Enjoy while you can

Lately I have been so busy thinking about the future and what I'm going to do that I sometimes forget to actually enjoy the moments I am living in right now. Today, sitting and having dinner with my two kids laughing and having fun together without any fight I realized just that. I, or actually we need to live a little more in the moment we are in right now. It's like when we are traveling. If we can't wait to get to our destination and just want to be there as fast as we can we will miss all the beautiful things we can see along the way and the time that is given to us to actually spend time with the ones we are there together with. 
 
 

Non of your business


 
I came across this video a couple of days ago and I can say it's worth watching. It's the society that has given these kids the belief they have, someone around them that has been telling them that it's wrong or right. After that they have formed their own thoughts about it. You can really see it when you are listening to the little boy who is saying that gay marrage is wrong. He doesn't know why he thinks it's wrong, just that it is because someone told him that it was, not giving any explination. 

I am in the belief that everyone are allowed to have whatever oppinion they want, no one can tell anyone that they can't think what they want, and that goes both ways. With that said no one has the right to say that someone can't get married. If you think it's wrong, keep it to yourself, don't forbid it to happen. It's not you getting married. If you think it's wrong, then don't do it yourself. But how does it bother you if two persons, that you most likely don't even know, get married? Not at all! If you don't like it, stay out of it. Don't take away their rights when no one is taking away yours. 

It happened again

I've been thinking a little. I've been watching swedish TV showes the whole night. Didn't really find anything else to watch so I thought why not, catch up with all the shows that they are talking about everywhere on the internet. But that's not what I've been thinking about. What I was thinking about is how much my veiw of those types of shows have changed and how much I really think the comersial is ridiculous. It feels so much like everything they do they are trying to make it look like something that is from here, but because it's not they just make a fool of themselves.
 

They are thowing in some english words to make it sound better, but it's usually not a really good accent so it's just embarrassing. Before I got here I didn't think about and I didn't think about the accent either, it sounded fine to me and that was just the way they did it. But now...I don't know, maybe I'm just silly...We should be proud of being swedish and wanna do things our own way, not try to copy some one else. Sweden are doing a lot of really good things so why not do it all the way? 

What would I do without you

This whole weekend I've been feeling weird. Headache, dizzy and like I wanted to through up. I thought it was because I hadn't been drinking enough water on saturday so I spent all day yesterday drinking water and tea, didn't spend a minute (almost) without a drink in my hand. But nothing helped. So I thought it might had been that I needed sleep and went to bed early last night and woke up after 12 hours and still wasn't ok. The headache was gone but I was even more dizzy then before and that made me feel sick. Even Paul noticed that I wasn't feeling good at all and he was really worried about me because I looked like a ghost with empty eyes, but I was red in my face. It was really weird because I was feeling great exept for that. So what was it? 
I was talking to Hanna on the phone and she said the same thing, it sounded like I had a lot of energy. But when I told her about how I was feeling she said something that I hadn't thought about. She asked if I had been taking my iron pills. That was it. I missed taking them both saturday and sunday morning. So about an hour after taking two of those I felt like normal. Paul said you could see me coming back to my body again and my smile that is always there came again. So problem solved! Thanks Hanna for saving me! 
 

You need a little bit of both

Being an au pair is not always pink clouds and rainbows. As an au pair you end up spending most of your freetime with other au pairs and most au pairs are girls. Girls means drama, always. If you have a group of friends that are just girls you know that sooner or later you will have drama. That is where we are right now. I could really need a little less of girls and a little more of not so complicated guys company right now. A little bit of balance in my life. Because you can't just have one of them, you need both guys and girls in your life. 
 
But that is not what I have and all friendships are worth working on. Everyone and everything deserves a chance. You will feel better too if you know that you have tried and done your best for this relationship to last. After that it's up to you to decide witch once are worth fighting for or not. Because that is a completly different thing. You can't be best friends with everyone. Sometimes you need to let go. 

