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DON'T YOU (FORGET ABOUT ME)

Man, it's *crickets* around here...even more so than usual. I don't think I've ever gone this many posts with so few comments. I don't know if it's because of the stupid LJ issue with telling anonymous commenters that they are banned (they're NOT! YOU'RE NOT! COMMENT ANYWAY!) or people's general malaise or what. I know I'm one of the last diehards out here blogging, but it's such a marked difference from even a couple of years ago. And I'm just as culpable as anyone else. I read a few last-blogger-standing blogs out there too, and rarely comment. I'm much more likely to heart a post on Insta or like a post on FB and keep on scrolling than I am to stop and comment. And here I've been really rocking my pledge to write more this year!

According to LJ statistics, there ARE people viewing my page, which I assume means they are reading my posts, and I'm actually averaging a decent number...in the TENS! hahahaha (for this modest, almost completely unadvertised blog), but still: *crickets*.

Ah well. I still read me. :D

Since I'm writing this for myself, or almost nearly, you'd think I could open up more and write more frankly about the things that are happening in my life or the things that are bothering me...lay it all out on the table, as it were. But you'd be wrong. I still feel about my writing in this public space the way I always have. I'm careful what I say here, about whom I speak, and always, always have other people's feelings in mind if I do write about them. There's an awful lot of unpublished stuff in my head! Too bad for you, since it's all so juicy. Haha! Not.

Anyway, I don't have much to say, as contrary to the paragraph above, NOTHING is happening in my life. Still going mostly nowhere, doing mostly nothing. I saw one friend on FB let loose in a rant today that she was losing it (she's got 2 little kids) and one of the things that she mentioned as a peeve struck a nerve. She said that it's really hard to hear about all her American friends and family getting vaccinated and being able to start doing things again, going places, meeting people and having fun, when vaccines here in Sweden are so delayed that we're unsure if we'll get them before the end of the summer...if then.

I've mentioned this before too, but it IS a huge bag of mixed feelings and I totally relate. While I'm genuinely glad that my American friends and family are getting theirs, it feels proportionally very unfair, even if everything is unfair and that's not how fairness works anyway, but still. I get it. I just wish there was enough to go around: for ALL countries, for ALL ages, for everyone at the same time.

In other exciting going-nowhere news, I found out today that walking all the way down to the goats and rabbits, and turning around at Roslövsvägen and coming back to my house, is exactly 20 minutes at a very good clip. Good to know!
walking

AROUND THE VILLAGE WE CALL HOME

Good thing I went for a walk yesterday while the sun was shining because today is freezing: grey, rainy and occasionally snowing. It's supposed to be like this all day. Yesterday afternoon I asked Anders if he wanted to go for a walk and he said yes and we left about 3 pm with me saying that I wanted to walk at least 20 minutes.

There are no good places to walk, really, in our village. It's all paved for the most part, with only one gravel dirt path (the snail trail) unless you head to the outskirts. Karin and I have done a couple of the 5ks on the dirt road that goes north from our neighborhood up through farmland for exactly 2.5 kilometers before reaching a paved road, but it's a really boring stretch to walk. Anders and I headed south instead, through the heart of the village, and across the main road to what is affectionately known as Americabackarna (the American hills). I have NO idea why it's called that. It's not my fault, I swear. They were called that before I moved here. :D

I just looked at Google maps and lo and behold there is a horse farm/stables/breeder named Amerika right smack on the west side of the area, so now I have an answer! Although to be honest, I'm not sure which came first. That farm, when we first moved to Flyinge, was an OSTRICH farm.

Americabacken consists of many fields, pastures and undeveloped land from the south side of the village down to the Kävlinge river. It has a decently-sized open pine grove in the center, and the ground is mostly sand under a thin layer of grasses. Occasionally in the summer there are cows grazing there, so there are stiles and fences around those pastures when they're in use, though people are still allowed to walk in them. Along the north side there are a few thin rows of houses, the soccer fields and an outdoor daycare that has been there for about 10 years, but which Karin recently informed me is now closing due to lack of kids and resources. The east side is along the road that goes from Flyinge through Flyinge Kungsgård (where all the horse stuff is) to Södra Sandby.

