Happy with my life.

Maybe I even love my life. You want to know why? It’s because I said so 😉

It may sound so pretentious when people say stuff like that, but my point isn’t to try and put myself in a very interesting and positive spot, my point is that with all the ups and downs during a lifetime, life is so much easier to handle if you decide to like it. To enjoy it, and have fun as it goes along. And if you don’t? Well, then you have to sit down, spend some time focusing deep and try to narrow down to what it is that’s not working. What needs to be changed, fixed or eliminated? And you’re not done with that. No, that’s when the interesting part starts, when you start to build the life you actually want. That’s fun! 🙂

I don’t know if we’re born optimists and pessimists, I think it’s possibly something you inherit? If one parent is more of a pessimist and the other one is the opposite, I guess you could go either way. I think I must have been lucky, I’m a profound optimist 🙂 I have been happy go lucky as long as I can remember. Looking back I’m thinking that maybe that’s not just good. It has affected my competitiveness, my ability to set hairy goals and put the necessary input to actually reach them. I’ve always thought that however things go or whatever I do, things will work out. And they always do 😉 The secret? Remember the book from way back when? It’s about the law of attraction. Think positive thoughts and positive things happen. As simple as that. Or hard I guess, if you’re a pessimist 😉

I don’t know, but there’s something about that philosophy that I actually do believe. Not kidding. And having read a book from Oprah Winfrey just recently, I think she believes it too. That gives me a bit comfort when I’m questioning myself whether I’m completely mad, extremely naive, or possibly completely stupid… Oprah is a smart woman, so at least I can’t be that mad….

But – back to building the life you want. I’ve found it hard to narrow down to what I want. It’s so easy to get distracted, make some quick assumptions and wrong choices based on what manages to get through to me in all the noise I have to face every single day, you know what I mean? I so often catch myself thinking of how completely happy I would be if I just lived a place where the sun shines more often, where it’s warmer, or in a house that looks more like the ones you see in the magazines. Or – oh, if I could only afford more Louboutin shoes, Chole dresses and Gucci bags…. 😉 I’d of course L O V E that, but it won’t affect my happiness. Maybe for a fraction of a second, but not for long. Not really. (I would love it though! 😉

I find it hard to go deep. It’s not something I sit down and do. It’s more something I’ve had to face when facing others. You know those situations that are almost unbearable, either because someone makes you so insanely angry, sad or insecure? Not many years ago I decided to try and use those situations to educate myself about myself. I haven’t waited for these kind of situations to occur, but I’ve gone back and tried to face the worst situations I can remember having had. Not easy! And, oh, how I hate, and struggle to admit, that I have some very bad traits of character. I really do. But strongly believe we all do, and I comfort myself by thinking that those are what makes us human, don’t you think? And I guess it’s kind of comforting having faced the fact that there is work to be done, that is when I can start working on improving myself.

It’s a continuous job. A never-ending story. It’s so interesting, and I find it rewarding when new situations occur, and I can honestly say that it doesn’t feel that bad anymore. I’m getting better every day at facing my bad traits, and trying to work things out. And reward is great, isn’t it? It’s rewarding to handle your life better every day, and it’s rewarding to experience making progress. I can really recommend it. No matter how hard it is, I guarantee you – face your bad sides, work on them and be a happier and stronger person. You’ll love it, I promise! 😉

Lately the weather has been amazing here on the western coast of Norway. I don’t know what’s going on, but after the historically bad summer, I guess we needed it. Anyway, I just wanted to admit that I kind of look forward to welcoming the fall. I love fall-fashion. The best time of year – and right now, here are some styles and outfits I find inspiring right now 😉

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Have a great evening and eventually weekend!

Lots of peace & love from me to you…. ❤️

 

Totally hooked.

I haven’t blogged for a while, I’ve been too busy the last couple of weeks. Way too busy, am I hooked on life in a fast lane? For one week in August/September, every other year, the world comes to Stavanger. Or the Energy-world I should say. I get to work at the ONS exhibition, the second largest Oil/Energy exhibition in the world. It’s intense and I love it! 😅

That was last week. This week it’s TEDx Arendal. Oh, how I love that too! And it amazes me that they are able to put up such a great event in Arendal! It’s not that Arendal isn’t great, but it’s not a big city, not even in Norwegian terms, and it’s kind of hard to travel to. If I go from Stavanger the most efficient way to travel is by train, 3,5 hours from Stavanger to Kristiansand, and from Kristiansand to Arendal by bus (approx 1,5 hours). So about 5 hours…. Very boring, but I love Arendal, and I love the people I get to work with there, which makes the trip so worth while. The program this year is truly impressive – be sure to check it out here.