When everyone is leaving

All the girls I've spent the last year togehter with are leaving right now, one by one. All the girls except a few. All the girls that I've spent so many days with and gone through so much together with. They are all leaving to go back home because their year here is over. This chapter is over for them and they are all going to move on. Left here is me. 

But I don't regret my decition to stay, not for a second. This is what I have to do. I can't go back home yet because I'm not done here, I'm not ready to leave this. The only thing this means is that I will now have to start over. THe whole process with sending emails and texts to new girls and do the whole "where are you from how many kids do you take care of" all over again. Except this time I am not in the same possition as all the other girls. This time I am the old girl who already knows everything and that they ask for the best shopping and where to go out and what to do around here. I find myself giving them advice about how to do things and how to get the best possible year. I just know I need to be carefull so I don't sound like I think I know the best. Because I don't. I still have a lot to learn and if someone finds something new or have some advice for me I'm welcoming it with open arms. That is something that will just help me grow as a person.
 
 

My second home

This weekend I've spend a lot of time in DC and I love it. Dinner both days and clubbing yesterday. I can't get enought and if I could decide I would spend all my time in there. This city has something special, or maybe it's just the people in it that I love. Whatever the reason is I need to spend more time there then I have latley. 

Why get them in the first place?

How would you like to live your ife in a cage? To be locked up in a small space where all you can do is stand, lay down and spin around. Sounds like fun? 

I don't think so. So why do we treat our pets like that? They are living creatures with feelings too. They are like kids, they need to stimulated. Would you say they got their exersice and got challenged every day? This is the life of many pets. Especially here in the USA. It makes me so angry and upset! I don't understand why you get a pet if you are just going to put them in a cage in your house. If you don't have time or space or want some fur in your house, then don't get a pet. Then it's nothing for you. Everyone is not meant to have a pet, and if you really want to have something, get a fish or something that you can actially have in one place in the house and be sure they won't move.
Picture from here
 
I could write pages about this and why it's not right to the animals. But no one would make it to the end. You would all be bored before that. But imagien if people would put their kids in a cage and keep them there all the time, that they would eat, sleep and study in there their whole life. What kind of life would that be? So WHY are we doing it to our pets? 

It goes both ways

When we came here it was a big cultuaral chock in the begining, everything was new. All from the food to how they are socially and how they spend their holidays. It would probably have been even worse if we wouldn't have talked about it at orientation and all the documents we got about it before and everything.

Right now, when I'm in the middle of it, I don't notice it anymore. I'm so caught up living the american dream that I'm turing into an american myself. I don't miss that much of the swedish food anymore, I like the way they spend their holidays and I don't react every time a stranger starts talking to me in the store or at the street anymore. For me that is normal. All the things that the americans do are normal for me now and I do it too. 
 
But the day will come when I'm going home, and all that I experiensed when I came here will come again. I know I'll get a cultural chock again when I get home. It will be so many small things that I will be use to do from here that are not really how you do it in sweden. Especially the social bit. On top of that I will have the language where I'll be so use to talking english or mixing them two if I talk to ex. Hanna that it will take some time before I will get into everything again. But this time I won't have anyone there to tell me, this is how swedes behave and do things, this time everyone will asume that I know everything already, because that has been my life for 19 years. It's not that I won't know everything, because it is there deap inside me, it will just take some time and work to get it out again.

