Ok, let’s talk about some wardrobe wisdom! Actually I wanted to start pouring my heart out over New York, but Vero with her post about style today prompted me to write this one. Honestly, I have been thinking of writing it since I came back from Norway – after 3 months there with only one suitcase. But the inspiration kicked in only now (thank you, Vero!).
This summer I went to Norway for two summer months which turned out to be three months, and very diverse ones. I packed well to be prepared for what a «Norwegian summer» may bring. Two pairs of jeans and a hoodie, a rain jacket, some cardigans, a pair of sneakers, because this is just how summer in Norway can be (and it was. Greeting me with cold and rain). I also threw in a pile of t-shirts, three pair of sandals (why three? I still don’t know why, I never used them all), a summer dress and a pair of shorts.
What I wasn’t prepared for is that we spontaneously had to stay one month more, which was September. And September took us very fast from a mild autumn to almost winter. September in Oslo was suddenly colder than December in Barcelona. And I had to do some urgent shopping. A light winter jacket, a beanie and gloves were just essential for survival. I also had to buy two sweaters since I had none. And my biggest problem was jeans. I was tired of using all the same jeans over three months, and my man said: «Just go buy some new». Haha, if he only knew that finding your perfect jeans is like finding your perfect man. Nothing is as difficult as shopping for jeans, agree?
I remember when I was a teen, I loved watching the photos of interior magazines – and it always had this one effect on me. After a short while I would look away from the photos and around: and notice beauty everywhere. The everyday beauty of small simple things which would usually escape from my eye. But in these moments everything felt like magic – like opening some secret ability to see beauty in everything.
I still feel this effect now. This is one of the reasons I keep on buying those magazines. After some minutes I can turn my gaze to my own place and feel inspired. Sometimes I take my camera and start taking photos of those small simple things. Because they are so lovely.
And if our life is often more about simple everyday things, why not make it into a good habit – to notice the niceness of them more often? May it be my practice!
Summer moved on. There is a song with this name, by A-ha. They know what they are talking about, because these guys are from Norway 🙂
The last two weeks I have had this feeling. That summer moved on. In some places in Europe it is still full summer and beach weather on. While in Norway the august brings mixed feelings and mixed weather. Though it has been warmer than usually, without those freezing mornings when you feel like winter is coming :)) Still the autumn feeling is creeping in. The low grey skies, the numerous rainy days, girls in fluffy cozy sweaters…
While some are pondering if today is the last day of summer or not – we know for sure. That there is no way back. We call this time here “sen sommer/tidlig høst” (late summer, early autumn). Before the real autumn sets it and wipes away the sunny memories, I want to look back with gratitude to the leaving summer – and remember my favorite things which it gave to me :))
I landed in Oslo physically a week ago – but it took me some time to land here emotionally and mentally. As I get used to my new surroundings, opening my eyes for their beauty, I still don’t feel for blogging about it.
Sometimes I wonder if I should be writing a book, not a blog :)) Because I have this literature attitude: you have first to live through, to work through, to digest and process – and only then to express in letters. To get the best out of it, not just taking everything on the page. This is a writers’ attitude, I have heard. To write about the past, once it is been processed, not about the present.
The blogger attitude, however, is to document the present, to capture what’s going on right now and share it. Sometimes I do it, sharing my emotion of the moment – but I prefer to wait. So even though I am in Oslo already, finding the pretty patterns in the new mix of life – I will go on with some posts about my life in Barcelona. Where it also took some time (a lot of time) to settle down and start seeing the pretty patterns.
Today is a simple little post about things I like. Five, as I usually count.
Once I read this: “May you walk in beauty” is the blessing of Navaho Indians. I ripped the page with this article from the magazine, put into my vision journal – and left it in Oslo. So I don’t remember anything except this phrase, no explanation, no thought elaboration 🙂 But I simply love it. It is a good blessing. I like to sign my posts with it.
