Friday, January 24, 2020


I observe. I feel. The cold air is making my cheeks red and tight. The fog is dressing the landscape in a duvet cover. The trees are reaching out towards me like big arms wanting to... hug me! :) No one sees me here. I take some dance steps. I spin around. I take small steps. I take big ones. I jump. And I sing along with my Spotify Exercise Playlist. Loudly. Today is a great day. I love this day. It's a great feeling. I've had so many dark and heavy days in my life. Allowed myself to be sucked into depression and negativity, helplessness and self questioning. I'm not saying it was my own fault. I just think my living organism is extremely sensitive and born to analyze and overthink things. I sometimes think of myself as a snail with not just two tentacles. I have many. So so many. It can be quite exhausting to "over-feel". All. The. Time. It makes you nervous and worried, unsure about yourself and others, delicate to criticism and in fear of conflicts. Minor things becomes grand for me which can create problems as others not necessarily understand my over reaction to things. At the same time I'm proud of my "feels". Because I can really feel every emotion imaginable. At this time in life I'm finally (!!!) starting to understand how to navigate through these feels in a more productive way. They are assets, not enemies. Thinking that way changes everything.

I continue my walk, feeling overly happy for this wonderful day rising before my eyes. I smile and feel strong and light at heart. Changes. A lot of changes are happening. Not just like that on their own. No, I make things happen. I'm in the drivers seat. I'm beginning to like this new landscape I've stepped into in life. The fifties. It doesn't need to be equal with falling apart, muffin waist, feeling sluggish and old and out of control from hormones playing havoc. Or wrinkles, dry skin and painful joints and muscles, lack of sex drive (or need for more...) or boredom. There is no need to just give up and say "My days are over - let the youth take over!". I can be colorful with a twink in my eye. Light with a spring in my step. I can take charge over the pains and aches, body changes and mood swings. I can embrace. I can do that. It's my choice. I do. I chose the new fifty. Because deep inside I will always feel like 24, but now I will be 24 with more wisdom, knowledge and tons of life experiences. That is a winning concept to me. My fifty will be a proud fifty.

The fog stays this morning even after sunrise, but inside I shine. I'm capturing this feeling because it is extremely good. In this moment, right now. It almost makes me cry of happiness. And if I catch this "feel" I have right now, maybe, just maybe, I can go back and look at it one day when it is a bit dark inside to remind myself emotions exists in all of the rainbows colors, dark and light. That is a comforting thought. And so I return home, continue to play loud upbeat music, dance in the shower and feel like I'm on top of the world. This day rocks!

PS 1: Thank you all for your sweet welcome back. I had no idea so many of you were still with me after all this time. So grateful for this community. Xxx

PS 2: When writing this blog, I had to Google "hypersensitivity" and I found this article which makes me wonder why, after all my years with therapy, not once have we spoken about that there is actually something called Highly Sensitive Person? Hmmm. I'm intrigued to find out more.

PS 3: The fog was so deep and the temperature so cold that my camera couldn't really cope with the focusing, so my apologies for blurry photography... at least you get a "feel". ;)


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Friday, January 17, 2020

January rambles

Hope you are all well. Life here in Switzerland rolls on in rapid speed including lots of lifestyle changes, kids growing up, adjustments, many dull but precious normal days of family life and every now and then some drama. Totally normal, you know.

I'm not gonna recap the whole year or so, it would be a waaaay too long blog post to write, but every now and then I feel the need and desire to write down my journey through life, like I used to do. Yes, I do miss this place. I miss putting words to everything that storms around in my head, to moments that needs to be remembered and highlighted. I miss the chats, the conversations and the confirmation that I'm not alone in all this we call life. This place has been like therapy for me during that decade of intense writing, photographing, creating and sharing. I'm not sure where I would have been without My Rose Valley and all you readers that comforted, reassured, gave advice, encouraged and just simply were there giving me compliments and cheerful comments in my comment field. Yes, of course it makes you feel good when someone says they love your blog. I'm not ashamed to say that. And I know many of you loved coming to my corner of Cyber world to peek into what was going on in my life. Just like I loved peeking in to yours.

I don't know how many of you that actually read blogs anymore. Me myself, I don't do it very often. Many have stopped blogging (myself included, or maybe it is just a long pause...) and maybe it is a natural development as social media grew so quickly and other platforms became more popular and easier to use. Less time consuming, more instant but also less authentic and more commercial I would say... You know what I mean and lets not go down that road. Me myself, I have disconnected almost completely from social media. I hardly ever do Facebook anymore, it can go weeks between Instagram visits and Twitter was never my thing in the first place. I almost stopped taking photos and because of that the words vanished... I think I burned out.