A open letter

Dear car drivers in DC area, we need to talk.
I can take it that you don't always drive so good. I have learned to live with you always changings lanes without using the signals or even wait to see if I'm gonna slow down to give you some space. I am use to that you don't always give me space even if I'm using the signals when I wanna change lane. I'm not mad about that anymore, I understand that and you don't have to explain it.
But when it is dark and you meet another car on the road you HAVE to turn the main beam of. Like if that wasn't enough. Some of you are even having the fog light on. When it's a clear sky and full moon, are you kidding me? You need a lesson, it isn't good enough to turn the light on auto so thoes lights goes on when it gets dark. Why? Because the car that you meet on the road can't see anything. That is the reason why the car is built so you can turn the light on and off, so you won't blind the other driver. I have sometimes even stoped on the road because it's impossible to see anything exept the bright light. I tell you, it is dangerous. 
So I'll teach you once and for all, it is good that you have thoes lights on during the night so you will see if any animals runs up on the road and you won't kill them. But you NEED to remember to turn thoes lights off (and just keep the dimmers on) when you meet another car, and then you can turn them back on when that car has passed. But not until then.

Thank you,
sincerely
an upset Erica

Save the world

The environment. They are talking about it all the time, on the news, in movies and in the politics. What they do is talking about it as one problem that only have big sulutions. But it's not, it's billions of small problems , that have have become one big problem. Think about it.

That's why we can't solve it like one big porblem, because it's not. It need to be solved like the small problems they are. It's not a solution that needs to happen on goverment basis, or stat, or county, each person needs to do it. Not just a few, we all need to change out lifes, becuase we no that the way we live today is not gonna give ous a better world. The hard part is to start, to start with not having the heat up over 80* inside, but putting on more clothes instead. Or not throwing away the leftovers from dinner. Because I belive that it is thoes small things that will help us change the path we're walking on right now. If someone starts, they can get their friends and neightbors to do the same. I do belive that if people see how  easy it is and how small the canges needs to be they will stop talking and start doing. Like in the movie pay it forward. Witch is a great movie that really makes you think a lot about all different things. I mean, if a 12 year old boy can do something small to change the world, what exuse do you have for not doing anything. 

Some people are already doing this, I'm not saying everyone is just watching to world go down. But that is not enough, we all need to change. The list of what you can do is long and simple, only use what you need and try to by local. Because have you ever looked at what the groceries you buy come from. Is it really so good for the environment to buy something that has been shiped across the whole world, even if it's organic? You don't have to everything, but do something and inspire others to do the same. The only limits of what you can do is your imagination. 

It's like the rule we have here at my house, you leave a room better and cleaner then it was when you came. We need to do the same with the world. Otherwise it won't be a world for people to live in and they won't be able to see all the beauty of what we see every day. 

What is love?

 We use the word love a lot. Some more, some less, but we do use it. Do we always mean the same thing when we say it? I know that I don't. My love is different if it is to a family member, a friend or a boyfriend. But I only have one world to express all thoes different feelings. It's really impossible for me to know if the other person knows exactly what I mean when I'm saying that one word. 

But what is love? Is it a feeling, a thing or something that just is there. Maybe it is a lot of feelings together. I think it's just a word. A word for a conection that we have with an other person. It can be a word for all thoes things, it all depends who says it and to who. I see it more like you're creating more room. You still have the same space as from the begining but you rearage it to fit that person in better, and make more space for it, that is what love is for me. To give up some things to get others. 

What I do know is that for us to be able to love someone, in any of thoes ways we need to stop being afraid of getting hurt and risk a little to get it. Because fear is a choise that you do yourself. If you never risk it, who knows what you're missing out on. Not you. 

Aprilskämt

Att vi nu har gått in i april betyder två saker, att vi är ett steg närmare sommaren och att vädret inte är att lita på. Trots att det är en helt annan sak här än hemma i Sverige så är det fortfarande samma visa. Vädret ändras hela tiden. Nu har ju vi dock inte snö som ni har i Sverige utan vi har omväxling mellan varmt och kallt, och sol och regn. Ena veckan kan det vara så kallt att jag vill sätta på mig alla kläder jag har och vi måste sätta på värmen inne. Allt för att veckan efter vara riktig sommarvärme så man vill ligga ute och sola och är tvungen att sätta på ACn inne. Så även här är det hög tid för förkylningarnas tid, för det känns som att man alltid har fel kläder på sig, hur mycket man än försöker att planera. 