And then I thought that when I hear this phrase I usually think of great things like natural wonders or man-made creations. But this doesn’t need to be something great and faraway exotic. In fact, it can be something small and near, like the things that surround me every day. So I opened my eyes and looked for the beauty all around me. Everything that I like.
Here on the blog I try to follow the philosophy of small steps and small things. And I want to add to it by capturing the small things that give me joy. So here is one of them.
I have discovered recently that I love small simple things in my life. I really love them – that is, I feel a sweet emotion when I see them, use them, touch them. When I can throw a lip balm, a mobile and a card holder in my little bag and go – I feel small wings behind my back like those of a butterfly. I believe I can fly :)) No, I don’t feel like flying. But I feel appreciation of all the simple things that work in my life – that give me space to breathe and think of other things (which are not things-things).
I came to value simplicity. Surprisingly for myself :)) In my post “Pack lightly. Travel lightly” I dwelled on my philosophy of it. Here I just want to share some actual things, small simple things, that keep me happy.
Decluttering teaches me some basic wisdom. Going through old things, getting rid of many of them (including some postcards and notes from friends, which is a heart-ripping activity) the old idea downs on me. We spend so much of our life worrying about things and money – but in the end of the day it’s people that matter.
We spend our lives working hard for money, buying stuff, accumulating things – and then we discover that we need to declutter, to get rid of much in order to get a better quality of life. Time flies. We may stress over various aspects, focus on different areas of our life. But at certain times we cast a look over all our possessions and realize that all that hardship and stress was unnecessary. As someone reminded, on their deathbed people don’t ask for their diplomas, trophies or things – they want to be surrounded by the people that matter to them.
Somewhere on the subway I have seen a commercial for the storage services, and it had this tagline: “The more you live, the more space you need”. It referred to different kinds of people, sport enthusiasts, parents, nonconformists, who collect things and need extra space to store them. Something felt wrong with this tagline. And then my man expressed this for me: “This sentence is wrong. The more you live – the less space you should need”. Right!
The past month has seen us doing the job of fixing our home. More of it here. At the same time, it has been a good practice of simple living. As we had to get rid of most of the personal things and hide away some stuff, I found myself in a dream minimalistic setting. Here is what I have learnt so far :))
In my music library on Spotify I find a new folder – “Your summer rewind” (I guess, Spotify creates it by himself – from the songs I listened to last summer. Hello, machine intelligence!). I like to start it when I am working (cleaning) at home. You never know what comes next in that mix. A chill kizomba song, hot Latin hits from last summer, Russian rock from year 2000, some Balcan beat (who listens to it? I share the account with my man – must be his workings. But Balcan beat, really? :))
A fun fact about me: when I was 20, I had a dream of working on the radio. I even got through some competition (sending a cassette with my voice to one popular fm station) and spent an hour on air as “a DJ” (I was just talking, the songs were played by the operator). I didn’t get the job in the end. But it was a fun experience.
I have never worked on the radio since (though my friends call me “a radio” cuz I talk that much), so I use my blog to channel some of that energy :)) A lover of top charts as I am (I loved listening to them on Saturday morning back then), I will make now my own hit parade of this summer. Not of songs, however – but of all my favorite things this season (any radio lovers here, btw? Raise your hand!)
I have caught myself reading happily “Interiør Magazinet”(Scandinavian interior magazine) and thought: “Times have changed. Before I used to bury my head in InStyle and other fashion papers”. Is it how adulting looks like? 🙂
I love that Scandinavian magazine. I love their choice of homes, the minimalism, the color palette of whites, grays and quiet blues. When I raise up my head from the pictures, I start noticing the beauty of the everyday detail around me. But as much as I love Scandinavian style of living (and would love to channel that style on my blog), I find myself in the eclectic home, made up by my Catalan man and my Spanish dreams :)) So, maybe, one day my home will be emulating that tranquil minimalistic Scandi attitude – but today I share the mix and fusion that I find at home. Bringing out my true color :))