I'm babbling, not knowing where I'm going with this. I'm trying to find my words and the flow but I think it will take some practice. I'll pop in from time to time. Share a few words and thoughts with you here, with or without photos. I want to. I can't promise I will be consistent. But maybe it will come. I feel the need of writing a journal again. With focus on nothing and anything. This part of life I'm now stepping into is worth documenting. Being 50, kids growing up, getting back into work force, reinventing myself, battling health issues, working hard to stay fit and rediscovering my marriage. Where are we now? Who am I? What happens next? What do I want? What is important? What is going on in this world? What does the future hold for us all?


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Thursday, March 21, 2019

My haven

I pack my cabin bag but it is still almost empty. All I need is already there. I might leave Switzerland with a half empty bag, but it is always filled to its brim when I return. 

I go through security, double check which gate to go to. I stop at my favorite airport café and pick up a latte and a croissant and a salad for the flight. The food onboard is not the greatest... I feel like a runaway Mama. Leaving all kids at home with their father to do my thing. It is liberating and makes me a bit anxious at the same time. I guess I like to look at myself as indispensable...Or maybe this is the result of living in a motherhood bubble for such a long time...

I find my seat, turn on a podcast and bring out my crochet. 2 hours and 40 minutes it takes to get home. Quality time for me, myself and I.

I have two homes. One in Switzerland and one in Sweden. Sweden will always be the place I'll return to no matter what happens. Switzerland is just temporary... It's been temporary for over 10 years now. That is life for me as an expat. 

We land and the first thing I do is stop at the Pressbyrån kiosk in the arrival hall to buy a magazine, a bag of my favorite sweets and Cheese Doodles. I go and pick up my rental car. This time I actually got the model I reserved. Surprise! I tune in my favorite radio station, P4 Stockholm, and the drive to our summer house begins. The landscape I drive through is kind of dull, grey and sluggish this time of the year. There is some snow but no signs of spring yet. I drive pass Swedish red cottages, horses and big fields and forests... By the time I reach my cottage, half the bag of sweets is gone... I lied. The whole bag is gone. Of course. I've reached my destination. I'm here.

My brother Christian has turned on the heaters and left the key in the red front door. It is still very cold inside. Especially on the floor. I turn on the old transistor radio for company and some lights as it is getting dark outside. I check the water to see if the pipes have survived winter this year. They are all solid and with a victory gesture I loudly pronounce my relief with a big "YES!" creating a bit of an echo in the house. Last year every pipe had frozen and broken. It cost me a small fortune... I jump into my cottage outfit: an old pair of jeans (dirty as hell, have I ever washed them?) and an oversized washed out sweater. Dad's old jacket (which goes down to my knees at least...) and ankle high wellies.

I walk down to my brother's house and he greets me with a big bear hug. He has lit his fire place and dinner is on the stove. We chat and hang out until late when I make my way back to my cottage in the dark, guided by the iPhone flashlight. My cottage is much warmer now. I do my bedtime routine, turn off the radio and the lights and tuck myself in. The silence. The silence is so intense that it is almost uncomfortable in the beginning. It makes me want to hold my breath. My senses are desperately searching for something to take in: wind, cracking noises in the walls, animals, white noise from the fridge... Nothing. Who would have thought silence could be so... loud? Maybe it is my brain that is loud? Within minutes I'm fast asleep. 

The weekend moves on and I go for long walks, clean in the cottage, prepare it for the sale. Make the beds in the kids' cottage and try my best to make it look as cozy and attractive as possible for a future viewing. 

A big tree has fallen down in the back of the garden, luckily it has fallen right next to the kids' cottage and not on top of it. A neighbor tells me that about a dozen trees fell down in the big storm in January and amazingly no ones' property has been smashed, but there is still a lot of work left to clean up the mess. 

We have a great community here. We look out for each other at all times. I will still be a part of it after the summer house is sold. It is comforting to know. That I will still come out here. This is my haven. My place to disconnect from the demanding roles of being a mother, wife, professional and a woman with a busy life. Here I am just me and the most important thing in the day is to eat, walk, chill and do small improvements of the house and garden. No mountains of laundry, agendas to follow, picking up after family members, taxi service, activities, big dinner preparations, filling and emptying of dishwashers or making ends to meet. Here life is down to its core of simplicity. And quietly, while sitting there with a cup of tea and flicking through an old magazine with the radio buzzing in the background I wonder: "Why do we need more? Isn't this just enough?" I so wish life could always be this simple. 


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