Anders and I walked as far south as we could, over the grassy dunes, and through the fence stiles until we reached a fence stretched along the south side, still quite a ways from the river though we could see the water. We walked along the fence, and then turned and walked back north, with the soccer fields to our left. It was chilly but nice enough in the sun and we were moving at a pretty good pace. I had to keep an eye on the ground in front of me, though, as it's very uneven and there are unexpected holes...burrows, I suppose, every once in awhile. The wind brought the sound of voices to us and we saw a couple of people walking dogs coming our way. "Hej," we greeted them, and received the obligatory "hej" and head nods in return. Anders saw a bumblebee.

Once we got back to the main road, we crossed it and turned left into our old neighborhood, walking nearly down to the house we used to live in for not quite 5 years. We don't go past the front of that house very often and the back of it, which is on the main road, is blocked from sight by a high wall. It's kind of weird to think we lived there at all, honestly, though that's the house where we lived when Karin was born. The pocket-size front yard was completely paved over and 2 cars were parked in it, as well as one in the actual driveway next to it. We turned before we reached the house and walked a zigzag through the neighborhood, eventually ending up back at one of the main roads and then swinging back around to take the snail trail towards the school.

Everything is budding, but there still isn't a lot of greenery. There are the beginnings of buds everywhere. A fringe of green lined both sides of the snail trail and the stream that runs through it smelled very organic: rotting moss and wood and mud. We passed through a cloud of bugs and I waved my arms around as I walked trying to get them to disperse. They weren't as small as gnats nor as annoying as mosquitoes but they stuck with us until we came out of the trees and turned behind the school. We could see horses, covered in horse jackets, grazing out in the fields that belong to the farm and stables that are directly behind our house.

I noticed, while we were walking through the small woods that line the snail trail, that there were no crows or crows' nests anymore, high up in the trees. In fact, we saw only two nests...a tiny one and one that certainly belonged to something much bigger, like the crows or ravens. There used to be masses of them in the trees along the snail trail and the county sent out a gunman once in awhile to keep the population of crows down. As we came around the curve behind the school, where there is another small grove on the edge of our neighborhood, we could see that all the crows and ravens (and rooks, I think) had apparently moved there instead. There were several tall trees stuffed with huge bird's nests and plenty of the big black birds wheeling and cawing and flapping at the tops of them. They are very noisy neighbors.

Anders was keeping track on his watch and when we reached the house, it turned out we had been walking for 50 minutes: 3 kilometers!

Later, we picked up sushi and went and had dinner at Karin's place in Lund with her and Nelly and then hung out for a bit before we came home. It was just falling dark as we drove down the road into Flyinge, the streetlights shining from up high in lightened circles along the pavement. We've lived in this village for 24 years, and every time, as we drive past the sign with the village name on it, I think "almost home!"
crazyatwork

IF I DID NOT LAUGH I SHOULD DIE*

Last week was not a great week. Specifically, Thursday was not a great day. In fact, it was a down-right shitty day. Things went wrong all day and culminated in crying in front of my manager on a Teams call, which was extremely frustrating and embarrassing. I was crying because I was angry and upset and then all the rest of it came pouring in on top and just made it worse: worry and stress and sadness and fear and all the emotions this past year has been piling on top of me. UGH. To make things even worse, poor Anders was working from home that ONE day out of the last three weeks and was sitting across from me at the table when I lost it. Poor guy remedied that immediately by going into the office the next day again. Suffice to say, work is hard right now and I'm struggling. Most of the time, I manage just fine, but sometimes the dam, literally, breaks.

Yesterday went better thankfully, and late in the day, I had a really funny moment with one of my colleagues that ended my week on a brighter note.

We got a request from a Canadian marketing colleague (CMC) asking for this, emphasis mine:

---

2 social images required - Dimensions 1200x627 pixels
Text to read:
D&I Fireside Chat
Culture + Gender + Sexuality – Connecting Your Identities in the Workplace
Date/Time, Register Now
Image recommendations: Something that shows people with cultural/ethnic and LGBT diversity. Ideally something in a workplace.

---

It made me laugh. I had the following exchange with the US designer (USD) in the ticket (he can't see these comments):

Me: Curious as to how CMC thinks we should show people with "LGBT diversity" ...drag queens? Rainbow shirts? Unicorn horns? :D

USD: Hahaha, so true? How on Earth do you show that? He should pick an appropriate image because I have no idea what it would be. For the record, I vote for unicorns!

