America’s got talent

The stress indicators

The stress indicators

June 5, 2020
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Hard to ignore, the stress indicators. Having a hard time getting to bed. Waking early and/or intermittently throughout the night. Having a hard time holding it together (you should have seen my reaction to this America’s Got Talent clip – moved to tears above and beyond my normal reactions to AGT/BGT-clips!). And, today, the best tell-tale sign of them all, the fluttering eyelid. All of these indicators have been my companions now and again throughout adult life (and probably even before).

The difference is my greater awareness about them. I see them. I feel them. I notice them. And, I know what to do about them as well. At the moment, I do what I can during the weekends to make sure I rest, relax, read. Spending time in the garden is a great way to ground me. I recharge enough to make sure I can do what needs to be done the upcoming week without running dangerously low on battery.

It’s also a conscious decision of mine to keep up my current work pace, knowing it’s a weekday sprint/weekend recharge for about another month. After that, there’s room. For me. For recharging for a longer period, and more importantly, for less sprinting.

Am not worried.
In a sense, kind of pleased that I’ve gotten to be so good at picking up on these indicators, that in the past, 10+ years ago, were just a part of my normal life. They aren’t anymore, on account of what I do and how I have set up my life, and it has made me much more observant to when they show up. Giving me a chance to take stock, to weigh pro’s and con’s and make a conscious decision on my next step.
Am also fully aware that shorter sprints of massive workload is something I am capable of managing, I just need to make sure that the periods aren’t too long, because that’s when it starts to become a real problem.
And it’s not. Not yet.
And I won’t let it be, either.

If nothing else, my more-or-less daily blogging helps me check in with myself. And wondrously enough, somehow whatever seems to come through my fingers onto (digital) paper, most often points me in whatever direction I need to go. It’s a gentle nudge, bringing my awareness up, making me see. Me.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Daring greatly, with my guitar on my lap

September 21, 2017
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A year ago I started to take guitar lessons, every other Monday for forty minutes. That was about all the playing I did, despite having a clear image in my mind of me sitting with friends around a log fire on the beach, playing the guitar and singing. It looks so alluring. As a child I played the piano, and here’s a given: you do not bring the piano down to the beach to sit around a fire, playing and singing.

This summer I decided to play twenty minutes a day, for sixty days, and quickly got results. So when I heard Mandy Harvey sing Try on America’s Got Talent, I googled the chords and lyric and printed them out. I figured out a simple strumming pattern and started to practice.

On my own – no problem. I sing and play with all I’ve got. But as soon as my daily twenty minutes had to take place with people around (my closest family), either I got extremely self-conscius – having me try to play and sing, as opposed to actually playing and singing – or I simply skipped practice altogether.

But when we had a temporary house guest for a week, staying in the living room on account of not having a spare bedroom to offer him, I decided to stop with the “trying”. So I sat down, guitar in hand, and started to play and sing. For real. (The response I got was a “You’re not all bad at that!”.)

That same week we had my youngest niece staying for a night, and when the three youngsters in the house were busy watching YouTube, playing games and cuddle with Pop the cat, I pulled out my guitar and did my daily twenty. When I put the guitar away, my niece turned to me and said Oh, that was so nice!, giving me a bit of good “sitting around the fire on the beach”-vibes for the future.

And then I figured it out: The ultimate challenge for me! I set a reminder on my phone to bring the guitar on Friday morning. So when Pernilla Tillander, my partner-in-crime for a specific assignment for all the pre-school staff in a small Swedish commune, came to pick me up Friday morning, I opened the back door and tossed my guitar in the back. Pernilla turned around, said A guitar? How exciting! and I told her my plan:

We talk a lot about courage, being role models, and daring to do even though you might not be a fully fledged professional, so I figured I’d sing and play the song Try, what do you think about that?

Pernilla being Pernilla, was all for it, of course!

So that Friday I sat, guitar on my lap, and sang, morning and afternoon, for forty and fifty people respectively, after telling them this story. And you know what? I didn’t die, not even once. And the sky didn’t come crashing down. And none of it happened on the following Monday either, when I did a repeat performance for the last group of a total of seventy people!

Singing Try

If I messed up noow and again, both with my singing and my playing?
You bet, several times. That’s on the house!
If I felt less and less nervous each time?
You bet, the third time around my voice carried much better than the first two times.
If I’ve sung and played the guitar in front of pretty large groups?
You bet. Amazing!
If I would consider doing it again?
You bet!

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The grace of Grace

June 11, 2016
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Alma came to me yesterday, saying You’ve got to watch this mom! before putting her computer in front of me, pressing play on this:

And I cried. Tears streaming down my face. I get so incredibly moved these days, and really truly allow myself to feel what I feel. And listening to this I felt… joy, wonder, gratitude, pride, happiness, amazement, love, astonishment. An assortment of feelings that made me cry tears of joy, wonder, gratitude and so on. Watching her face. Seeing the tears in the eyes of her mother. Her sister hugging her so tightly.

The grace of Grace.
Twelve years old.
Indeed I do believe Simon Cowell might have hit the hammer on the nail: Is she “the next Taylor Swift”?

Grace VanderWaal, I think you already are.
You have a great original voice, playing your instrument, writing your own songs with great tunes and profound lyrics.

So off you go.
Fly – flap those wings, strum that ukulele and let your voice out into the world!

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