I simply love the TED-concept. The TED-talks and the fact that they actually are ideas worth spreading. Ideas that challenge our mindsets, our way of interpreting the world around us and the way we act. I don’t know how many hours I’ve spent on ted.com, laughing, crying, being amazed, mindblown and feeling like I’m part of something so much larger than myself. Seriously, if you haven’t checked it out yet, please do, I’m hooked.

I also must admit, I love relaxing myself and my brain….. When I’m exhausted from too much work, too many meetings and just too much going on, I love to read something easy and I love to watch series for instance on Netflix 🙈 I don’t know if I dare tell you which one I’m watching right now….. The Outlander. It’s way too weird and extraordinary, but I am totally hooked! When I was done with season 1 I got seriously desperate. Searching everywhere for information on when and where I would be able to watch the next season. And then I found it on Viaplay – oh, was I happy! …. 😁

And speaking of hooked. I am also reading – when not completely relaxing – The power of habit. Why we do what we do and how to change. It’s an interesting book. It freaks me out how “lost” I am in all my habits! But I’m so optimistic now, I’ve just started the chapter on how to change habits 😉 I think I should break my bad habit of eating too much ice cream, skipping too many workouts, staying up too late, working too much. Actually I’m improving on that last habit. I have definitely worked less this year, than I’ve gotten into the habit of doing the last 5-7 years. But then again, the border between working and not working is not as clear as it used to be. I’m not sure that’s a perk when you like your job, or if it’s an excuse for working more….. Oh, well – as long as it makes me happy, right? 👍🏼😄

And about that happiness. After I read Aristoteles and Marcus Aurelius, I decided I should work more on happiness. Not that I wasn’t happy, I honestly think it comes easy to me, but recent years I’ve become more aware of how easy it is to forget that I’m actually a happy person, because I’m constantly consumed with reaching for something more. A better job, a nicer car, a prettier garden (yeah! I wish….), a better body and on and on and on. Well, these ancient philosophers taught me that happiness actually is to appreciate life right now. That doesn’t take much practice, but it takes practice – for me at least, to stop, think and acknowledge everything around me. I truly am so grateful. We are so lucky in this country. And I am so lucky.

But, to use Oprah Winfreys quote – what I know for sure – I will always love shopping. Yeah! Sorry guys…. It’s just in my nature. I know it’s not connected to the real happiness, but – oh, how fun it is to update outfits from time to time! Hooked on that too. Not the shopping necessarily, but the update. Sometimes I’ll get so happy just by flipping through a magazine and getting some needed inspiration to come up with new combinations, using old clothes. Love it, and totally hooked 🤗

I often go seeking for inspiration online – here are pic’s from three great spots to searh, from left: www.net-a-porter.com, www.asos.com and HM’s & Other stories (www.stories.com).

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Have a great weekend and I hope you are all in good health – both mentally and physically!

Peace & love

 

Thinking, fast and slow.

I’m currently reading a book by Oprah (Winfrey in case anyone wondered… 😂). If I remember correctly it’s called “What I know for sure”. It’s not at all a self help book, but it motivates me to consider whether I’ve made the right choices… Like – am I where I want to be at this stage and age? Did I follow my dreams, or have I mostly done what was expected from me?

I think so many of us make choices based on expectations, traditions and logical reflections. I feel lucky to have made some choices I know are based on my own heart and gut feeling, but I know I have made my share of other choices based on what was expected of me.

I had an aunt, my fathers oldest sister. She was fabulous and so glamorous in so many ways. She lived in New York for more than a decade. She studied to be and worked as a physical therapist in the big apple. She would travel and hang out with friends from across the world, send us exclusive gifts and I remember her always serving the grownups the cosmopolitan drink, Manhattan when she visited us and my grandmother on our small island, Stord. When she moved back to Norway in – I think it must have been around the mid 70s, she studied in Oslo to become a doctor. Later on she became a psychiatrist. She had boyfriends, but she never married and had children. She was glamorous in a somewhat eccentric way, running her bike with painted toenails in high heeled sandals, even during the winter. She loved to wear her long masculine raincoats, and completing her outfits with one of her numerous Hermes silk scarves. I imagine her colleagues either loved or hated her. She was special… In both good and bad ways, to be quite honest. But she was my aunt and we had a close relationship all the way up until I became a mother and had my own family to tend to.