Me: I suppose same-sex couples kissing would be outside our creative expression...unless of course they're bathed in golden sunset light** :D

USD: OMG Liz, I'm belly laughing!! Bathed in golden sunlight, bawhahahahahaah!

Me: NAILED IT https://www.istockphoto.com/se/foto/homosexuella-par-gm1264272426-370239905

USD: I'm now crying and choking on my cracker! OMG, it's perfect!

Me: Shall I send that as a suggestion in the ticket to CMC? Double dog dare me, PLEASE

USD: *obviously not understanding I was kidding* Holy crap, YES PLEASE! I triple dog dare you!!!!!

Me: DONE

USD: No way!?

Me: IT WAS A TRIPLE DOG DARE

:D

I wrote in reply to him in the ticket:

Hi CMC!
Curious as to how you think we should "show people with LGBT diversity"... would this image work? :D (same link as above)


And he answered, all serious, that he didn't think that image was appropriate and we need a work setting, and he understands it's tricky.

To which I replied: IT WAS A JOKE, CMC. :D

I screenshotted*** the entire exchange to Martin and he, too, was amused, and responded: "How DO you represent the lgbts through stock workplace imagery?? Just a picture of a guy typing, but he has an earring?"

HAHAHAHAHA

Anyway, now it's the weekend and I'm taking a mental break from everything. I slept in, read for a bit, did some quick clean-up jobs, ate lunch and now I'm going to go for a walk. The sun is shining though there are a lot of big fluffy clouds in the sky and it's quite chilly. Since I got everyone's US taxes and FBARs dealt with, the only things on my to-do list are spring-cleaning jobs and if I don't feel like doing them this weekend, I damn well won't.

*Abraham Lincoln, who had way more cause for a breakdown than I do.
**Inside joke, sorry: a lot of imagery we use at work has golden sunset light pouring over everything.
***screenshote? screenshat?
oooh pretty!

A WEEKEND OF MENTAL HEALTH BOOSTERS

I read recently that birdwatching from your home provides a major boost to mental health. The article says, "Researchers from the University of Exeter recently found that bird watching can have a positive effect on mental health. They discovered that people who are able to watch birds from their homes have a lower risk of depression, stress, and anxiety compared to people who live in less nature dense areas with fewer birds."

We have two bird feeders set up at the corner of the deck, one that holds 2 suet balls and one that is 2-sided for sunflower seeds and a seed mix. The seed mix disappears down to the perch every day. The sunflower seeds go down much more slowly, despite the fact that there are sunflower seeds in the seed mix, too. The suet balls also disappear really fast. Sometimes, that is because the big birds come and attack the feeder until they knock it to the ground and can drag the suet balls away. I get up often and scare the "the big blacks" away, which sounds really racist... it's the crows, jackdaws, rooks and ravens. All huge and very aggressive. I don't scare the magpies away, even though they're just as big and aggressive as the crows and jackdaws, because I love magpies. They're so colorful and cheeky.

Lately, we've had a pair of wood pigeons (much bigger than regular city-style pigeons) and a bunch of mourning doves. The doves are about as big as the magpies, but they're very timid. The wood pigeons are twice their size, and they're bullies. They charge the doves repeatedly and drive them away from the area below the feeders, hopping and popping up in the air until the doves back off. We get a lot of pheasants throughout the winter, but now that people are out and about, they don't come around much. Other than the very occasional visit from a middle-spotted woodpecker or a pair of blackbirds, we mostly get the small songbirds: sparrows, tits, chickadees, finches. I have yet to see a pied wagtail (Spring's herald) this year, but they don't frequent our feeders, anyway.

I refill the feeders every couple of days and jet-wash the birdbath at the same time, before refilling it with clean water. It's gratifying to see the birds using it, and fun to see them splashing in the water during the summer months, though we stop filling the feeders by the end of April. I have friends who feed the birds year round, but they make such a huge mess with seed detritus that we only supplement them until late spring.

