• Misleading targeting

    For many years, the path to success and happiness has been considered to be setting goals to work towards. It’s a pleasant thought that may seem simple, obvious and straightforward. Success may have been the original idea of goal setting, but I think it has been misplaced and distorted for many different reasons. Success in a business context is efficiency and profit. In order to know whether the goals are being achieved, production measures are needed that can be evaluated. The production industry has developed a complete system for performance measurement. Nothing wrong with that, but when you apply the same system to public administration, to education or to health…

  • Quality in life

    You do not know what quality is until you have it. Quality is a feeling, an experience that is individual and difficult to describe. Quality is also a buzzword in the service sector, and in product manufacturing where it refers to the intrinsic value of a material product, a business, a cultural work, or a person or a group. It is often assumed that quality can be measured, preferably in relation to a predetermined goal. Quality becomes a measure of goal fulfillment. But, how can you set a goal for quality when you do not know what it is until you have it, and if it is an individual experience,…

  • Forethought vs pessimism

    I experience a general lack of forethought. In most cases, it actually is best to think before, to be thoughtful. In the world today, from small to large, you really see the consequences of quick decisions and lack of foresight! I do not know if the word “forethought” is used in English but it appears in Google Translate when I write the Swedish word “förtänksamhet”. The Swedish word is included in the Swedish Academy’s Dictionary and means thoughtful, deliberative, considerate or prudent. Simply someone who gives a thought on what might happen in the future, and in time adapts their actions accordingly. Modern people who lack the ability to be…

  • Quantum satis

    There is a concept that is said to only exist in Swedish. The term indicates a satisfactory amount adapted for its purpose, neither too much that destroys nor too little that is not enough to achieve the desired result. I think it is called “quantum satis” in Latin, in Swedish it is called “lagom”. The English translation could be “just right” or “adequate” but the meaning is not quite the same. Anyway, in love relationships, I’m way too kind and compliant. I have a lot of psychological explanations for this but they are not very helpful, and I’m not getting better at being “just right kind enough”. Of course, it…

  • Basically good!

    This summer I actually read a really thick book! I rarely indulge in reading novels or a thicker book that cannot be read in one go. I have learned that I am worthy of being liked only when I perform or am obedient and compliant. To “just” read and to devote myself to me is frightening! On the other hand, I love to learn and to understand and there is a lot of wisdom written in books. The book I have read is not really a novel but can probably be classified as a manual in humanity. It assumes that man is good and describes it in a convincing way.…

  • With hope for the future!

    Very soon, the year 2020 will end. In many ways, it has been a terrible year. In Sweden, it turns out that new public management and the just-in-time economy have made us very vulnerable to a plague like the Corona pandemic. Hopefully we will learn something from the ordeal that the Covid-19 virus entails. In any case, we did not want to listen to the warnings and we should have understood better.  With joint efforts, we will pass this torment as well. But the year has not only been miserable. Just before the year started, I fell very much in love even though I had actually given up the opportunity…

  • Eventually it gets brighter!

    It always does, gets brighter, when it is dark. Right now there are many reasons to see everything in black. Among them the pandemic and the lack of respect for democracy here and there in the world. I choose to believe in the good of humanity and that it will become brighter in time. Up here in the northern hemisphere, the days are short now. Last weekend the sun shone for a while, enough for a walk along Edsviken to Ulriksdal Castle. We have not yet received snow. It is dark most of the day. But today is the first Sunday in Advent and we turn on the winter lights…

  • The beauty of insights

    There are indeed many wise and kind people on the Internet who share their wisdom. It’s just a matter of finding them in all the information noise and among all the loudmouths. Like when I felt abandoned and unsuccessful because I could not find love but found a wisdom that a friend posted (1).  * * * It’s not about finding someone to live with, but finding the one you do not want to live without! * * * Many before me have probably understood this. To me, that wisdom made all the difference anyway. It gave me the insight I needed. Today a friend wrote about the meaning of life in her blog…

  • This year’s crayfish party

    The first time crayfish is mentioned in Swedish gastronomy is in a letter from king Erik XIV dated 1562. King Erik grew crayfish in the water-filled moats around Kalmar Castle. Crayfish were not eaten whole and cold as they are today. Kajsa Warg’s cookbook from the 18th century contains old recipes on how to make crayfish cake, crayfish sausages and stewed pans with crayfish tails. The crayfish party (Kräftskivan), as we know it today, was formed during the first decades of the 20th century. Since then, it has increased in popularity, and today it is one of the holidays associated with Swedish identity and Swedishness. Previously, crayfish fishing was only…

  • A romantic castle

    There is so much to experience not too far from home. Yesterday we made a car trip to the town Mariefred some 60 kilometres west of Stockholm. Mariefred means “Peace of Mary” and the city got its name from a former monastery “Pax Mariae” which was the only catholic Carthusian monastery in the Nordic countries, and one of the last established monasteries in Sweden before the Reformation. The monastery was built on the hill where Mariefred’s church is now located, opposite Gripsholm’s castle. The monastery church was inaugurated in 1504. Above ground, there are no remains from the monastery today. The king Gustav Vasa, who led the Protestant Reformation in…

  • The love of swimming!

