How do you wait?


I  was in a meeting in Oslo when I saw somebody was calling me from a landline, whoever could it be? Only doctors and hospitals still use them, and I was not waiting for any of them to call, was I?

I just did not know I should have been waiting. While I thought all was well, a team of  doctors had been pondering over my CT scans. While I had been enjoying growing strength and health, something else had been growing in my lungs.”We’d like to see you in hospital as soon as possible”, the calling doctor said and added, “we have decided that surgery is needed.”

This was three weeks ago. Since then I have experienced a lot of things worth writing about, I just have not taken the time, as I have been so busy waiting.

There has been appointments in hospital, more tests to be taken, PET scans, CT scans, blood counts. All the time knowing that the chosen diagnosis is lung cancer, even if it might as well not be, one does not know until during surgery. The “something” has to get our anyhow. Waiting, googling, thinking, but also a needed time to realign and get used to new thoughts about life.

There has been talks with everyone I am working with. Even while a lot of my mind is busy thinking about my lungs, I am truly glad to be given the chance to unravel some mess and clean some clutter, so that the person doing “my” job, will be able to do it. Actually I had had the feeling for a while, too many things are going on, get sorted! A gift to be given waiting time to do it, another gift to see how generous my colleagues are, taking on my tasks, making life easier for me.

tulipaner fra BKThen there has been the hard  task of informing. Somebody told me, “you should not say anything before you know”. Know what? I wondered, neither of us know how long we have to live, besides this is not a question of knowing a diagnosis, it is all about the waiting, the worry, the time to stop and think. The hard part being seeing the shadow of worry and fear on other peoples faces. We all face our own death when we hear about someone else being ill.

Then of course everyone I know has turned their worry into all kinds of blessings.

I could have kept quiet, I could have “suffered” in silence. I could have, and robbed all my friends of the possibility of doing as Jesus said ” carry each other’s burden”.  How should we do that if we do not tell each other of our burdens?

As it is I have received something to rejoice in every single day, yesterday I even woke up with the advent calendar feeling ” wonder what it will be to day?” I have looked at dark skies, and just then a message from someone cheers me up. I fail to smile, just that day, a happy tune is sent. I open my mail box to thoughtful, lovely letters. I have been given time, prayers, thoughts and flowers. Best of all some meaningful conversations, keeping us on track on what really matters. What a gift to be given waiting time to receive all this!

Then there has been such lovely words. Both friends and family has found time to cheer me up with the sweetest praise and memories of what we have done together. I am sure only being with such sweet persons could make me even remotely close to these descriptions, which means I am the one to be grateful, to be surrounded by people who sometimes are able to bring our the best in me. Who knew waiting could be such a blessing?

Then most of all there has been the realization, for me to receive these blessings I had to reach out, I had to admit that waiting is hard to do, I had to allow my weakness to be seen.

No wonder I have not had time for blogging, I have been to busy counting my blessings!


tulipaner t+j



17th of May- happy trails through Trondheim

IMG_5356 (853x1280)Today is our constitution day, actually our bicentennial. We are celebrating, as usual, with children’s parade, music, flags, traditional food, and traditional costumes.IMG_5376 (1280x910) We are celebrating more than ever, having used the last months for public  discussions and reminders, adding depth to the values we do promote in our Constitution. IMG_5407 (1280x853)Telling each other what we do well, where we need to improve, what we have to keep, no matter what.IMG_5411 (1024x829)

Stig and me dressed in our traditional costumes and walked into town.IMG_5416 (853x1280) We enjoyed the parade, we attended the service in the cathedral, we talked to friends, now we are at home relaxing, getting ready for dinner.IMG_5418 (1024x683) I just thought I’d show you some glimpses of our day. Celebrate freedom wherever you are!IMG_5419 (928x521)

Simplest of the simple, and yet….

IMG_0923Life is a messy business. I really do not know why I keep adding to the mess. Open my cupboards and you will wonder, why does she not keep it tidy? As just now, why is the cheese slicer in the same drawer as the matches? Are they ever used together? Well, sometimes…

Is it more time-consuming to put the named cheese slicer with the cutlery. Well it could be, but I am not that busy am I?

The thing is, I need space and order to think, but I do not naturally create space and order. Another of my great-grandmother’s sayings is “everything that is not stolen or burnt up will return,” could be true,  I just am to impatient to wait for that.

Accordingly this is how I keep just enough organized.

1. I bundle.
For instance :When I empty one garbage can, say in the kitchen, I try to go through the house and do the others as well.
If I buy one gift, I think of others that would like the same and buy more.

2. I use the time I have.
For instance: I clear out my purse, when I change into another. I clear out the named cutlery drawer and not my whole kitchen, while emptying the dish washer. I delete messages when waiting in line.