It's a long weekend, for the Easter holidays. We had Friday off and this coming Monday as well. Yesterday, we had Good Friday dinner, an Ek family tradition, with Anders' sister and family, and Karin, and it was a really lovely, relaxed dinner, with delicious food. Maria made a whole side of salmon baked in the oven and covered with a coating of panko, chopped dill and butter. And Anders made homemade meatballs from a blend of beef, pork and moose. YUM YUM. He was also in charge of the hard-boiled eggs and spent the morning coloring them au natural; three different batches with onionskins, blueberries and turmeric. The turmeric turns them a bright yellow, the blueberries were a purple-dusky blue, and the onionskins were a mottled brown and yellow.

It's the first year since we had kids that I haven't colored eggs myself. The only Easter decoration we have out is a bundle of birch branches with brightly-colored feathers tied to them, stuck in one of the pots out front. My friend Debbie gave them to me a week ago, or I wouldn't even have that! The feathers on birch branches is a exclusively Swedish tradition.

Today's project, since it is finally sunny again, was dealing with the garden. I cleaned up the front garden beds, filled all the pots with pansies and bought a new honeysuckle for the other side of the trellis and 2 butterfly bushes to plant in the back corner of the yard. I miscounted the first time though and missed a pot, so I didn't have enough pansies. But for my afternoon walk, I went back to the plantshop and bought three more...CURLY ONES! They're so cool. I googled them and they are called Viola Frizzle Sizzle Blue. How is that for a super cool name?! They look like this:



Anders is readying the seed starter pots and planting tomatoes, snap peas and soybeans. We have potatoes and carrots ready to go into the ground as soon the temperatures stay steady enough. He's also going to trim the old honeysuckle and the roses, and plant the new one I bought today as well as prepare a bed for the butterfly bushes (I hope!). I am looking forward to warmer weather and putting out the deck furniture so we can sit out back and enjoy the sunshine, when we have it.

Happy Easter!
happyfindus

WEEKEND WRAP-UP

The people behind us are slowly but surely cutting down ALL the trees and bushes and shrubbery that block the view of their backyard and farm from our backyard. It's making me sad. They decimated all the trees that were there before and now he's out there again with a chainsaw buzzing away. If he cuts down all the lilacs that are growing by the ditch, I'm going to be very very sad. All the natural greenery that hemmed in our yard: gone. I don't want to look at the back of their carport and stable and parking area. Our yard was pretty private before, but now it feels open to everyone and I don't like it. Our little hedge will take 30 more years to get high enough to block everything. I wonder if I can talk Anders into planting some trees and bushes along our hedge...

Karin accompanied me today to the mall so I could look for new bathroom towels and rugs. We've had the same towels forever...at least 15 years, maybe since we moved into this house. They're a pale sage and I've loved them and they've stood the test of time. It's only now that they are starting to fray along the edges. A few of the towels have a couple of discolored splotches but they're hardly noticeable. I don't like going to the mall right now, but we were pleasantly surprised to find it nearly empty. So we took advantage of that and went in many more stores than we had originally planned.

I've had my eye out for some replacement bowls for a set that I got from my grandma years ago that are hand-painted with little dutch girls on the inside. I like them and they're a very useful size, but they were getting chipped and dinged. I found lovely ones at Søstrene Grene, 6 different colors in pale dusky shades, with a matte outside and a glossy finish on the inside. They're slightly shorter than the ones I was replacing, but also slightly wider, so they'll work, I think. Karin was sad about the dutch girl bowls, so I looked them over when I got home and decided 4 of them were okay enough to give her and she can decide if she wants them. Or give 2 to her brother and keep 2 for herself.

We also stopped at a clothing store that has stuff in my size and I found a pair of workout pants and two lightweight summery shirts. Then we went to Hemtex and looked at towels. I wanted something in an in-between color: not too dark and not too light. And not too brown/beige, since the tiles in the bathroom are in shades of brown and it would be too much. They had bathroom rugs in white, in the sizes I wanted, so I got those. We found towels in what looked like a medium-pale green that I thought would work and after waffling a bit, I decided to get them. Only to find when I got home that they look super dark, almost teal blue! What a difference lighting makes...it's really kind of aggravating that they looked so different in the store. I still like them and will keep them, but have hung them up just to get used to the color first.