    Since long, I am well known as a ”bathing coward”. Google translate doesn’t translate the Swedish word “badkruka”, but I am talking about outdoor swimming in cold waters, I didn’t use to appreciate it. Mostly, it’s rather chilly in the waters of the Baltic sea. Ever since I got a boat of my own, gradually I’ve had to learn to appreciate swimming in cold waters. Like most of Europe, in recent weeks we have had high pressure weather and a heat wave. The water in the sea has become really comfortable. This weekend, it didn’t take much courage to swim. I could even wash the water line! Pictures by Carolina…

  • Warm love!

    Summer has really come to Sweden. We have a heat wave with temperatures above 30 degrees (Celsius). The weather was also exceptionally good recently during the important Midsummer weekend. Almost as if nature comforts us in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. We had a walk on Djurgården, an island in central Stockholm. There, in the middle of the capital, you will find beautiful and soothing scenery with stretches of forest and meadows, in addition to historical buildings and monuments, museums, galleries, an amusement park, the open-air museum Skansen, a small residential area, and yacht harbours. The Swedish monarch has held the right of disposition of Djurgården since the 15th…

  • In Our Pasture

    Contrary to what some domestic and foreign politicians believe, we in Sweden have taken strong measures to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus in the population. The future, when the pandemic is over, will tell us which actions around the world were the most effective. This year’s National Day celebration was different. Among other things, a distance choir was formed with more than 700 participants to welcome the summer and together sing “Uti vår hage”. “Uti vår hage” (“In our pasture or meadow”) is a traditional Swedish folk song first published around the 1880s, though it is considered to have origins as far back as the 1600s. The song…

  • Fear and Love

    We all carry inner fears. I think that when we recognize them and know them, we have the conditions necessary to reach the final stage of our ”adult development”. In our minds we have an idea of who we are. We have learned the idea of ourselves during life. Thoughts about ourselves have been shaped by success and adversity. We have learned to live our lives. But even if the thoughts, once formed, were appropriate, in adulthood they may have become an inner fear, a fear that complicates life. We are happy to defend our inner fear of discovery. Wouldn’t it be awful if someone discovered that we are inadequate…

  • Communicating love

    Whenever we want to communicate, we are usually anxious to be understood and to understand. Why do we overlook this when we try to communicate love? Is inner fear hindering us, or are there simply different languages of love? Do we talk past each other because we have different languages? Do you think your partner doesn’t understand you? Do you know what you need to understand love expressions? Have you thought about what makes your partner feel love? How do you communicate love with each other? I like manuals of living! They make me think and sometimes I learn. I stumbled across a book by Gary Chapman that describes a…

  • Love and trust.

    Trust is the foundation of love, and we can only truly love someone that we can trust. Love by itself isn’t enough, and really does not conquer all. I now know that I have to trust the one I Love. To have a healthy love relationship, I must have the guts to believe in my partner. Trust is necessary. Trust is a feature of love. Trust enhances love. A real love relationship is built upon trust. If your partner tends to break your trust in any way, it simply isn’t true love. Building trust requires commitment, and trust must be maintained. Trust requires listening to and communicating both our desires…

  • Chance and love.

    Very much happens by chance or at random. Admittedly, the right conditions need to prevail, but chance mostly has a big impact. Being lucky seems necessary! When it comes to love, I think we create the conditions ourselves. Brusquely expressed, I lost faith in love about six months ago. I was well on my way to become bitter and almost misogynous! But, I’m basically unhelpfully romantic and couldn’t stop believing that even for me, somewhere there was a great answered love. I just had to take it easy and stop hunting, but still be open to love! Suddenly and completely unexpectedly she was there. I fell in love and realized…

  • The language of love

    There is saying “Treat others the way you want to be treated”. In love relations this seems safe and easy, and you will probably get what you want in return. But imagine if you act completely unaware of the other’s wishes. Then you might become too selfish, simply a jerk. No one wants to be like that, right? I’d rather say “Treat others the way they want to be treated”. I enjoy being responsive, loving and generous but risk being perceived as too soft and without my own will. Fortunately, that’s a risk I’m prepared to take, and it seems to pay off! I now know that there is a love for each of…

  • Falling in love or enamoured hope!

    In the Swedish everyday language there are several words for love, kind of reflecting the different stages of the “love relation process”. The first stage, when we are falling in love, is called “förälskad” and may translate into English as “enamoured”, or “amorous”, or simply “in love with”.  I am into research and maybe I theorise too much. Anyway, I mean that stage when it all feels great and we are full of hope and dreams. We hope that our lover will deliver on all the promises our earlier relationships failed to fulfil, and we dream of remaining in love forever. All our love hormones are overflowing. This truly is…