Maybe this year

Maybe this will be the year when you change your life completely?
Or maybe you choose to leave it just as it is because you have found what you were looking for

Maybe this will be the year when you change your life style to a healthier one?
Or maybe you will let the food industry turn you into a less energized you.

Maybe this will be the year when you gather enough strength to leave that abusive relationship
Or maybe this will be your last year on earth because you didn´t...

Maybe this will be the year when you go for that trip you have longed for so long
Or maybe this will be the year when you will fully enjoy exactly where you are

Maybe this will be the year when you let yourself recover from some tough years
Or maybe you will carry on as if nothing has happened, wearing yourself out even more

Maybe this year will be the year when you read that book that gives you a new view on life
Or maybe you will read and look at what you already know, confirming your current beliefs

Maybe this will be the year when you will be extra kind to yourself and others
Or maybe you will protect yourself by attacking those around you

Whatever you want for next year, or for tomorrow - just take away the "maybe" and go for it!

Happy new year!


A visit from St. Nicholas

This year I wish you all a merry X-mas, with the help of the poet Clement Clarke Moore.
"A visit from St. Nicholas" was first published 1823, and is said to be the poem that influenced how we depict Santa Claus today. 

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there; 
The children were nestled all snug in their beds; 
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; 
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap, 
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap, 
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, 
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. 
Away to the window I flew like a flash, 
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. 
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, 
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below, 
When what to my wondering eyes did appear, 
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer, 
With a little old driver so lively and quick, 
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick. 
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, 
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: 
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! 
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!" 
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, 
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky; 
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew 
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too— 
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof 
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. 
As I drew in my head, and was turning around, 
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. 
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, 
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; 
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, 
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack. 
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry! 
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! 
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, 
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow; 
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, 
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath; 
He had a broad face and a little round belly 
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly. 
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, 
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; 
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head 
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread; 
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, 
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, 
And laying his finger aside of his nose, 
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose; 
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, 
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. 
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight— 
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Tomte med gröt on a postcard by the artist Jenny Nyström


En luciabön (a prayer at lucia)

It is the thirteenth of December when I write this.

Like most Swedes we got up early this morning to enjoy the sounds of children singing the traditional lucia songs.

The tradition is hundreds of years old and I have celebrated it ever since I was a little girl.

Since I am no longer a child, I enjoy Lucia with my lovely sons and their schoolmates since many years.

This morning the celebration took place in Kungälvs kyrka (a church), for reasons of tradition rather than religion, and the priest said a prayer.

I found the message that she conveyed applicable to life in school, life at work, life for all of us. So whether or not you believe in a God (or two, whatever works for you), I would like to share my take on that message:

May my heart be helpful to those in need 
and brave towards those who act mean

Glad Lucia!


Therapeutic Reading: For wishing you had a Valentine

In the last blog post I wrote about "falling out of touch with siblings" and the possibility to read novels to get help with this.

This time I write about novels "For wishing you had a Valentine".

The bibliotherapists Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkind prescribe:

Giovanni's room by James Baldwin. This is seen as a classic in Gay literature,

I prescribe my own Jenny, Jenny, where the story is about young love and the desire to have a Valentine, something that can be difficult also when you are looking for someone of the opposite sex. Especially if you, like Agneta, is in love with your best friend's boyfriend.

Extract from Jenny, Jenny: 

Jenny nickade och försökte komma underfund med hur full 
Agneta var. Det kanske inte var så illa i alla fall. Agneta tittade ner 
i backen en stund medan de gick. Efter någon minut tittade hon 
upp på Jenny och frågade: ”Tror du att jag någonsin kommer att 
få en pojkvän?”
Jenny tittade på Agneta och såg att hennes kompis såg väldigt 
ledsen ut. 
”Agneta, jag är övertygad om att du någon gång kommer att 
hitta en pojkvän som du gillar och som gillar dig.”
”Men jag jämför alla med Keyvan ... och då gillar jag dem 
inte alls.”
”Hur kan du jämföra dem med Keyvan, Agneta? Du känner 
inte Keyvan tillräckligt för att göra det.” Jenny hejdade sig när 
hon såg hur sårad Agneta blev.
”Jag menar, du känner bara till vissa delar av Keyvan. Resten 
av honom är bara en bild du har, en drömbild.”
”Säg något om Keyvan som inte är bra då”, sa Agneta trotsigt.
”Han har ju fel och brister som alla andra Agneta, du förstår 
väl att han inte är felfri.”
”Ja men säg något då, något som inte är bra?”
”Tja ... han snarkar.”
”Det tycker jag är manligt.”
”Hans andedräkt på morgonen innan han har borstat tän-
derna är inget vidare.”
”Det är inte min heller.”
”Han vågar aldrig gräla.” 
”Det är väl bra!”
Jenny suckade.
”Agneta, du är för förälskad för att man ens ska kunna prata 
med dig. Kom nu, vi är framme.” Jenny öppnade dörren och gick 
in på krogen. Hon nickade för att hälsa på den så kallade artist-
ansvarige på stället där de skulle spela. Han nickade tillbaka och 
tittade ett ögonblick på Agneta.
”En kompis”, sa Jenny.
Agneta och Jenny gick bakom scenen där de hittade de andra 
i bandet. Keyvan såg frågande på Jenny som nickade för att visa 
att allt var okej.

Om du är intresserad av att läsa mer kan du köpa en signerad version av Jenny, Jenny här.