We set the clocks forward last night and lost an hour. I'm feeling it now; thinking about taking a nap. But I need to do my treadmill 20 first. It's been very cold, raw-feeling and rainy all weekend. We had originally planned to go get bags of dirt and fertilizer and seedling cups from the plant nursery and I was going to buy pansies to put in all the pots, but the weather was just too uncongenial. Anders did stop there today while I was shopping with Karin, but said it was just too busy with people and he didn't feel comfortable going inside. We'll have to make a run after work one day and hope it won't be too busy.

I have two short work weeks now...we have Friday off this coming week (Good Friday) and the following Monday (day after Easter). Short weeks are honestly just stressful right now, and a long weekend feels rather meaningless when you can't really go anywhere. I'm determined to get the pansies by next weekend though, as my yard needs some spring cheer and so do I.

It's been a nice weekend, really. We had myskväll on Friday, Anders and I, watching Bäst i Test, and a new show called Veckans Ord (Word of the Week) with a TV host I like. Then we watched The Dig, with Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan, which we both liked. I had a nice phone call with my mom yesterday and we had good news from last week, too: Martin got his second vaccination shot on Friday, and my mom got hers (single-shot) last Tuesday. A major worry off my mind!

So, that puts me in a good frame of mind for the end of the weekend and the start of a short work week. I have things going on this week, too, so stuff to look forward to: AWC zoom meeting, a much-needed massage, my sister's birthday (the last of the March flurry of family birthdays) and possibly a socially-distanced Easter dinner with Anders' sister and family on Friday, if all goes well and everyone is healthy.

Happy Sunday!
happyfindus

RESPOND BEFORE REACTING, THINK BEFORE ACTING

I was just realizing that I have only been sick once in over a year. I searched through my posts and the only thing I've had since 2019 was a head cold in June last year. Staying away from people sure cuts down on your sick days. All that hand-washing and social distancing really DOES work on cutting down disease...and not just corona. Although I confess, sometimes it would be nice to have an excuse to stay in bed and call in sick. Ha! I wonder if these habits will stick with us.

I dunno...yesterday, Karin and I ran to the plant nursery to buy seed potatoes and carrot seeds. The place was humming and they had signs everywhere reminding people to keep a safe distance and that only X amount of people were allowed in the shop and the seed barn and the café and the greenhouse. It seemed to me that people were just in their own little worlds, on their own little missions and not really paying attention to any of that. People walked quite close to us, obliviously, and even though there was space between people in line at the cashier, there were a few that didn't seem to care, and brushed by others as if they weren't there.

Even I screwed up and I'm normally very conscious of social distancing. I went to find someone who worked there because I had a question about the carrot seeds. We were looking for a roll of them, implanted on a paper strip, and I didn't see them in the seed barn. I found someone in the covered walkway, putting out pots of spring flowers. "Excuse me," I said, "can I ask you a question?" She looked up at me and said yes, and then stepped backwards. I immediately took a step forward, not even thinking, while asking my question, and when she backed up again, I started to move forward again, until she held up her hand and I realized what I was doing and apologized and backed up myself. Karin was simultaneously amused and horrified at me. "What were you DOING?" she hissed. "I WASN'T THINKING! I just wanted to ask my question and she was moving away from me."

How many times do we do things without thinking? ALL THE TIME. It's human nature, isn't it? But all year (and really, for most of my adult life), I've found myself saying repeatedly, "what were they THINKING?!"...genuinely horrified at my fellow human beings for their behavior. Granted, I think my not-thinking about instinctively moving toward someone I was trying to talk to is a very different thing from people who behave in all sorts of awful, hateful, violent ways, but I suspect more of it than we'd like to admit comes down to not-thinking. Or rather, reacting. Whether out of fear, or anger, or self-righteousness, things would sure be different in the world if people would stop and really THINK about what they are doing. And why.

Even though I haven't been sick, I am tired. I'm sad and stressed and my eyes are itching like crazy (thanks, early allergies!). Walking in the sun helps. Massages help. Getting a good night sleep helps. I think a year-plus of all this extra worry and stress and sadness is really starting to take a toll, not just on me but one everyone I know. So, here's to taking a little extra thought: for yourself, for ourselves, for everyone we know.

Really good (and relevant) writing out there right now: An Unlikely Conversation Starter
happyfindus

THINGS TAKING UP SPACE IN MY BRAIN, FOR BETTER OR WORSE

Vaccine envy
I am thrilled that my mom is getting hers this week (1 shot) and Martin gets his second dose next week. I'm happy for all my friends and relatives who have gotten theirs or have their scheduled. But I'm aggravated that there's no knowing when we'll be getting ours here. Everything is delayed, maybe by as much as 4 months. SUCK.