TanteDorthe

One of my clearest recollections from our conversations, was when I had to make a decision I have later come to recognise as a defining moment for me.

I can’t remember how old I was, but I think up until I was around twenty, I always wanted to work as an air stewardess. I know it’s “every girls dream” at a certain age, but I really wanted this, and I do think it was in my blood. I loved to travel, I went to London with my cousin when we were 13 – loving the fact that we were allowed to travel by ourselves (we were staying with one of my mother’s closest friend – relax, they weren’t that crazy!). I went to visit my beloved family in Michigan when I was 15 – loving the travelling part this time as well. I still get this excited feeling when I travel by plane. Oh, yey! 😁 Anyway, I got a job as an air stewardess with Gulf Air. (I must have been around 20-21). Of course I should grabbed the opportunity, but I had promised my mother to help her out with her shop at the time, and I really wanted that too! But my aunt was astonished. I remember she said to me that this was going to be my path in life (sorry, I don’t know if you can even say that in English, but that’s what she said). She told me she was so disappointed that I was becoming a grown woman, and not able to see and know what was best for me. She was convinced I had made such a big mistake – that the choice I had made was based on the feeling of obligations to help my mother out, and not on what was best for me. Maybe she was right – I’ll never know, but I don’t go around regretting my mistakes, it’s such a waste of time 🙃

But – I am so glad she said that to me!

I thought about it a lot then, and I think a lot about it now.

She made me so aware how important it is to stay true to yourself. She made me realise it’s not easy always to know what’s best for yourself, but if you search, you will find….😉

She made me aware of how important it is for me to pass this on to my girls. I’m grateful to her for this, although it feels strange to idealise her – she really wasn’t that good with her family-relations, but that’s a different story…. Anyway, I want to pay this forward to my girls – actually I want to pass it on to anyone.

I think we spend way too much time making choices based on what is expected of us. At home, at work, in our social life, in most aspects of our lives. And maybe that feels right for you, but if you’re not sure, take some time to consider or reconsider, before you make your choice. To be able to really do that, you have to be able to think, fast and slow…. (I strongly recommend Daniel Kahneman’s book, if you want to learn some more about that!).

Think, consider and reconsider. And if you want to make some changes? It’s never ever too late! You can start the planning process today already! 😍

Lots of luck to you!

And peace & love of course….

 

Gender Equality.

I don’t know, but it might have come from being brought up with a feminist mother and a father who I think have been so concerned with equality that I think he has preferred the weak ones to the strong ones – always. And quite possibly it was like a principle to him. I remember there were times I felt so misunderstood or misinterpreted by for instance teachers at school. I would go home and want my (teacher) fathers opinion, for some strange reason…. He wouldn’t ever take my side…. I think he – probably unconsciously – preferred the real problems of the kids my age. The neglected kids. The kids who showed signs of criminal tendencies. I was a strong girl, and I think he couldn’t possibly believe I had any problems. (And looking back now, I realise I probably didn’t. Not real ones anyway…).

I also remember his constant arguments in politics (he had a political career), mostly with conservative politicians. Right wing politicians, mainly men who would protect and support one another and fight for better conditions for strong, rich and healthy people who were already prospering. (At least that’s the story I got). But he was concerned with environmental issues long before the media started to pay attention, and long before anyone would care about the ozone layer, rain forests or climate changes. He took us, his family to Africa for a couple of years, to make a difference for African children, and to show us there is another world out there. I know he has made such a great and profound impact on so many peoples lives, and he certainly has taught me and my children so much.