Denna vecka här i Northern Virginia har vi sol och i mitten av veckan upp mot 30 grader. Men var lugna, det är ju ändå April så till helgen blir det 15 grader och regn för att ta ner oss på jorden igen. Fram tills dess hoppas jag på att jag kan få en dag vid poolen i alla fall. Vi öppnade nämligen den i helgen då den värms upp av solpaneler på taket. Keep your fingers crossed! 


All days can't be good days

My kids had an awesome day yesterday. They where happy, didn't fight and did everything I told them. Today was not so awesome. But all days can't be perfect and you always have something to be happy about, you just need to find it and keep it there.                                             
 

När man bor i det stora landet i väst

Att det finns mycket onyttig mat att konsumera här i USA lär knappast ha undgått någon. Det är inte nog med att det finns restauranger precis över allt, dom är billiga, det går fort och de flesta restauranger har hem leverans så du behöver inte göra mer än att lyfta luren. Det är sedan väldigt mycket socker och annat i maten. Om ni sedan tänker att "men man behöver inte köpa den maten utan man kan gå till en mat affär", då kan ni börja tänka om. Det är inte så himla lätt förstår ni. För det första så är det väldigt mycket mikro mat, allt går att göra i mikron. Allt från fädriga lunch paket som bara ska värmas till att göra ris eller grönsaker i mikron. Du behöver inte ens lägga det i något, det kommer redan färdig packiterat i speciella förpackningar för mikron. Men det är klart att det går att hitta basvaror, precis som i Sverige. Men allt är annorlunda så trots att man gör saker från scratch så blir det fortfarande sötare och onyttigare än om man skulle lagat samma sak med varor från sverige. 

Det är alltså inte så konstigt att många människor i detta land ser ut som de gör. De som är smala får verkligen käpa för det, de tränar oftast varje dag och går på olika dieter hela tiden. Men det är klart att det finns människor som inte gör det också, men det är väldigt vanligt att vara någon av de två extremerna. 
Eftersom min fot är som den är och krånglar så mycket blir det där alternativet med att träna ganska svårt. Det går inte att hålla kontinueligt. Men det andra alternativet är inte något för mig, skulle ni kunna se mig sitta still på soffan utan att göra något och bara äta? (ok, jag skulle lätt kunna göra det en dag, men efter det skulle jag bli rastlös och börja klättra på väggarna). Vi äter dock redan ganska bra mat i min familj men, då är det forfarande bara bra för att vara i USA, det skulle fortfarande ses som ganska så onyttigt i Sverige. Så jag har börjat att göra mer riktiga sallader till varje middag, istället för att bara göra dom där bönorna som man stoppar in i mikron på två minuter så är dom klara. Jag har också tröttnat på pastan och riset som barnen vill ha till allt, vi har aldrig potatis, och när vi har det har vi pulvermot så det är inte ens potatis på riktigt. Jag har alltså bara slutat att äta av det, så ingen pasta eller ris och en massa god sallad varje dag till kycklingen eller fisken eller vad det är som lagas den dagen. På det så tränar jag lite, jag bygger upp min fot igen samtidigt som jag tränar mage, armar och rygg som vanligt. 
Varför vara som alla andra? Hitta det som passar dig och kör på det. 

In a car by yourself

When I'm driving by myself I always put on loud music and takes the moment to actually think. Today on the way back from Hanna's was no exception. It doesn't really matter what I'm thinging about, it's just nice to do it. 

Today it was about how people here drive. If americans lived in sweden very few of them would actually have a driving license. So when it's been snowing or is snowing, like today, nothing works. Backwindows is coverd with snow, so they can't see anything behind them. They are slowing down really late for a stoplight or something like that. The few people who actually can driva a little and have access to a manual always drive on really high gear, even when it's snow. They press both gas and break really hard every time they wan't to slow down or speed up. They change lains without lookining and sometimes without putting the blinkers on. On top of that, most people only have what we is sweden would call summer tires, so not good at all for driving in the cold and especially not on snow or ice. 
So here's a tip to u guys in weather like this. Slow down! Make sure u can see out throu all windows. But especially, know that it takes time to slow down, stop or speed up. Everything you do needs to be done really gentle and carefully. Try this for a start, and drive safe!

