Finishing up, getting ready to move on

It’s Friday afternoon and I have ticked off everything I wanted to do this week, everything I wanted to prepare before the trip to the US. I am trying to get away from celebrating busy-ness and quantity of work, but I am actually feeling very proud of myself. I even managed to do some extra things that will simplify my life later, and some small but exciting news I’ll share with you another time.

I’m also proud of myself that I listened when my body told me to rest on Wednesday afternoon. I respected the signs and took the rest of the day off, trusting my ability to rearrange and reschedule what needed to be done. And I did manage in the end.

Tomorrow morning, Aurélien and I travel to the US for our road trip. Words can’t describe how excited I am, and how much my body is looking forward to hiking again, to move and breathe fresh mountain air. I’ll bring my journal, my 100 day project notebook and a sketch book so I can continue to draw and document my days. I’ll of course share as much as I can with you on Instagram.

Till next time, I hope you are kind to yourself and remember to rest when your body is telling you to ♥︎

Here is one last picture from yesterday, one last batch of drawings ready for scanning and editing.

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Gratitude List no.2

 

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I have recently started a practice to write down three things every day that I’m grateful for. This is the list from last week.

✴︎ I received a very honouring and important job offer in London. Even though I was not able to accept it, it felt very good to be considered.

✴︎ Seeing how mindful planning and a methodical approach to work gives result.

✴︎ Getting a positive response from my old work coordinator in Sweden. It seems like I will be able to work a bit when I go there in May and June.

✴︎ Having an art date with a friend – listening to music, drinking coffee, drawing and talking ♥︎

✴︎ Creative Pep Talk Podcast is my favourite thing to listen to at the moment. Andy is an absolute star. He makes me feel seen and his words inspire me so much.

✴︎ Taking a long nap when my body needed it.

✴︎ Getting shelves to our bedroom closet. Small things that makes a home more homey.

✴︎ Creative flow in the afternoon.

✴︎ They have veggie hotdogs at IKEA, so Aurélien and I went for a date there ♥︎

✴︎ Starting a new creative project

✴︎ Clean hair. I only wash my hair about once a week, so it’s a bit of a treat.

✴︎ Making good coffee. When you get it just right.

✴︎ Feeling competent solving technical issues.

✴︎ Faerie lights around the bed

✴︎ Blue water colours. Half of my container consist of different shades of blue.

✴︎ Spending a whole day with friends.

✴︎ Talking about things I’m passionate about with people who are the same.

✴︎ My new beige linen trousers. A gift from Marlene.

✴︎ Laughing listening to Morgonpasset and PP3 – Swedish public service radio shows.

 

Knowing when to take a step back

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On Sunday I wrote that this was going to be a very busy week. Let me re-phrase that. It is a very busy week. I’m working hard to prepare everything for the trip to the US and Europe and it’s going well so far, but I’ve had one more interview and a school visit booked in last second. I’m very happy about that of course, but this means I have to be even more mindful with my time. More precisely, this means knowing when to stop, when to rest. Since last year, my body is less able to handle stress and quickly turns on the warning signs; dizziness, fatigue, a faster heartbeat, racing thoughts. I have to respect these signs.

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Therefore, today after my interview I have told myself to eat a kind lunch (lentil soup) and then nap for as long as my body needs it. If I can’t finish everything I have planned to do, I have to make some decisions and reprioritise. It’s not the end of the world. This is a very important lesson for me, to put my health and well-being first.

If you’re reading this and also struggles with the aftermath of a burn-out or are a recovering perfectionist – know that you are not alone. I see you, and I believe in you ♥︎

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Week 15 – preparations and tying knots

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I really liked this weekly spread, so I decided to continue with it. I also enjoyed coming back to handwritten daily to-do-lists. It feels more tangible and real.

☁︎

This coming week will be busy, as it’s my last week in the Dominican Republic before our trip to the US and then going back to Europe for the summer. There are many things to finalise here, projects and commissions, as well as things to prepare. I still want to keep posting illustrations and poems every day on Instagram, even while traveling. This means I have to use my time this week effectively to draw, scan, edit and organise as much as possible. There are also a few things to book and look into before the trip.

