One more of those I’m-sorry-I-haven’t-blogged-for-so-long! or….

As many of you know, time flies and even if you’re part of everything that happens, you wake up one morning and wonders -what happened? Where did all that time go? I myself wake up every morning already thinking -where did this day go? I always try to plan ahead you see, and taking out all the time-angst in the morning means it’s already done for the day! Tomorrow I’ll try to do it for the whole week…

When I started blogging I promised myself not to let this be one of those things creating more stress and I-have-to-feelings. This was just for fun! And I think I’ve kept that promise to myself. It’s been months since I wrote something on my own blog, but since my job is to communicate the company brand through blogging and other digital media, I’ve been busy. Just not for myself.

It’s hard to keep being inspired, and at the end of the day, I just want to spend time away from my computer and enjoy nature or one craft or another. So what do I do when I’m not writing? I knit actually. Yup -a traditional way of creating something whilst doing something else. Like listening to a talking book or watching tv (with one eye as the other has to be focused on knitting). It’s quite relaxing and lately I’ve learnt “twined knitting”. It’s super fun and takes forever so I will always have something to do! 🙂

Since I have the privilege to share my life with the super awsome Miniature Pinscher Dizel –I spend a lot of time outdoors. At the moment we are preparing for this summers hikes and treks. Running up that hill and all that….

King Dizel!

The Super Awsome Min Pin Dizel getting ready to hike the …. out of everyone!

I refurbish furniture too. Standing outdoors, stripping the paint of an old wooden settle with a heat gun, is bliss to me! And I love the feeling when it’s almost done and it’s hard to let go for the night, because I’m so excited to see the finished result. Almost like the feeling when I’m about to post something on the blog, mine or the one at work. Afterwards it’s just…done…and I find it hard to kick up some new inspiration for the next project. Sometimes inspiration is there waiting and sometimes it takes a while.

Begone orange paint!

The lovely Settle-project, now sadly finished!

Brown is the new orange!

The finished Settle.

What to do now?

And with a home made bolster.

I also take pictures although I’m rubbish at editing so they rest peacefully on my memory card until they feel old and tired…

Marguerites.

Seing pictures of Flower might not be so much fun, but taking them is! 🙂

This is what I do instead of blogging.

The thing I’m trying to explain, mostly to myself I guess, is –if I’m not posting any blog entries for a while –it’s because I’ve promised myself not to let it be boring or a “must-do”. I have to be inspired and able to find the words, in order to do something I myself can feel excited about or at least feel content.

So actually – I’m not sorry –I’m happy I’ve kept my promise to myself!

 

Spring clean your mind!

Bring out the new!So, wihout having had a proper winter at all, spring is here in Falun about two months early. This weekend a blanket of cloud was lifted and we finally got to see how wonderful it can be when the sun’s out.

Unfortunately the spring sun also revealed weird stains on the wall behind my kitchen worktop, how much in need my oven needed a thorough scouring and loads of little dust bunnies everywhere. So I decided to go out! The dirt, dust and stains weren’t going anywhere….

I grabbed my camera and headed out and like always, my mind started to wander. After a while I realised that stuff that’s been nagging me for ages were slowly starting to dissolve or manifest depending on what it was. I wasn’t cleaning my house, I was cleaning my mind!

I’m amazed how much stuff I can carry around in my head without acknowledging its there?  I’ve been thinking about some stuff all winter and never really thinking about it, if you know what I mean?

Freshen up!

Washing away winter rubbish.

Now, suddenly, the issues were resolved and somehow I got to the conclusion that it wasn’t an issue… I also somehow made decisions without even deciding, I just knew what to do! WoW! Thats what a walk in nature can do for you!

So if you look at the dust and stains and whatever mess you’ve collected during the dark winter, don’t forget the rubbish assembled in your mind!

I believe this can be applied to all sorts of situations. How about spring cleaning at work? Look at your office, desk, computer desktop, workload, brand etc and see what can be flushed, scoured, purged, cleaned! For instance, when was the last time you took a look at your CSR? Are you doing the same “goodness” as always and are you stuck in a rut? How about thinking about your business personality -is it still the same or have it changed? Are you (the business) really who others think you are, and if not, who are you and who do you want to be?

Little rays of sunshine-personality?

Somehow spring seems to be the perfect time for these self-audits. Maybe because everything else seems so new and fresh?

Anyhow, if you think that you must do this review of your life, self, work etc it’s not going to work. The key is to loosen up and let the thoughts flow through your brain whilst doing something relaxing, creative or both. Just take a walk and think about it!

How to stay calm or how to kill creativity?

The other day I read an article om forbes.com –How Successful People Stay Calm. Wow, I thought, this I have to read, being a typical worrier and “always-stressed-about-something-person”. I’m not going to reitirate the whole article but the headings were:

  • They Appreciate What They Have -This is so good -I can do that!
  • They Avoid Asking “What If?” -But that is how I’ve lived all my life! What if I stopped, what would happen then?
  • They Stay Positive -Easyer said than done!
  • They Disconnect
    • IE, taking regular time off work, not thinking about it at all! -Then stop calling or email me 2 minutes before I’m supposed to go home!
  • They Limit Their Caffeine Intake -ehrm……
  • They Sleep -This I can do!
  • They Squash Negative Self-Talk -Then what would I talk about!
  • They Reframe Their Perspective -But I’ve worked so hard on the one I got!
  • They Breathe -Yup, I tend to forget sometimes…
  • They Use Their Support System -Anyone out there?