Times like this

It's in times like this that I'm so happy that I've found my girls over here. We are a killer team and I know that I have them there. Because it helps. Even if I should be use to it right now and that I shouldn't let it get to me it is harder to do it than to say it. But it's not just these things that hurts. This brings back so many things from the past, or more the feeling that it never will be better. It will always be like this.

You're awesome! 

I just don't know how

Den delen av mig som alltid vill hjälpa och rädda mina vänner är nu framme igen. Jag har en vän här som inte blir behandlad på rätt sätt av hennes värdfamilj och hon måste berätta för dom nu att det inte ska vara såhär, innan det är förskent. Hon är deras första au pair så de vet inte alla regler och hur de borde bete sig, vilket inte gör allt mer okej men det ger en förklaring till varför det är som det är. För det är en jättefin familj och dom är gulliga allihopa. (Men va aldrig någons första au pair, det är alltid det svåraste att vara då familjen inte har kommit in i systemet än. Min familj har haft 7 au pairer innan mig så allt jag gör och alla regler har ändrats och slipats för att vara så bra som möjligt under 7 år. Det är en stor skillnad)
 
Men min vän, jag vill hjälpa henne, på alla sätt för att hon ska ha det bra. Men det finns inget jag kan göra vilket dödar mig. Jag kan inte prata med hennes familj (vet inte ens om jag är tillåten att göra det), jag kan inte plocka ut henne ur den familjen och sätta henne någon annan stanns..jag kan inte göra något alls. Utom att stötta henne, vilket jag gör dagligen. Jag vet precis vad hon måste göra, det svåra är för henne att göra det. Men jag finns här, jag har berättat för min familj om situtationen och dom finns där också för henne. Men jag vill fixa allt nu! Klarar inte av att se en så fin människa och bra vän må dåligt, det gör mig nedstämd. Om det bara fanns ett sätt..

Annorlunda på ett positivt sätt

Idag fick jag äntligen tummen ur och gick till banken för att öppa ett bankkonto. Det var inte bara lätt, utan hur bra som helst. Jag vet att det finns hur många olika banker som helst men jag pratade bara med min värdpappa om de olika och valde den han rekomenderade. Något jag verkligen var nöjd med. Det var kanon service och de gjorde allt på bara 20 min. Utan att fråga om det satte dom upp två konton åt mig och allt utan någon kostnad alls. Ett sparkonto och ett debitkonto. Jag fick också välja min egen pinkod, något man i all fall inte får göra hos Nordea som jag har i Sverige. Chefen för banken kom också in och sa att om han som nu blev min bankman (något man absolut inte får bara sådär i sverige) inte skulle vara på plats så kan jag alltid komma in till honom och så visade han mig var han satt. Men det bästa av allt var att jag inte behövde vänta på att mitt kort ska komma. Under tiden som mitt kort tillverkas så har jag ett annat kort bara så att jag skulle kunna använda det direkt. 

Väldigt annorlunda mot hur man blir behandlad i Sverige och framför allt som ung tjej. Jag gillar det här, Svergies banker har något att lära sig av amerikanarna. 
 

Språk är rätt intressant

Har fått prata en massa svenska idag, saknar det lite ibland. Saknar det där att kunna säga allt utan att fastna för att det är ett ord du inte kan som förstör allt.

Men samtidigt är det skönt att prata engelska och känna hur det kommer mer naturligt. Jag menar, jag har bara varit här i typ tre veckor men börjar redan tänka och prata till mig själv på engelska. Tänk då om ett år.


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