The charmed life – postaday thoughts on Freaky Friday

IMG_2830 search dog benI met a wonderful dog yesterday, Ben, look him up on Facebook at Ben Darling, so this is my story for freaky Friday.

There’s the old indian saying : do not judge a person until you have walked a mile in their moccasins. That works both ways, a sentence I read somewhere is stuck on my mind, there are no charmed lives. This author was saying do not wish for somebody else’s life. Everyone has their troubles. That is true where the charmed lives are lived too, in the fairy tales. Quite often the hero wins because she is able to work magic from humble beginnings by staying true and loyal, accepting help from friends and always acting from the core of her soul. I think that is true in real life too. There are people who answers the call to make the world a better place, working through great adversities and troubles to do so. Not charmed, but almost magic. I would like to be that way, I do want to grow wiser and kinder through every difficulty, I do want to share, to comfort and be a peacemaker. I am one of the people you could think was charmed when you look at what I have got, that most of the world will never experience. I am  one of those you could write long stories and sad books about if you knew the truths about illness, deaths and tragedy. As is true for most of us. I know I would lose my chance at living if I thought I would be better off living someone else’s life. This is my life, these are the lessons I need to go through to be the person I  and my fellow human beings need me to be.

I do look at other people for inspiration though. So here’s the thing about Ben.
Or rather about Wilma Melville. I heard about her yesterday night, we were at a HOG meeting ( For Harley Drivers). There was a guest speaker introducing us to their chosen charity, the Search Dog Foundation. Wilma was retired, a grandmother, who was present with her dog to search the buildings after the Oklahoma bombings in 1995.  She wondered why there was not enough dogs and did something about it. She started a foundation that rescue dogs from  dog shelters, trains them, find jobs for them and gives them to fire fighter and search units through the country. Her first goal is to train a dog for every victim in Oklahoma. She is getting closer.

IMG_2827 Ben and eric

That is what a charmed life is to me. That is my wish for my own life, not to despair, not to give in, but to look for solutions bigger than myself, not only on Fridays.

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Index or indexy? A postaday prompt to publish a draft

Yesterday's card

Yesterday’s card

Some of my old midwestern friends told me their organizing secret, always carry index-cards in your wallet.

As if…I thought. When I finally got around to use the calendar and address book on my phone, why should I return to paper? Then I met someone who invited me over for coffee, and before I could make a note on my gadget she pulled out a card, drove a map, made some helpful notes ( ..and I know my GPS would not have told me to watch for the cute mailbox) and gave it to me. Hmm, neat. When I had been there I did not need the note anymore and could discard it (literally). I also know that I never go into my digitalized notes and organize or delete them.

Plowers and pipers, totally unorganized and happy about it.

Plowers and pipers, totally unorganized and happy about it.

Then I needed some material for a new project, snippets of what I got  stapled on an index-card, add the new bought stuff ,and I had the start of a project archive.

Then I needed a list of directions for a bicycle ride, write on card, tear out and tape on to my handlebar.

Then I was waiting for my husband for lunch and come to think of one of the things I do not do and that  I probably should do….write a diary. Nothing  serious. Just as a memory trigger for pictures I take and thoughts I am not through with thinking. I do not want to carry more in my bag, I do not want a prestigious project, and I do love the concept of all-in-one.Index cards, and the idea and theme of this blog was born together with my “Indexyourlife- diary”.

Where I sat yesterday

Where I sat yesterday

Once a day, when waiting for something, I pull out my spiral bound index cards. I write the date and a heading. Yesterday it was ” At Coal Point” then I write what I am doing just then, a thought that is passing through my mind or just some facts. NEVER more than one small card. The beauty is that I can do all other indexy stuff on the following pages, and not ruin my diary, as I will pull them out and sort them when the stack is up.

The waves were great, no whales at whale point though

The waves were great, no whales at whale point though

The true beauty is that this is just at the core of what I think organizing should be about. Not de-cluttering and buying organizing tools, but taking care to use my resources on my true values, and not let my own or other people’s clutter de-energize me or make me waste my precious time. Indexyour life is my way of taking stock, stopping in the middle of my day, saying: I am here, this is what I do, this is what I think. Doing this I turn what could be irritating ( waiting for someone) into a precious moment of reflection.

