Thursday, April 30, 2020

the waiting game

cherry blossom trees, stockholm suburbs, sweden, april 2020

”Step outside, take a breath, listen to the calm and gentle sounds of nature. It is the sound of recovery.”

I know, it's been a long month since I last blogged. It's probably been a month of many ups and downs for us all. A bewildering month of many adjustments, a lost month but also full of insights and learnings.

Myself I also managed to catch a nasty cold - I'm pretty sure it wasn't Covid-19, as it was acting like my colds act, only it was prolonged into 2,5 weeks before I felt really well again. So during those weeks I only ventured out a few times to the garbage bin at dusk, to avoid people.

I haven't been in to inner city Stockholm since March 16, thus obviously haven't travelled by bus or train since then. Just walked around the neighbourhood and to the grocery store (it's great to get there at 7 am when they open up, perfect for social distancing). It feels surreal, life's taken a time out somehow.

I'm still proud to be a swede and our strategy of course, but I'm appalled at the selfish flippancy too many people seem to show as of lately, filling up restaurants, restaurateurs not taking responsibility despite clear restrictions, not taking the social distancing seriously as if spring and warmer weather is some magical overnight cure. The stupidity and ignorance, mindboggling.

#vegan shoes el naturalista, march  2020 - and loving snoopervisors 💚

Before corona struck I bought two vegan shoes from El Naturalista. I've been eyeing them for a year, but resisting since I (obviously) don't desperately need new shoes. But now there was a decent sale on, and I would (also obviously) love to have a few more non-leather shoes. I'm also thinking I'll finally sell some of my El Naturalista leather sandals, that I have only used a couple of times (not really my style or fit, but once I thought they were a must...), so less in more out.

#vegan shoes el naturalista, march  2020 - and loving snoopervisors 💚

Unexpected feline bonus of the purchase, Ågot absolutely adored the mesh bags that came with the shoes. You might think they were drenched in catnip.

Before corona I also had my discerning eye on a gorgeous skirt and dress from Marimekko. But I have to say that, nowhere to go, noone to see, working from home and only going for walks and picking up groceries has been a most effective way of curing shopping urges. And given the gazillion emails about sales, new collections at reduced prices I get every single day, I'm not the only one. I also think that with incomes and future job situations being really worrisome for many of us now, shopping for things that aren't a must seems pretty crazy. I mean, I already struggle to use my existing beautiful wardrobe right now.

cherry blossom trees, stockholm suburbs, sweden, april 2020

Talking about shopping and consumerism, one of the two online classes I've been taking this past month is about Consumption, environment and climate. I can't say it's been an eyeopener as such, since I've spent so many years already reading and learning about the topic of sustainability. Obviously. And the obligatory test I took about my ecological footprint clearly shows that if people lived like me, the planet would be healthy, thriving place for us all. Yes, the combination of vegan living, chosing organic, slow fashion, not owning a car or flying a lot, choosing energy from renewable sources and more, can truly make a huge difference. It both infuriates and saddens me that people still don't get that. When politicians and big businesses fail us, we could make such a big difference ourselves just with our daily choices.

sheep o’hoy, suburban, sweden, april 2020 💙

My other class is a Yale-course on the Science of Well-being. It's great! I'm also proud of the insight it has given me, that my main signature strength is Perspective, followed by Appreciation of Beauty & Excellence, Humour, Creativity and Love of Learning. I do love my perspective strength, but I have to say that given how the world looks and people still behave, it has also always been a struggle with this blessing. I so wish people would finally learn how to connect the dots, our current situation is such an obvious, heartbreaking lesson from Mother Nature we MUST. I will now embrace and acknowledge my strength more, use it even more for a greater good.

I'm now on the shivering last weeks of the course and rewiring my brain, which in my case is meditating regularly every day. And you know how long I've been struggling to make that a routine, in vain. I still struggle with focusing. But now I have better tools and insights to make it happen. And the quote from the course "A mind-wandering mind is an unhappy mind" has certainly striked a cord.

I've also applied for a university course at Stockholm Uni - Resilience Center on Sustainability Science. They've changed it into a digital class, still in Swedish, but available from anywhere in the world this time. I hope I'll be accepted, it's pretty much exactly what I've been looking for in vain until now. It'll start in late August, part-time for 6 months. I'll know if I got in in June. Fingers crossed.

cherry blossom trees, stockholm suburbs, sweden, april 2020

As an intro/ambivert I don't miss interacting with people that much - I still go for social distancing walks with my mum and the neighbourhood's dog ladies - but I do miss the freedom of just taking the bus-train to the city, museums, walks, seminars, meetings, fika, lunches, you know, all those simple things we take for granted. Most of all though, I missed not being able to experience the blissful cherry blossom trees in KungstrÀdgÄrden this year. Last year seems like another world... Which, crazy enough, it truly is.

