That is the question. Or is it? I have been dwelling ferociously over this question for the last two weeks. And why may you ask? Well, it happens to be the theme of the year for the business venture that we have together with my friend and colleague Minna. Something that just came up last year when we suddenly found ourselves planning for this year. And it then felt very natural for me to chose “Dream Big” as my word for this year 2015. It felt both good, exciting and appropriate. I don´t want to let this year just pass by as any other year, I want to dream big. I have left 49 years behind me and I am stepping into my fiftieth – of course that is a reason to celebrate and dream big.
Almost exactly one year ago I was following the launching campaign of Marie Forleo´s B-school online marketing program for the third time. I loved the content, I am an avid fan of Marie since 2011 and gosh did I got inspired by the videos. Especially this one with Hayley Cattini who lives in Paris with her family. One line in one of the last emails from Marie in January 2014 got me convinced. She said something like this “if you feel like you can´t do B-School this year, dont´sweat we won´t go anywhere and you can enroll next year instead”. At that moment I felt a relief and at the same time decided that OK next year (2015) I will be fifty and I will gift myself B-school. I will take part in the scholarship competition and I will win a scholarship. This made me feel really excited up until about one week ago when the enrollment opened up again and it was time to create a video to send in to the competition. In all my plans for this year I have written B-School in every little frickin´ box and line and I was certain that I would join in some way or other.
Well, suddenly I felt overwhelmed, cornered and deflated as well as defeated. Fear won over faith and I was really wondering why. A lot of whys actually? And the Dream Big felt more of a trap than an opportunity. What I do know is that one of the fears that did had it´s grip on me was the fear of missing out or FOMO as this pesky little creature also is called. Hey, I´m fifty and I´m not getting any younger. I should do something more with my life. Is this really it? Can I ask for more or is it selfish? These and a heck of a lot of more questions have been taking up space in my head. And then, I do have a tendency to join an awful lot of online courses as my friends and family lovingly tease me about, so maybe I just need to relax a bit. To be honest, this blog post was the one that set my heart at peace. So now I will continue to dream big and maybe I will at some point join B-School or any other online marketing program but not because of FOMO.
This Magic Monday has been one of resting, reading, listening and contemplating in the company of something really rare – a husband who has been reading not only one book but two 🙂
The pictures below are a sample of the ones I took as part of last weeks assignment in Unrawelling. The theme was “Today” and the idea was to take pictures of tasks you are involved in every hour on one specific day. That day happened to be last Thursday. Then we were supposed to pick a selection of the pictures and make them into a mosaic. I absolutely adored this assignment and of the 75 (!!) pictures I took this is just a small sample. Wondering what on earth Johnny Depp is doing in my office? Well he is the same age as me and thinks fifty is fab so that qualifies him a space on the wall. He is just waiting to get framed 🙂
Once when I was fifty we had a birthday dinner in the form of a potluck party where our friends brought steak and wine while my daughter made the salad and I only had to come up with the dessert. Love and laughter filled the table and it felt like old times when we threw (or rather my husband did) dinner parties once a week. Sometimes even more than once. Somewhere in albums and in boxes there are pictures as evidence from times that no longer exist. This dinner I did not document however and while the visual image might fade over time the feeling will remain.
Once when I was…is a writing prompt that I have been enjoying as part of many different writing prompts in the Luscious Legacy Project. We, the participants have been writing different kinds of texts relating either to specific recipes or stories around food. And since there have been live calls as well, there has been opportunities to both read out loud and listen to the other participants snippets and stories. For me this has been quite a process. First I was a bit apprehensive since I am not that good a cook and I have no real family recipes. But thanks to the writing prompts and the crafting of the course/writing circle, stories have been pouring out of me.
Almost simultaneously, crazy me have been taking part in another but in some ways slightly similar online adventure called Unravelling ways of seeing you by Susannah Conway. One part of this particular course have been the theme of memories with an assignment to look at old pictures of one self and then either combine them with pictures from today or make collages or create stories. This theme happened to be during the same week when our friends celebrated my fiftieth birthday at our house. So in an effort to create something grand I tried to go through some of the boxes filled with old pictures but there were simply too many photographs. I had a lot of ideas of how I would combine old party pictures with new one but gave up. Reminiscing old times going as far back as when I was a little girl and my family gathered around the dining room table for teatime has been occupying my head since last November when I started the Luscious Legacy Project. The only way to get rid of these occupants is to gather them all in some kind of journal or e-book to give to my daughter as a legacy from me. Another one of my many writing projects.