Yes, I’m quite sure it’s my upbringing that has made me so aware of the differences in life. Aware that I have all the opportunities in the world, while others struggle throughout their life. The differences between being rich and being poor even in Norway, where we might have the best social welfare system in the world. How hard it must be for so many people in my home town, Stavanger, to keep up with everything, all the activities the children want to participate in, all the stuff they want – the new iPhones, Parajumper or Canada Goose winter coats, the LV bags. Still, there is one issue concerning inequality I find particularly hard to cope with right now.
I find it so hard to understand why we are still so far from gender equality in this country. How is that possible? After all those fights, struggles, hard work and determination from all the women, the few men and the idealistic politicians from the 70s, 80s and 90s. What happened once they had done the work? How have we, my generation men and women, how have we taken the opportunities they have fought so hard for us to have? Are we thankful, or even aware of those great opportunities we are entitled to by law?
I’m going to be quite frank and open here. I have worked in so many different teams and organisations. I have been so disappointed too many times, when teams and leaders are reorganized, and s o  m a n y  t i m e s have I seen strong female leaders having to go, to make way for average men. Why? What do these men – who I think are making the wrong choices – what do they see that I don’t? And why do they not see the same as me? Do some of these women not seem eager enough for leadership? So many stories I’ve heard from female leaders start with a male boss who believe in them. Bosses who almost have to kick them in the butt to make them take that chance. The leap in to leadership. And compared to the men? The male stories are normally more traditional: graduating from school, finding the first job, looking for opportunities (from day 1?) and taking that opportunity without even considering pros and cons. They don’t need the bosses who kick butts. They do what’s necessary for them selves. Lucky them.
CleanHouseWastedHouse
I’ve borrowed this illustration from April Spreeman on flickr.com – thanks, I love it! 😉
I don’t think men torture themselves on thoughts about neglected children, houses and spouses…. Get a grip girls, we have to start doing what we’re meant to do! To be able to do that, you have to get in touch with yourself, calm down, take some me-time and really consider this: what am I doing when I’m happiest?
Think about that. I think about it all the time. Or, maybe not all the time, but quite often 😉 I’m so glad I’ve been introduced to some great thinkers, writers and philosophers who have shared wisdom I can prosper from. I would love for you to spend time on figuring out the Nicomachean Ethics by Aristoteles for instance. I promise you, it takes time, thinking and patience – if you’re like me that is. (Maybe you’re one of those people who just get it right away? Who knows? Anyhow – it is worth while. I promise you 😉 ).
Have a great weekend whatever you’re planning on doing!
Peace & love….
 

The best time of year…. fashion wise ;-)

I think I’ve told you already. I live on the western coast of Norway. Let me give you a brief introduction – weather wise…. It pretty much rains. All the time! It’s windy. Always. The temperature varies. Not. Typical summer temperature: around 15 degrees celsius. Typical winter day: around 10 degrees celsius. Sunny? Occasionally I guess. But – look at the bright side. Our days, evenings and nights are light from March through November. The air is so fresh! It smells so good outside. We get so incredibly happy on that rare hot day, or if we have sunshine more than three days on a row. We feel invigorated just by going out with trash, or picking up the mail. We get to wear those cool Kate Moss-festival-wellies almost every day. Not so bad – right?!

Okay, so I sound like I’m very upset with the weather, but actually, it’s alright. If I get to the point where it really gets to me, I can always move somewhere else. Like Italy or south of France 😉

So you might get why I find fall the absolute favourite time of year to upgrade my wardrobe. No? Because I can wear fall-clothes throughout the year! Duh! 😉

I love getting money and gift cards for my birthday! (I don’t think I’ll ever grow out of the happiness of receiving birthday-presents…). Anyway – it being in the end of July, money and gift cards are perfectly spent on a Fall Style Update! Possibly one of my best shopping days during the year. The post-birthday-shopping-spree. Weeheee – I love it, here are the pieces I got this year. (And a Garance Dorè illustration, my new favourite nail polish – Chanel no. 491, and Canel eyeshadow fall 2016) – I got the shoes earlier this summer, but can’t wait to wear them at work possibly almost every day this fall 😉

FallStyleUpdate
These pictures are snitched – or I hope the originators see them as borrowed, from www.chanel.com, the online shops www.miinto.no (the sweater and jeans), www.suserisivet.no (the dress) and Garance Doré on Pinterest. The picture of the shoes is from Crush Concept on Facebook, see more information about that great place below 😉

The bright sweater has the perfect colour for me. Of course I’m so not going to wear a black bra underneath (!), well maybe I will, but I am definitely wearing my favourite piece of clothing – the silk camisole, over the bra. If you have a silk camisole, you can wear thin, light, see-through fabrics, even when you’re curvy like me. They’re just perfect! I have them in several different colours, and in various lengths. I’ll wear a long one – I guess that’s more a slip – under the grey knitted dress. All sweaters, t-shirts, shirts, blouses and dresses look so much better with a camisole or a slip under. My best style-tip is to invest in this garment. It has to be silk. Don’t get anything else, you’ll just hate how it makes everything electric, they’re crinkly, stiff in stead of soft, and just not comfortable at all. I like the ones with no decorations – no pearls, no lace, ribbons or whatever. The only silk ones are so much more useable. If you have lace for instance, quite possibly it will look bulgy underneath a thin silk blouse. Just sayin’ 😉