Hate crimes
What is WRONG with people? Why are so many people so scared of others who are different and feel the need to be hateful to them? Just be KIND to other people. How hard is that, honestly? And if you can't be kind, then shut up and leave other people the hell alone.

Work stress
Starting to get ridiculous. We've been operating at such a high level of overwork and stress for so long (literally, years) that everyone, including management, and even we, ourselves, think it's normal. It's NOT NORMAL. Thank goodness my manager is taking us seriously and addressing the issue now, since we have raised a flag that we are all starting to crack. I love my job but MAN I would like to catch my breath once in a while.

Taxes and FBARs
It's that time of year again when I get to resent my birth country's government all over again for the draconian requirements on expats. I've downloaded all the tax forms but am dreading actually trying to figure them out again since they've changed AGAIN this year. The FBARs, in contrast, were a piece of cake. 30 minutes yesterday of checking account balances and writing notes and 10 minutes today of filling out the online form and submitting it. It irks that I have to file this report at all, much less with the "Financial Crimes Enforcement Network" as if my choice to live and work abroad supposes me to be a criminal hiding money offshore. And best of all, even when I'm done with mine, I still have to help Karin figure out hers. And do Martin's FBAR with him as well. Thankfully, he's dealing with his own tax filing this year again.

Walks in the sunshine
I can't get enough sunshine right now. The sun on my shoulders, through the dining room window, while I'm working away, is like a benediction, and worth the glare on the screen. The 15-minute lunchtime walks with the sun on my head and the cool fresh air are a TONIC. Exactly what I need, every day. More, please.

Extended restrictions
I knew it was probably coming, but I confess to a sinking heart when we got the email today confirming that we are to continue working fulltime from home until the end of May. GAH. One of my friends asked if I wanted to go to the movies next week and I got the heebie-jeebies. Right now, it feels like this will never end.

Replacements for dishes
We got a set of 12 place settings for our everyday dishes when we got married. I love them. They're eggplant purple Sasaki stoneware. I can't remember, but I think my brother actually got me the first place settings even before that, and we just filled up to 12 on our registry. They're extremely hardy, so despite having a few with nicks, we've only lost a few pieces over the last 25 years. We're missing 1 dinner plate, 2 salad plates and 1 bowl. Unlike the replacement teaspoons for our cutlery, the dishes don't cost that much and even though they're discontinued, I found some on Amazon and the rest on replacements.com for very reasonable prices. Since we're considering shipping stuff from the US when Martin moves home, I'm thinking I will just go ahead and order them and send them to my sister to include in the crate.

Overdue appointments
Due to the pandemic, I've been putting off some things and now with the restrictions getting extended again, I'm getting a bit antsy. One thing I've been putting off is already over a year overdue. URGH. Don't lecture me if you comment. I KNOW.

The fruit doesn't fall very far from the tree
Martin made my day yesterday with a text message that said "This is very random but can we go antiquing after I come home? Idk why I was always so against it as a kid but I'd literally love it now." ...HAHAHAH! You'd have thought I was dragging my children over hot coals every time I tried to get them to go into an antique shop or secondhand store back when they were younger. Now they BOTH love it. :D

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butterflyonthenose

TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE, TWO KINDS OF TIME

I've been thinking a lot about time passing lately. My father died when he was 56 and because I have a lot of the same issues he did, healthwise, though with one major difference, this year...the year I am 56, has been a little fraught for me, mentally. Like many adults, I often boggle about how fast time goes. I read once that it has to do with the fact that as an adult, you've already done many things at least once, and therefore, they seem to go faster the second (or third or eleventyth) time around, because you know how it goes. You know what to expect, what to anticipate and there's no open-ended sense of wonder about them.

Maybe that's true, maybe not. Maybe it's because we (and by we, I mean me. I can't speak for you.) tend to live our lives a little bit in the future due to our tendency to look ahead. I'm preparing for Christmas, for example, well before it actually occurs. In fact, I ordered my first Christmas present for someone a couple of weeks ago (a personal record, I think). So, if I already have next Christmas on the brain less than 2 months after the last Christmas, does that help it to zoom towards me? Some people think like this: there are STILL 9 and a half months before Christmas. Whereas, I think like this: there are ONLY 9 and a half months left until Christmas.