My mother did the most amazing albums for both of my sisters, my brother and me and for many years I have had a nagging feeling that I would like to do something similar but never really got the geist or the zest to do anything about it. This legacy journal will be it, neither a cookbook nor a photo album but filled with stories and slices and snippets from my childhood, hopefully my husbands childhood, our adult lives together and our daughters childhood with food as the common denominator. Food & dinner parties 🙂
This is what happens when you involve yourself in creative projects where there are other people involved!
p.s. When you click on the link to the Luscious Legacy Project scroll down to the third picture from the left which is a picture I have taken of my Mum´s old recipe journals from 1974. Click on the picture 😀
And this is what happens when you involve yourself in a Tea & Chocolate Food for the soul collage over the phone with participants from both this side and the other side of the globe:
And last but not least, why not read my new friend Dawne´s insights from this very same experience.
No day is alike they say. And so it is. Many years back we were all taking the Myers-Briggs test at work to see if it would help in combining the right people when creating teams. For me this test has really been an eye opener. Actually it is not until recently that I have fully comprehended its deeper meaning. Some probably say the test is outdated as there are so many other perhaps more accurate personality tests to go by. However, I am an ENFJ which means that I am very much driven and motivated by external factors as opposed to for example an INFJ who is motivated by internal factors. This has explained for example my mood swings (yeah I know they are partly due to hormones and poor diet….). But let´s take this fabulous Magic Monday as an example. I was not in a happy mood during the morning, actually I was downright irritated and angry. Partly because of poor sleep, partly due to irritating husband 😉 and then just because I read the papers this morning. Note to self – do not read the papers when irritated…
But in a couple of minutes I went from blue to bright and that was entirely because of the Tea ceremony ( no, not the beautiful Japanese one) we had with my business partner Minna together with a client to help her going further with her business plans. A Tea ceremony is rather a threesome (no no not at all what you are thinking) where Minna and I are giving individual consultations and feedback to clients who want a more private setting. Some might call it a VIP day. We call it a Tea ceremony.
Me being an ENFJ means I can go from angry to eager within the same minute because of external factors. Which is great but also quite exhausting. But that´s me and I am OK with it. However I wouldn´t mind acquiring at least a tiny bit of inner calm. Hey, the client we were helping, well that´s exactly the kind of service she is going to offer so who knows…!
Btw, did I mention the Enneagram? I am a seven which means I am chasing after one shiny object after another…but hey let´s leave that to another week.
One more thing since I am on a runners´high here minus the exercise. The anger fueled me to clean and cook (which I try to stay far away from) while the eagerness helped me write two blog posts 🙂
Instead of showing you cakes I cannot eat, here are the beautiful flowers a dear friend and nowadays colleague surprised me with!
…as my dear friend Maria so elegantly framed it on my pre-birthday dinner Saturday night. To be honest I have not been looking forward to this odd stage where the first number in my age is starting with a five. Celebrating it is one thing. Being it is a completely different story. My Magic Mondays are part of a year long celebration, my birthday gift to myself. And I hope I will get friendly with my new numbers along the way. It´s not that I insist on being twenty again even if the thought did cross my mind last Magic Monday when I attended a seminar in Helsinki with a lot of enthusiastic young twenty something entrepreneurs sharing how they are creating a life of their own in a way that feels authentic to them. Very thought provoking and inspiring.
Here is one of the young entrepreneurs…
But then again, when I bumped into another dear friend on a another seminar in Helsinki a couple of days before the one with all the eager entrepreneurs, my then almost fifty year old heart swelled with pride when this very friend told me about “doing a Carina”. She and a couple of mutual acquaintances had been talking together how they also would love to “do a Carina”. By now you should already have guessed what that is haven´t you? It is having a Magic Monday!! Or a Frivolous Friday! Or why not a Whimsical Wednesday! WHOA is all I can say. And that this would not have happened when I was twenty…so maybe fifty really is the new shit? Is this what is called being a thought leader…
Well jokes a side and back to today´s Magic Monday when I was still basking in the warm feeling of all the wonderful people who celebrated with me, sang for me, bought me flowers, presents, sent me cards, congratulated me on facebook. And since week three of Unravelling was all about Sacred (rituals & altars) I think it´s appropriate to publish some of my altars at home for the moment being. Beginning with the birthday rose. Wonder why it is on the floor? Well the cats tipped it over in the morning wetting all my birthday cards…so I hope it´s safer this way.
And last but not least. We were having a creative date with my friend and business partner Minna at a lovely café (of course!) and instead of choosing the healthy alternative of a filled rye bread sandwich I decided to indulge in this….
It tasted divine until I realized after three bites that it had either bitter almond oil, almonds or nuts in it (which I am all heavily allergic to). For a split second I thought of just saying “screw you to the allergy” and continue eating. But my better half stopped me and gave the cake to Minna instead who then bought me, guess what? The rye bread sandwich that I had put my eyes on in the first place 🙂