Happy New Year!

 

 

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In many ways 2016 has been a pretty crappy year globally, hasn’t it.

But at the end of a year I’d like to look back at all the great things that have happened in my life. So although it is easy to dwell on terror attacks, shootings, wars, election disappointments and celebrities we’ve lost, for me and my family, personally its been a pretty good year.

This was the year:

  • Joshua started high school, and is doing really well
  • He also joined scouts and loving it
  • And he made his first real friend!
  • We found out that Harry got a placement at the secondary school we wanted for next year.
  • Harry was approved a “Personal Budget” from county, which means we can hire personal assistants and pay for activities, which gives him access to things he otherwise wouldn’t because of his disability.
  • We bought a house! (we get the keys on 6 January )
  • My husband won several photography competitions and one of them being having one of his pictures shown in a gallery in Berlin next year.
  • My knee is now almost completely healed after 2 years of pain
  • I also took a few steps towards my dream job.
  • Aaand I started my blog!

Hopefully loads more wonderful things will happen in 2017, and to begin with I look forward to our move in January.

What wonderful things have happened to you in 2016? Please tell me!

 

 

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

xx

How Will You Eat This Christmas?

Merry Christmas!

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It’s christmas!

I hope everyone is enjoying themselves and spending time with family and friends.

I just want to send out a friendly reminder to everyone out there:

You do not have to eat until you’re stuffed and can not move to have enjoyed the food.
You do not have to drink yourself stupid to enjoy the party.
You do not have to eat all the chocolate because ‘it’s Christmas’.
And you do not have to avoid the gym like the plague to be able to ‘relax for once’.

I endeavour to live moderately and mindfully year around, although I do eat more (less healthy) food this time of year.

So my plan is to;

*Eat plenty of delicious food, but as always put focus on the veg and protein (hello, turkey!).
*Drink a few glasses of wine and prosecco.
*Have some chocolate most days.
*Continue working out 3-4 times a week, and get my daily movement in in form of yoga and/or walks.
*Spend lots of quality time with my family
*Enjoy every moment.

I am not going to:

*Stuff myself silly to the point were I have a tummy ache.
*Feel guilty about anything I eat.
*Work out because I need to ‘earn my food’ or to ‘work anything off’
*Start the new year with a diet.

Wouldn’t it be nice to go in to the new year not feeling like you have to start new?

Without the impromptu New Year Resolution to diet and every day runs, because you’ve overdone it during the christmas period?

This doesn’t mean you can’t relax and enjoy yourself; enjoyment and moderation are not opposites. You won’t enjoy the food more because you stuff yourself.

It is absolutely possible to enjoy Christmas without overindulging and starting the new year with regret and weight gain.

Happy (mindful) Christmas Everyone!

xx

Happy Lucia!

Today is the 13th December, a day when, in Sweden we celebrate “Lucia”. It is an old tradition which has it’s name from the Italian saint who died a martyr in the 3rd century.

Lucia would secretly bring food to the persecuted Christians in Rome, who lived in hiding in the catacombs under the city. She would wear candles on her head so she had both her hands free to carry things. The word Lucia comes from the latin word ‘lux’ which means ‘light’ so this is a very appropriate name.

December 13th was also the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, according to the ‘Julian’ Calendar. And what this tradition so importantly brings to us up in the north, is light during the long, dark winter.

The tradition doesn’t have much in common with this saint, but for us it is more of a pre-christmas celebration. A (young) woman with a red ribbon around her waist and candles in her hair, is walking at the head of a procession of women, each holding a candle all dressed in white, singing ‘Lucia songs’. Men can also participate as ‘Stjarngossar’ (star boys) and when children join in they can also dress up as ‘Tomtenissar’ (Santas elves/helpers) or as gingerbread men. They usually bring ‘glogg’ (mulled wine) pepparkakor (gingerbread biscuits) and ‘Lussebullar’ (saffron buns)

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This Lucia celebration takes place in pre-schools, schools, churches, hospitals and many workplaces all around our country. It’s also broadcast on TV from the major celebrations.