But I'm also grateful for the fact that the sadness over that has been alleviated by the fact that there are actually more cherry blossoms trees in my neighbourhood than I realised. They're obviously not as impressive as rows of 20+ years old trees, but the sight of them still light up my heart and mind.

selfies, april 2020

I didn't get the job I went to an interview for in March. I was over-qualified, I was told that before the interview, but there were other benefits and great things about the job in question so I didn't mind at all. But it wasn't meant to be.

I've applied to two fantastic sounding jobs lately, they both get me salivating really (that is an extremely rare thing), last day of application hasn't been yet. So I'm holding my fingers crossed more firmly than ever before. Please join me in that firmly-fingers-crossing activity.

shoe per diem, april 2020 -

I promise there won't be a month's hiatus until the next post. I want to write about books, the fact that lipstick has become one of my small things in order to keep up some sort of normalcy, about all the lovely vegan food I've eaten, cooked and baked (yes even that, I haven't baked since 2017!) recently, about the thai food truck that has put up doors within walking distance and that they can veganize pretty everything on the menu, tea, feline shenanigans, great TV-series, movies and much more. So for a month lost to us all, April 2020, things still happen, life is slow but still very much there around us, within us. Savouring the little things is more important and obvious than ever before.

Goodbye April, I won't miss you, but you've been a master teacher of what's important and of what must change.

Welcome gorgeous, green May, I hope you will be a kinder teacher and great enabler.



"...you've been wandering in between, the things you have and your longings and your dreams..."

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

proud to be a swede

Ă„rstiderna organic vegan food box, food ambassador, march 2020 - purple potato 💜

This needs to be said. I find it fascinating that so many people have so much time to spend having issues with how Sweden act in the corona crisis when absolutely noone has the right answers. This is new territory for us all. Keep calm and do your best kind thing. Listen to science and act responsibly. Time will tell.

Why not spend much more time condemning the horrific nasty wet markets reopening in China instead? Seriously. Not to mention scrutinizing your own choices when it comes to your plate. Why continue using, abusing, eating other sentient beings and continue being an obvious part of the problem instead of going #vegan and be part of the solution? Consuming animals is why we got here in the first place. Period. It's never the animals fault though, it's always human behaviour causing things like this. Karma is a bitch. Rightly so.

And as far as I can see so far, the virus-development in Sweden is definitely not worse (rather the opposite from recent numbers) than any other country with stricter measures. Things will of course get worse than this, before the peak is reached. We are all aware of that, but this how we carefully navigate unknown waters now, responsibly and fact based. 

I would be generally happier if all borders and flights were closed for the time being, and obviously that Swedes from the more affected areas (namely Stockholm city) didn’t travel to the countryside and their summer cottages so we can flatten the curve. (The sense of entitlement by some selfish pricks are always mindboggling... Though  that’s a universal thing, not a Swedish one. This piece of Party Zero in Westport, Conneticut had me fuming for example...) 

But other than that, as far as I can see, it seems like the majority of Swedes actually do have that much talked about common sense aka folkvett. As a great column (in Swedish only) talked about today, I’m proud to be Swede today just because of the way we’re handling the corona crisis: ”I’m proud to be Swedish right now. And not Danish for example. Or French. We’re allowed to think for ourselves.”

And let me tell you, being Swedish born and bred it’s a very rare thing for me to be proud of Sweden these days - and you long term readers know how critical and disappointed I am, and have been for many many years, about the misuse of resources, competence, taxpayers money, gutless politicians and now greenwashing of costly environmental initiatives in Sweden, to mention a few things. Still, grateful in so many ways for having been born and bred here yes, but proud not so much at all. But when it comes to this current crisis, strangely enough I generally am. 

On a very heartwarming note, the fact that it didn't take many days of lockdown until wild animals were slowly fearlessly taking over cities, that's just amazing in so many ways. If you haven't heard of the posse of goats roaming the streets in Welsh Llandudno yet, you have now!

PS If you've never seen purple potatoes, you have now. DS
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