Buds of Creativity

Sarkasm aside, these are valid points and all my answers have some truth in them. I do drink too much coffee and I’m an expert on negative self-talk. However. The point about avoiding “what-if”-questions, I think is a double edged sword of sorts. A lot of my creativity comes from making up scenarios in my head, both good and bad. When I go for my long walks or hiking, I often fantasize about my future and what it could be like.

E. G. when I win my astronomical sum of money, or when I meet the perfect man, or when I finally have my old factory building to refurb like a industrial retro, eko styled home of the year… This all makes me inspired and full of energy and take my creativity to new places.

I also make up bad scenarios, especially after a hard work day/week. I tend to explore in my mind all the things that could go wrong, all the conversations I could be having with my boss or other people. This do get me down and sometimes makes me more stressed about whatever it is that got me into this situation in the first place. I do spend a lot of energy thinking about things that may never happen and that is probably what the article writer means; don’t spend time and strength on stuff that probably will never happen. What you don’t know, you don’t know -so don’t dwell. I however, just as often as I feel inspired by good fantasies, I come out of the negative ruminations feeling refreshed since I’ve actually come to the conclusion that I can take whatever comes, right on! I also go through some sort of catharsis where I honestly can say -this is not worth it! or this is not so bad!

Flowing

You see, I think asking “what-if” -questions are two sides of a coin. One side can not exist without the other. Without the negative thoughts, the fantasies are not so inspiring because you can’t compare them to anything. Without the bad, how do you know what’s good? Of course, if your negative scenarios get stuck like a broken record, it’s time to cut the power. But never forget that one thing can be dependent of the other so just cutting it away, can be damaging the whole. How many famous artists would be successful if you took away their angst? (Ok, ok -lot’s of them comitted suicide, but you know what I mean!)

What is success anyway? -To me, it’s whatever makes you happy!

Works for me!

After weeks and weeks of overcast and darkness (about 7 hours of sun in january according to the experts) where I live, I can feel my entire body screaming for light!

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This is the kind of view I've had for the last 8 weeks! Darkness.

 

I'm normally quite good at finding beauty in the most uninspiring weather, taking the old adage: there's no bad weather, just bad clothes… (sounds better in Swedish) to heart. I've always dressed myself in positive attitude going out in rain and cold, because not doing so isn't an option for me as a dog owner! However, when the rubbish weather just go on and on and on and… even I get fed up!

I can see the light!

Last year, I took a walk on the Ice on Runn in Falun and ended up in a forest of sea (or lake) grass!

So what to do? Well, first of all i make sure to take my vitamin D3 every day. And i take at least 5000 IE! Second, since I live in a country with short days and long nights at winter, I'm at work 30-min longer than my colleauges so I can take the time to go out in the middle of the day when it's light. I got a really nice boss who allows this, and sometimes I even have a colleague (or two) accompanying me and the dog. Yes -I'm allowed to bring my dog to work which is great! He ensures I get out during the day and don't get stuck in front of the computer as well as being a “morale booster” and a “stress-minimizer”. Up here in the cold, dark north we are all subjected to the possibility of getting SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). It is a proven fact that excercise helps minimize depression. In fact -it works just as good as anti-depression medicines. Check this out.

Also, paradoxically, I try not to feel guilty for not taking 10 k walks every day… It's ok to walk 3 k and go inside for a nice cup of tea and watch Fringe on Netflix.

All above keeps me from ending up like a miserable puddle on the floor during the dark winter months. Works for me!

 

Just serving it

Who am I?

Me, myself and my brand

When creating this blog, I started thinking about my “personal brand”. Usually when talking about “Brands” you think of big businesses, corporations or companies. Sometimes you even think of a supermodel like Cindy Crawford or Marcus Schenkenberg (ok, so I’m not up to date, live with it!), but you never actually think of your own person as a brand. Well, anyhow, I started thinking about it (being a marketing assistant an’ all) and what I would like this blog to reflect about me. A personal brand you see, is just the same as “how-I’m-percieved”, “How-I-want-to-be-percieved” and “How-I-really-am”.

I mean, when writing your CV for instance, you want to show all the fabulous things that you’ve done and who you are in the best light ever so you’ll get that job you want. Right? But what happens if you embellish a little too much? You will be percieved as not truthful and you will be “branded” as dishonest. If you, instead, are to shy to talk about how awsome you are, you’ll probably never get that job…. At forbes.com you can read “Your brand will topple if it sits on a foundation that’s not based in truth or perceived as genuine”.

So here I am, trying to create a blog interesting enough to get at least my mother to read it every now and then and trying to make my personal brand genuine enough not to be exposed as a pretentious fraud or a self depriciating bore….Who am I? Talk about existential crisis before I’ve even begun!

The conclusion of this little exposé in personal branding and genuine navel-gazing is this: I’m going to let the blog decide for me. A year from now, when I’m looking back on what I’ve posted, hopefully some sort of personality/brand will have emerged (If I ever post anything more than the above pondering that is).

Just serving it, you don’t have to eat it!