I suppose for some people, anticipation makes things drag out. If they are one of the STILL-thinking people, time drags while you wait to get to the anticipated event. If you, like me, are one of the ONLY-thinking people, it seems like time speeds up instead and that anticipated event is already looming. And I suppose also, that for many of us, we forget about the FACT of time passing and just go about our business, until suddenly we look up and our children are in their twenties and we've been at our jobs for a ridiculously long amount of time, or we've lived in this place for a ridiculously long amount of time, or whatever. When we stop and think about time passing, that's when it boggles us and feels like it's zipped right by. Because we weren't necessarily paying attention. Time has a way of doing that: sneaking past us in order to turn around and shout SURPRISE! just to see the look on our face.

Anders and I were talking about retirement (theoretically) a week or so ago and I was shocked to realize how fast it's coming. Even if I'm only 56 now, turning 57 this year, that's not many more years before I reach the typical retirement age of 65. Not even 10 years away. And even if I retire a little later than that, say 67, that's not much longer. 10 years ago, my daughter was 11...that feels like a lifetime and yet it's gone so fast. 10 years before that, she was a baby. EEEK. Slow down, time, seriously, what's the rush?!

I suspect procrastinators are STILL-thinking people. That's one reason why they can procrastinate...they feel they have plenty of time* what's the hurry? While I'm just the opposite, most of the time. There's never plenty of time, or if there is, I fill it up with preparation or other activities, until suddenly it's TIME. Maybe those who are extra anal-retentive single-minded about time management are, most likely, ONLY-thinking people.

My original plan, while I was mulling over and composing this post in my head, was to jot down some of the "it's been this many years since" types of milestones over the years, but now I don't feel like it and I think this post went in a different direction anyway. And just so we are clear, as of today, there are ONLY 284 days left until Christmas.

*I know this is a simplification. There are lots of reasons for procrastinating.

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CAN YOU COMMENT?

I haven't been getting many comments lately. I understand from at least two people who read my blog, but who don't have Livejournal accounts, that they are no longer able to comment and get an error message claiming they are "banned from commenting". I have checked all my settings and I have NOT banned anyone, and my Livejournal is set to allow commenting from anonymous, non-LJ sources, so I'm at a loss as to what to do.

If you can comment (and are not an LJ user), please do so. If you CAN'T, can you please send me a PM on Facebook or an email (lizardek at yahoo dot com). I'll investigate further if so, though I'm not sure even how to proceed.

GAH.
grouch

UGHS ALL AROUND

Mostly, I am tired or stressed (work) or bored or lethargic. I am tired of life during a pandemic as so many people are, but I have no right to complain, really. It mostly means that I am struggling with not having anything to write about. We finished watching Six Feet Under last night, and I had read somewhere that the show's finale was considered one of the best season finales ever. I couldn't figure out how that could be possible, in the episodes leading up to it, but they were right: it was great. Closure all around, in every possible way.

I get really aggravated watching shows and movies where characters act and react in ways that I find extremely unrealistic. I know, intellectually, that they are doing so because to act in rational, real-life ways would be boring and leave the show with no drama to build a story around, but it makes me just want to smack them most of the time. It's harder to suspend your disbelief for stuff like that than it is to suspend it for fantasy and science fiction.

Currently, I'm in the middle of an biography about Emily Dickinson, which is excellent (Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family's Feuds by Lyndall Gordon), but reads a bit as if it was originally a thesis paper. I have few people here to discuss it with, since most Swedes don't know Emily Dickinson from a hole in the wall).

I just looked out the window and it's SNOWING again. ¤#/=¤!&@!! GAH. That's something that definitely makes me tired: the early "spring" weather here in Sweden. It teases. It lifts you UP with excitement over a few days of sun and warm temperatures and then flings you down again with sleet and snow and frost and grey rain clouds. Over and over until June, basically (if you're lucky). I'm already experiencing itchy eyes and extra sneeziness, thanks to early allergies onset. Ugh.

And here, when I am finally getting around to posting something, all I am doing is complaining. Lame.