Hello! I am excited to begin my first blogging adventure here at Adventures and Musings. I have spent some time considering what exactly is my focus of the blog. I will likely not spend much time writing about new technology, chronicling world events or ruminating on politics. There is a vast internet world devoted to these topics, and certainly on any other topic I could name.
My goals are far simpler. I will write about what I know or perhaps what I don’t know very well, but in which I have a keen interest. Far above anything else, I ponder what happiness means and how to find it in the everyday situation, as well as the far more significant moments. Indeed, happiness we can endeavor to find or we can accept it can be found constantly.
During the period I’ve called my adult life, I have bounced around, moving to and fro, assuming the next thing is the key to happiness. Not so. Here I will describe what I do and learn, and hopefully I am learning something along the way!
Happiness must be nurtured and strived for, and after all that, it only grows from within. So let’s think about a typical child. Before a certain age, this child doesn’t think about happiness. The child knows in each and every moment whether the current circumstances are satisfactory or not. And if it’s the former, then he is content and will continue along his path. If not, he will do everything he can to alter the situation… scream, yell, cry. There is no analysis and brooding or resentment. Life is black and white and it is in the moment. Then there comes a point when he gets taught how to think about how he is feeling and to evaluate those feelings based on past experiences or expectations for the future. In other words, the child is taught how to take himself out of the moment and think about the past or the future or some combination of the two and its effects.
For the most part, this is certainly highly unavoidable, but most of us probably need to spend a little time getting back to that child in us who lives in the moment. Because only then can we find our true happiness.
So perhaps I sound a tad preachy. Perhaps. Just a bit. Well anyway. Let’s just go with it for now.
I just returned yesterday from Skåne, Sweden. One of my favorite places and one where I have spent a good amount of money visiting over the past 7 years.
Sweden has a lot of spotlight these days, from their extremely popular H&M and IKEA and then for the more high-brow fashions and interior design styles. It’s everywhere and once it gets a hook in you, well then you’re caught. (And certainly a fish metaphor is appropriate given the loads of fish you are bound to eat there!)
But along with these treats, I’ve come to appreciate Sweden for the way of life most people find for themselves. In Sweden, I find a certain level of efficiencies and benefits that can be seen only over time and by meeting and knowing Swedes.
Some tidbits I have come to recognize about a typical Swede. First and foremost, your work is important, but by no means does it define you… unless it does define you. What defines you are your relationships and how you associate with those around you. How you eat and what you eat. What do you do… cycling, skiing, hiking, running, weightlifting. How do you expend your energy and stay healthy. Which parent stays home with your children and for how long. What do you study. Where do you live, in the country or in the city. How well do you teach your children the values instilled in the Swedish culture. And these values are generally found across the board with all Swedes.
I got lucky this time, because 3 out of 4 of the days I was there, I had nice weather. And this certainly makes for a happy Swede, too.
Here’s to the peace and quiet and solitude I always seem to find when I am in Sweden.
And with that, Välkommen åter! (Looking forward to your return!)