And oh – I have to mention – possibly the best reason for always wearing a camisole underneath – if you have curves, love-handles, muffin-top – you know what I mean – the camisole will make all that stuff not visible! Isn’t that just the best?! Check out this picture I found when I was googling, you hate it too, right? Why on earth would anyone want to be dressed like that? Seriously friends, invest in a good camisole, buy your size in clothes (even if it hurts), it looks S O much better, and you will feel free, happy and alive – which are the most important criterias if you want to look good. That’s just the way it is 😉

It’s Saturday and I have nothing that I have to do. How I love those weekends! I think I’ll do some style-planning today, you know – reading (flipping through) magazines, finishing Garance Dorès book (I love it!), check out the latest updates on blogs and facebook-pages that inspire me. My number one favourite shop is Crush Concept. Check out the beautiful blog and Facebook page. Unfortunately Crush Concept isn’t located in my home town, but they ship whatever I want and the inspiration is reachable through social media, so I guess it’s alright, and it makes it so much more fun to visit whenever I’m in Haugesund;-) This beautiful shop has clothing, interior, some beauty-stuff, and I think I love E V E R Y T H I N G there! The owner has the best taste, and she makes it so easy for me to pick up on what I’ll fancy from the new designs. The style is updated and classic, a little bit bohemian, relaxed, French and every single piece will survive the changing trends – which means you’ll love the stuff till it dies and can’t be worn or used any more. So I guess although it’s somewhat expensive, it’s actually pretty economical. Right? That IS how it works, right? I try to explain that to my husband so often. Like, if I get a sweater I can wear for the next 8-10 years, almost no matter what it costs, it will become cheap – or even free – in a few years, right? 😉 (I’m so great in math, you can really tell I work in bank….) 🙈

So – I’m off. Wishing you the best weekend whatever you do or wherever you are! Remember to stay true to yourself, stay happy – and get inspired ❤️

Peace & love

 

Welcome to my world!

I have moved my blog, and I am planning on blogging in English from now on. Several reasons for the English – for instance it’s great practice for me, I’d love to connect across nations and I want to see if I can actually handle blogging in English.

The moving. By placing the blog here, I’m in a blog-network. I have already received so much great advice from the administrators here – it seems like a smart thing to do. I’m sorry about the ads, but I hope it’s all right with you. I’m thinking my reward is all the great advice, I’m learning a great deal. I hope you’ll be rewarded with a blog with higher quality than it used to have. I promise I’ll try, and I hope you’ll give me feedback whenever it’s needed.

My world. I believe I am lucky, and I know for a fact – I’m truly happy. I don’t go around being happy all the time, but I’m fundamentally happy. As most people, I know happiness is essential to leading a good life which is why I’m constantly working on it. Every day, every year. Enhancing my happiness 🙏🏼.

I’ll be 50 next year. Obviously I’ve learned about myself. I know I need constant changes. I need new impulses and different days every day. Not necessarily great changes, small changes like a new way of working out, a new kind of breakfast, new assignments at work, new projects and new magazines 😉 – all great. I also know I have to make the changes myself.

My blog-categories reflects my essentials, today.

Happiness. Girlpower. Communication. Reflection. Style.

As everything else, these might change with time. Happiness won’t change, as already mentioned. Girl power. Gee, I wish…. If the world ever becomes totally equal to both sexes, I’m pretty sure I’ll eliminate that category. I’m sorry I believe I’ll quit blogging long before that happens…. Reflections. I do it all the time. Reflect around so many things, my chaotic brain and mind becomes more peaceful through reflecting and blogging. Style. Oh, how I love being constantly inspired by various style gurus! I’ve been interested in style for as long as I can remember. My earliest childhood memory is about a rage connected to a pair of jeans my mother wanted me to wear. This was before we moved to Africa which tells me I must have been around 4 or 5… I remember my cousin wearing her wellies wrong, the “America-dresses” from my aunt in New York, the beautiful cangas in Tanzania and the colourful styles of the African women. Yes, style will always intrigue me and fill me with inspiration. Finally Communication. That is who I am professionally. A communicator, not always the best one, but always working on improvement. Improving my skills, learning more, communicating more and better and trying to inspire my colleagues and professional relations to see how good communication can create magic 🤗 You think I’m exaggerating? Well, I’m not, and I will “talk” more about this later. The amazing tools created by new technology, and the profound wisdom given to us from historical persons like Aristoteles and Aurelius – these two have made a great impact on me.

Please excuse my English skills. Not at all professional, but I do think I get by, and I used to be pretty good at it… Oh how I hope you’ll stay with me here. Stop by from time to time, and please know that I appreciate feedback.

So, welcome to my world.

Peace & love!