I feel a little bit stressed, as I always do. But I know if I work methodically, focused and avoid trying to multi-task, I know I will be able to do everything on time.

I wish you all a good start of your week!

 

Polaroids from the past week

As I mentioned a short while ago, I am rediscovering the immediate and somewhat raw creative style of my younger self. And it’s so liberating. I share on paper what I am feeling in the moment, a snapshot of my heart. It’s vulnerable of course. But, therefore, it also makes me feel brave. And happy, that I can share my heart and thoughts with you so honestly.

I have always been fond of analog photography, and especially point-and-shoot cameras. To take pictures of the quiet moments, of the sky in the morning and places that make me feel safe.

Here are a few from the past week

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Early morning skies. The first cup of coffee.
This is my best time of the day. Silence is
precious here in the otherwise so busy city.

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Sunrise. My tidy desk, ready for a new day’s work.

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Finally, hopeful clouds and a sneaky selfie
because I had just washed my hair and that deserved to be
celebrated (I hate washing my hair)

Gratitude List

Two weeks ago I started to jot down a fews things in my Bullet Journal every day that I was grateful for, from the day or in general. Wherever you look for information about mental health and how to improve it, gratitude always comes up as one of the main tools for feeling better.

I thought I wanted to share what I have been feeling grateful for during these past two weeks.

gratitude

☼ Our new home, a new start

☼ Re-connecting with friends as often as I can through emails, WhatsApp and Instagram

☼ Putting on music and instantly feeling better

☼ A cool breeze on my face

☼ Taking a nap after lunch

☼ Managing situations I didn’t think I would be able to

☼ Getting a fridge to the kitchen (after a week of using a cool box and buying ice from the colmado two times a day!)

☼ The Swedish language, how it makes me feel safe

☼ Yoga, and how I know how to use it

☼ The colmado (corner shop) on our street playing Avicii

☼ Getting an internet connection

☼ Being honest and vulnerable in my relationship

☼ Finding new creative inspiration

☼ A Skype interview that went well

☼ Enjoying a lunch with my french class, even though I was a bit nervous at first

☼ Tea lights in the morning, with my coffee before the sun rises

☼ Giving time to art and creativity, finding my voice

☼ Thick mango smoothies

☼ A clean house

☼ Sitting next to Aurélien again (after he came back from a work trip to Haiti)

☼ Talking to my family on Skype

☼ Allowing myself to rest when I needed to

☼ Cutting up a watermelon, and eating it while I do

☼ Going for fika with a friend who I can speak honestly with

☼ Chemex coffee on a Saturday

☼ Holding a workshop about instagram for high school students – so much fun!

☼ The fridge full of cleaned organic veggies

☼ Ice cream next to the sea with Aurélien

☼ Kind and supportive words when I really needed it

☼ A small dragonfly sitting down on one of my paint brushes

 

 

 

 

1SE – March

March begins on the north coast, on a whale safari in Samana. I say good bye to Christin who travels on to Mexico. March is not very kind, so I try to collect beautiful everyday moments to cheer myself up. I go to my french classes and Aurélien and I begin the move to our new apartment. We try to spend as much quality time together as possible. No big adventures, and that is perfect right now. We clean out our old room and work hard to make the new apartment ours. Natasha, that beautiful soul, brings me flowers to celebrate.

I get ill and sleep for two days. We loose power the one night I am on my own (while Aurélien is in Haiti for work). I am so very scared of the dark, but I light many tea candles and the powers comes back after an hour or so. I manage to film our house lizard Nils-August (with french pronunciation of course), I hold a workshop at the French School about using instagram as a business and I fill up the fridge with organic veggies. The last day of the month I feel sad, so Aurélien takes me for an ice cream. This is where I take a deep breath and decide that March is finished and I’m ready to move on.