the friends and family in Sri Lanka where the expression ‘less is more’ felt more real than ever.

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Kitchen "cabinet" in Sri Lanka

//Wivan

The colors of a country

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Sunset behind the clouds

When I went for a walk at sunset yesterday, I understood something about colors that I haven’t really thought about before. It seems like different countries and places have their own set of colors and light that goes together in nature.

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Swedish sunset

Along with the smells, how the air feels and the temperature, there is a uniqe mix of colors – and they shift from morning till evening.

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Sri Lankan colors

It’s not only what we see, but also how it feels, and how different colors affect us. I also believe, with a lot of experience from traveling to many different places, that we are quite well in tune with the set of colors from the places we are used to, that we love or where we grew up. Even if we might prefer being in tropical climate in the winter, it seems like we can’t avoid being affected and feel at home when we see and feel the Swedish colors – even if it’s cold!

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Bare trees a late afternoon

This was a new way of experiencing knowledge for me, it was so clear when I felt, and saw, the colors at sunset on Aspö.

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Contrasts

At the same time I realized that the colors of the woods, lakes and roads where I grew up and spent my childhood are slightly different and still speak deeply to me, something I get to sense again next week when I go to visit my dad and extra mom.

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Colors and light that speak to us

What places, and colors, speak to you on levels you can’t explain?

With love,
Wivan

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Sunset in Mirissa, Sri Lanka

Who’s counting?

After sorting through some of our stuff last night, and this morning, we have found things we need and look forward to use again, and other things we don’t need at the moment – and some that eventually will be given to charity or thrown away.

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Hrmmmm, some stuff

When packing, unpacking, lifting and sorting among the boxes, I found myself trying to make some type of conclusion from it all. Something like: “If we have X number of boxes, it means that we own things to fill X square meters of living space”, or “If we get rid of X number of things, we own even less and that makes us more free”.

And then I remembered what Anders use to say: ‘Who’s counting?!?’
By that he simply questions the truth in whatever counting or number conclusion I or someone else makes.
It can be when a friend have heard of a person who only uses 100 pieces of clothing (in total), and she wants to try to do the same. Or when I say that I will do 40 repetitions of each exercise because I want to be prepared until I am 40 years old. Or when something becomes very specific in numbers just because… (blogging every day for a 100 days, eating five fruits per day, saying hello to three new people every day, ten steps to more happiness, trying one new dish every week…).

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Lifting, lifting

It’s not that numbers aren’t relevant, it’s just that when we focus so much on one specific number, we might become obsessed and a bit blind to what really serves us in the moment. What if I feel like doing more push-ups – should I avoid it? Or if you have lots of inspiration and energy – why only do ten pages of home work? If you have many other things distracting you, maybe it’s better to do what you had planned at another time, if it’s possible?

So, the number of boxes we have in our storage don’t mean anything, unless we give it meaning. Sometimes a specific time limit or number is really good, as a guide line or help for a certain reason.

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Someone elses moving truck...

All we can do is what feels right for us, not for someone else. So if wearing only five items of clothing for a week feels inspiring to you, go ahead! The thing is to do it by choice and not because someone else is doing it, or tells you it’s the only way to show commitment, being environmentally friendly or it’s the cool way to be.

So, me not using Facebook for one year and two days isn’t very interesting, is it? Because – who’s counting?!

//Wivan

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Out on a walk