3. I sort when I need it.
For instance: filing all email concerning one case when I am dealing with that.

4. I always de clutter when looking for something

5. I clear out one space every day, which means I pretty much go through my house once a year.

6. Most of all and through it all, I prioritize. Not according to what others think is important, but according to the bigger goals of my life. Does searching for a cheese slicer make me a bad person? Of course it does not. Using time to search for the slicer, when I could have called someone, written a note, or just being quiet is, if not bad, it sure is wasteful.

Order is never about systems, it is always about what would you rather do than search. On the other hand, if looking for things keeps the treasure hunter alive in you, go ahead. Keep messy, you could even have a go at my drawers.

In November I take part in the NaBloPoMo,  in the BlogHer network. I post every day on “The Untangling Tens” what women do when life gets tangled. These are the ten tools that worked for those I have asked, what are yours?

The pictures in this blog are always by me, Solveig Mjolsnes. This one is of my 150 years old sewing table, which I probably think will help me keep my threads in order.

There is no time for killing trolls

Kick sleds for kick starts

Kick sleds for kick starts

The time is never right for killing trolls, my great-grandmother used to say, even so they had to be killed.
I think she wanted us to learn that we might as well get the unpleasant chores over with. There was no use waiting for the right mood neither for doing the dishes nor our homework.
Life is more complicated though, the trolls does not only come to stay, they gang up on us. We all know that, no crisis arrives alone. Very seldom are we allowed the luxury of dealing with one difficulty at the time. Most often they are all entangled in each other and becomes the many-headed troll in the norse fairy tales.
The only funny thing about it is that it surprises us.
Even stranger is the fact that the most entangling times are the ones that return at the same time every year and still we are not prepared.
Well how prepared could you be? I remember one day weeks before Christmas a neighbor came sailing at her usual speed into the store where we were waiting in line. “That’s that then” she proclaimed, and continued “The tree is done, the food is ready, the gifts are wrapped, I am all set.” She looked triumphantly at us slackers. The shop-keeper was not impressed “why not do Easter while you are at it?”

She probably considered it a good idea. At least that is how most of us live, always preparing for the future, doing so much work to avoid tangles later. The thing is though that no matter what we prepare for we are not sages and what we visualize is an ideal event, which is not always what happens. We plan as if the Christmas dinner is the only thing in life that week, and seem to forget life itself. I know. This is one of the basics I have learned through a life of lists.

Just too much?

Just too much?

If I can not be prepared for everything that will happen, why not prepare for the things I know will come? Isn’t that a contradiction? To me it isn’t. It is all about using my energy on getting the basic routines to function.
One of them is food. As we know there will be trolls to kill, even at the happiest of times. We also know that the strength to do that will not come from party food or appetizers. No matter how well-coordinated they are to the given holiday. And even if they have to do, they will not do if the person who is exhausted by making them also is supposed to be the troll-slayer.

So these are my not-so-secret tools for being a happy hostess, as ready to handle tangles and trolls as possible:

1. Know, plan and stock up on the healthy basics everybody, and most of all you, needs to function.
For me? If I have whole-wheat bread, coffee,granola and yoghurt, orange juice and eggs, I am in luxury heaven. Without, I am sluggish and tired no matter how many croissants or left over turkey-sandwiches I am offered. All those items can be bought now and stored.

2. Be prepared for life to continue as usual.
Why should anyone have to rush out for detergent, toilet paper or tooth paste on the night before Christmas?
3. Kill of the small trolls ahead of time.
Do it at once. Schedule bills to be paid, arrange for flowers to be delivered, order and pick up tickets now.
4. Weed out the really tiny troll sprouts today, and they will not have time to grow before Thanksgiving or Christmas.
What is that? Could be to check, replace and stock on light bulbs all over your house. Count towels and plates and all the other stuff you will need, restock.
5.Know your plans and obligations, more is not merrier. Back out now if you have too much, so that they will have time to find replacements.
6. Make room.
Holidays fill your home with stuff. It needs places to go. If a total declutter event is too much, clear or toss an item every time you wait for something. When decorating, do the spots that are not in regular use, life needs space too!

7. Remember, all holidays are made to make us cherish, remember and celebrate what is important to us, our family, our culture or the faith we belong to. How would I prepare a holiday  that made that true, still?

Trees inside? Perfect for hiding.

Trees inside? Perfect for hiding.

In November I take part in the NaBloPoMo,  in the BlogHer network. I post every day on “The Untangling Tens” what women do when life gets tangled. These are the ten tools that worked for those I have asked, what are yours?

All pictures in this blog are taken by me, Solveig Mjolsnes.