My Spring Clean And What I Learnt From It

On Sundays I have digital detox, and it feels so refreshing. As it is great to be back online on Mondays 🙂 I wanted to test this habit for a long time, and at last in March I said to myself that I will run it as experiment: I will keep my Sundays free of all internet. My first Sunday was a day without social media, but then it turned into a day totally offline (with two exceptions: I answer the messenger, and take pics for IG stories which for me is a ritual of appreciating the surroundings. As long as I am not tempted to check the feed). From March into April, and now into May – I am very content with my experiment and I want to keep this habit now.

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spring flowers

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Time to Drop That “Follow Your Passion” Call?

How many of you have fallen in love with this statement “follow your passion”? And how many of you have come to realize that this call is not enough to lead you in some certain direction?

I tell you, I did. I just loved this sentence when I saw it – how many years ago now? As much as I loved it, I didn’t feel guided by it, it was such a diffuse promise. So what are my passions, I asked myself. Dancing, reading, travelling. And what do I exactly do with it? Become a professional dancer? But first, I am not so young to start this carrier (I was over 30 then), and second, do I really want to be a professional dancer? Well, no. I want to enjoy dancing as often as possible – but I don’t want to perform on stage and practice for hours, let alone mentioning the competitions. And some of my other passions are just like this: I enjoy doing them once a while – but I don’t want to build my whole life around them.

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5 Things of Blossoming April

We are half done with the spring – and I just realized that I haven’t shared my 5 things for ages. Isn’t it great to have such a feature when you have desire to post but don’t have idea or the will to work hard on something sophisticated? Today I am kind of foggy, so this is an perfect excuse to skip my usual long texts (I love writing the long texts, maybe you noticed 😉 And I hope, there are people who care to read them to their end :)).

A funny story about my fogginess today. I had an appointment with my Mexican friend today and I got up a bit earlier than usually and battled the cold wind outside, almost running to the place with music in my ears. Only to discover that he was not there. And as I thought if this is Latino style and was close to calling him, I scrolled through our texting – and found out that appointment is tomorrow. I just had to laugh and eat my brunch alone there 🙂 Hope, that tomorrow he will be there (otherwise the regular customers at Evita cafe will consider me a crazy lady).

Back to our main show – 5 things which make me smile this April. It looks like the main motive is blooming and blossoming 🙂

  1. I am a lover of botanical gardens. And how lucky I am that I can walk to the one – especially in the spring when the signs of new life appear almost every day! Even when it didn’t look like spring in the city, in the garden the first bush of rhododendron was already in bloom.  It means that the winter is officially over (even if it still feels like it) and the nature is waking up from its dream.
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that first rhododendron bush

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Little Tricks to Make Spring Closer

I wish that Norwegian spring were more predictable, but it’s not. Before the end of March it is early to speak of the spring altogether – March is a winter month here, with a sudden snow and a biting freezing wind. Thanks to Instagram we have a daily reminder how gorgeous spring can be: there are first crocuses in Germany, and the blossoming trees in Paris and Vienna. While I decided to go check the forest for the first tiny sprouts last week – only to find there the rests of snow. Complaining is my old friend, but it doesn’t help me here, so I learn to reinvent myself and look for the ways to change my attitude. This year I learn not to wait for the spring, but to create it. Here are my tiny tricks so far.

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What Norway Taught Me About Happiness

Lately Norway was announced the world’s happiest country, according to the report made by UNO. Wow, how did it happen? I wouldn’t call the local population the happiest of all I have seen – but these are the results of the study. I wonder, what brought Norway to the 1st place. And I also wonder why the top 5 of the happiest countries is occupied by Nordic countries: Norway, Iceland, Denmark and Finland. What is their secret? It got me thinking, and thinking hard. I am not a social scientist (though I am a proud holder of the half-done master in sociology :)), so I don’t want to start a discussion here that lacks the scientific basis – instead, I want to share my understanding based on my personal experience. Experience of happiness in Norway.

The easiest way to explain that result is by the Norwegian oil money and high income, but that would simplify the whole thing way too much. The money can explain a lot – but not everything. And while BNP per capita and levels of education and medicine service are important for the studies that proclaim Norway the best country for living, they are not enough to justify the subjective feeling of happiness. Money cannot buy happiness, but the certain amount of money is necessary like a good fundament on which a person can build a happy life. But when I think of the results of the study, I don’t compare Norway to the African countries or even my own Ukraine. I compare it to the UK, Germany or Spain (which is on 34th place). If it was oil money in a country enjoying the Mediterranean climate, the rich cultural life and the vibrant social environment – then we would not have this discussion at all. But the North is the place of harsh climate, long dark winters, short rainy summers, highly introverted culture – and these things are important for feeling happiness. So how do the Nordic people do it?

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Karl Johan, the main street of Oslo

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