The thing I never do is putting information on them and index it…..that is one thing machines can do better than me. I am indexy-ish not a robot!

Not me! Interesting at the computer museum at Bletchley Park

Not me! Interesting at the computer museum at Bletchley Park

No matter where you go, there you are

Botanic Garden Cambridge UK april 2012

Botanic Garden Cambridge UK april 2012

On my first trip to England (30 years ago) I was seated next to  a woman who held on to her hold-all, as if her life depended on it. Which it actually did. I could of course not help myself and had to ask, what on earth do you carry in that bag? She was more than willing to show and tell, as this was the kit her father had told her would take her anywhere and through every situation. Band Aid, sweater, books – I could have guessed those. Then came a big serious looking knife. I edged away but had to see the rest, out came an enormous coil of heavy-duty rope. Your hotel could catch fire you know, she said. I sort of left her alone after that.

Old street, Cambridge UK, april 2012

Old street, Cambridge UK, april 2012

She comes back to me every time I pack for traveling though, as a reminder of the words of Confucius. You can not escape from yourself. Not that I want to. It is just that it easy to forget our part in what we are going away from. Everything will not turn out OK somewhere else, the lessons I still have to learn in life will pop up again and again. The wonderful thing with going away is that even if we are given the same lessons, it is as if they are reframed. Life is a wise teacher, when the student does not understand the task or the lesson, she does not repeat the lesson just as she framed it the first time. She gives another example, another way of putting it, another hint of what it is all about.

Biking at Nantucket, June 2012

Biking at Nantucket, June 2012

And then, like in school, even if I do understand the task, even if I know I have to do it, I just need a break, to look at it all from a distance. I am still there though. Even if I carry less and less physical stuff as the years go by, I now and then stop and ask myself what emotional luggage I carry. I know some are essential and allows me to engage with the people I meet. I also know some of my hangups that keeps me back from relying to much of others. If I do not trust at home, I will be even more distrustful abroad, if I am not able to make friends at home, there is no reason why I should do it anywhere else.

Stone steps, Oppdal, Norway september 2012

Stone steps, Oppdal, Norway september 2012

There could be added extracurricular lessons abroad, the challenges and hardships I never meet at home, it will still be me who have to face it though. It is like a scientific experiment, trying to isolate the different factors to know what really reacts on what. As to travel, I am the constant, the essence of life’s challenges are the same, the environment the big X. Come to think of it, that’s what I love about traveling, no matter where I go, I am still there.

Indiana, October 2012

Indiana, October 2012

Weekly photo challenge: a day in my life

This is just what indexing and organizing and de-cluttering and getting a grip on life is all about, you have to understand this: life does not come in neat and tidy packages. How could you label your life and say: this, this is IT? Life, comes in heaps and  bundles. The thing with trying to get some order, is all about not letting details rule your life, so that you will have energy to handle, confront and enjoy whatever challenges, setbacks and possibilities you’ll encounter. To put it short, you can not go anywhere until you find your car keys, but knowing where your car keys is, won’t take you anywhere either.

I have been thinking about this on different levels for  quite a long time, and this photo challenge just got me started again. No matter what level I choose, something of my life will not be in it. Some instances, yesterday we spent hours trying to solve some software problems….we have nothing to show for that struggle. Except it did not make us especially happy, even then we went on an excursion to the court-house ( a wonderful storybook building) and to the art gallery. Do the pictures I took show my enchantment with the place or my impatience of not having solved my problem? Another instance, we did not see any of our children yesterday, still they are at the heart of everything I think, feel and do. And lastly, it was Good Friday yesterday, which is at the core of my beliefs, I did not go anywhere near a church though, so how could my pictures show it?

Even then, to me, every picture I take, is a reflection of my soul. Every image I share and every word I write is an invitation to listen to your soul, what do you think when you see this? How will we grow when we share our reflections? There then, the glory, and wonder of humankind, we are able to reach out to each other, to understand more, to love more, just form glimpses, just from tiny sparks and ideas. So – ten images from yesterday, from my day, what do you see?!