I understand that to outsiders it sounds like a very strange tradition. My husband still thinks it’s quite weird.

I think that, as with many traditions, if you didn’t grow up with it, you won’t quite ‘get it’. And that’s fine.

But I miss it.

I miss seeing kids all excited and dressed up, in the early hours to sing at their pre-school with their parents there to watch.

I miss the songs they sing.

I miss going to church, really, really early to see Lucia with her procession and hear the beautiful music.

I miss the light that it brings.

Every year it kind of sneaks up on me, and I never plan for anything. One year I hope to be organised enough to manage to book a ticket to the celebration in the Swedish church in London. One day.

But today, in honour of this tradition, I’m having my own celebration today with ‘Glogg’ ‘Lussebulle’ and ‘Pepparkaka’

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Yes, we drink our mulled wine in a small mug, usually with raisins and almonds in it.

Glad Lucia!

 

xx

I am listening…

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I’m giving myself a break.

I’m trusting myself and the process

One of my rules is to get up at 5am every morning to, amongst other things, work on my blog.
Admittedly, lately I haven’t.
I’m up at 6am and even that’s a struggle some mornings.
My husband asked me the other day why I’m not getting up at 5 anymore.
“You used to bounce out of be every morning! What happened?” he asked.

Right here I could have started to beat myself up a bit:
Yes, indeed, what happened? I love getting up early to write, but I haven’t in the last couple of months. Instead I have been writing in the day whenever I can find a gap, which is, lets face it, is not that often. Hence, I haven’t been writing as much as I’d like.
My own fault.
I’m lazy.
Every one knows that to be successful at anything you have to commit!
Where is my commitment?

But I didn’t beat my self up.
I have known myself for a while now, and I know how I work. And I’m working on being patient with myself.

 

In the past I used to suffer from SAD (seasonal affective depression). I found the dark months really hard.

I don’t suffer as much anymore, but I do find that my energy withers in the winter months.
Every year, come October-November time I start to struggle to do anything productive. I have to do some things of course, the world doesn’t stop spinning just because I lack the energy, but I find that I won’t do anything but the bare essentials. I feel it in my body. I’m more tired and have less ‘go’. The fact that I still manage to workout and not eat my bodyweight in chocolate is an accomplishment in itself.

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So I used to be really hard on myself. Push myself. Expect more from myself. Be disappointed in myself.
But now I’ve learned to ‘ride the wave’. Come the new year, I know I will have more energy and determination again and I will be able to accomplish more. It’s all good.

But lately, life has been even busier and more stressful than usual. Add that to my natural winter ‘low’, and it is really taking it’s toll on my body and mind.

Like I said, the fact that I had been able to any exercise at all is an accomplishment, but one I probably pushed to far. Last couple of weeks my body has been feeling more achy after a workout, I’ve had less energy and strength and my mind has felt foggy.

And so a couple of days ago at my crossfit box, my body had had enough.
I couldn’t perform and push myself like I normally would be able to.
It had quite literally had enough and I had to stop.
My body wouldn’t let me go on.
My heart was racing (sure, I was in a middle of a workout, but this felt different. Again, I know myself and my body and it didn’t feel normal at a all) I felt shaky and light headed. It took me a while to collect myself before I could drive home. My body had forced me to calm down.

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To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. I was disappointed with my body for not letting me push through this. Disappointed with my ‘weak’ mind.

But, then I stopped my self and took a step back.
The signs were clear.
I have to stop.
I have to take my own advice and listen to my body and back down even further, even if it’s even further than usual.
It was obvious that my body was telling me to slow down.

I’m a work in progress, but I’m getting better at listening to my body and to respond appropriately. My body and mind are the only two things that I will keep with me for the rest of my life, and I have to look after the two. If they don’t function as they should, nothing else in my life will either.

I know myself quite well. I’m learning to be kind to myself. So I am not beating myself up for not living ‘perfectly’ every day. I’ll get there again, I just have to be patient and give myself a break every now and then.
xx